...At this moment, Madame, your husband is about to make his first appearance in the field of literature. Nobody ever knows what will be the fate of a book; and I do not think that the publisher, in asking me for a preface, had the intention of setting me to study Offenbach as a writer of prose. This will explain why in this preface I have spoken to you of everything except of this book. The certain success of the work will be found on the title-page, which bears the popular name of the author. A little more or a little less literary merit would add nothing to Jacques' reputation as a musician, and would in no way diminish his reputation as a man of wit; but I should not be surprised if this literary fancy of a composer of great talent proved a great success as a selling book. All those who owe so many pleasant evenings to Jacques must be curious to know how he writes; they will find in the narrative of his travels in America the same cheerful ease, and the same spontaneous wit which they have been accustomed to find in his scores. Besides, I do not think that in writing these pages your husband had the intention of overthrowing the statue of Christopher Columbus and of placing himself in its stead on the quay of Geneva. Jacques cannot precisely be said to have discovered America, but he contributes a few personal ideas to all that has been written on the New World....