Page:Martin Chuzzlewit.djvu/18

This page needs to be proofread.
viii
PREFACE.

But, although Mr. Pecksniff will by no means concede to me, that Mr. Pecksniff is natural; I am consoled by finding him keenly susceptible of the truthfulness of Mrs. Gamp. And though Mrs. Gamp considers her own portrait to be quite unlike, and altogether out of drawing; she recompenses me for the severity of her criticism on that failure, by awarding unbounded praise to the picture of Mrs. Prig.

I have endeavoured in the progress of this Tale, to resist the temptation of the current Monthly Number, and to keep a steadier eye upon the general purpose and design. With this object in view, I have put a strong constraint upon myself from time to time, in many places; and I hope the story is the better for it, now.

At any rate, if my readers have derived but half the pleasure and interest from its perusal, which its composition has afforded me, I have ample reason to be gratified. And if they part from any of my visionary friends, with the least tinge of that reluctance and regret which I feel in dismissing them; my success has been complete, indeed.

London,
Twenty-fifth June, 1844.