The Pathfinder: Or, the Inland Sea

The Pathfinder: Or, the Inland Sea

The Pathfinder: Or, the Inland Sea

The Pathfinder: Or, the Inland Sea

Excerpt

Following, the order of events, this book should be the third in the Series of the Leather-Stocking Tales. In "The Dearslayer," Natty Bumppo, under the sobriquet which forms the title of that work, is represented as a youth, just commencing his forest career as a warrior; having for several years been a hunter so celebrated as already to have gained the honorable appellation he then bore. In "The Last of the Mohicans" he appears as Hawk-eye, and is present at the death of young Uncas; while in this tale he reappears in the same war of '56, in company with his Mohican friend, still in the vigor of manhood, and young enough to feel that master-passion to which all conditions of men, and tempers, and, we might almost say, all ages, submit, under circumstances that are incited to call it into existence.

"The Pathfinder" did not originally appear for several years after the publication of "The Prairie," the work in which the leading character of both had closed his career by death It was, perhaps, a too hazardous experiment to recall to life, in this manner, and after so long an interval, a character that was somewhat a favorite with the reading world, and which had been regularly consigned to his grave, like any living man. It is probably owing to this severe ordeal that the work, like its successor, "The Deerslayer," has been so little noticed; scarce one in ten of those who know all about the three earliest books of the series having even a knowledge of the existence of the last at all. That this caprice in taste and favor is in no way dependent on merit, the writer feels certain; for, though the world will ever maintain that an author is always the worst judge of his own productions, one who has written much, and regards all his literary progeny with more or less of a paternal, eye, must have a reasonably accurate knowledge of what he has been about the greater part of his life. such a man may form too high an estimate of his relative merits, as relates to others but it is not easy to see why he should fall into this error more . . .

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