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The Story of a Bad Boy by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
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by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Chapter One--In Which I Introduce Myself

This is the story of a bad boy. Well, not such a very bad, but a pretty
bad boy; and I ought to know, for I am, or rather I was, that boy

Lest the title should mislead the reader, I hasten to assure him here
that I have no dark confessions to make. I call my story the story of
a bad boy, partly to distinguish myself from those faultless young
gentlemen who generally figure in narratives of this kind, and partly
because I really was not a cherub. I may truthfully say I was an
amiable, impulsive lad, blessed with fine digestive powers, and no
hypocrite. I didn't want to be an angel and with the angels stand; I
didn't think the missionary tracts presented to me by the Rev. Wibird
Hawkins were half so nice as Robinson Crusoe; and I didn't send my
little pocket-money to the natives of the Feejee Islands, but spent
it royally in peppermint-drops and taffy candy. In short, I was a real
human boy, such as you may meet anywhere in New England, and no more
like the impossible boy in a storybook than a sound orange is like one
that has been sucked dry. But let us begin at the beginning.