The Ethics of the Dust/Preface to the Second Edition

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The Ethics of the Dust by John Ruskin
Preface to the Second Edition

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.

I have seldom been more disappointed by the result of my best pains given to any of my books, than by the earnest request of my publisher, after the opinion of the public had been taken on the "Ethics of the Dust," that I would "write no more in dialogue!" However, I bowed to public judgment in this matter at once (knowing also my inventive powers to be of the feeblest); but in reprinting the book (at the prevailing request of my kind friend, Mr. Henry Willett), I would pray the readers whom it may at first offend by its disconnected method, to examine, nevertheless, with care, the passages in which the principal speaker sums the conclusions of any dialogue: for these summaries were written as introductions, for young people, to all that I have said on the same matters in my larger books; and, on re-reading them, they satisfy me better, and seem to me calculated to be more generally useful, than anything else I have done of the kind.