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INTRODUCTION [Lockhart, 1794-1854] "Nations yet to come will look back upon his history as to some grand and supernatural romance. The fiery energy of his youthful career, and the magnificent progress of his irresistible ambition, have invested his character with the mysterious grandeur of some heavenly appearance; and when all the lesser tumults and lesser men of our age shall have passed away into the darkness of oblivion, history will still... more...

HIS BIRTH Leonardo Da Vinci, the many-sided genius of the Italian Renaissance, was born, as his name implies, at the little town of Vinci, which is about six miles from Empoli and twenty miles west of Florence. Vinci is still very inaccessible, and the only means of conveyance is the cart of a general carrier and postman, who sets out on his journey from Empoli at sunrise and sunset. Outside a house in the middle of the main street of Vinci... more...

CHAPTER I. STEPHEN GIRARD. One May morning, in the year 1776, the mouth of the Delaware Bay was shrouded in a dense fog, which cleared away toward noon, and revealed several vessels just off the capes. From one of these, a sloop, floated the flag of France and a signal of distress. An American ship ran alongside the stranger, in answer to her signal, and found that the French captain had lost his reckoning in a fog, and was in total ignorance... more...

Under Fire TALK began to run upon the war now, for we were getting down into the upper edge of the former battle-stretch by this time. Columbus was just behind us, so there was a good deal said about the famous battle of Belmont. Several of the boat's officers had seen active service in the Mississippi war-fleet. I gathered that they found themselves sadly out of their element in that kind of business at first, but afterward got accustomed... more...

PREFACE The kind reception given to the rough notes from the Author's Diary, which appeared first in the daily papers in Canada, encouraged the production of this book. These notes, in order to make them more readable, have been put in narrative form. There is no pretence that this is a history of the war. It is only a string of pen pictures describing life and incidents of the campaign common to almost every corps in the field. Where... more...


CAMBRIDGE 1828-1831. After having spent two sessions in Edinburgh, my father perceived, or he heard from my sisters, that I did not like the thought of being a physician, so he proposed that I should become a clergyman. He was very properly vehement against my turning into an idle sporting man, which then seemed my probable destination. I asked for some time to consider, as from what little I had heard or thought on the subject I had scruples... more...

CHAPTER I. PRELIMINARY. I have often been asked to prepare an autobiography, but my objections to the task have ever been many and various. To one urgent appeal I sent this sonnet of refusal, which explains itself:— "You bid me write the story of my life,And draw what secrets in my memory dwellFrom the dried fountains of her failing well,With commonplaces mixt of peace and strife,And such small facts, with good or evil rife,As happen to... more...

His Childhood and Youth. B.C. 356-336 The briefness of Alexander's career. Alexander the Great died when he was quite young. He was but thirty-two years of age when he ended his career, and as he was about twenty when he commenced it, it was only for a period of twelve years that he was actually engaged in performing the work of his life. Napoleon was nearly three times as long on the great field of human action. His brilliant exploits.... more...

The simple story of the life of Pocahontas is sufficiently romantic without the embellishments which have been wrought on it either by the vanity of Captain Smith or the natural pride of the descendants of this dusky princess who have been ennobled by the smallest rivulet of her red blood. That she was a child of remarkable intelligence, and that she early showed a tender regard for the whites and rendered them willing and unwilling service, is... more...

CHAPTER XIV. NELSON TEMPORARILY COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF IN THE MEDITERRANEAN.—RELIEVED BY LORD KEITH.—APPLIES TO RETURN TO ENGLAND ON ACCOUNT OF ILL HEALTH. AUGUST, August 1799—JUNE, 1800. AGE, 41. Upon Keith's departure, the command in the Mediterranean devolved upon Nelson, who for some time remained in doubt of the fact, but with his usual promptitude acted as if all depended upon himself. "I am venturing certainly out of my... more...