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AND OTHER TALES,
AMERICAN INCIDENTS AND CHARACTER.
BY SAMUEL L. KNAPP.
« There's some peculiar in each leaf and grain-
Some unmark'd fibre, or some varying vein.
« How ? turn again to tales long since forgot?:
Æsop-and Phædrus—and the rest? Why not ?- Cowper.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY J. AND W. SANDFORD,
SAMUEL L. KNAPP,
IN THE CLERK'S OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OY
GEORGE C. SHATTACK, M.D., .
PRESIDENT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS MEDICAL SOCIETY.
I have taken the liberty to dedicate this small volume to you, as a slight token of my grateful recollections of the many instances of friendship and professional skill I have to acknowledge as flowing from your kindness; and in addition to these, I am indebted to you for many deep and clear readings of the motives and actions of men, communicated in the course of our acquaintance.
These Tales are founded on incidents gathered in the common pathway of life, and intended to exhibit some of the lights and shades as we see them daily.
The profession you have chosen, and so honorably pursued to distinction, has been favorable for the study of human nature ; but it seldom happens, in this busy age, among this mercurial people, that one who has happily caught the lineaments of the physiognomy of the minds about pim, can command the requisite time to portray them. I ask you to cast your eyes upon these sketches, in some breathing interval between professional labors-for leisure
you have none—and see if they have in them any features of nature, or faithfulness to the relations of society.
With ardent wishes for your health and happiness, I am
Your Obliged Friend, and Hum. Ser.,
SAMUEL L. KNAPP.
When the far-famed Talleyrand, now Prince Benevento, was travelling in the United States during the French Revolution, his conversation was considered a philosophical treat by the wise men of our nation. On the affairs of his own country, he conversed like a seer who looked far a-head; but his remarks often excited a smile, when discussing the prospects and character of America. “The United States,” said he, “can never be a naval power; for there is not oak timber enough in the country to make two ships of the line.” Another of his profound remarks was—“You can never be instructed by poetry or fiction of your own ; for by your laws all men are put upon an equality, and to form differences of character, there must be many acknowledged grades in society.” Timber has, however, been found sufficient for a more extended purpose; and poetry and fiction have commenced a course that has proved the futility of the wise man's remarks. He thought we had no romance in our history: he had never read Hubbard's or Penhollow's Indian Wars. I have stated this, to show that no man can judge of