THE measure of a man’s popularity is not always—or indeed seldom—the measure of his intrinsic worth. So, when the earlier work of any writer is gathered together in more enduring form, catering to the enthusiasm of his readers in his maturer years, there is always a suspicion that the venture is purely a commercial one, with- out literary justification.
Fortunately these stories of Mr. Kipling’s form their own best excuse for this, their first appearance together in book form. Not merely because in them may be traced the origin of that style and subject matter that later made their author famous; but because the stories are in themselves worth while—worth writing, worth reading. “The Likes o’ Us” is as true to the type as any of the inunortal Mulvaney stories; the beginning of “New Brooms” is as succinctly fine as any prose Mr. Kipling ever wrote; for searching out and presenting such splendid pieces of fiction as “Sleipner, late Thurinda,” and “A Little More Beef” to a public larger than their original one in India, no apology is necessary.