My one object in following a new course is to enlarge the range of my studies in the art of writing fiction, and to vary the form in which I make my appeal to the reader
, as attractively as I can.
But, at the same time, if any honest reader
shall have derived more pain than pleasure from its perusal, and have closed the last volume with a disagreeable impression on his mind, I humbly crave his pardon, for such was far from my intention; and I will endeavour to do better another time, for I love to give innocent pleasure.
But as this work is chiefly recommended to those who know how to read it, and how to make the good uses of it which the story all along recommends to them, so it is to be hoped that such readers will be more leased with the moral than the fable, with the application than with the relation, and with the end of the writer than with the life of the person written of.
The world is so taken up of late with novels and romances, that it will be hard for a private history to be taken for genuine, where the names and other circumstances of the person are concealed, and on this account we must be content to leave the reader to pass his own opinion upon the ensuing sheet, and take it just as he pleases.
In very many published narratives no little degree of attention is bestowed upon dates; but as the author lost all knowledge of the days of the week, during the occurrence of the scenes herein related, he hopes that the reader will charitably pass over his shortcomings in this particular.
In several works descriptive of the islands in the Pacific, many of the most beautiful combinations of vocal sounds have been altogether lost to the ear of the reader by an over-attention to the ordinary rules of spelling.
Princess Ozma, whom I love as much as my readers do, is again introduced in this story, and so are several of our old friends of Oz.
Many a time tears of pride and joy have stood in my eyes while I read the tender, loving, appealing letters that came to me in almost every mail from my little readers.
And each of those stories, to mean something, must justify itself in its own way to the conscience of each successive reader.
As he is presented as sensitive enough to be affected permanently by a certain unusual experience, that experience had to be set by me before the reader vividly; but it is not the subject of the tale.
The tortoise--as the alderman of Bristol, well learned in eating, knows by much experience--besides the delicious calipash and calipee, contains many different kinds of food; nor can the learned reader
be ignorant, that in human nature, though here collected under one general name, is such prodigious variety, that a cook will have sooner gone through all the several species of animal and vegetable food in the world, than an author will be able to exhaust so extensive a subject.
But when it is remembered that in Zarathustra we not only have the history of his most intimate experiences, friendships, feuds, disappointments, triumphs and the like, but that the very form in which they are narrated is one which tends rather to obscure than to throw light upon them, the difficulties which meet the reader
who starts quite unprepared will be seen to be really formidable.