The following pages will afford a peep behind the scenes, and explain how it is that, after nearly half a century of existence, stamp collecting has never been more popular than it is to-day. And perchance many a tired worker in search of a hobby may be persuaded that of all the relaxations that are open to him none is more attractive or more satisfying than stamp collecting. Its literature is more abundant than that devoted to any other-hobby. Its votaries are to be found in every city and town of the civilised world. Govern ments and statesmen recognise, unsolicited, the claims of stamp collecting — the power, the inﬂuence, and the wealth that it commands. From a mere schoolboy pastime it has steadily developed into an engrossing hobby for the leisured and the busy of all classes and all ranks of life, from the monarch on his throne to the errand boy in the merchant's office. In the competition of modern life it is recognisedthat those who must work must also play. The physician assures us that the man who allows himself no relaxation, no recreation, loses his energy, and ages earlier than the man who judiciously alternates work and play. As stamp collecting may be indulged in by all ages, and at all seasons, it is becoming more and more the favourite indoor relaxation with brain-workers. It may be taken up or laid down at any time, and at any stage. Its cost may be limited to shillings or pounds, and it may be made a pleasant pursuit or an engrossing study, or it may even be diverted into money-making purposes. So absorbing is the hobby that in stamp circles there is a saying, Once a stamp collector, always a stamp collector.