This I Should Have Attempted, With More
Personal Satisfaction In The Work, Had There Been No Disruption
Between The North And South; But I Have Not Allowed That Disruption
To Deter Me From An Object Which, If It Were Delayed, Might
Probably Never Be Carried Out.
I am therefore forced to take the
subject in its present condition, and being so forced I must write
of the war, of the causes which have led to it, and of its probable
But I wish it to be understood that it was not my
selected task to do so, and is not now my primary object.
Thirty years ago my mother wrote a book about the Americans, to
which I believe I may allude as a well-known and successful work
without being guilty of any undue family conceit. That was
essentially a woman's book. She saw with a woman's keen eye, and
described with a woman's light but graphic pen, the social defects
and absurdities which our near relatives had adopted into their
domestic life. All that she told was worth the telling, and the
telling, if done successfully, was sure to produce a good result.
I am satisfied that it did so. But she did not regard it as a part
of her work to dilate on the nature and operation of those
political arrangements which had produced the social absurdities
which she saw, or to explain that though such absurdities were the
natural result of those arrangements in their newness, the defects
would certainly pass away, while the political arrangements, if
good, would remain.
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