English Eccentrics and Eccentricities

John Timbs English Eccentrics and Eccentricities
John Timbs
Project Gutenberg
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GENTLE READER, a few words before we introduce you to our Eccentrics. They may be odd company: yet how often do we find eccentricity in the minds of persons of good understanding. Their sayings and doings, it is true, may not rank as high among the delicacies of intellectual epicures as the Strasburg pies among the dishes described in the Almanach des Gourmands; but they possess attractions in proportion to the degree in which "man favours wonders." Swift has remarked, that "a little grain of the romance is no ill ingredient to preserve and exalt the dignity of human nature, without which it is apt to degenerate into everything that is sordid, vicious, and low." Into the latter extremes Eccentricity is occasionally apt to run, somewhat like certain fermenting liquors which cannot be checked in their acidifying courses.

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