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viii

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Viii PREFACE He ascribed to Kentuckians a certain fine negligence and prodigality of nature common to large-hearted men who have faith in themselves and in the inexhaustible riches of the world. He especially approved the state of mind which made solicitude and excessive prudence the accessories and not the mainsprings of life. Above all, he valued in them the courage to be themselves, untrammeled by conventions or by undue concern for personal interests. It was these qualities which endeared his people to him. A few evenings before sending to press the poems con- tained in this volume, my husband brought them to me to read once more. When I had finished, struck with the fact that some of his heroes were Confederates, I ex- claimed: " What does this mean -and you an old Fed- eral officer!" Laying down his long-stemmed pipe, for a moment he silently gazed into the fire. Then lifting his head, his usual alert glance dimmed with emotion, "Well," he said, "those brave lads were my companions in youth, and that's why, I suppose, they 've claimed the right to be where I 've put them-among my chosen men. The end came before Mr. Shaler was able to correct or revise the proof of these poems; for this service I am greatly indebted to his old friend and well-loved pupil, Mr. William R. Thayer. SOPHIA P. SHALER. August 205 1906.