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CHARLOTTE BRONTË Objection is often raised against realistic biography because it reveals so much that is important and even sacred about a man's life. The real objection to it will rather be found in the fact that it reveals about a man the precise points which are unimportant. It reveals and asserts and insists on exactly those things in a man's life of which the man himself is wholly unconscious; his exact class in society, the... more...

I. Tremendous Trifles Once upon a time there were two little boys who lived chiefly in the front garden, because their villa was a model one. The front garden was about the same size as the dinner table; it consisted of four strips of gravel, a square of turf with some mysterious pieces of cork standing up in the middle and one flower bed with a row of red daisies. One morning while they were at play in these romantic grounds, a passing... more...

ONE — The Absence of Mr Glass THE consulting-rooms of Dr Orion Hood, the eminent criminologist and specialist in certain moral disorders, lay along the sea-front at Scarborough, in a series of very large and well-lighted french windows, which showed the North Sea like one endless outer wall of blue-green marble. In such a place the sea had something of the monotony of a blue-green dado: for the chambers themselves were ruled throughout by... more...

BY THE BABE UNBORN If trees were tall and grasses short,  As in some crazy tale,If here and there a sea were blue  Beyond the breaking pale, If a fixed fire hung in the air  To warm me one day through,If deep green hair grew on great hills,  I know what I should do. In dark I lie: dreaming that there  Are great eyes cold or kind,And twisted streets and silent doors,  And living men... more...

I. THE TALE OF THE PEACOCK TREES Squire Vane was an elderly schoolboy of English education and Irish extraction. His English education, at one of the great public schools, had preserved his intellect perfectly and permanently at the stage of boyhood. But his Irish extraction subconsciously upset in him the proper solemnity of an old boy, and sometimes gave him back the brighter outlook of a naughty boy. He had a bodily impatience which played... more...


TO HILAIRE BELLOC For every tiny town or placeGod made the stars especially;Babies look up with owlish faceAnd see them tangled in a tree:You saw a moon from Sussex Downs,A Sussex moon, untravelled still,I saw a moon that was the town's,The largest lamp on Campden Hill.Yea; Heaven is everywhere at homeThe big blue cap that always fits,And so it is (be calm; they comeTo goal at last, my wandering wits),So is it with the heroic thing;This shall... more...

CHAPTER I. THE TWO POETS OF SAFFRON PARK THE suburb of Saffron Park lay on the sunset side of London, as red and ragged as a cloud of sunset. It was built of a bright brick throughout; its sky-line was fantastic, and even its ground plan was wild. It had been the outburst of a speculative builder, faintly tinged with art, who called its architecture sometimes Elizabethan and sometimes Queen Anne, apparently under the impression that the two... more...

THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH I. THE FACE IN THE TARGET Harold March, the rising reviewer and social critic, was walking vigorously across a great tableland of moors and commons, the horizon of which was fringed with the far-off woods of the famous estate of Torwood Park. He was a good-looking young man in tweeds, with very pale curly hair and pale clear eyes. Walking in wind and sun in the very landscape of liberty, he was still young enough to... more...

The Blue Cross Between the silver ribbon of morning and the green glittering ribbon of sea, the boat touched Harwich and let loose a swarm of folk like flies, among whom the man we must follow was by no means conspicuous—nor wished to be. There was nothing notable about him, except a slight contrast between the holiday gaiety of his clothes and the official gravity of his face. His clothes included a slight, pale grey jacket, a white... more...

Chapter 1. The Tremendous Adventures of Major Brown Rabelais, or his wild illustrator Gustave Dore, must have had something to do with the designing of the things called flats in England and America. There is something entirely Gargantuan in the idea of economising space by piling houses on top of each other, front doors and all. And in the chaos and complexity of those perpendicular streets anything may dwell or happen, and it is in one of... more...