Green's St. Louis directory :
Preface. 7
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ful aliment. Knowing nothing, they yet arrogate to themselves all wis-
dom and knowledge; and by way of shewing off their vast, unfathomable
profundity, condemn all that they do not understand, which is just every
thing possessed of the smallest degree of merit in its way. They irresis-
tably bring to mind a species of alchymist of yore—not those laudable al-
chymists who went about doing good, turning the baser metals into gold
by the mesmeric touch of the Philosopher’s Stone, thereby making every
body rich—but those other alchymists who, rejecting the pure oil of the
olive, were wont to traverse the country over, during cherry time, and ex-
plore all the nooks, recesses, and by-places around the country domicil,
in search for the cherry stones which had been deposited there, in small
masses, by the little children—from which to extract, according to their
notion, a most luscious, precious, delicious, nutricious sallad oil, for their
own consumption, and that of others of equally refined physical tastes with
themselves. I ask the public pardon for having made such voluminous re-
ference to this species of lusus nalurae—a thing I by no means would have
done, had it not been that I have actually detected two or three of them
clad in broadcloths of pretty good quality, and trying to ape the gentleman
—which gave them very much the appearance of the jack-daw in pea-
cock’s feathers, or of puss in boots. To such I dedicate the defects and
imperfections of the present compilation, with the unfeigned hope that
they may prove to them just so many literary cherry stones, from the in-
tellectual oil extracted from which, I hope they may flourish, and thrive,
and grow unwieldily corpulent. The more perfect portions of the present
work, I dedicate to gentlemen.

The compiler.