CHAPTER I THE LIFE OF SHAKESPEARE Stratford-on-Avon is cleaner, better paved, and perhaps more populous than it was in Shakespeare's time. Several streets of mean red-brick houses have been built during the last half century. Hotels, tea rooms, refreshment rooms, and the shops where the tripper may buy things to remind him that he has been where greatness lived, give the place an air at once prosperous and parasitic. The town contains a few... more...

THE OLD FRONT LINE This description of the old front line, as it was when the Battle of the Somme began, may some day be of use. All wars end; even this war will some day end, and the ruins will be rebuilt and the field full of death will grow food, and all this frontier of trouble will be forgotten. When the trenches are filled in, and the plough has gone over them, the ground will not long keep the look of war. One summer with its flowers... more...

PART I RIGHT ROYAL An hour before the race they talked togetherA pair of lovers in the mild March weather,Charles Cothill and the golden lady, Em. Beautiful England's hands had fashioned them. He was from Sleins, that manor up the Lithe;Riding the Downs had made his body blithe;Stalwart he was, and springy, hardened, swift,Able for perfect speed with perfect thrift,Man to the core yet moving like a lad.Dark honest eyes with merry gaze he... more...

CHAPTER I DRAKE'S VOYAGE TO THE WEST INDIES His quarrel with the Spaniards—His preliminary raids—His landfall—The secret harbour Francis Drake, the first Englishman to make himself "redoubtable to the Spaniards" on the Spanish Main, was born near Tavistock about the year 1545. He was sent to sea, as a lad, aboard a Channel coaster engaged in trade with the eastern counties, France and Zeeland. When he was eighteen years of... more...

CHAPTER I. I LEAVE HOME I was born at Oulton, in Suffolk, in the year 1672. I know not the day of my birth, but it was in March, a day or two after the Dutch war began. I know this, because my father, who was the clergyman at Oulton, once told me that in the night of my birth a horseman called upon him, at the rectory, to ask the way to Lowestoft. He was riding from London with letters for the Admiral, he said; but had missed his way somewhere... more...


King Cole was King before the troubles came,The land was happy while he held the helm,The valley-land from Condicote to Thame,Watered by Thames and green with many an elm.For many a year he governed well his realm,So well-beloved, that, when at last he died,It was bereavement to the countryside.So good, so well-beloved, had he beenIn life, that when he reached the judging-place(There where the scales are even, the sword keen),The Acquitting... more...

I first met John M. Synge at the room of a common friend, up two pairs of stairs, in an old house in Bloomsbury, on a Monday night of January, 1903. When I entered the room, he was sitting in a rush-bottomed chair, talking to a young man just down from Oxford. My host introduced me, with the remark that he wanted us to know each other. Synge stood up to shake hands with me. He was of the middle height, about five feet eight or nine. My first... more...

CHAPTER I MY FIRST JOURNEY I was born in the year 1800, in the town of Newnham-on-Severn, in Gloucestershire. I am sure of the year, because my father always told me that I was born at the end of the century, in the year that they began to build the great house. The house has been finished now these many years. The red-brick wall, which shuts its garden from the road (and the Severn), is all covered with valerian and creeping plants. One of my... more...