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HOME AND THE WORLD.

CHAPTER I.

AVONMORE.

TRUTH is often more marvellous than fiction, and the most successful writers of romance, like the great painters of old, owe their success to their faithful portraiture of nature: but as it is impossible to breathe the breath of life" into either pictures or romances, it is fair to place the lights and shadows so as to produce harmony and beauty, and if for the sake of contrast some of the shadows are very dark indeed, and some of the lights are almost supernal, we should not pronounce the picture unnatural.

The divine Raphael, studied, reproduced, gazed at, admired and loved, unites all suffrages, not only because he is true to nature, but because he represents nature in her loveliest and most graceful forms. The writers of romance would do well to remember that while the pictures of Raphael, always bearing the impress of the “beauty of holiness,” are still of priceless value, and counted as are brilliants among precious stones, works of equal genius but of debasing tendency are sinking into oblivion and contempt.

To the utilitarian who despises both the pictures of the mind and the pencil, who tramples the flowers scattered in our daily path beneath his busy feet, those flowers more delicately and gorgeously attired than Solomon in all his glory," who sees in the sparkling stream and dashing waterfall only the requisite power to put his machinery in motion, in “the moon walking in brightness" only some vague indication of the state of the tide that brings his heavily freighted ship into harbor, in even the glorious sunlight only economy of fuel and gas, it is in vain to appeal. To such we would only send a collection of the choicest and freshest, but most useless flowers, with a copy of Dickens' “ Hard Times.”

The lovers of the ideal, the imaginative, the beautiful, have their warrant in those parables so full of pathos, of heavenly wisdom, of sublime grandeur. “One jot” of these can never pass away,” and while the world stands, there will be writers and readers of works of imagination. Let these works then, like the steam which has revolutionized the world, instead of being suppressed, receive a proper direction, and then

" And then,” the readers of my story are ready to exclaim, “we are to have a utilitarian discourse on this mighty theme !" Patience, gentle friends! this was only the preface; but knowing from experience, how little favor a preface finds with fair readers, it is placed at the beginning of the first chapter, that you may not skip at once into the story, without having some idea of what you may encounter in your travels. Yet you shall not be taxed too heavily, lest

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