MARTHA FINLEY (FARQUHARSON)
Author of The Story of Elsie, Casella, Wanted, a Pedigree, Old-Fashioned Boy, etc.
“Sweet is the image of the brooding dove!
Holy as heaven a mother’s tender love!
The love of many prayers and many tears,
Which changes not with dim declining years—
The only love which, on this teeming earth,
Asks no return for passion’s wayward birth.”
In compliance with the expressed desire of many of Elsie’s friends and admirers, the story of her life is continued in this, the fifth volume of the series.
When about to undertake its preparation the suggestion was made to the author that to bring in the doings of the Ku Klux would add interest to the story, and at the same time give a truer picture of life in the South during the years 1867-68 in which its events take place.
The published reports of the Congressional Committee of Investigation were resorted to as the most reliable source of information, diligently examined, and care taken not to go beyond the facts there given as regards the proceedings of the Klan, the clemency and paternal acts of the Government, or the kindly, fraternal feelings and deeds of the people of the North toward their impoverished and suffering brethren of the South.
These things have become matters of history: vice and crime should be condemned wherever found; and naught has been set down in malice; for the author has a warm love for the South as part and parcel of the dear land of her birth.
May this child of her brain give pain to none, but prove pleasant and profitable to all who peruse its pages, and especially helpful to young parents,
“Meantime a smiling offspring rises round,
And mingles both their graces. By degrees
The human blossom blows, and every day,
Soft as it rolls along, shows some new charm,
The father’s lustre, and the mother’s bloom.”
“Mamma! Papa too!” It was a glad shout of a chorus of young voices as four pairs of little feet came pattering up the avenue and into the veranda; then as many ruby lips were held up for the morning kiss from the children’s dearly loved father.
They had already had their half hour with mamma, which made so sweet a beginning of each day, yet she too must have a liberal share of the eagerly bestowed caresses; while Bruno, a great Newfoundland, the pet, playfellow, and guardian of the little flock, testified his delight in the scene by leaping about among them, fawning upon one and another, wagging his tail, and uttering again and again a short, joyous bark.
Then followed a merry romp, cut short by the ringing of the breakfast bell, when all trooped into the house, Harold riding on papa’s shoulder, mamma following with Elsie, Eddie and Vi; while Dinah, with Baby Herbert in her arms; brought up the rear.