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Caxton's Book: A Collection of Essays, Poems, Tales, and Sketches.   By: (1822-1876)

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First Page:

Transcriber's Notes:

1. Passages in italics are surrounded by underscores .

2. Words in Bold are surrounded by =equal= signs.

3. Words in both Bold and Gothic Font are surrounded by bars and equal signs =text=.

4. Any footnotes in the original text have been placed directly under the paragraph or passage containing their anchors.

5. The following words with the [oe] ligature appeared in the original text: manoeuvre, Croesus, oesophagus. The ligature has been removed for the purpose of this e text.

6. A list of minor punctuation and spelling error corrections is located at the end of this e text.

CAXTON'S BOOK:

A COLLECTION OF

ESSAYS, POEMS, TALES AND SKETCHES.

BY THE LATE W. H. RHODES.

EDITED BY DANIEL O'CONNELL.

SAN FRANCISCO: A. L. BANCROFT AND COMPANY. 1876.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1876, BY SUSAN RHODES, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D.C.

SAN FRANCISCO: A. L. BANCROFT AND COMPANY, PRINTERS AND BINDERS.

PREFACE.

The sketches and poems in this volume were written at a time when the author was engaged in the practice of a laborious profession. It was the intention of Mr. Rhodes to collect them from the various newspapers and periodicals in which they had appeared, and publish them in book form whenever he could obtain a respite from his arduous duties. But before he carried out his long cherished object he died, in the prime of his manhood and the ripeness of his literary life. Many of his poems were written for the monthly gatherings of the Bohemian Club. There, when Caxton's name was announced, his literary friends thronged about him, confident of the rich treat the brain of their beloved poet had provided for them. His wit was keen and sparkling, without a shade of malice; and many an anecdote, that began with some delightful absurdity, closed in a pathos that showed the great versatility of Caxton's genius. The Case of Summerfield, which is perhaps the most ingenious of the tales in that peculiar vein, was widely copied and warmly praised for the originality of its plan and the skill of its execution. The editor of this work has observed, as far as lay in his power, the intention of the author in the selection of those compositions which Mr. Rhodes had put aside for compilation. With such a mass and variety of material (for Caxton had been a busy worker) it was difficult to select from productions all of which were excellent. Few liberties have been taken with them; for, indeed, Caxton was himself so conscientious in the arrangement and correction of his manuscript, that, with the exception of some slight and unimportant alterations, this book goes before his friends and the public in the same order as the author would have chosen had he been spared to perform the task.

IN MEMORIAM.

At the time when, according to custom, Mr. Rhodes's death was formally announced to the several Courts of Record in San Francisco, one of the learned Judges urged the publication of his writings in some form which would give the bar a permanent memorial of one of it's most esteemed members, and to them their proper place in American literature. This has been accomplished by the present volume. It is sincerely to be hoped that while it will largely add to Mr. Rhodes's reputation, it may also serve to furnish a most interesting family some substantial aid in the struggle with life, from which the beloved husband and tender father has unhappily been removed.

William Henry Rhodes was born July 16, 1822, in Windsor, North Carolina. His mother died when he was six years old, and his father, Col. E. A. Rhodes, sent him to Princeton, New Jersey, to be educated at the seat of learning established there. Col. Rhodes was subsequently appointed United States Consul at Galveston, Texas, and without completing his college course, the son followed his father to his new home... Continue reading book >>




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