P R E F A C E
For a long time I have intended to publish a collection of curious facts selected from books and periodicals. I have often found that when the mind was so wearied that even a sensational novel failed to fix the attention, short paragraphs about unusual things in science, art, or literature, were interesting enough to divert my thoughts from cares of business. The paragraphs must not be too long, and must be on widely differing subjects to keep me entertained. Probably the contrast between the unusual and the previously stored-up impressions concerning any subject of knowledge may account for the interest thus awakened.
The reader will not expect to find this a book of reference, classified and methodically arranged, with all the assertions carefully verified. Neither is it a text-book of instruction, although it may contain much of suggestive value to everyone. It is intended to be a book for odd moments for busy people–a book of entertainment rather than instruction.
LONDON, Feb. 1890