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WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE From the Droeshoet engraving, with Ben Jonson's verses, published in first folio in 1023

To the Rcader.

This Figure, chat chou here secst pur,

lowas for gentle Shakespeare cur. Wherein the Grauer hada trife

with Nature, to out-doo the life : O could he but haue drawne his wit

As well in brasle, as he hach hic Hisface, the Prin: would then surpasse

All, chat vvas euer vyric in brasie. But, since he cannor, Reader, looke Noton his Pi&ure, but his Booke.

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Electrotyped and Printed by J. B. Lippincott Company
The Washington Square Press, Philadelphia, U. S. A.



) /2 * /

All my life I have loved, owned, collected and read books. The motive back of these activities has not, however, been any desire on my part to improve my mind. Being satisfied with my mind as it is, I have read in the spirit in which boys play ball, girls dress their dolls, men attend prize fights, and women gossip about their neighbors. I have read, in other words, for fun; and I have found in the collection, the ownership, and the perusal of books a source of pleasure which, unlike most pleasures, is not only inexpensive and harmless but has grown deeper with time.

My object in writing this book has been, if possible, to convey to others the secret of the location of the source of this fountain of perpetual refreshment. I wish to show people how to extract from books the same kind and degree of satisfaction that they get from games, movies, and automobiles. I hope, therefore, that these pages will be read, not because they are instructive, but because they are entertaining. Of course, like the pages of Mark Twain's “ Roughing It," they do have information in them.“ Try as I will,” he says, “information appears to stew out of me like the sweet ottar of roses out of the otter.” It is so with me. I cannot help it. Judging, however, by what I know of the average person, I am inclined to believe that he will not absorb enough learning from this book to impair either his health or his character.

Seriously speaking, however, I trust that the following pages will be pleasant to read; that they will arouse curiosity about books and authors; that they will incite people to read books; and that they will inoculate some of those who read them with the altogether proper, harmless and desirable mania for owning them. The last assertion I make boldly, though I know that some persons of low character will probably charge me with being in league with those natural enemies of society who are commonly known as printers. To forestall their

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