Italics are indicated by underscores.
by Wilkie Collins
In acknowledgment of the services which he has rendered to the
cause of literature by his "Life of Goldsmith;" and in
affectionate remembrance of a friendship which is associated with
some of the happiest years of my life.
READERS in general--on whose friendly reception experience has
given me some reason to rely--will, I venture to hope, appreciate
whatever merit there may be in this story without any prefatory
pleading for it on my part. They will, I think, see that it has
not been hastily meditated or idly wrought out. They will judge
it accordingly, and I ask no more.
Readers in particular will, I have some reason to suppose, be