part, has the key to nothing beyond.
This he himself knows well at the time.
Afterward, perhaps, when the affair is discussed at the camp-fire, and his view compared with what others say, it begins to take shape, often mixed with all sorts of errors; and when it has reached the Grand Army Post
and been talked over afterward for thirty years, the narrator has not a doubt of it all. It has become a perfectly ordered affair, a neat and well-arranged game of chess, often with himself as a leading figure.
Such is the result of too much perspective.
The wonder is that this young writer, who had no way of getting at the facts except through the gossip-printed or written — of these very old soldiers, should be able to go behind them all, and give an account of their life, not only more vivid than they themselves have ever given, but more accurate.
It really seems a touch of that marvellous intuitive quality which for want of a better name we call genius.
Now is it a correct criticism of the book to complain, as one writer has done, that it does not dwell studiously on the higher aspects of the war?
Let the picture only be well drawn, and the moral will take care of itself; never fear.
The book is not a patriotic tract, but a