THE ISLE OF THE SHAMROCK
WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED BY
Published by THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
LONDON: MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED
by The Macmillan Company
A Knitter on the Highway
ACKNOWLEDGMENT is hereby made to The New England Magazine, The Outlook, The Interior, Woman’s Home Companion, The Household, Farm and Home, The Springfield Republican, and the New York Evening Post, in which periodicals several chapters included in this volume were first published.
Electrotyped and Printed
at the Norwood Press
List of Illustrations
IN one of his earlier volumes John Burroughs tells of a Frenchman who visited England with the intention of writing a book about that country. For a long period he continued to observe and collect material. During the first weeks his enthusiasm over his project was unbounded; a year passed and he still thought of writing a book, but was not so sure about it; and after a residence of ten years his doubts as to his ability of adequately handling the subject had so grown that he abandoned the scheme altogether. Mr. Burroughs’s comment is that, “instead of furnishing an argument against writing out one’s first impressions of a country, the experience of the Frenchman shows the importance of doing it at once. The sensations of the first day are what we want, — the first flush of the traveller’s thought and feeling before his perceptions and sensibilities become cloyed or blunted, or before he in any way becomes a part of that which he would describe.”
This defines very forcibly, I think, the source of whatever merit may have been attained by the present volume, or by its predecessors on England and France. The view is from the outside, and has both the faults and virtues of such a view. It is a record of first impressions and of the pleasure in things novel and unexpected which never comes but once. As such I finish it, trusting that I may have succeeded in conveying to others something of the charm and interest that these scenes and incidents had for me.