PREFACE It is more than doubtful. whether any work of Maetcrlincks, even in its translated form, requires any Introduction-except it be in the nature of an apology, on the part of the translator, for the inadequacy of his version. But the publishers of this book have been insistent that I should furnish them with some kind of preface and, after all, there is the comforting reflection that very few people will read it. So much has been written about Maetcr- linck these past years It is a feature of the times we live in that five books are written about a great man of letters for every one of his. Nor would I have consented to add to the mass were I not conscious of the fact that, possessing no sort of critical faculty, lT would attempt neither to analyse nor to appraise-but simply, and perhaps naively, ta admire....

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