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A BLACK CONFERENCE. It was the night after the funeral. Ellice Lisle, the loving wife, devoted mother, kind mistress, and generous friend, had been laid away to rest; over her pulseless bosom had been thrown the red earth of her adopted Virginia, and, mingled with its mocking freshness, was the bitter rain of tears from the eyes of all who had known the lowly sleeper. Even Nature joined the general weeping; for, though the early morning had... more...

THE HUT IN THE HOLLOW. Just upon the border of Wales, but within one of the English counties, there is a cluster of hills, rising one above the other in gradual slopes, until the summits form a long, broad tableland, many miles across. This tableland is not so flat that all of it can be seen at once, but here and there are little dells, shaped like deep basins, which the country folk call hollows; and every now and then there is a rock or... more...

CHAPTER I. SOME PEOPLE WHO WENT UP TO THE TEMPLE. An elegant temple it was, this modern one of which I write—modern in all its appointments. Carpets, cushions, gas fixtures, organ, pulpit furnishings, everything everywhere betokened the presence of wealth and taste. Even the vases that adorned the marble-topped flower-stands on either side of the pulpit wore a foreign air, and in design and workmanship were unique. The subdued light that... more...

Evening Prayer. "Our Father." The mother's voice was low and tender, and solemn. "Our Father." On two sweet voices the tones were borne upward. It was the innocence of reverent children that gave them utterance. "Who art in heaven." "Who art in heaven," repeated the children, one with her eyes bent meekly down, and the other looking upward, as if she would penetrate the heavens into which her heart was aspiring. "Hallowed be thy name."... more...

CHAPTER I THE LADY OF THE TREE The man lay in the tall grass. Behind him the wall of the Killimaga estate, from its beginning some fifty yards to his left, stretched away to his right for over a thousand feet. Along the road which ran almost parallel with the wall was the remnant of what had once been a great woods; yearly the county authorities determined to cut away its thick undergrowth—and yearly left it alone. On the left the road... more...


PREFACE. Some one has said that inasmuch as the Preface to a book is the last thing that is written, it ought to be the last that is read. I suppose that some readers prefer to omit the Preface until they have read the book, for many writers, Lord Lytton among the number, really destroy the illusion of a work of fiction by specifying the conditions under which it was written. A certain amount of faith in the reality of the things recorded is, to... more...

CHAPTER I Willis Thornton Displays His Pluck Train No. 6 on the D. & P.W., two hours late at Limon, was rushing and jolting along over its rickety roadbed. The rain fell in torrents, the heavy peals of thunder seemed about to tear the car to pieces, the black and threatening clouds blotted out the landscape, and the passengers could hear nothing but the roar of the thunder and the rattle of the train. The brakeman, shaking the water from... more...

CHAPTER I. Doubtless some of our readers are acquainted with the noble "coast road" that skirts round the north-eastern corner of Ireland, extending, it might almost be said, from Belfast to Londonderry. The characteristic features of this noble esplanade (for such it is) are chiefly to be seen between the little town of Larne, where the railway ends, and Cushendall. Throughout this drive of forty miles you are never out of sight or sound of the... more...

Part I. "Gold may be dear bought." A narrow street with dreadful "wynds" and "vennels" running back from it was the High street of Glasgow at the time my story opens. And yet, though dirty, noisy and overcrowded with sin and suffering, a flavor of old time royalty and romance lingered amid its vulgar surroundings; and midway of its squalid length a quaint brown frontage kept behind it noble halls of learning, and pleasant old courts full of the... more...

CHAPTER 1 Rome had passed the summits and stood looking into the dark valley of fourteen hundred years. Behind her the graves of Caesar and Sallust and Cicero and Catullus and Vergil and Horace; before her centuries of madness and treading down; round about her a multitude sickening of luxury, their houses filled with spoil, their mouths with folly, their souls with discontent; above her only mystery and silence; in her train, philosophers... more...