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behind, by the constant change of a half-nomadic life, as to have slidden into that fair border-land between memory and imagination, where the Real and the Ideal become indistinguishably blended. Each lends to each, in a sufficient degree to give life-likeness to the one, and unreality to the other. It were a hopeless task, therefore (for the author, not less than for others), to attempt to decide in what proportion Fact and Fiction should divide the sketches between them. Let "Shiloh" be read, then,especially in the quarter alluded to,-as a work of pure fiction, in the letter, however truthful in the spirit. Any other course would be a grievous wrong to the fanciful part of the narrative, by forcing it into harsh contact with present realities; while it would inevitably lead to mistakes more or less unjust to a community which the author holds always in kind remembrance.

An acknowledgment remains to be made. Having imagined an artist's studio, it became necessary to hang its walls with suitable pictures. These were found in a certain New York studio, and quietly appropriated. The owner will be surprised to see them transferred to these pages; others will observe how much they have lost in the transference. Those who know him best, will be first to testify that no liberties have been taken with the artist's personality, but that the appropriations have been confined wholly to his pictures; and these are hereby returned to him, with thanks.

HUDSON.

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SHILOH.

I.

PITCHING TENT.

[graphic]

HAVE turned a leaf in my life's book, dear Francesca. The last paragraph-broken short off in its joyous, triumphant flow, and blurred and blotted with tears-is covered from sight. Let it rest in peace.

Here begins a fresh page.

We were leaning over the gate, Bona, Mala, and I. Do you need to be introduced to these persons of the drama? Bona is my alter ego, my better self, my Mentor, my counsellor, my consoler,-or, to speak more to the purpose, the grace of God working within me. So Mala is my worst self, my evil genius, by turns my tempter, flatterer, tormentor, betrayer,-that part of me which Holy Writ declares to be deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. And the entity here represented by the pronoun "I" is the arbiter between the two, influenced by both, alternately swayed by each, yet to whose decision cither must submit with what grace she is able. In brief, "I" represents the Will-Power of the concern.

They who know me best, never behold either of these characters per se, but a mixture of the three, seen darkly through a veil of reserve which is common to all, and further colored by their own prejudices and prepossessions.

61

B

Nevertheless, these personages do exist; leading a distinct and highly belligerent exister.ce in one fleshly tabernacle, and making themselves manifest through one set of human organs. Occasionally, one sinks into a state of passivity, and leaves the other queen regnant; but their normal condition is struggle, conflict, hand-to-hand fight, and no quarter. I lead an unquiet life between them, made endurable chiefly by the reflection that things might be worse. If Bona were to depart, and leave Mala triumphant, there would be dreary deterioration, and sliding down slippery places, for me here, and a fearful record to face hereafter; while that Mala will ever go forth, shaking the dust from her feet, and leave Bona and me to keep quiet house together, is not to be hoped for until "this mortal shall have put on immortality."

I make no apology for thus taking you into the heart of things. You and I believe that no chronicle of human life is complete, which deals not with the inner strife as well as with the outer circumstance.

Neither Bona nor Mala was rampant as I leaned on the gate, and looked out over this sunset-reddened Shiloh ; the sweet signification of whose name had so touched my jaded heart as I ran over the boarding agent's list. I had such sore need of a "Place of Rest!

"Is it hill country or plain?" I asked the man.

"Hill country, ma'am. You climb straight up, from Shiloh Bridge, for three miles and a half. When I went there, I had a mind to settle, for fear I'd never get any nearer heaven."

"Is it quiet?"

"Quiet as a graveyard. You'd think 'twas Sunday all the time."

So it was settled. Aunt Belle was most graciously acquiescent, after a polite remonstrance or two;-doubtless, she was charmed that I should thus voluntarily remove my. self from her orbit, for awhile. Flora pouted and gibed.

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