Page:Memoirs of Vidocq, Volume 1.djvu/12

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xi
INTRODUCTION.

a paper-manufactory at St Mandé, about two leagues from Paris, where he employs from forty to fifty persons,—principally, it is asserted, liberated convicts, who having passed through the term of their sentence, are cast upon society without home, shelter, or character, and would be compelled to resort to dishonest practices did not this asylum offer them its protection and afford them opportunity of earning an honest living by industrious labour.

One additional point of interest in the present volumes is, that the author is still living. The criticism on autobiography falls harmless when the hand that penned it is mouldering with its kindred dust; and in the present instance the shafts of severe comment will be blunted on the shield of candid and contrite avowal.