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BY PLINY MILES, CORRESPONDING MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY, AUTHOR
OY STATISTICAL REGISTER,” ETC., ETC.
ENTERED AT STATIONERS' MALL.
(This work is copyrighted in the United States.)
SPOTTISWOODES AND SHAW, PRINTERS, NEW STREET SQUARE, LONDON.
In issuing a publication, a writer must consult the wants of the book-buying public, as much as the state of the Art on which he writes. No author has a right to publish a book that he in his enthusiasm may think is in advance of the age, and then complain if he is not patronized. If a writer chooses to publish on any subject, he does so at his own risk, and by the decision of the public he must abide. I never had much respect for those beseeching, craving-your-attention sort of scribblers, who state very blandly in their Prefaces, that they have spent so much time, and so much money, in writing a book, all for the entertainment of the dear public, and consequently they consider that public under obligations to patronize them. Book-making is a kind of mercantile transaction. If a work has merit, the public will most undoubtedly find it out, and buy it, because they believe it to be worth the money it costs. If a publication fail of success, then it is, to a great extent, destitute of merit, or the author has not consulted the wants of the public. In either case he has no right to complain of neglect. This appears to be an author's position before the public.
This work is on the subject of Mnemotechny, or the Art of aiding and improving the Memory. If the book is unworthy of attention, it is owing to one of the following ream sons, viz. : the subject is not worthy of a publication, or I have not done the subject justice. There is considerable prejudice against what is termed " Artificial Memory.” Writers and critics seem to think that Moemotechnic authors