Byrne’s chastisement: the sense that Delane did not care a fig for public opinion. His knowing that it sided with his wife did not, I believe, affect him in the least; nor did her own view of his conduct—and for that I was unprepared. What really ailed him, I discovered, was his loneliness. He missed her, he wanted her back—her trivial irritating presence was the thing in the world he could least dispense with. But when he told me what she had done he simply added: “I see no help for it; we’ve both of us got a right to our own opinion.”
His voice grew more tender, and low: “Toward the last of the year I seed her makin’ little things slyly an’ hidin’ ’em away in the bureau drawer, an’ one night she put away a tiny half-finished little dress with the needle stickin’ in the hem—just as she left it—just as her beautiful hands made the last stitch they ever made on earth....
But it is a very different matter when the author of a book like mine ventures, as I have done for sufficient reasons but at the same time with regret, to sit in judgment on the works of men of research and experts, who belong to our own time and who exert a lively influence on their generation. In this case the author can no longer appeal to the consentient opinion of his contemporaries; he finds them divided into parties, and involuntarily belongs to a party himself. But it is a still more weighty consideration that he may subsequently change his own point of view, and may arrive at a more profound insight into the value of the works which he has criticised; continued study and maturer years may teach him that he overestimated some things fifteen or twenty years ago and perhaps undervalued others, and facts, once assumed to be well established, may now be acknowledged to be incorrect.
It was thin I spoke up, for I’d taken the paper frum the recipshun hall the day Miss Claire faynted, intinding to burn the dummed thing. I now guv it to Mr. Harry. He toorned it over contemshusly. Thin he guv the paper a long scrootiny. Finally he looked up and fixed his eyes on Miss Claire. His voyce is very cam and quiet.
But at last they came to the banks of one stream from which they could look far off to the land where they were to make their new home. All was still there save the sound of the birds and small game. Right in-to the heart of the dense woods they went on a piece of tim-ber-land a mile and a half east of what is now Gen-try-ville, Spen-cer Co. This was A-bra-ham Lin-coln’s third home. Here his fa-ther built a log “half-face,” half a score and four feet square. It had no win-dows and no chim-ney. For more than twelve months the Lin-colns staid in this camp. They got a bit of corn from a patch, and ground it in-to meal at a hand grist-mill, sev-en miles off, and this was their chief food. There was, of course, game, fish, and wild fruits.
The “plain peo-ple,” the sort from whom Lin-coln sprung, were ver-y proud of him, and day af-ter day some of them went to see him, bring-ing small gifts and kind words and wish-es.
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