TO THE READER AT LEISURE

TO THE READER AT LEISURE

WHOEVER you may be, I caution you against rashly defaming the author of this work, or cavilling in jest against him. Nay, do not silently reproach him in consequence of others' censure, nor employ your wit in foolish disapproval, or false accusation. For, should Democritus Junior prove to be what he professes, even a kinsman of his older namesake, or be ever so little of the same kidney, it is all over with you: he will become both accuser and judge of you in your spleen, will dissipate you in jests, pulverise you into salt, and sacrifice you, I can promise you, to the god of Mirth.

I further advise you, not to asperse, or calumniate, or slander, Democritus Junior, who possibly does not think ill of you, lest you may hear from some discreet friend, the same remark the people of Abdera did from Hippocrates, of their meritorious and popular fellow-citizen, whom they had looked on as a madman; "It is not that you, Democritus, that art wise, but that the people of Abdera are fools and madmen? "You have yourself an Abderitian soul;" and having just given you, gentle reader, these few words of admonition, farewell.

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