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O what is this you've done to me,Or what have I done,That bare should be our fair roof-tree,And I all alone?'Tis worse than widow I becomeMore than desolate,To face a worse than empty homeWithout child or mate. 'Twas not my strife askt him his lifeWhen it was but begun,Nor mine, I was a new-made wifeAnd now I am none;Nor mine that many a sapless ghostWails in sorrow-fare—But this does cost my pride the most,That bloodshedding to share.... more...

APOLOGIA PRO LIBELLO: IN A LETTER TO A FRIEND Although you know your Italy well, you ask me, who see her now for the first time, to tell you how I find her; how she sinks into me; wherein she fulfils, and wherein fails to fulfil, certain dreams and fancies of mine (old amusements of yours) about her. Here, truly, you show yourself the diligent collector of human documents your friends have always believed you; for I think it can only be appetite... more...

INTRODUCTION Cada puta hile (Let every jade go spin).—SANCHO PANZA. Almost alone in Europe stands Spain, the country of things as they are. The Spaniard weaves no glamour about facts, apologises for nothing, extenuates nothing. Lo que ha de ser no puede faltar! If you must have an explanation, here it is. Chew it, Englishman, and be content; you will get no other. One result of this is that Circumstance, left naked, is to be seen more... more...

THE RUINOUS FACE When the siege of Troy had been ten years doing, and most of the chieftains were dead, both of those afield and those who held the walls; and some had departed in their ships, and all who remained were leaden-hearted; there was one who felt the rage of war insatiate in his bowels: Menelaus, yellow-haired King of the Argives. He, indeed, rested not day or night, but knew the fever fretting at his members, and the burning in his... more...

OF COUNT RICHARD, AND THE FIRES BY NIGHT I choose to record how Richard Count of Poictou rode all through one smouldering night to see Jehane Saint-Pol a last time. It had so been named by the lady; but he rode in his hottest mood of Nay to that, yet careless of first or last so he could see her again. Nominally to remit his master's sins, though actually (as he thought) to pay for his own, the Abbot Milo bore him company, if company you can... more...


CHAPTER I PROSPER LE GAI RIDES OUT My story will take you into times and spaces alike rude and uncivil. Blood will be spilt, virgins suffer distresses; the horn will sound through woodland glades; dogs, wolves, deer, and men, Beauty and the Beasts, will tumble each other, seeking life or death with their proper tools. There should be mad work, not devoid of entertainment. When you read the word Explicit, if you have laboured so far, you will... more...

INTRODUCTION The top-heavy, four-horsed, yellow old coach from Vicenza, which arrived at Padua every night of the year, brought with it in particular on the night of October 13, 1721, a tall, personable young man, an Englishman, in a dark blue cloak, who swang briskly down from the coupe and asked in stilted Italian for "La sapienza del Signer Dottor' Lanfranchi." From out of a cloud of steam—for the weather was wet and the speaker... more...

I An observant traveller, homing to England by the Ostend-Dover packet in the April of some five years ago, relished the vagaries of a curious couple who arrived by a later train, and proved to be both of his acquaintance. He had happened to be early abroad, and saw them come on. They were a lady of some personal attraction, comfortably furred, who, descending from a first-class carriage, was met by a man from a third- class, bare-headed, free... more...

ONSLOW SQUARE This is a romantic tale. So romantic is it that I shall be forced to pry into the coy recesses of the mind in order to exhibit a connected, reasonable affair, not only of a man and his wife prosperously seated in the mean of things, nel mezzo del cammin in space as well as time—for the Macartneys belonged to the middle class, and were well on to the middle of life themselves—, but of stript, quivering and winged souls... more...

THE WINDOWS You will remember that Socrates considers every soul of us to be at least three persons. He says, in a fine figure, that we are two horses and a charioteer. "The right-hand horse is upright and cleanly made; he has a lofty neck and an aquiline nose; his colour is white and his eyes dark; he is a lover of honour and modesty and temperance, and the follower of true glory; he needs no touch of the whip, but is guided by word and... more...