It was once my good fortune to assist in a discovery of some importance to lovers of literature, and to searchers after the new and wonderful. As nearly a quarter of a century has since elapsed, and as two others shared in the discovery, it may seem to the reader strange that the general public has been kept in ignorance of an event apparently so full of interest. Yet this silence is quite explicable; for of the three participants none has heretofore written for publication; and of my two associates, one is a quiet, retiring man, the other is erratic and forgetful. It is also possible that the discovery did not at the time impress either my companions or myself as having that importance and widespread interest which I have at last come to believe it really possesses. In any view of the case, there are reasons, personal to myself, why it was less my duty than that of either of the others to place on record the facts of the discovery. Had either of them, in all these years, in ever so brief a manner, done so, I should have remained forever silent.
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