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neighbour, that “ had been to meetin' and had been to mill.” We can all obtain some notions of the portion of a subject that is placed immediately before our eyes; the difficulty is, to understand that which we have no means of studying
On the subject of the nautical incidents of this book, we have endeavoured to be as exact as our authorities will allow. We are fully aware of the importance of writing what the world thinks, rather than what is true, and are not conscious of any very palpable errors of this nature.
It is no more than fair to apprize the reader, that our tale is not completed in the First Part, or the volumes that are now published. This, the plan of the book would not permit: but we can promise those who may feel any interest in the subject, that the season shall not pass away, so far as it may depend on ourselves, without bringing the narrative to a close. Poor Captain Wallingford is now in his sixty-fifth year, and is naturally desirous of not being hung up long on the tenter-hooks of expectation, so near the close of life. The old gentleman, having seen much and suffered much, is entitled to end his
days in peace.
In this mutual frame of mind between the principal and his editors, the public shall have no cause to complain of unnecessary delay, whatever may be its rights of the same nature on other subjects.
The author does not feel himself responsible for all the notions advanced by the hero of this tale, and it may be as well to say as much. That one born in the Revolution should think differently from the men of the present day, in a hundred things, is to be expected. It is in just this difference of opinion that the lessons of the book are to be found.
June 1, 1844.
And 1-my joy of life is filed,
And those lov'd trees my tomb o'ershade
I was born in a valley not very remote from the sea. My father had been a sailor in youth, and some of my earliest recollections are connected with the history of his adventures, and the recollections they excited. He had been a boy in the war of the revolution, and had seen some service in the shipping of that period. Among other scenes he witnessed, he had been on board the Trumbull, in her action with the Watt-the hardest-fought naval combat of that war - and he particularly delighted in relating
its incidents. He had been wounded in the battle, and bore the marks of the injury, in a scar that slightly disfigured a face, that, without this blemish, would have been singularly handsome. My mother, after my poor father's death, always spoke of even this scar as a beauty-spot. Agreeably to my own recollections, the mark scarcely deserved that commendation, as it gave one side of the face a grim and fierce appearance, particularly when its owner was displeased.
My father died on the farm on which he was born, and which descended to him from his great-grandfather, an English emigrant that had purchased it of the Dutch colonist who had originally cleared it from the woods. The place was called Clawbonny, which some said was good Dutch; others, bad Dutch; and, now and then, a person ventured a conjecture that it might be Indian. Bonny it was, in one sense at least, for a lovelier farm there is not on the whole of the wide surface of the Empire State. What does not always happen in this wicked world, it was as good as it was handsome. It consisted of three hundred and seventy-two acres of first-rate land, either arable, or of rich river bottom in meadows, and of more than a hundred of rocky mountain side, that was very tolerably covered with wood. The first of our family who owned the place had built a substantial one-story stone