BLTC Press Titles

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Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett

The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian

The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller

Home life, or, A peep across the threshold

by Caroline Augusta White Soule


■ Another new book 1"

"Ay,— another."

" And what about, pray f "

" 0, read and see,— or stay,— here is the one who wrote it. Ask her, and ask her, too, what inclination led her to add another to the many volumes now before the public."

We have named our little volume Home-Life, or a Peep across the Threshold, because it is a grouping of scenes that happen, and characters that have existence, every day around the hearthstone. Many of the events here transcribed are faithful records from our own diary, and all have more of truth than fiction in them. Some of the characters, too, are portraits, feebly done in pen and ink, of persona who are memories now, and the rest have semblances in every place. So much for name.

Why we wrote it, is more difficult to tell. Many things urged ^s on. To gratify the perhaps too partial love of one no more on earth first prompted us to try if we could write a story, — picture upon paper some of the incidents we had gathered up in our brief pilgrimage. Afterwards we wrote, partly because we learned to love the habit, and partly from an earnest hope that thus we might give back to the literary world a little of the pleasure and the profit it had and was still giving us, and furnish to those who will not read a moral unless it is draped in pleasant fiction, a few of the many that centre on the hearthstone, and thence diverge through every scene of life to brighten and to bless.

We wrote of home-life, because our home has ever been our world, and thus we are familiar with its lights and shadows, its pleasant ingle nooks and its dark corners, its singing voices and its falling tears; because we have thought much on the secret influences which gladden or sadden human homes, and felt that if thosa were pure and earnest, all would be well within and without; that if a peep across the threshold showed a happy home — parents true to their holy charges — children faithful in filial duty—brothers and sisters cherishing closely the affectional tie — masters, mistresses and friends acting out the promptings of their better natures — we might cross the sacred steppingstone and look thence upon a world of beauty, peace and joy. Until home-life be what God meant it should be, what humanity pleads it may be, — a foretaste of heavenly life,— it is useless to look for purity and happiness in the world's great thoroughfares. We must gladden the heart ere the lip can sing, and to gladden the heart we must make it clean.

If we could know that one spirit to whom is given the guidance of the young and helpless, the poor and sorrowing, should be roused, for a little while, from apathy to earnest thought and decisive action by the perusal of these life-pictures, we should feel satisfied and glad that we had written. That may not be, perhaps, yet we will hope that those who read will feel, when they close the volume, that it has been time pleasantly, if not profitably spent. Grariby, Ct., August, 1854.


All houses wherein men hare lived and died
Are haunted houses.

"Do I believe in haunted houses?" said the aged woman, speaking rather to herself than to the fab, sweet grandchild, who nestled at her feet and looted up so earnestly into the wrinkled face. " Yes, indeed I do. There 's not a house in this whole village, nor for miles around, but that to me is haunted, — none, though, so much as this."

"Haunted," continued she, speaking the word so slowly that a solemn emphasis seemed to rest on each letter, " yes, yes, there are such things as haunted spots." And then she dropped her knitting, took off her glasses, wiped her eyes, and, leaning back in her arm-chair, seemed lost in a sad yet holy communion with the earlier passages of life.

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