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Horse-Shoe Robinson A Tale of the Tory Ascendency   By: (1795-1870)

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Note: Images of the original pages are available through Internet Archive/American Libraries. See http://www.archive.org/details/horseshoerobinso00kennrich

HORSE SHOE ROBINSON.

A Tale of the Tory Ascendency.

by

JOHN P. KENNEDY

Author of "Swallow Barn," "Rob of the Bowl," Etc.

"I say the tale as 't was said to me." Lay of the Last Minstrel

Revised Edition.

New York G. P. Putnam's Sons 182 Fifth Avenue 1876

Entered according to the act of Congress, in the year 1852, by George P. Putnam, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.

To WASHINGTON IRVING, Esq.

DEAR IRVING:

With some little misgiving upon the score of having wasted time and paper both, which might have been better employed, I feel a real consolation in turning to you, as having, by your success, furnished our idle craft an argument to justify our vocation.

You have convinced our wise ones at home that a man may sometimes write a volume without losing his character and have shown to the incredulous abroad, that an American book may be richly worth the reading.

In grateful acknowledgment of these services, as well as to indulge the expression of a sincere private regard, I have ventured to inscribe your name upon the front of the imperfect work which is now submitted to the public.

Very truly, yours, &c., JOHN P. KENNEDY. BALTIMORE, May 1, 1885 .

INTRODUCTION

In the winter of eighteen hundred and eighteen nineteen, I had occasion to visit the western section of South Carolina. The public conveyances had taken me to Augusta, in Georgia. There I purchased a horse, a most trusty companion, with whom I had many pleasant experiences: a sorrel, yet retained by me in admiring memory. A valise strapped behind my saddle, with a great coat spread upon that, furnished all that I required of personal accommodation. My blood beat temperately with the pulse of youth and health. I breathed the most delicious air in the world. My travel tended to the region of the most beautiful scenery. The weather of early January was as balmy as October; a light warm haze mellowed the atmosphere, and cast the softest and richest hues over the landscape. I retraced my steps from Augusta to Edgefield, which I had passed in the stage coach. From Edgefield I went to Abbeville, and thence to Pendleton. I was now in the old district of Ninety Six, just at the foot of the mountains. My course was still westward. I journeyed alone, or rather, I ought to say, in good company, for my horse and I had established a confidential friendship, and we amused ourselves with a great deal of pleasant conversation in our way. Besides, my fancy was busy, and made the wayside quite populous with people of its own: there were but few of any other kind.

In the course of my journey I met an incident, which I have preserved in my journal. The reader of the tale which occupies this volume has some interest in it.

"Upon a day," as the old ballads have it, one of the best days of this exquisite climate, my road threaded the defiles of some of the grandest mountains of the country. Huge ramparts of rock toppled over my path, and little streams leaped, in beautiful cascades, from ledge to ledge, and brawled along the channels, which often supplied the only footway for my horse, and, gliding through tangled screens of rhododendron, laurel, arbor vitæ, and other evergreens, plunged into rivers, whose waters exceed anything I had ever conceived of limpid purity. It may be poetical to talk of liquid crystal, but no crystal has the absolute perfection of the transparency of these streams. The more distant mountain sides, where the opening valley offered them to my view, were fortified with stupendous walls, or banks of solid and unbroken rock, rising in successive benches one above another, with masses of dark pine between; the highest forming a crest to the mountain, cutting the sky in sharp profile, with images of castellated towers, battlements, and buttresses, around whose summits the inhabiting buzzard, with broad extended wings, floated and rocked in air and swept in majestic circles... Continue reading book >>




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