Excerpt from The Mysteries of New York: A Sequel to "Glimpses of Gotham," and "New York by Day and Night"
It is because they are, after all, but romances, and the popular taste for fiction changes, shouldering the best of old favorites into the corner in favor of far less meritorious novelties whose charm of new ness atones for their shortcomings. The scenes these supplanted vet erans describe belong to the past. The present generation recognizes no resemblance between them and the life that goes on about it. They lack fact enough to become history, and their romance is faded, dim and dull to a people which has outgrown the surroundings in which that romance was placed.
But with our Mysteries of New York it is a vastly different ease.
The scenes we depict are being enacted about us every day, for we write of the great metropolis of the present, of the third greatest city in the world as it is in the year of grace 1881. It is the real life of this tremendous gathering of men, this treasure-house of wealth and asylum of poverty, this abode of Virtue and haunt of crime, which we portray with pen and pencil. It is its ins and outs, bright scenes and sombre mysteries which artist and author combine to give an endur ing place in literature.
No romance here but that of fact, which has truly been said to be more startling than any fiction which fascinates as no production of the novelist's fancy can, because we know it to be true, and which we remember long after the creations of genius, the fanciful children of the most brilliant inventions, are forgotten.
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