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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...

A FAMILIAR PREFACE As a general rule we do not want much encouragement to talk about ourselves; yet this little book is the result of a friendly suggestion, and even of a little friendly pressure. I defended myself with some spirit; but, with characteristic tenacity, the friendly voice insisted, "You know, you really must." It was not an argument, but I submitted at once. If one must! . . . You perceive the force of a word. He who wants to... 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...

PREFACE "Generally speaking," Goethe has himself said, "the most important period in the life of an individual is that of his development—the period which, in my case, breaks off with the detailed narrative of Dichtung und Wahrheit." In reality, as we know, there is no complete breach at any point in the lives of either nations or individuals. But if in the life of Goethe we are to fix upon a dividing point, it is his departure from... more...

PRELIMINARY: MRS. GASKELL In the whole of English biographical literature there is no book that can compare in widespread interest with the Life of Charlotte Brontë by Mrs. Gaskell.  It has held a position of singular popularity for forty years; and while biography after biography has come and gone, it still commands a place side by side with Boswell’s Johnson and Lockhart’s Scott.  As far as mere readers are... more...


CHAPTER I EARLY DAYS AT SCHOOL AND COLLEGE The name of Andrew Marvell ever sounds sweet, and always has, to use words of Charles Lamb’s, a fine relish to the ear. As the author of poetry of exquisite quality, where for the last time may be heard the priceless note of the Elizabethan lyricist, whilst at the same moment utterance is being given to thoughts and feelings which reach far forward to Wordsworth and Shelley, Marvell can never be... more...

PART FIRST.[1759-1784.] Among the writers of the concluding part of the last century there is none more deserving of our notice than Friedrich Schiller. Distinguished alike for the splendour of his intellectual faculties, and the elevation of his tastes and feelings, he has left behind him in his works a noble emblem of these great qualities: and the reputation which he thus enjoys, and has merited, excites our attention the more, on considering... 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. 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...

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...