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If I chance to talk a little wild, forgive me."- Tempest,

NEW YORK: .

PRINTED FOR THE PUBLISII ERS,

1846.

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“ In this, the antique and well-noted face
Of plain old form is much disfigured,
And like a shisted wind into a sail
It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about,
Startles and frights consideration,
Makes sound opinion sick and truth suspected,
For putting on so new a fashioned robe."- King John..

• Let me not live
After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff
Of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses
All but new things disdain ; whose judgments are
Mere fathers of their garments: whose cons:ancy
Expires before their fashions."

PRE FACE.

READER-This book is a dream.

Hans Van Garretson was left at rest in the French Church till the living had no further business with grave yards. Religion, morals, churches, men, women, living, dead, have all gone up town.

He was an obstinate sort of spirit-old fashioned, and so settled down in habits that he despised change and preferred hovering in the air rather than be disturbed by a mercan. tile resurrection, and in this manner I account for his spirit being ready to wander about the old Dutch church to accommodate the author's wit. He unquestionably had a title in fee to the little plot in which he was deposited ; nature gave it and death perfected it; but the soulless, senseless, remorseless, big-mawed rascal, the Corpo. ration, trespassed upon the rights of Hans: shoveled up his bones that streets might be widened for our growing city, as a grandmother enlarges breeches to keep pace with the legs and broad haunches of a bouncing stripling. So reader, you will please observe that at the Fifth Chapter the dream commences and continues to the end of the book : Hans being the dreamer and Julius the scribe, commentator, or stand-by, to see that he dreams right, for the author, dear reader, is supposed to be wide awake, which you are earnestly desired to believe, if you can.

iv

PREFACE.

A JOINT UNDERSTANDING WITH READERS AND CRITICS.

As water to the thirsty, beer to the English, juniper to the Dutch, so are you noble fellows to the author. The principal reason why I write this book is because I have more ideas than I know what to do with, and the less rea. son is interest.

It is horribly Dutch-a scare-crow to all other nations, Dutch as a Zuyderzee red herring, or a burgomaster's breeches of buckskin and yellow buttons. Can

you

forgive ?—forgive that!

But if you criticise, write against it, or reduce your thoughts to dreams, I will get up such a shower of libel suits, intermingled with the artillery and thunder fustain of the law, that, dear fellows, you will both wish you had been born in the age before or after the storm that I will raise ; you shall be drowned in the ocean of tears that will be shed in pity over your misfortunes. Men

may

talk near traps set on purpose to catch that curmudgeon tongue.

If, on the contrary, you are well disposed and polite, consider your obedient servant at an angle of forty-nine degrees, assuring you, in the language of diplomatic courtesy, that he takes this opportunity to renew with you his most distinguished consideration. Remember underneath the picture of futurity is written in a bold hand—“Libel suits.”

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