A Hatchment

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There is a something almost indecent, as it were, in setting forth all a man thinks and feels, without an explanation or at the least a prelude of some sort. A fencing master goes through the salute, a jockey takes a preliminary canter, even divines resort to incantations of some kind or other before they fall a-preaching, and when a speaker starts with "Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen" and the farrago that goes to herald forth a speech, that is his preface.<br><br>Now, preludes, prefaces and explanations are of the nature of a stalking horse, by means of which writers may approach their readers on their blind side. If a man writes a treatise upon aviation, or astronomy, he naturally has no false shame, for no one writes upon such matters without full knowledge, and it is ten to one he knows a hundred times more of them than does the man who reads.

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