Flag and faith.
If Acredale had not been for a century the ancestral seat of the Spragues, and in its widest sense typical of the suburban Northern town, there would be merely an objective and extrinsic interest in portraying its sequestered life, its monotonous activities. But Acredale was not only a very complete reflex of Northern local sentiment; its war epoch represented the normal conduct of every hamlet in the land during the conflict with the South. Now that the war is becoming a memory, even to those who were actors in it, the facts distorted and the incidents warped to serve partisan ends or personal pique, the photograph of the time may have its value.
Made up of thriving farmers and semi-retired city men, Acredale mingled the simple conditions of a country village and the easy refinement of city life. The houses were large, the grounds ornate and ample, the society decorously convivial. People could be fine—at least they were thought very fine—without going to the British isles to recast their home manners or take hints for the fashioning of their grounds and mansions. There was what would be called to-day the English air about the place and some of the people; but it was an inheritance, not an imitation. Save in the bustling business segment, abutting the four corners, where the old United States road bore off westward to Bucephalo and the lakes, the few score houses were set far back from the highway in a wilderness of shrubbery, secluded