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PRELIMINARY

I HAVE the honour humbly to inform my readers that, after prolonged consumption of midnight oil, I succeeded in completing this imposing society novel, which is now, by the indulgence of my friends and kind fathers, the honble publishers, laid at their feet.

My inducement to this enterprise was the spectacle of very inferior rubbish palmed off by so-called popular novelists such as Honbles Kipling, Joshua Barrie, Antony Weyman, Stanley Hope, and the collaborative but feminine authoresses of "The Red Thumb in the Pottage," all of whom profess (very, very incorrectly) to give accurate reliable descrip-tions of Indian, English or Scotch episodes.

The pity of it, that a magnificent and gullible British Public should be suckled like a babe on such spoonmeat and small beer!