THE man, who from convenience or caprice enters the house through a window, may, notwithstanding, prefer the building with a front door; and thus while readers, for the most part, commence at other places, they still demand a book with a preface.
To any one, however, who may linger a moment in our vestibulum, we would say, and with great brevity, that the essence of our tale is truth, while the embodying of the truth is fiction; that nearly every leading incident, separate from its place in the story, is a fact; that not a few of these passed under the eyes of the author; and that, in several scenes, he was a quorum pars—an actor.
In justice to himself and others, the author
here states that no person, living or dead, sat,
in any way, for portraiture in the leading characters
of the book; and that the very few real persons, who, under new names, utter here and there a few sentences, at which if living they would take no offence, are all now among the dead.
With these few introductory words, the author begs leave to usher his reader into the inner rooms of his literary edifice.
PARK INSTITUTE, Brooklyn, L. I.,
November 1, 1852.