The Path to Rome By Hilaire Belloc

 -  If I omit this believe me it is
but on account of the multitude and splendour of those who have - Page 4
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If I Omit This Believe Me It Is But On Account Of The Multitude And Splendour Of Those Who Have Attended At The Production Of This Volume.

For the stories in it are copied straight from the best authors of the Renaissance, the music was written by the masters of the eighteenth century, the Latin is Erasmus' own; indeed, there is scarcely a word that is mine.

I must also mention the Nine Muses, the Three Graces; Bacchus, the Maenads, the Panthers, the Fauns; and I owe very hearty thanks to Apollo.

Yet again, I see that writers are for ever anxious of their style, thinking (not saying) -

'True, I used "and which" on page 47, but Martha Brown the stylist gave me leave;' or:

'What if I do end a sentence with a preposition? I always follow the rules of Mr Twist in his "'Tis Thus 'Twas Spoke", Odd's Body an' I do not!'

Now this is a pusillanimity of theirs (the book writers) that they think style power, and yet never say as much in their Prefaces. Come, let me do so ... Where are you? Let me marshal you, my regiments of words!

Rabelais! Master of all happy men! Are you sleeping there pressed into desecrated earth under the doss-house of the Rue St Paul, or do you not rather drink cool wine in some elysian Chinon looking on the Vienne where it rises in Paradise? Are you sleeping or drinking that you will not lend us the staff of Friar John wherewith he slaughtered and bashed the invaders of the vineyards, who are but a parable for the mincing pedants and bloodless thin-faced rogues of the world?

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