THE issue of this small volume will mark an epoch in my life full of interest to my friends, and solemnly instructive to myself. In the end of May, 1891, I suffered from the virulent influenza, then raging; but all thought I had recovered, and it was judged wise that I should take a change of air. I went for a few days to the region near to Stambourne, delighting myself in what I called “my Grandfather’s country.” I was very happy in the generous and hearty hospitality of Mr. Gurteen, of Haverhill, and enjoyed myself mightily. But on the Thursday of the week an overpowering head ache came on, and I had to hurry home on Friday, to go up to that chamber wherein, for three months, I suffered beyond measure, and was often between the jaws of death. Now that I trust I am really recovering, I amuse myself with arranging what had been previously prepared, and with issuing it from the press.
I praise the Lord who has, in answer to many prayers, lengthened the thread of my life. I am indeed favored by having enjoyed the affectionate sympathy of so many belonging to all parts of the Christian church. Their loving earnestness amazes me: I did not dream that I was so well beloved.
May I worthily use this enlargement of my time for earthly service, whether it be long or short!
I am deeply indebted to many assistants in the compilation of this little book, in which the venerable Mr. Beddow has been my chief helper; and Mr. Houchin, the present pastor at Stambourne, a great auxiliary. To Mr.
T. H. Nash, who accompanied me with his camera, I am greatly obliged for several of the photographs which will, I trust, redeem from dullness any page of mine which may be clouded with the shadow of my then unforeseen affliction.
In such work as this I have found recreation, doing just a little, as my weakness permitted; so that no one need fear that I have exerted myself unduly. I am one of those who cannot rest unless they have something to do. I can hardly hope that my reader can be so interested in my subject as I have been; but I have done my’ best to let him see that even a humble village has its annals, and that these may be worthy of record.