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MUCH SOUND &
LITTLE SENSE

By W. S. GILBERT

With ILLUSTRATIONS BY THE AUTHOR

NEW YORK · R. H. RUSSELL
PUBLISHER . MC MV I

Arranged and Printed by the Wayside Department of The Uni. versity Press, Cambridge, U.S.A. PRE FACE

1

(T appears nowadays to be an absolute neces

sity that the subject-matter of even the most

insignificant books should be heralded by a Preface; and I believe that there are on record instances of authors who have experienced no difficulty whatever in spinning very slender materials into a three-volume novel, and yet have

found themselves terribly perplexed when called upon by their publishers to fill two or three pages with a vindication of their motives in writing it: just as busy people find it very easy to be guilty of an impertinence, but very difficult indeed to apologize satisfactorily for it. I have some reason to believe that the Ballads, which now appear for the first time in a collected

form, have achieved a certain whimsical popularity among a special class of readers. I hope to gather, from their publication in a separate volume,whether that popularity (such as it is) is a thing to be gratified with. With respect to the Ballads themselves, I do not know that I have anything very definite to say about them, except that they are not, as a rule, founded upon fact. I have ventured to publish the illustrations

with them because, while they are certainly quite as bad as the Ballads, I suppose they are not much worse. If, therefore, the Ballads are worthy of publication in a collected form, the little pictures would bave a right to complain if they were omitted. I do not know that they would avail themselves of that right, but I should, nevertheless, bave it on my conscience that I had been guilty of partiality. If, on the other band, the Ballads should unfortunately be condemned as wholly unworthy of the dignity with which the Publishers have invested them, they will have the satisfaction of feeling that they have companions in misfortune in the rather clumsy sketches that accompany them.

W. S. G.

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