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By O. P. Fitzgerald
With an Introduction by Bishop George F. Pierce.
The bearded men in rude attire,
With nerves of steel and hearts of fire,
The women few but fair and sweet,
Like shadowy visions dim and fleet,
Again I see, again I hear,
As down the past I dimly peer,
And muse o'er buried joy and pain,
And tread the hills of youth again.
Southern Methodist Publishing House,
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1881,
by O. P. Fitzgerald,
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington
Encores are usually anticlimaxes. I never did like them. Yet here I am again before the public with another book of "California Sketches." The kind treatment given to the former volume, of which six editions have been printed and sold; the expressed wishes of many friends who have said, Give us another book; and my own impulse, have induced me to venture upon a second appearance. If much of the song is in the minor key, it had to be so: these Sketches are from real life, and "all lives are tragedies."
Nashville, September, 1881.
The first issue of the "California Sketches" was very popular, deservedly so. The distinguished Author has prepared a Second Series. In this fact the reading public will rejoice.
In these hooks we have the romance and prestige of fiction; the thrill of incident and adventure; the wonderful phases of society in a new country, and under the pressure of strong and peculiar excitements; human character loose from the restraints of an old civilization - a settled order of things; individuality unwarped by imitation - free, varied, independent. The materials are rich, and they are embodied in a glowing narrative. The writer himself lived amid the scenes and the people he describes, and, as a citizen, a preacher, and an editor, was an important factor among the forces destined to mold the elements which were to be formulated in the politics of the State and the enterprises of the Church. A close observer, gifted with a keen discrimination and retentive memory, a decided relish for the ludicrous and the sportive, and always ready to give a religions turn to thought and conversation, he is admirably adapted to portray and recite what he saw, heard, and felt.
These Sketches furnish good reading for anybody. For the young they are charming, full of entertainment, and not wanting in moral instruction. They will gratify the taste of those who love to read, and, what is more important, beget the appetite for books among the dull and indifferent. He who can stimulate children and young men and women to read renders a signal service to society at large. Mental growth depends much upon reading, and the fertilization of the original soil by the habit wisely directed connects vitally with the outcome and harvest of the future.
Dr. Fitzgerald is doing good service in the work already done, and I trust the patronage of the people will encourage him to give us another and another of the same sort. At my house we all read the "California Sketches" - old and young - and long for more.
G. F. Pierce.
The California Mad-House
The Emperor Norton
The California Politician
Old Man Lowry
Suicide In California
My Mining Speculation
The Climate of California
After The Storm
Bishop Kavanaugh In California
A Virginian In California
At the End