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Bride of the Mistletoe   By: (1849-1925)

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THE BRIDE OF THE MISTLETOE

BY

JAMES LANE ALLEN

AUTHOR OF "FLUTE AND VIOLIN," "A KENTUCKY CARDINAL," "AFTERMATH," ETC.

TO ONE WHO KNOWS

Je crois que pour produire il ne faut pas trop raissoner. Mais il faut regarder beaucoup et songer à ce qu'on a vu. Voir: tout est là, et voir juste. J'entends, par voir juste, voir avec ses propres yeux et non avec ceux des maîtres. L'originalité d'un artiste s'indique d'abord dans les petites choses et non dans les grandes.

Il faut trouver aux choses une signification qui n'a pas encore découverte et tâcher de l'exprimer d'une façon personelle.

GUY DE MAUPASSANT.

PREFACE

Any one about to read this work of fiction might properly be apprised beforehand that it is not a novel: it has neither the structure nor the purpose of The Novel.

It is a story. There are two characters a middle aged married couple living in a plain farmhouse; one point on the field of human nature is located; at that point one subject is treated; in the treatment one movement is directed toward one climax; no external event whatsoever is introduced; and the time is about forty hours.

A second story of equal length, laid in the same house, is expected to appear within a twelvemonth. The same father and mother are characters, and the family friend the country doctor; but subordinately all. The main story concerns itself with the four children of the two households.

It is an American children's story:

"A Brood of The Eagle."

During the year a third work, not fiction, will be published, entitled:

"The Christmas Tree: An Interpretation."

The three works will serve to complete each other, and they complete a cycle of the theme.

CONTENTS

EARTH SHIELD AND EARTH FESTIVAL

I. THE MAN AND THE SECRET

II. THE TREE AND THE SUNSET

III. THE LIGHTING OF THE CANDLES

IV. THE WANDERING TALE

V. THE ROOM OF THE SILENCES

VI. THE WHITE DAWN

EARTH SHIELD AND EARTH FESTIVAL

A mighty table land lies southward in a hardy region of our country. It has the form of a colossal Shield, lacking and broken in some of its outlines and rough and rude of make. Nature forged it for some crisis in her long warfare of time and change, made use of it, and so left it lying as one of her ancient battle pieces Kentucky.

The great Shield is raised high out of the earth at one end and sunk deep into it at the other. It is tilted away from the dawn toward the sunset. Where the western dip of it reposes on the planet, Nature, cunning artificer, set the stream of ocean flowing past with restless foam the Father of Waters. Along the edge for a space she bound a bright river to the rim of silver. And where the eastern part rises loftiest on the horizon, turned away from the reddening daybreak, she piled shaggy mountains wooded with trees that loose their leaves ere snowflakes fly and with steadfast evergreens which hold to theirs through the gladdening and the saddening year. Then crosswise over the middle of the Shield, northward and southward upon the breadth of it, covering the life born rock of many thicknesses, she drew a tough skin of verdure a broad strip of hide of the ever growing grass. She embossed noble forests on this greensward and under the forests drew clear waters.

This she did in a time of which we know nothing uncharted ages before man had emerged from the deeps of ocean with eyes to wonder, thoughts to wander, heart to love, and spirit to pray. Many a scene the same power has wrought out upon the surface of the Shield since she brought him forth and set him there: many an old one, many a new. She has made it sometimes a Shield of war, sometimes a Shield of peace. Nor has she yet finished with its destinies as she has not yet finished with anything in the universe. While therefore she continues her will and pleasure elsewhere throughout creation, she does not forget the Shield... Continue reading book >>




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