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
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.