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Aileen Aroon, A Memoir With other Tales of Faithful Friends and Favourites   By: (1840-1910)

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Aileen Aroon, A Memoir With other Tales of Faithful Friends and Favourites By Gordon Stables Published by S.W. Partridge & Co., 9 Paternoster Row, London. This edition dated 1884.

Aileen Aroon, A Memoir, by Gordon Stables.



Prefaces are not always necessary; but when an author has either to acknowledge a courtesy, or to make an apology, then a preface becomes a duty. I have to do both.

Firstly, then, as regards acknowledgment. I have endeavoured in this book to give sketches as near to nature as a line could be drawn of a few of my former friends and favourites in the animal world, and many of these have appeared from time to time in the magazines and periodicals, to which I have the honour to contribute.

I have to thank, then, the good old firm of Messrs. Chambers, of Edinburgh, for courteously acceding to my request to be allowed to republish "My Cabin Mates and Bedfellows," and "Blue Jackets' Pets," from their world known Journal.

I have also to thank Messrs. Cassell and Co., London, for the re appearance herein of several short stories I wrote for their charming magazine Little Folks , on the pages of which, by the way, the sun never sets.

Mr Dean, one of my publishers, kindly permitted me to reprint the story of my dead and gone darling "Tyro," and the story of "Blucher." This gentleman I beg to thank. I have also to thank Messrs. Routledge and Son for a little tale from my book, "The Domestic Cat."

Nor must I forget to add that I have taken a few sketches, though no complete tales, from some of my contributions to that queen of periodicals yclept The Girl's Own Paper , to edit which successfully, requires as much skill and taste, as an artist displays in the culling and arrangement of a bouquet of beautiful flowers.

With the exception of these tales and sketches, all else in the book is original, and, I need hardly add, painted from the life.

Secondly, as regards apology. The wish to have, in a collected form, the life stories of the creatures one has loved; to have, as it were, the graves of the pets of one's past life arranged side by side, is surely only natural; no need to apologise for that, methinks. But, reader, I have to apologise, and I do so most humbly, for the too frequent appearance of the " ego " in this work.

I have had no wish to be autobiographical, but my own life has been as intimately mixed up with the lives of the creatures that have called me "master," as is the narrow yellow stripe, in the tartan plaid of the Scottish clan to which I belong. And so I crave forgiveness.

Gordon Stables.

Gordon Grove, Twyford, Berks .



Scene: A lofty pine wood, from which can be caught distant glimpses of the valley of the Thames. "Aileen Aroon," a noble Newfoundland, has thrown herself down by her master's side. All the other dogs at play in the wood.

Aileen's master ( speaks ): "And so you have come and laid yourself down beside me, Aileen, and left your playmates every one? left your playmates roaming about among the trees, while you stay here by me?

"Yes, you may put your head on my knee, dear, honest Aileen, or your chin at all events, for you yourself, old girl, have no idea of the weight of your whole head. No, Aileen, thank you, not a paw as well; you are really attempting now to take the advantage of my good nature. So be content, `Sable' [Note 1] my good, old, silly, simple Sable. There, I smooth your bonnie brow to show you that the words `old' and `silly' are truly terms of endearment, and meant neither as a scoff at your age, nor to throw disparagement upon the amount or quality of your intellect. Intellect? Who could glance for a single moment at that splendid head of yours, my Aileen, and doubt it to be the seat of a wisdom almost human, and of a benevolence that might easily put many of our poor fallen race to shame... Continue reading book >>

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