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When these pages—written for you and your children— were printed for private circulation, the idea of their being allowed to pass beyond those more immediately interested would not have been once entertained.
The compromise of private feeling in permitting them to be reprinted and published now, is made at an urgent request from many quarters, which seems to indicate that the little book might be of use to some children and young mothers unknown to us; for them it is designed. Had it been originally written with this view, the fifth chapter should have come first; but it was an afterthought to continue the narrative beyond the accident itself, by giving details of the early years of those who were then so suddenly removed.
To you no apology is needed for the Urge space filled by scenes so familiar, and to omit or abridge what may be considered too minute in detail would not be easy now. It was a time of movement ; even a child, little more than four years old, could be aware of this, and learn to love its bible more, in France,— in Tuscany,—at Kome,—and among the Yaudois.
Prepared as we might ever be for change and sorrow, who could have thought that before this little record had reached Malabar, your own home would have been darkened and left behind ; or that he who was the light of it should have so quickly followed the infant brothers,—caught away by jungle fever from his hazardous task of disarming the Moplahs,—so early to get the wish he used to sing of, in his own sweet lines, to Freddy, under the olivetree at BenSfiat :—'
To dwell in the City, mine m*y it be.
Who are they whose little feet,
Pacing life's dark journey through, Now have reached that heavenly seat
They have ever kept in view?
"I, from Greenland's frozen land,"
"I, from Afric's barren sand,"
"I, from islands of the main."
'All »ur earthly Journey past,
Every tear and pain gone by.