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PREFACE.

I AM tired of the old story of lovers' sighs, hopes, torments, quarrels, reconciliations, fascination, and happiness or despair. I am tired of writing about them, as if the romance of life had not something more beautiful, something higher.

Certainly it is beautiful, in its mystic depth, the brilliant passion-flower of love, when it blossoms forth in human hearts, like a miracle, and leads them to repeat on earth the short, paradisaic romance of Adam and Eve. But it has had more glory and more praise than it deserves. Its highest life extends to merely a few hours of life; at its height only a few revolutions of the sun. It does not play the principal part in most human lives; and as most concerns their weal or their woe, it very rarely comes into play. We must therefore look to deeper, to more primary fountains.

I will at this time speak of one of those primary causes-one which existed before any

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lover's sighs ascended from earth, inasmuch as a Father's love looked down upon its first child, and which will remain when they have all ceased. It is of this that I will now write.

I took with me the idea of this story when I last left Sweden; the inspiration for it I first obtained in a land where, under shelter of the tree of freedom, I saw the relationships of family life develope themselves in their full beauty and power. Most of the characters and occurrences which I have here portrayed are taken from real life. I have named my heroine after two young women early perfected, and for all too early garnered by death, the pride and heart's joy of their families-the Swiss Rosa Naville and the Italian Rosa Ferrucci, because the Swedish Rosa has been modelled from them; yet not alone from them, for the original is a Swedish maiden; but she still lives, and I may not speak of her by name.

To Her,

Whom I may not here mention by name,
Is this, my Book,

Affectionately dedicated,

FREDRIKA BREMER.

MONTE TARPÉO, ROME.

April, 1858.

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