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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...

CHAPTER I. I was born in Lexington, Ky. The man who stole me as soon as I was born, recorded the births of all the infants which he claimed to be born his property, in a book which he kept for that purpose. My mother's name was Elizabeth. She had seven children, viz: Solomon, Leander, Benjamin, Joseph, Millford, Elizabeth, and myself. No two of us were children of the same father. My father's name, as I learned from my mother, was George... more...

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...

NAT TURNER Back 'fore the sixties, I can 'member my Mistress, Miss Sara Ann, comin' to de window an' hollerin', "De niggers is arisin'! De niggers is arisin'! De niggers is killin' all de white folks, killin' all de babies in de cradle!" It must have been Nat Turner's Insurrection; which wuz sometime 'fo de breakin' of de Civil War. I wuz waitin' on table in dinin' room an' dis day dey had finished eatin' early an' I wuz cleanin' off table.... more...

THE DUKE OF ARGYLL. For its size and population Scotland has been remarkably prolific in the rearing of eminent statesmen, soldiers, and litterateurs. Viewed with respect to its relative importance as an item in the map of Europe, it has likewise a most chequered and eventful history—a history to which, in various essentials, no counterpart can be found elsewhere. Chiefly, however, has "the land of mountain and of flood" bulked largely in... more...


PREFACE Some excuse seems to be needed for venturing at this time to publish biographical sketches of the men of the Victorian era. Several have been written by men, like Lord Morley and Lord Bryce, having first-hand knowledge of their subjects, others by the best critics of the next generation, such as Mr. Chesterton and Mr. Clutton-Brock. With their critical ability I am not able to compete; but they often postulate a knowledge of facts which... more...

Peter In any group of men I have ever known, speaking from the point of view of character and not that of physical appearance, Peter would stand out as deliciously and irrefutably different. In the great waste of American intellectual dreariness he was an oasis, a veritable spring in the desert. He understood life. He knew men. He was free—spiritually, morally, in a thousand ways, it seemed to me. As one drags along through this... more...

The fifth and sixth centuries do not supply us with many materials for pictorial illustrations, and I do not know where to look for authentic and contemporary representations of the civil or military life of Theodoric and his subjects. We have, however, a large and interesting store of nearly contemporary works of art at Ravenna, illustrating the ecclesiastical life of the period, and of these the engraver has made considerable use. The... more...

MATTIE'S STORY My ancestors were transported from Africa to America at the time the slave trade flourished in the Eastern States. I cannot give dates, as my progenitors, being slaves, had no means of keeping them. By all accounts my great grandfather was captured and brought from Africa. His original name I never learned. His master's name was Jackson, and he resided in the State of New York. My grandfather was born in the same State, and also... more...

THE HEIR OF SWIFT'S VANESSA Nowhere in the annals of our history is recorded an odder phase of curious fortune than that by which Bishop Berkeley, of Cloyne, was enabled early in the eighteenth century to sail o'erseas to Newport, Rhode Island, there to build (in 1729) the beautiful old place, Whitehall, which is still standing. Hundreds of interested visitors drive every summer to the old house, to take a cup of tea, to muse on the strange... more...