The allotted thirty years have passed, and as directed, I, Llewellyn Drury, now break the seals, and open the envelope accompanying the mysterious package which was left in my hand, and read as follows:
Herein find the epilogue to your manuscript. Also a picture of your unwelcome guest, I—Am—The—Man, which you are directed to have engraved, and to use as a frontispiece to the volume. There are men yet living to bear witness to my identity, who will need but this picture to convince them of the authenticity of the statements in the manuscript, as it is the face of one they knew when he was a young man, and will recognize now that he is in age. Do not concern yourself about the reception of the work, for you are in no wise responsible for its statements. Interested persons, if living, will not care to appear in public in connection therewith, and those who grasp and appreciate, who can see the pertinence of its truths, who can read between the lines and have the key to connected conditions, will assuredly keep their knowledge of these facts locked in their own bosoms, or insidiously oppose them, and by their silence or their attacks cover from men outside the fraternity, their connection with the unfortunate author. They dare not speak.
Revise the sentences; secure the services of an editor if you desire, and induce another to publish the book if you shrink from the responsibility, but in your revision do not in any way alter the meaning of the statements made in the manuscript; have it copied for the printer, and take no part in comments that may arise among men concerning its reception. (*) Those who are best informed regarding certain portions thereof, will seemingly be least interested in the book, and those who realize most fully these truths, will persistently evade the endorsement of them. The scientific enthusiast, like the fraternity to which I belong, if appealed to, will obstruct the mind of the student either by criticism or ridicule, for many of these revelations are not recorded in his books.
You are at liberty to give in your own language as a prologue the history of your connection with the author, reserving, however, if you desire to do so, your personality, adding an introduction to the manuscript, and, as interludes, every detail of our several conversations, and of your experience. Introduce such illustrations as the selected artist and yourself think proper in order to illuminate the statements. Do not question the advisability of stating all that you know to have occurred; write the whole truth, for although mankind will not now accept as fact all that you and I have experienced, strange phases of life phenomena are revealing themselves, and humanity will yet surely be led to a higher plane. As men investigate the points of historical interest, and the ultra-scientific phenomena broached in this narrative, the curtain of obscurity will be drawn aside, and evidence of the truths contained in these details will be disclosed. Finally, you must mutilate a page of the manuscript that you may select, and preserve the fragment intact and in secret. Do not print another edition unless you are presented with the words of the part that is missing. (*)
NOTE BY MR. DRURY.—Thus the letter ended. After mature consideration it has been decided to give verbatim most of the letter, and all of the manuscript, and to append, as a prologue, an introduction to the manuscript, detailing exactly the record of my connection therewith, including my arguments with Professors Chickering and Vaughn, whom I consulted concerning the statements made to me directly by its author. I will admit that perhaps the opening chapter in my introduction may be such as to raise in the minds of some persons a question concerning my mental responsibility, for as the principal personage in this drama remarks: "Mankind can not now accept as facts what I have seen." Yet I walk the streets of my native city, a business man of recognized thoughtfulness and sobriety, and I only relate on my own responsibility what has to my knowledge occurred. It has never been intimated that I am mentally irresponsible, or speculative, and even were this the case, the material proof that I hold, and have not mentioned as yet, and may not, concerning my relations with this remarkable being, effectually disproves the idea of mental aberration, or spectral delusion. Besides, many of the statements are of such a nature as to be verified easily, or disproved by any person who may be inclined to repeat the experiments suggested, or visit the localities mentioned. The part of the whole production that will seem the most improbable to the majority of persons, is that to which I can testify from my own knowledge, as related in the first portion and the closing chapter. This approaches necromancy, seemingly, and yet in my opinion, as I now see the matter, such unexplained and recondite occurrences appear unscientific, because of the shortcomings of students of science. Occult phenomena, at some future day, will be proved to be based on ordinary physical conditions to be disclosed by scientific investigations [for "All that is is natural, and science embraces all things "], but at present they are beyond our perception; yes, beyond our conception.
Whether I have been mesmerized, or have written in a trance, whether I have been the subject of mental aberration, or have faithfully given a life history to the world, whether this book is altogether romance, or carries a vein of prophecy, whether it sets in motion a train of wild speculations, or combines playful arguments, science problems, and metaphysical reasonings, useful as well as entertaining, remains for the reader to determine. So far as I, Llewellyn Drury, am concerned, this is—
Had the above communication and the missing fragment of manuscript been withheld (see page 161), it is needless to say that this second edition of Etidorhpa would not have appeared.
On behalf of the undersigned, who is being most liberally scolded by friends and acquaintances who can not get a copy of the first edition, and on behalf of these same scolding mortals, the undersigned extends to I-Am-The-Man the collective thanks of those who scold and the scolded.—J. U. L.
This introduction, which in the author's edition was signed by the writer, is here reprinted in order that my views of the book be not misconstrued.—J. U. L.
360:* From a review of the fac simile (see p. 35), it will be seen that an exact print word for word could not be expected. In more than one instance subsequent study demonstrated that the first conception was erroneous, and in the interview with Etidorhpa (see p. 252), after the p. 360 page had been plated, it was discovered that the conveyed meaning was exactly the reverse of the original. Luckily the error was discovered in time to change the verse, and leave the spirit of this fair creature unblemished.—J. U. L.