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AN HARMONIOUS QUARTET 209
given. This silent suppression of an author's name is one of the discreditable things of musical criticism, as the men who write criticisms know perfectly well that the words are an essential part—the very foundation—of a song.
"The absurdity to which the custom leads is well illustrated by the following : A very clever parody of my words * Darby and Joan ' appeared in Punch. It was headed ' Parody of Molloy's " Darby and Joan." Now it is quite possible to parody music by means of music, but you can't parody music by words. The compliment was really due to me. Fortunately these things don't worry me now. But they are a cruel injustice to young authors.
"Occasionally I get a letter bearing on the face of it evidence of wealth ; as for example the following: ' Dear sir, I have seen some verses of yours in a magazine and have set them to music. May I publish them? I shall be very pleased to send you a copy when published.' I replied, ' Dear madam, I cannot live on bread alone.'
"I once received a letter asking me to read and criticise some verses said to be composed by a little girl, the protegee of the writer. They were my own ! The child had found them in one of my children's books. Or as I prefer to think, p