Saturday, July 19, 2014

Why books are written

The appearance of a new book is an indication that another man has found a mission, has entered upon the performance of a lofty duty, activated by the noblest impulses that can spur the soul of man to action. It is the proudest boast of the profession of litera¬ture, that no man ever published a book for selfish purposes or with ignoble aim. Books have been published for the consolation of the distressed; for the guidance of the wandering; for the relief of the destitute; for the hope of the penitent; for uplifting the burdened soul above its sorrows and fears; for the general amelio¬ration of the condition of all mankind; for the right against wrong; for the good against bad; for the truth. This book is published for two dollars per volume.

(Preface to The Rise and Fall of the Mustache, 1877)

Robert J Burdette

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