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Lady Baltimore by Owen Wister
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S. Weir Mitchell
With the Affection and Memories of All My Life

To the Reader

You know the great text in Burns, I am sure, where he wishes he could see
himself as others see him. Well, here lies the hitch in many a work of
art: if its maker--poet, painter, or novelist--could but have become its
audience too, for a single day, before he launched it irrevocably upon
the uncertain ocean of publicity, how much better his boat would often
sail! How many little touches to the rigging he would give, how many
little drops of oil to the engines here and there, the need of which he
had never suspected, but for that trial trip! That's where the
ship-builders and dramatists have the advantage over us others: they can
dock their productions and tinker at them. Even to the musician comes
this useful chance, and Schumann can reform the proclamation which opens
his B-flat Symphony.

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