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My publishers, whose judgment I hold in high regard, indicate that there should be a Preface. It might not be entirely courteous to the reader to omit it. So, as I have great respect for my readers also, there shall surely be a Preface. Yet, as I have little to say, I trust to be excused if I say little, and if that little should not be remarkable.
Portions of this volume, in other forms, the public have already seen. Still, I flatter myself, they may not be wholly unworthy of another interview; since it is a poor face that will not bear twice looking at. With other parts, it is not possible they should be acquainted, as I have been but recently introduced myself. But I am doubtful whether the new will be found better than the old. And as housekeepers are wont to apologize for presenting the same dish more than once, I wish my apology to comprehend all that may appear at this time upon my table, like young Franklin, who advised his father to “say grace over the whole cask.”
Maternal love is deemed neither idle nor unwise, if it tell stories when graver thought has wearied. To passionate or high-wrought fiction, mine have no pretension. It can be simply said that their elements are truthful, and their tendency salutary. Should they be so fortunate as to deepen any of those sympathies that swell the great tide of human happiness, and hope, the writer will never regret that “to point a moral, she has adorned a tale."
L. H. S. Hartford, Conn., July 4th, 1846.