Many persons have believed that this book’s miraculous stupidities were studied and disingenuous; but no one can read the volume carefully through and keep that opinion. It was written in serious good faith and deep earnestness, by an honest and upright idiot who believed he knew something of the English language, and could impart his knowledge to others. The amplest proof of this crops out somewhere or other upon each and every page. There are sentences in the book which could have been manufactured by a man in his right mind, and with an intelligent and deliberate purposes to seem innocently ignorant; but there are other sentences, and paragraphs, which no mere pretended ignorance could ever achieve —nor yet even the most genuine and comprehensive ignorance, when unbacked by inspiration.
It is not a fraud who speaks in the following paragraph of the author’s Preface, but a good man, an honest man, a man whose conscience is at rest, a man who believes he has done a high and worthy work for his nation and his generation, and is well pleased with his performance:
We expect then, who the little book (for the care what we wrote him, and for her typographical correction) that may be worth the acceptation of the studious persons, and especially of the Youth, at which we dedicate him particularly.
One cannot open this book anywhere and not find richness. To prove that this is true, I will open it at random and copy the page I happen to stumble upon. Here is the result:
For To See the Town
Anothony, go to accompany they gentilsmen, do they see the town.
We won’t to see all that is it remarquable here.
Come with me, if you please. I shall not folget nothing what can to merit your attention. Here we are near to cathedral; will you come in there?
We will first to see him in oudside, after we shall go in there for to look the interior.
Admire this master piece gothic architecture’s.
The chasing of all they figures is astonishing’ indeed.
The cupola and the nave are not less curious to see.
What is this palace how I see yonder?
It is the town hall.
And this tower here at this side?
It is the Observatory.
The bridge is very fine, it have ten arches, and is constructed of free stone.
The streets are very layed out by line and too paved.
What is the circuit of this town?
There is it also hospitals here?
It not fail them.
What are then the edifices the worthest to have seen?
It is the arsnehal, the spectacle’s hall, the Cusiomhouse, and the Purse.
We are going too see the others monuments such that the public pawnbroker’s office, the plants garden’s, the money office’s, the library.