PREFACE In telling the story of Shakespeare's life and work within strict limits of space, an attempt has been made to keep closely to essential matters. There is no period of the poet's life, there is no branch of his marvellous work, that has not been the subject of long and learned volumes, no single play that has not been discussed at greater length than serves here to cover the chief incidents of work and life together. If the Homes and... more...

It is a curious truth that Spain in these days of her decline exercises almost as much control over the mind of the world as she exercised over its territories in the days of her great empire. Cervantes in literature and Velazquez in art seem destined to secure for their country a measure of immortality that throws into the background the memory of such people as Carlos Quinto, Philip II., and those other lesser lights who made the name of Spain... more...

CHAPTER I BY CAPE SPARTEL Over the meadows that blossom and witherRings but the note of a sea-bird's song,Only the sun and the rain come hitherAll year long. The Deserted Garden. Before us the Atlantic rolls to the verge of the "tideless, dolorous inland sea." In the little bay lying between Morocco's solitary lighthouse and the famous Caves of Spartel, the waters shine in colours that recall in turn the emerald, the sapphire, and the opal.... more...