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Charlemont; Or, the Pride of the Village. a Tale of Kentucky   By: (1806-1870)

Book cover

First Page:

Charles Aldarondo, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.

[Illustration: no caption, but contains the word Charlemont. Two men are riding a horse and a woman stands nearby.]

CHARLEMONT;

OR,

THE PRIDE OF THE VILLAGE

A TALE OF KENTUCKY.

BY W. GILMORE SIMMS,

"Nor will I be secure. In any confidence of mine own strength, For such security is oft the mother Of negligence, and that, the occasion Of unremedy'd ruin."

Microcosmus THO. NABBES.

TO THE HON. JAMES HALL, OF CINCINNATI:

AS ONE OF THE ABLEST OF OUR LITERARY PIONEEERS A GENUINE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE GREAT WEST;

WHOSE WRITINGS EQUALLY ILLUSTRATE HER HISTORY AND GENIUS:

this story of "CHARLEMONT," and its Sequel "BEAUCHAMPE" are respectfully inscribed by

THEIR AUTHOR

ADVERTISEMENT

The domestic legend which follows, is founded upon actual events of comparatively recent occurrence in the state of Kentucky. However strange the facts may appear in the sequel however in conflict with what are usually supposed to be the sensibilities and characteristics of woman they are yet unquestionably true; most of them having been conclusively established, by the best testimony, before a court of justice. Very terrible, indeed, was the tragedy to which they conducted one that startled the whole country when it took place, and the mournful interest of which will long be remembered. More on this subject need not be mentioned here. The narrative, it is hoped, will satisfy all the curiosity of the reader. It has been very carefully prepared from and according to the evidence; the art of the romancer being held in close subjection to the historical authorities. I have furnished only the necessary details which would fill such blanks in the story as are of domestic character; taking care that these should accord, in all cases, with the despotic facts. In respect to these, I have seldom appealed to invention. It is in the delineation and development of character, only, that I have made free to furnish scenes, such as appeared to me calculated to perfect the portraits, and the better to reconcile the reader to real occurrences, which, in their original nakedness, however unquestionably true, might incur the risk of being thought improbabilities.

The reflections which will be most likely to arise from the perusal of such a history, lead us to a consideration of the social characteristics of the time and region, and to a consideration of the facility with which access to society is afforded by the manners and habits of our forest population. It is in all newly settled countries, as among the rustic population of most nations, that the absence of the compensative resources of wealth leads to a singular and unreserved freedom among the people. In this way, society endeavors to find equivalents for those means of enjoyment which a wealthy people may procure from travel, from luxury, from the arts, and the thousand comforts of a well provided homestead. The population of a frontier country, lacking such resources, scattered over a large territory, and meeting infrequently, feel the lack of social intercourse; and this lack tends to break down most of the barriers which a strict convention usually establishes for the protection, not only of sex and caste, but of its own tastes and prejudices. Lacking the resources of superior wealth, population, and civilization, the frontier people are naturally required to throw the doors open as widely as possible, in order to obtain that intercourse with their fellows which is, perhaps, the first great craving of humanity. As a matter of necessity, there is little discrimination exercised in the admission of their guests. A specious outside, agreeable manners, cleverness and good humor, will soon make their way into confidence, without requiring other guaranties for the moral of the stranger... Continue reading book >>




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