Notes by the Way/Preface

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

PREFACE.


In November next Notes and Queries will have arrived at its sixtieth birthday, and although at present there seems no prospect, as some have wished, of a gathering of the clans, I am pleased that in some way its Diamond Jubilee will be commemorated by the publication of these Notes by the Way.

Would that our late beloved Editor—but for whom these Notes would never have been put into book form—were with us to give his "band of brothers" his warm handshake, his genial, sympathetic smile, and the kind encouragement he was ever so ready to render to myself and to all!

When I told him that his kind words about these Notes had decided me to print them in a separate volume, and to ask him if he would accept the dedication, he expressed great pleasure ; and now they are dedicated to his honoured memory. In compiling the memoir of him I have been much indebted to his brother, Mr. John P. Knight, for reminiscences of his early life.

Joseph Woodfall Ebsworth, whose untiring work in collecting materials for the Ballad history of Great Britain was beyond all praise, devoted years of his life to the search for old Ballads, copying them, and cutting the blocks for the illustrations. All this he did for the Ballad Society for years without fee or reward. He was such a warm friend and devoted admirer of Joseph Knight, as will be seen in both memoirs, that I have felt it a pleasure to include the lives of these two friends in the same volume. The happy years of close companionship with our late Editor will be among my choicest memories as long as life shall last.

As Joseph Knight presided at the Dinner held in 1891 to celebrate the foundation of the first Readers' Pension, and always gratefully acknowledged the services of the proof-reader, I have thought it appropriate that any profits there may be from the sale of this book should be devoted to the Readers' Pension Fund.

I have to acknowledge the great service Mr. John Randall has rendered me by his suggestions, as well as the care with which he has compiled the Index.

JOHN COLLINS FRANCIS.

Florence House,
Christ church Road,
Streatham Hill, S.W.
April, 1909.