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PREFACE.

IN making a selection from the humorous writers of America, I have been guided mainly by my own likes and dislikes. Hence this volume lays no claim to being either exhaustive or representative. I believe, however, that some of the very choicest bits of Yankee humour will be found in these pages, though I have been compelled to omit much that I should have liked to include.

To all who love to “laugh and grow fat," to the happy thousands to whom it is given as a priceless boon to be able to see the ridiculous aspect of affairs, I present this book with the greatest confidence that it will be heartily welcomed and enjoyed.

For those to whom exaggeration and the grotesque have no charm, I have only one word of advice: Don't attempt to understand these pages. You won't succeed, and you will only end by being disappointed with the work, and angry with me for compiling it.

It is not necessary for me to say anything as to the strong method many of my authors have of calling a spade

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