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TO WASHINGTON IRVING, ESQ.

MY DEAR SIR,

In early boyhood the charms of litera

ture first broke upon me through the productions of your pen; gratitude, therefore, as well as respect and admiration, induces me to dedicate to you the following compositions of one who also warmly appreciates the treasures which you have added to the English language.

Believe me, my dear sir,

Very gratefully and sincerely,

Your ob’t servant.

THEODORE S. FAY.

New-YORK, JUNE 10, 1833.

PREFACE.

BY THE EDITOR.

The following essays and sketches originally appeared in the New-York Mirror, under the signature of C. In collecting them for publication, in the present form, the editor, if he may assume so dignified an appellation, is actuated by two motives : first, a desire to do justice to the abilities of a valued and long absent friend, whose reluctant consent has been yielded only to repeated solicitations; and, second, to furnish for the public a book marked by humor and originality of thought, and an agreeable companion for a dull hour.

The editor does not rely solely on his own estimation of their excellence, although

he thinks the author, what some critic less appropriately called Milton, “ a very good writer-very!Many of the articles have been extensively copied, and one in particular, after a tour through Great Britain, was, with a slight alteration of the title, transplanted into an American paper as a rare foreigner, and in that capacity gained a good deal of extra attention; just as a townsman, dwelling all his life in the midst of us, dependent only upon good sense and virtue, may languish in obscurity, but, after a few years abroad, finds an Italian air and a pair of moustaches, a passport to the tables of the wealthy and great. The “ Man of the Fly-market Ferry," “ Passages in the Life of an Unfortunate," “ The Epicurean,” the “Biography of Jacob Hays,” “ Oysters," &c., are curious and amusing specimens of literary caricatures, completely and justly turning into ridicule a style of writing bombastically about nothing, too popular and

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