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Biglow papers,


Έστιν άρ' ο ιδιωτισμός ενίοτε του κόσμου παραπoλύ εμφανιστικώτερον.

LONGINUS. "J'aimerois mieulx que mon fils apprinst aux tavernes à parler, qu'aux escholes de la parlerie."


Unser Sprach ist auch ein Sprac und fan so wohl ein Sad nennen als die Lateiner saccus.“

FISCHART. “Vim rebus aliquando ipsa verborum humilitas affert."


“O ma lengo, Plantarèy une estelo à toun froun encrumit!"



E. R. HOAR. “Multos enim, quibus loquendi ratio non desit, invenias, quos curiose potius loqui dixeris quam Latine ; quomodo et illa Attica anus Theophrastum, homj. nem alioqui disertissimum, annotata unius affectatione verbi, hospitem dixit, nec alio se id deprehendisse interrogata respondit, quam quod nimium Attice loqueretur." QUINTILIANUS.

“ Et Anglice sermonicari solebat populo, sed secundum linguam Norfolchio ubi natus et nutritus erat.” CRONICA JOCELINI.

“La politique est une pierre attachée au cou de la littérature, et qui en moins de six mois la submerge. Cette politique va offenser mortellement une moitié des lecteurs, et ennuyer l'autre qui l'a trouvée bien autrement spéciale et énergique dans le journal du matin." - HENRI BEYLE


THOUGH prefaces seem of late to have fallen under some reproach, they have at least this advantage, that they set us again on the feet of our personal consciousness and rescue us from the gregarious mock-modesty or cowardice of that we which shrills feebly throughout modern literature like the shrieking of mice in the walls of a house that has passed its prime. Having a few words to say to the many friends whom the “ Biglow Papers" have won me, I shall accordingly take the freedom of the first person singular of the personal pronoun. Let each of the good-natured unknown who have cheered me by the written communication of their sympathy look upon this Introduction as a private letter to himself.

When, more than twenty years ago, I wrote the first of the series, I had no definite plan and no intention of ever writing another. Thinking the Mexican war, as I think it still, a national crime committed in behoof of Slavery, our common sin, and wishing to put the feeling of those who thought as I did in a way that would tell, I imagined to myself such an upcountry man as I had often seen at antislavery gatherings, capable of districtschool English, but always instinctively falling back into the natural stronghold of his homely dialect when heated to the point of self-forgetfulness. When I began to carry out my conception and to write in my assumed character, I found myself in a strait between two perils. On the one hand, I was in danger of being carried beyond the

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