But I am well aware that my paymaster, the great public, regards what else I have written with indifference, if not aversion. If it call upon me at all, it calls on me in the familiar and indelible character; and when I am asked to talk of my first book, no question in the world but what is meant is my first novel. Sooner or later, somehow, anyhow, I was bound I was to write a novel. It seems vain to ask why. Men are born with various manias: from my earliest child-, hood it was mine to make a plaything of imaginary series of events; and as soon as I was able to write, I became a good friend to the paper-makers. Reams upon reams must have gone to the making of Rathillet, !the Pentland Rising, 1the King s Pardon (otherwise Park Whitehead ), Edward Darren, AC ountry Dance, and a Vendetta in the West; and it is consolatory to remember that these reams are now 1N epas confondre. Not the slim green pamphlet with the imprint of Andrew Elliott, for which (as I see with amazement from the book-, lists) the gentlemen of England are willing to pay fancy prices; but its predecessor, a bulky historical romance without a spark of merit, and now deleted from the world.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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