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Confession There is a woman in the state of Nevada to whom I once lied continuously, consistently, and shamelessly, for the matter of a couple of hours. I don't want to apologize to her. Far be it from me. But I do want to explain. Unfortunately, I do not know her name, much less her present address. If her eyes should chance upon these lines, I hope she will write to me. It was in Reno, Nevada, in the summer of 1892. Also, it was fair-time,... more...

PREFACE It has been a labor of love with many distinguished Frenchmen to recall the memories of the women who have made their society so illustrious, and to retouch with sympathetic insight the features which time was beginning to dim. One naturally hesitates to enter a field that has been gleaned so carefully, and with such brilliant results, by men like Cousin, Sainte-Beuve, Goncourt, and others of lesser note. But the social life of the two... more...

CHAPTER I HEREDITY AND ANTECEDENTS 'These are thy works, O father, these thy crown, Whether on high the air be pure they shine Along the yellowing sunset, and all night Among the unnumbered stars of God they shine. Or whether fogs arise, and far and wide The low sea-level drown—each finds a tongue, And all night long the tolling bell resounds. So shine so toll till night be overpast, Till the stars vanish, till the sun return,... more...

CHAPTER I. Introductory Remarks—Birth of Jane Austen—Her Family Connections—Their Influence on her Writings. More than half a century has passed away since I, the youngest of the mourners, attended the funeral of my dear aunt Jane in Winchester Cathedral; and now, in my old age, I am asked whether my memory will serve to rescue from oblivion any events of her life or any traits of her character to satisfy the enquiries of a... more...

PREFATORY NOTE Certain happenings as recorded in this work will be found to differ materially from the same incidents and episodes as set down in the writings of Mr. Clemens himself. Mark Twain's spirit was built of the very fabric of truth, so far as moral intent was concerned, but in his earlier autobiographical writings—and most of his earlier writings were autobiographical—he made no real pretense to accuracy of time, place, or... more...


BY THE RIVER. IT did not take us younger ones long to get acquainted with our new home, and to love it. To live beside a river had been to me a child's dream of romance. Rivers, as I pictured them, came down from the mountains, and were born in the clouds. They were bordered by green meadows, and graceful trees leaned over to gaze into their bright mirrors. Our shallow tidal creek was the only river I had known, except as visioned on the pages... more...

CHAPTER I. BIRTH AND EDUCATION—CAMBRIDGE. I cannot, perhaps, more fitly begin this short biography than with some words in which its subject has expressed his own feelings as to the spirit in which such a task should be approached. "Silence," says Wordsworth, "is a privilege of the grave, a right of the departed: let him, therefore, who infringes that right by speaking publicly of, for, or against, those who cannot speak for themselves,... more...

INTRODUCTION. The Rowe-Tonson edition of Shakespeare's plays (1709) is an important event in the history of both Shakespeare studies and English literary criticism. Though based substantially on the Fourth Folio (1685), it is the first, "edited" edition: Rowe modernized spelling and punctuation and quietly made a number of sensible emendations. It is the first edition to include dramatis personae, the first to attempt a systematic division of... more...

CHAPTER I. Education is a kind of lottery in which there are good and evil chances, and some men draw blanks and other men draw prizes. And in saying this I do not use the word education in any restricted sense, as applying exclusively to the course of study in school or college; nor certainly, when I speak of prizes, am I thinking of scholarships, exhibitions, fellowships. By education I mean the whole set of circumstances which go to mould a... more...

I. PRELIMINARY It is over twenty years since the death of Washington Irving removed that personal presence which is always a powerful, and sometimes the sole, stimulus to the sale of an author's books, and which strongly affects the contemporary judgment of their merits. It is nearly a century since his birth, which was almost coeval with that of the Republic, for it took place the year the British troops evacuated the city of New York, and only... more...