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HEGEL The Philosophy of History Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was born on August 27, 1770, at Stuttgart, the capital of Würtemburg, in which state his father occupied a humble position in government service. He was educated at Tübingen for the ministry, and while there was, in private, a diligent student of Kant and Rousseau. In 1805 he was Professor Extraordinarius at the University of Jena, and in 1807 he gave the world the first... more...

I.--Right and Law All human eloquence, among all peoples and in all times, may be summed up as the quarrel of Right against Law. But this quarrel tends ever to decrease, and therein lies the whole of progress. On the day when it has disappeared, civilisation will have attained its highest point; that which ought to be will have become one with that which is; there will be an end of catastrophes, and even, so to speak, of events; and society... more...

I.--The Nile and Egypt A long, low, level shore, scarcely rising above the sea, a chain of vaguely defined and ever-shifting lakes and marshes, then the triangular plain beyond, whose apex is thrust thirty leagues into the land--this, the Delta of Egypt, has gradually been acquired from the sea, and is, as it were, the gift of the Nile. Where the Delta ends, Egypt proper begins. It is only a strip of vegetable mould stretching north and south... more...

SIR WALTER SCOTT Quentin Durward In mentioning "Quentin Durward" for the first time Scott speaks of himself as having been ill, and "Peveril" as having suffered through it. "I propose a good rally, however," he says, "and hope it will have a powerful effect. My idea is a Scotch archer in the French King's guard, tempore Louis XI., the most picturesque of all times." The novel, which is by many considered one of the best of Scott's works,... more...

THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK Headlong Hall The novels of Thomas Love Peacock still find admirers among cultured readers, but his extravagant satire and a certain bookish awkwardness will never appeal to the great novel-reading public. The son of a London glass merchant, Peacock was born at Weymouth on October 18, 1785. Early in life he was engaged in some mercantile occupation, which, however, he did not follow up for long. Then came a period of... more...


I.--Death, the Intruder It was winter, and great gusts were rattling at the windows; a very dark night, and a very cheerful fire, blazing in a genuine old fire-place in a sombre old room. A girl of a little more than seventeen, slight and rather tall, with a countenance rather sensitive and melancholy, was sitting at the tea-table in a reverie. I was that girl. The only other person in the room was my father, Mr. Ruthyn, of Knowl. Rather late... more...

ALPHONSE DAUDET Tartarin of Tarascon Alphonse Daudet, the celebrated French novelist, was born at Nimes on May 13, 1840, and as a youth of seventeen went to Paris, where he began as a poet at eighteen, and at twenty-two made his first efforts in the drama. He soon found his feet as a contributor to the leading journals of the day and a successful writer for the stage. He was thirty-two when he wrote "Tartarin of Tarascon," than which no... more...

I.--The Roving Life It was, as usual, a brilliant morning, the dewy blades of the rye-grass which covered the plain sparkled brightly in the beams of the sun, which had probably been about two hours above the horizon. Near the mouth of the dingle--Mumpers' Dingle, near Wittenhall, Staffordshire--where my friend Isopel Berners and I, the travelling tinker, were encamped side by side, a rather numerous body of my ancient friends and allies... more...

EDMOND ABOUT The King of the Mountains Edmond About was the son of a grocer at Dieuze, in Lorraine, France, where he was born Feb. 14, 1828. Even in childhood he displayed the vivacity of mind and the irreverent spirit which were to make him the most entertaining anti-clerical writer of his period. His tales have the qualities of the best writing of the eighteenth century, enhanced by the modern interest of his own century. "The King of the... more...

MAXWELL GRAY The Silence of Dean Maitland Mary Gleed Tuttiett, the gifted lady who writes under the pseudonym of "Maxwell Gray," was born at Newport, Isle of Wight. The daughter of Mr. F.B. Tuttiett, M.R.C.S., she began her literary career by contributing essays, poems, articles, and short stones to various periodicals. With the appearance of "The Silence of Dean Maitland," in 1886, Maxwell Gray's name was immediately and permanently... more...