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LEAVES FROM A
AND OTHER PAPERS
MARQUESS CURZON OF KEDLESTON
VICEROY AND GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF INDIA
What shall we tell you? Tales, marvellous tales
And winds and shadows fall toward the west.
J. ELROY FLECKER,
MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED
A MELANCHOLY duty falls upon the literary executors of the late Lord Curzon in presenting to the public that gifted author's second volume of travel. For not only do we deeply regret that this task cannot be fulfilled by him whose individuality is stamped upon every page of his work; but we must also admit a sense of artistic loss that the hand of so brilliant a writer, of so careful a reviser, was not spared to arrange the chapters and to correct the proofs of this latest addition to the bibliography of travel.
Among Lord Curzon's literary remains, consisting of voluminous notes for some half-dozen books on widely different subjects which he had hoped some day to publish, we found a collection of essays, more or less completed, which were intended by him to form the sequel to his Tales of Travel. Two or three of these have, we believe, appeared in magazines or reviews; but we are unfortunately unable to discover where or when they were published or to whom we should make suitable acknowledgement for their reproduction. We trust that this omission will, therefore, be forgiven by those to whom our thanks are due.
Many of the papers included in this volume were written hurriedly and in pencil, at dates which cannot be accurately ascertained; they were certainly never revised for the press by their author. It may easily be, therefore, that owing to incomplete preparation, to instances of obliteration of the MS. in some cases and to illegibility in others, errors will here and there be detected and a partial lack of that final polish which was so characteristic of everything that Lord Curzon wrote.
Even as they stand, however, we commend these stories with confidence to those whose preferences in modern reading lie in the direction of travel and adventure. We commend them for their charm, their gaiety, their information and their style-a quartette of literary virtues which never fail to fascinate, especially when they are combined so happily as in the present volume. And, in addition, they give to the reader a delightful portrait of the author-a man of wide sympathies, of subtle perceptions, of genial humour, whose powers of observation and of descriptive writing were never more congenially employed than when he was keeping these faithful records of his journeyings abroad.
F. W. PEMBER.