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TWO YEARS AGO.

BY

THE REV. CHARLES KINGSLEY.

AUTHOR OP "ANYAS LEIGH,” ETC.

Nebo York:
MACMILLAN AND CO.

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TWO YEARS AGO.

INTRODUCTORY.

It may seem a somewhat Irish method of beginning the story of "Two Years Agoby a scene which happened but a month since. And yet, will not the story be on that very account a better type of many a man's own experiences ? How few of us had learnt the meaning of “ Two Years Ago,” until this late quiet autumn time ; and till Christmas, too, with its gaps in the old ring of friendly faces, never to be filled up again on earth, began to teach us somewhat of its lesson.

Two years ago, while pestilence was hovering over us and ours,— while the battle-roar was ringing in our ears, who had time to think, to ask what all that meant; to seek for the deep lesson which we knew must lie beneath ? Two years ago was the time for work ; for men to do with all their might whatsoever their hands found to do. But now, the storm has lulled once more; the air has cleared a while, and we can talk calmly over all the wonders of that sudden, strange, and sad “ Two Years Ago.

So telt, at least, two friends who went down, just one week before Christmas-day, to Whitbury, in Berkshire. Two years ago had come, to one of them, as to thousands more, the crisis of his life ; and he was talking of it with his companion ; and was on his way, too, to learn more of that story, which this book contains, and in which he had borne his part.

They were both of them men who would, at first sight, interest a stranger. The shorter of the two he might have seen before - at picture-sales, Royal Academy meetings, dinner-parties, evening parties, anywhere and everywhere in town ; for Claude Mellot is a general favorite, and a general guest.

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