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WHETHER a regular Preface is of any advantage to a book, I am not versed enough in literary matters to be able to decide. Still, I consider that a proper feeling of respect for the Public calls for something in the shape of an Introduction to the Second Volume of STABLE TALK AND TABLE TALK; the more so as it affords me the opportunity of expressing my gratitude for the success of the First.
I am aware that, had I availed myself of the assistance of others in revising what I have written, I should have produced a work that, in point of correctness of expression and style of language, would have ranked much higher in public estimation; but as I in no shape arrogate to myself the character of a literary man, I trust that both Volumes will be received as they truly are, — merely hints, observations, and opinions of a practical man, committed to paper as the ideas suggested themselves.
Such as the First Volume was, I venture a hope that the Second will not be found its inferior. If the two, taken together, are thought in some parts useful, in others occasionally amusing, they will have realised all I could anticipate, or venture to hope would be awarded to them.