Wlliam Gilmore Simms
As Good as a Comedy and Paddy McGann >> As Good as a Comedy, or The Tennesseean's Story >> Author's Advertisement

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Novella | U of South Carolina P | 1972
Transcription ADVERTISEMENT.
IN good faith, I very sincerely hope that the title which this little
volume bears upon its face will take nobody in. Now that it is
written out, I am not sure that there is anything comic in its pages.
I am certain that I have made no effort to make them so; and if
merriment should be the result, I shall certainly congratulate myself
upon the possession of an involuntary endowment, which takes its
owner quite as much by surprise as anybody else. But no; even if
there be comedy in the narrative that follows, it will be none of
mine —I were a Pagan to lay claim to it. These, in fact, are but
jottings down from the lips of another; and I don't know that I was
greatly beguiled, when I heard them, into that happy humor which
makes one cry out in defiance, "Sessa! let the world pass ! " Were
I to confess honestly, I should rather admit myself of that graver
order of monkhood which never tells its beads on the face of a
tankard. I don't see a jest readily at any time, and, knowing my
infirmity, I very frequently suffer it to escape me by keeping too
closely on the watch for it. It so happens, accordingly, that, being
very amiable and anxious to please, I blunder after the fashion of
Dr. Johnson's butcher, who was procured to help bolster up Gold-
smith's first comedy, and do all my laughing in the wrong place,
and after the mirth has fairly subsided from the muscles of my
neighbors. This makes me modest of judgment in all matters that
affect the humorous, and hardly a proper person, therefore, to
recount that which is so. But, indeed, I propose nothing of the kind.
The title chosen for this volume is in some degree in compliance
with necessity: it can scarcely be said to have been a matter of choice.