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There were three of us—Mary, Eliza, and myself. I was approaching fifteen, Mary was about a year younger, and Eliza between twelve and thirteen years of age. Mamma treated us all as children, and was blind to the fact that I was no longer what I had been. Although not tall for my age, nor outwardly presenting a manly appearance, my passions were awakening, and the distinctive feature of my sex, although in repose it looked magnificent... more...

Why must we confine the reading of our children to the older literary classics? This is the question asked by an ever- increasing number of thoughtful teachers. They have no wish to displace or to discredit the classics. On the contrary, they love and revere them. But they do wish to give their pupils something additional, something that pulses with present life, that is characteristic of to-day. The children, too, wonder that, with the great... more...

CHAPTER ONE The Man Who Died I returned from the City about three o'clock on that May afternoon pretty well disgusted with life. I had been three months in the Old Country, and was fed up with it. If anyone had told me a year ago that I would have been feeling like that I should have laughed at him; but there was the fact. The weather made me liverish, the talk of the ordinary Englishman made me sick, I couldn't get enough exercise, and the... more...

Brackley Hall was a fine old place in the lovely country of Devon and had been in the possession of the Etheridges for centuries. The park was beautifully wooded, and stretched down on one side to the coast, commanding in all directions the most enchanting views. Mr. Etheridge was a man of some forty years of age, of singularly handsome appearance, and bore evident traces of the Italian blood which flowed in his veins. He had the appearance of... more...

I. On a January evening of the early seventies, Christine Nilsson was singing in Faust at the Academy of Music in New York. Though there was already talk of the erection, in remote metropolitan distances "above the Forties," of a new Opera House which should compete in costliness and splendour with those of the great European capitals, the world of fashion was still content to reassemble every winter in the shabby red and gold boxes of the... more...

CHAPTER I I SET OFF UPON MY JOURNEY TO THE HOUSE OF SHAWS I will begin the story of my adventures with a certain morning early in the month of June, the year of grace 1751, when I took the key for the last time out of the door of my father's house. The sun began to shine upon the summit of the hills as I went down the road; and by the time I had come as far as the manse, the blackbirds were whistling in the garden lilacs, and the mist that hung... more...

Preface In writing this book my intention was to present, in the form of an interesting story, a faithful picture of working-class life--more especially of those engaged in the Building trades--in a small town in the south of England. I wished to describe the relations existing between the workmen and their employers, the attitude and feelings of these two classes towards each other; their circumstances when at work and when out of employment;... more...

LONDON 1905 PREFACE My readers of Forbidden Fruit may wish to know the origin of the work. It was this way, whilst I was staying at an out of the way village on the Sussex coast, I used to take long solitary walks, and several times saw a very beautiful girl sitting on a secluded part of the downs, attentively reading what looked like a manuscript in a black cover. Naturally I concluded she was some very studious young lady trying to improve... more...

LETTER THE FIRST I sit down to give you an undeniable proof of my considering your desires as indispensable orders. Ungracious then as the task may be, I shall recall to view those scandalous stages of my life, out of which I emerged, at length, to the enjoyment of every blessing in the power of love, health and fortune to bestow; whilst yet in the flower of youth, and not too late to employ the leisure afforded me by great ease and affluence,... more...

INTRODUCTION The story that follows this introduction is literally true. There died lately, in a Western State prison, a man of the class known as habitual criminals. He was, at the time of his death, serving out a sentence for burglary. For thirty years he had been under the weight of prison discipline, save for short periods of freedom between the end of one term and the beginning of another. Because of this man's exceptional qualities, as... more...