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MUCH SOUND &
By W. S. GILBERT
NEW YORK · R. H. RUSSELL
i-mv YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY 2178614A
ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS
R 1926 L
Arranged and Printed by the Wayside Departmenı , The University Press, Cambridge, U.S.A.
T appears nowadays to be an absolute necessity 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 Baliads, 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 separcte oglume, 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 bave 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 have a right to complain if they were omitted. I do not know that they would avail themselves of that right, but I should, nevertheless, have it on my conscience that I had been guilty of partiality. If, on the other hand, 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.