WARNING!The ensuing work is a serious attempt to while away an idle hour. The best criticism that the author received of "Her Ladyship's Elephant" was from an old lady who wrote him that it had made her forget a toothache; the most discouraging, from a critic who approached the book as serious literature and treated it according to the standards of the higher criticism.The author takes this occasion to state that he has never been guilty of writing literature, serious or otherwise, and that if any one considers this book a fit subject for the application of the higher criticism, he will treat it as a just ground for an action for libel.If the minimum opus possesses an intrinsic value, it lies in the explanation of the whereabouts of a Spanish gunboat, which, during our late unpleasantness with Spain, the yellow journalists insisted was patrolling the English Channel, in spite of the fact that the U. S. Board of Strategy knew that every available ship belonging to that nation was better employed somewhere else.Should this exposé ruffle another English see, so much the worse for the Bishop.
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