Excerpt from The Humour of America: Selected, With an Introduction and Index of American Humorists When the unfortunate man standing on the scaffold was asked by a spectator to make a speech, he said that, considering the interesting programme which had been prepared by their good friend the Sheriff, he could t hope to say anything likely to amuse them. The compiler of a book of humour may recognise a like anxiety on the part of the public to push on to the principal attraction. There arises on his mental vision the eager face of the book-buyer, as he hurriedly skims over the leaves at the commencement of the volume, to find the end of the introduction and the beginning of the humour. Once upon a time when I was young - in fact, more than eighteen months ago - I wrote an introduction to a volume of American humorous verse. It didn't say much, but it covered a great deal of space, and looked imposing. The few statements made, however, have risen up and smitten me night and day, and I have never to this moment been able to get away from them. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.