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CHAPTER I. EARLY YEARS; 1738-1772. Of the great modern philosophers, that one of whom least is known, is William Herschel. We may appropriate the words which escaped him when the barren region of the sky near the body of Scorpio was passing slowly through the field of his great reflector, during one of his sweeps, to express our own sense of absence of light and knowledge: Hier ist wahrhaftig ein Loch im Himmel. Herschel prepared, about the... more...

CHAPTER I. PHINEAS PETT: BEGINNINGS OF ENGLISH SHIP-BUILDING. "A speck in the Northern Ocean, with a rocky coast, an ungenial climate, and a soil scarcely fruitful,—this was the material patrimony which descended to the English race—an inheritance that would have been little worth but for the inestimable moral gift that accompanied it. Yes; from Celts, Saxons, Danes, Normans—from some or all of them—have come down with... more...

CHAPTER I. GENEALOGY OF THE WASHINGTON FAMILY. The Washington family is of an ancient English stock, the genealogy of which has been traced up to the century immediately succeeding the Conquest. At that time it was in possession of landed estates and manorial privileges in the county of Durham, such as were enjoyed only by those, or their descendants, who had come over from Normandy with the Conqueror, or fought under his standard. When William... more...

CHAPTER I THE VIRGINIA MADISONS James Madison was born on March 16, 1751, at Port Conway, Virginia; he died at Montpellier, in that State, on June 28, 1836. Mr. John Quincy Adams, recalling, perhaps, the death of his own father and of Jefferson on the same Fourth of July, and that of Monroe on a subsequent anniversary of that day, may possibly have seen a generous propriety in finding some equally appropriate commemoration for the death of... more...

CHAPTER I. BIRTH—ANCESTRY—EARLY YEARS Introductory—Rohrau—A Poor Home—Genealogy—Haydn's Parents—His Birth—His Precocity—Informal Music-making—His First Teacher—Hainburg—"A Regular Little Urchin"—Attacks the Drum—A Piece of Good Luck—A Musical Examination—Goes to Vienna—Choir School of St Stephen's—A House of Suffering—Lessons at the... more...


INDEX. Chapter I.—Introduction—Gordon’s birth, parentage and school—His first experience of warfare in the Crimea—His display of exceptional soldierly qualities—The storming of Sebastopol and its fall. Chapter II.—Gordon assisting to lay down frontiers in Russia, Turkey and Armenia—Gordon in China—Burning of the Summer Palace—Chinese rebellion and its suppression. Chapter... more...

PREFACE by G.N. Clark, Provost of Oriel College, Oxford Rather more than twenty years ago, on a spring morning of alternate cloud and sunshine, I acted as guide to Johan Huizinga, the author of this book, when he was on a visit to Oxford. As it was not his first stay in the city, and he knew the principal buildings already, we looked at some of the less famous. Even with a man who was well known all over the world as a writer, I expected that... more...

DONATELLO The materials for a biography of Donatello are so scanty, that his life and personality can only be studied in his works. The Renaissance gave birth to few men of productive genius whose actual careers are so little known. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Donatello composed no treatise on his art; he wrote no memoir or commentary, no sonnets, and indeed scarcely a letter of his even on business topics has survived. For specific... more...

CHAPTER I TO FRANCE (APRIL 1917) The boat was crowded. Khaki, everywhere khaki; lifebelts, rain and storm, everything soaked. Destroyers, churning through the waves, played strange games all round us. Some old-time Tommies, taking everything for granted, smoked and laughed and told funny stories. Others had the look of dumb animals in pain, going to what they knew only too well. The new hands for France asked many questions, pretended to laugh,... 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...