Read PREFACE. of Seek and Find / The Adventures of a Smart Boy, free online book, by Oliver Optic, on

"Seek and Find" is the third of the serial stories published in "Our Boys and Girls," where it appeared as the sequel of "Breaking Away." The author had no more reason to complain of its reception than of that accorded to its predecessors; and he returns his sincere thanks to all those young friends who have written hundreds of letters to him, containing the most generous commendation, with an occasional criticism, which was by no means unwelcome.

Ernest Thornton is a smart boyperhaps he is too smart; but his smartness is not worldly cunning; it is made up of those elements of character which constitute a noble and true mangood judgment, quick perception, and manly decision, mingled with those moral and religious attributes which are the leading springs of the true life. If some of the hero's actions are doubtful, his motives are always good. The greatest crime against the moral law is to be without a high aim; and while a thousand errors and short-comings may be forgiven, the want of a good intention is the capital sin which may not be pardoned. While we cannot ask or expect all young men to accomplish what Ernest Thornton did, we may point to his high aims and good intentions, and say to the reader, "Go thou and do likewise."