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[29]

IX.

I have thus revealed, step by step, the mental process by which the picture of which I write came into being. Whether the story bears any analogy to that by which the works of others have been produced, or the composition conforms to established rules and precedents in art or not, is to me a matter of indifference. I was true to my intuitions, and endeavored to adhere as faithfully as practicable to the facts.

It is not my purpose to follow in detail the progress, thenceforward, of the work. As the thread upon which are strung my memories of the late President, allusions to it will be unavoidable throughout these pages; but hereafter I intend that they shall be subordinate and incidental to matters of more general interest. It is not too much to say that the enthusiasm in which the work was conceived, flagged not to the end. The days were too short for labor upon it. Lighting at nightfall the great chandelier of the state diningroom, which was finally assigned me for a studio instead of the library, where the windows were shaded by the portico, the morning light frequently broke in upon me still standing pencil or palette in hand, before the immense canvas, unable to break the spell which bound me to it.

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