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Bygones Worth Remembering (Complete)
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George Jacob Holyoake

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Title: Bygones Worth Remembering (Complete)

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ISBN: 9781465558060

If the preface of a book be a plea to the reader, its force must lie in the aims of the author. In the following pages his main aim has been to be of service to somebody. That is a principle, which, amid the ravelment, perplexity, and entanglements of the world, always finds a pathway open. Such a principle is as an All-­Seeing Eye, to which he who acknowledges it, is amenable, since it makes plain to him the devious, time-­serving byways he should avoid. The writer has no interest, no taste, no trust, save in definite, verifiable ideas. His aim has been to keep clear of the Sin of Pretension, which consists in declaring, or assuming to be true, that which the writer or speaker does not know to be true. What errors negligence of this rule has bred! What misdirection it has perpetuated! Into how many labyrinths, where truth was not to be found, has it led men! What can be more useful, or holier, than inciting the reader to beware of pretension in speech, in morals, in politics, and in piety? To keep as clear as possible of this universal sin may serve many and mislead none. Professor Jowett has told us that "where Inquiry is denied at the door, Doubt gets in at the window.­" This is the way it came to the writer of this preface, and accounts for a certain liberty of expression the reader may meet with, if he ventures further into these pages. A sentence of Mr. Allen Upward will sufficiently describe the spirit of this book: "Let us try to tolerate each other instead of trying to convert each other.­" The author disclaims belonging to that class who have "great expectations,­" which are as vain in literature as in life. The utmost the author looks forward to is that semi-­friendly applause which is accorded to a platform speaker, not so much for any merit in his oration as for his unexpected consideration for the audience by concluding

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