Sketches of Young Gentlemen
by Charles Dickens
TO THE YOUNG LADIES OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND; ALSO THE YOUNG LADIES OF THE PRINCIPALITY OF WALES, AND LIKEWISE THE YOUNG LADIES RESIDENT IN THE ISLES OF GUERNSEY, JERSEY, ALDERNEY, AND SARK, THE HUMBLE DEDICATION OF THEIR DEVOTED ADMIRER,
THAT your Dedicator has perused, with feelings of virtuous indignation, a work purporting to be 'Sketches of Young Ladies;' written by Quiz, illustrated by Phiz, and published in one volume, square twelvemo.
THAT after an attentive and vigilant perusal of the said work, your Dedicator is humbly of opinion that so many libels, upon your Honourable sex, were never contained in any previously published work, in twelvemo or any other mo.
THAT in the title page and preface to the said work, your Honourable sex are described and classified as animals; and although your Dedicator is not at present prepared to deny that you ARE animals, still he humbly submits that it is not polite to call you so.
THAT in the aforesaid preface, your Honourable sex are also described as Troglodites, which, being a hard word, may, for aught your Honourable sex or your Dedicator can say to the contrary, be an injurious and disrespectful appellation.
THAT the author of the said work applied himself to his task in malice prepense and with wickedness aforethought; a fact which, your Dedicator contends, is sufficiently demonstrated, by his assuming the name of Quiz, which, your Dedicator submits, denotes a foregone conclusion, and implies an intention of quizzing.
THAT in the execution of his evil design, the said Quiz, or author of the said work, must have betrayed some trust or confidence reposed in him by some members of your Honourable sex, otherwise he never could have acquired so much information relative to the manners and customs of your Honourable sex in general.
THAT actuated by these considerations, and further moved by various slanders and insinuations respecting your Honourable sex contained in the said work, square twelvemo, entitled 'Sketches of Young Ladies,' your Dedicator ventures to produce another work, square twelvemo, entitled 'Sketches of Young Gentlemen,' of which he now solicits your acceptance and approval.
THAT as the Young Ladies are the best companions of the Young Gentlemen, so the Young Gentlemen should be the best companions of the Young Ladies; and extending the comparison from animals (to quote the disrespectful language of the said Quiz) to inanimate objects, your Dedicator humbly suggests, that such of your Honourable sex as purchased the bane should possess themselves of the antidote, and that those of your Honourable sex who were not rash enough to take the first, should lose no time in swallowing the last,-prevention being in all cases better than cure, as we are informed upon the authority, not only of general acknowledgment, but also of traditionary wisdom.
THAT with reference to the said bane and antidote, your Dedicator has no further remarks to make, than are comprised in the printed directions issued with Doctor Morison's pills; namely, that whenever your Honourable sex take twenty-five of Number, 1, you will be pleased to take fifty of Number 2, without delay.
And your Dedicator shall ever pray, &c.