A New England Tale/Preface
The writer of this tale has made an humble effort to add something to the scanty stock of native American literature. Any attempt to conciliate favour by apologies would be unavailing and absurd. In this free country, no person is under any obligation to write; and the public (unfortunately) is under no obligation to read. It is certainly desirable to possess some sketches of the character and manners of our own country, and if this has been done with any degree of success, it would be wrong to doubt that it will find a reception sufficiently favourable.
The original design of the author was, if possible, even more limited and less ambitious than what has been accomplished. It was simply to produce a very short and simple moral tale of the most humble description; and if in the course of its production it has acquired any thing of a peculiar or local cast, this should be chiefly attributed to the habits of the writer's education, and that kind of accident which seems to control the efforts of those who have not been the subjects of strict intellectual discipline, and have not sufficiently premeditated their own designs.
It can scarcely be necessary to assure the reader, that no personal allusions, however remote, were intended to be made to any individual, unless it be an exception to this remark, that the writer has attempted a sketch of a real character under the fictitious appellation of "Crazy Bet"
March 30, 1822.