The author may excuse the presentation of these sketches to the public on the ground that, if he did not publish some of them, somebody would, and, if he did not publish the others, nobody would. He has taken the liberty to dedicate the book to certain enterprising gentlemen in London who have displayed their devotion to a sentiment now widely prevailing in the Music Halls by republishing an American book without solicitation on the author's part. At the same time he begs to reserve in petto a second dedication to the people of Archey Road, whose secluded gayety he has attempted to discover to the world.
Kipling's like me, Hinnissy. When I want to say annything lib-lous, I stick it on to me Uncle Mike. So be Roodyard Kipling. He doesn't come r-right out, an' say, 'Nick, ye're a liar!' but he tells about what th' czar done to a man he knowed be th' name iv Muttons. Muttons, it seems, Hinnissy, was wanst a hunter; an' he wint out to take a shot at th' czar, who was dhressed up as a bear. Well, Muttons r-run him down, an' was about to plug him, whin th' czar says, 'Hol' on,' he says,--'hol' on there,' he says. 'Don't shoot,' he says. 'Let's talk this over,' he says. An' Muttons, bein' a foolish man, waited till th' czar come near him; an' thin th' czar feinted with his left, an' put in a right hook an' pulled off Muttons's face. I tell ye 'tis so. He jus' hauled it off th' way ye'd haul off a porous plasther,--raked off th' whole iv Muttons's fr-ront ilivation. 'I like ye'er face,' he says, an' took it. An' all this time, an' 'twas fifty year ago, Muttons hasn't had a face to shave. Ne'er a one. So he goes ar-ro