After Dark by Wilkie Collins Page 1 of 435
By Wilkie Collins
PREFACE TO "AFTER DARK."
I have taken some pains to string together the various stories contained in this Volume on a single thread of interest, which, so far as I know, has at least the merit of not having been used before.
The pages entitled "Leah's Diary" are, however, intended to fulfill another purpose besides that of serving as the frame-work for my collection of tales. In this part of the book, and subsequently in the Prologues to the stories, it has been my object to give the reader one more glimpse at that artist-life which circumstances have afforded me peculiar opportunities of studying, and which I have already tried to represent, under another aspect, in my fiction, "Hide-and-Seek."
This time I wish to ask some sympathy for the joys and sorrows of a poor traveling portrait-painter---presented from his wife's point of view in "Leah's Diary," and supposed to be briefly and simply narrated by himself in the Prologues to the stories.
I have purposely kept these two portions of the book within certain limits; only giving, in the one case, as much as the wife might naturally write in her diary at intervals of household leisure; and, in the other, as much as a modest and sensible man would be likely to say about himself and about the characters he met with in his wanderings. If I have been so fortunate as to make my idea intelligible by this brief and simple mode of treatment, and if I have, at the same time, achieved the necessary object of gathering several separate stories together as neatly-fitting parts of one complete whole, I shall have succeeded in a design which I have for some time past been very anxious creditably to fulfill.