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'that when Mr. Hone failed in business as a bookseller, he was
persuaded by me to try the pulpit; which is false, incorrect,
unchristian, in a manner blasphemous, and in all respects
contemptible. Let us pray.' With which, and in the same breath, I
give you my word, he knelt down, as we all did, and began a very
miserable jumble of an extemporary prayer. I was really penetrated
with sorrow for the family" (he exerted himself zealously for them
afterwards, as the kind-hearted C also did), " but when C, upon his
knees and sobbing for the loss of an old friend, whispered me '
that if that wasn't a clergyman, and it wasn't a funeral, he'd have
punched his head,' I felt as if nothing but convulsions could
possibly relieve me." On the loth of October I heard from him that
the chapter intended ta be introductory to the Notes was written,
and waiting our conference whether or not it should be printed. We
decided against it; on his part so reluctantly, that I had to
undertake for its publication when a more fitting time should come.
This in my judgment has arrived, and the chapter first sees the
light on this page. There is no danger at present, as there would
have been when it was written, that its proper self-assertion
should be mistaken for an apprehension of hostile judgments which
he was anxious to deprecate or avoid. He is out of reach of all
that now; and reveals to us here, as one whom fear or censure can
touch no more, his honest purpose in the use of satire even where
his humorous temptations were strongest. What he says will on other
grounds also be read with unusual interest, for it will be found to
connect itself impressively not with his first experi- ences only,
but with his second visit to America at the close of his life. He
held always the same high opinion of what ...
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