These early (1898-1908) stories were not exactly lost (they have not been published for over sixty years) and Mr. Showalter who found and edited them contributes a short introduction. He indicates, in a few instances, their re-usage in later works, a perhaps wishful comparison value for young writers, as well as Maugham's later repudiation of the stories as unworthy. True certainly of the gastronomic trifle ""Cousin Amy,"" or the faintly arch ""De Amicitia"" in which a young man and woman travel in Europe as friends only to find that they fall in love, or the trivial ""Flirtation."" But in many of them Maugham is as exemplary a host as in his ""Good Manners"" when an old acquaintance is welcomed without revealing the knowledge that he is a notorious swindler; and often the reverse English is used to good advantage: the crise de conscience of Mr. Clinton (""A Bad Example"") an insular man of property who suddenly devotes himself to the salvation of the poor and outcast; the lapsed ""Faith"" of a monk which later redeems others. And there are many marriages, contrived or convenient or just proposed -- the vicar's disengagement from an engagement to a widow who will forfeit her dower alimony; etc. etc. Agreeable rather than consequential and compleat admirers will read them with ease.