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There were three of us—Mary, Eliza, and myself. I was approaching fifteen, Mary was about a year younger, and Eliza between twelve and thirteen years of age. Mamma treated us all as children, and was blind to the fact that I was no longer what I had been. Although not tall for my age, nor outwardly presenting a manly appearance, my passions were awakening, and the distinctive feature of my sex, although in repose it looked magnificent... more...

CHAPTER I. ORIGIN OF COATS OF ARMS. Heraldry is the science which teaches how to blazon or describe in proper terms armorial bearings and their accessories. Many volumes have been written on the origin of Heraldry and even on the antiquity of separate charges contained in an escutcheon: it would be filling the pages of an elementary work on Heraldry to little purpose to enter upon an inquiry as to the exact period of the introduction of an art... more...

Brackley Hall was a fine old place in the lovely country of Devon and had been in the possession of the Etheridges for centuries. The park was beautifully wooded, and stretched down on one side to the coast, commanding in all directions the most enchanting views. Mr. Etheridge was a man of some forty years of age, of singularly handsome appearance, and bore evident traces of the Italian blood which flowed in his veins. He had the appearance of... more...

PREFACE The ways of telling a story are as many as the tellers themselves. It is impossible to lay down precise rules by which any one may perfect himself in the art, but it is possible to offer suggestions by which to guide practise in narration toward a gratifying success. Broadly distinguished, there are two methods of telling a story. One uses the extreme of brevity, and makes its chief reliance on the point. The other devotes itself in... more...

LONDON 1905 PREFACE My readers of Forbidden Fruit may wish to know the origin of the work. It was this way, whilst I was staying at an out of the way village on the Sussex coast, I used to take long solitary walks, and several times saw a very beautiful girl sitting on a secluded part of the downs, attentively reading what looked like a manuscript in a black cover. Naturally I concluded she was some very studious young lady trying to improve... more...

PREFACE I began these memoirs when about twenty-five years old, having from youth kept a diary of some sort, which perhaps from habit made me think of recording my inner and secret life. When I began it, I had scarcely read a baudy book, none of which excepting "Fanny Hill" appeared to me to be truthful, that did, and it does so still; the others telling of recherche eroticisms, or of inordinate copulative powers, of the strange twists, tricks,... more...

The remarks which Emily had made regarding the share Laura Middleton had had in opening up her ideas on the subject of the mysteries in which she had now been fully initiated had not escaped my observation. It so happened that at that very time I was under an engagement to pay a visit to the Middletons, who were very distant relations of my mother. It of course occurred to me that it was possible I might be able to turn the information I had thus... more...

The Royal Oak   There is in Shropshire a fine oak-tree which the country people there call the "Royal Oak". They say it is the great-grandson, or perhaps the great-great-grandson of another fine old oak, which more than two hundred years ago stood on the same spot, and served once as a shelter to an English king. This king was Charles II, the son of the unlucky Charles I who had his head cut off by his subjects because he was a weak and... more...

PERSONAL. It does not matter who is the writer of the following pages. If it did, no inducement likely to be offered, would tempt him to publish his name. He has no desire to be tracked out by the Brothers of the Southern Cross, and he knows too much of their deathless hatred and hound-like pertinacity, their numbers, and the ramifications of their organization, already encroaching on southern Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, to carelessly take... more...

INTRODUCTION Of all the saints of Ireland, whose names are recorded in the native Martyrologies, probably there were none who made so deep an impression upon the minds of their fellow-countrymen as did Ciaran of Clonmacnois. He stands, perhaps, second only to Brigit of Kildare in this respect; for Patrick was a foreigner, and Colum Cille accomplished his work and exercised his influence outside the shores of Ireland. Doubtless much of the... more...