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This little book makes no pretension either to exhaustiveness or profundity. It is no more than an A B C book on a subject which has so far been without one. The idea of writing some such book occurred to me five or six years ago, and I had written so much as now forms the second section, when for some reason which I have forgotten, the work was laid aside until the autumn of 1870, when, being asked by the editor of the Sacristy to contribute to that magazine, I sent him what I had written, making it the commencement of a series of papers which was continued for something more than two years, at intervals, as it was wanted, or as I had leisure. In papers so written, it is almost impossible but that sometimes subjects are introduced in one section, which in strict propriety ought to belong to
another. In revision I have endeavoured to rectify this defect, but I am conscious that it still exists to some extent.
In the original series in the Sacristy, the section on Bells was written by the Rev. J. T. Fowler, M.A., F.S.A., whose special knowledge of the subject enabled him to treat of it very much more fully than I could have done. Mr Fowler inserted in his paper one or two trifling suggestions of mine which I have now taken the liberty of re-appropriating, whilst I have profited largely by his, and, even where I express opinions opposed to his, I am more than once indebted to him for having directed my attention to the matter.
Instead of my own meagre chapter on the Organ, I now insert one kindly written for me by my friend Mr Somers Clarke, jun., who, besides having a practical knowledge of the instrument, can speak of it from experience, not as an architect only, but as an organist and choirman.
In revising the whole, I have freely corrected and added to the original series, and in doing so, have taken advantage of suggestions from several friends, and, in one or two instances, from reviewers in the public journals. The last three sections, making, with those on the Organ and on Bells, more than a fourth of the whole, are now printed for the first time.
I ought to say that the sections on Architecture and Style were written, and already in print, for the Sacristy,