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INTRODUCTION for their creation, but only for their portraiture. They in their day must certainly have pleaded guilty to the charge of being old-fashioned, for they belonged to a time when men treated women chivalrously and women relied on men impli- citly, when success bore no relation to wealth, and when the seventh commandment was not deemed a proper subject for conversation in mixed company. The author is not vain enough to imagine that any personal experiwce of his could interest the general public, or even that limited public which may take the trouble to glance at this introduc- tion; but as his stories of the old Southern life have been taken as a reasonably fair picture of that life, he ventures to tell how they came to be written. In the first place, the writer's home was on an old Virginia plantation in the county of Hanover, within sound of the guns of battles in three great campaigns in which not less than three hundred thousand men fell, and during his boyhood and youth the recollection of the great viii