the present story, was much lessened by the pertinacity with which many persons, acquaintance as well as strangers, would insist (both in public and in private) on identifying the hero and the author. On the appearance of the first few numbers of the present continuation in Macmillan’s Magazine, the same thing occurred, and, in fact, reached such a pitch, as to lead me to make some changes to the story. Sensitiveness on such a point may seem folly, but if the readers had felt the sort of loathing and disgust which one feels at the notion of painting a favorable likeness of oneself in a work of fiction, they would not wonder at it. So, now that this book is finished and Tom Brown, so far as I am concerned, is done with for ever, I must take this, my first and last chance of saying, that he is not I, either as boy or man–in fact, not to beat about the bush, is a much braver, and nobler, and purer fellow than I ever was.
When I first resolved to write the book, I tried to realize to myself what the commo
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