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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...

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...

ACT I _The Wood-cutter's Cottage The stage represents the interior of a wood-cutter's cottage, simple and rustic in appearance, but in no way poverty-stricken. A recessed fireplace containing the dying embers of a wood-fire. Kitchen utensils, a cupboard, a bread-pan, a grandfather's clock, a spinning-wheel, a water-tap, etc. On a table, a lighted lamp. At the foot of the cupboard, on either side, a_ DOG and a CAT lie sleeping, rolled up, each... more...

CHAPTER I. "Hold, Stranger!" The words fell from beautiful lips under the most exciting circumstances. A boat rocked upon the calm water that murmured along the shore, when a young man came down from the upper bank of white drift sand, and seized the tiller rope. He had the rope in his hand, his arm was upraised to draw the boat to his feet, when he was startled by hearing the words with which we open our narrative. The young man turned... more...

Red and Slim found the two strange little animals the morning after they heard the thunder sounds. They knew that they could never show their new pets to their parents.   There was a spatter of pebbles against the window and the youngster stirred in his sleep. Another, and he was awake. He sat up stiffly in bed. Seconds passed while he interpreted his strange surroundings. He wasn't in his own home, of course. This was out in the... more...


The Crucifix Across the Mountains The imperial road to Italy goes from Munich across the Tyrol, through Innsbruck and Bozen to Verona, over the mountains. Here the great processions passed as the emperors went South, or came home again from rosy Italy to their own Germany. And how much has that old imperial vanity clung to the German soul? Did not the German kings inherit the empire of bygone Rome? It was not a very real empire, perhaps, but... more...

CHAPTER I. Three invalids.—Sufferings of George and Harris.—A victim to one hundred and seven fatal maladies.—Useful prescriptions.—Cure for liver complaint in children.—We agree that we are overworked, and need rest.—A week on the rolling deep?—George suggests the River.—Montmorency lodges an objection.—Original motion carried by majority of three to one. There were four of us—George,... more...

Preface It had no instrument panel with push-button controls. It was not operated electronically or jet-propelled. But to many 19th-century people the sewing machine was probably as awe-inspiring as a space capsule is to their 20th-century descendants. It was expensive, but, considering the work it could do and the time it could save, the cost was more than justified. The sewing machine became the first widely advertised consumer appliance,... more...

From what is said in the Introduction to the Monastery, it must necessarily be inferred, that the Author considered that romance as something very like a failure. It is true, the booksellers did not complain of the sale, because, unless on very felicitous occasions, or on those which are equally the reverse, literary popularity is not gained or lost by a single publication. Leisure must be allowed for the tide both to flow and ebb. But I was... more...

INTRODUCTION The world, if we choose to see it so, is a complicated picture of people dressing and undressing. The history of the world is composed of the chat of a little band of tailors seated cross-legged on their boards; they gossip across the centuries, feeling, as they should, very busy and important. Someone made the coat of many colours for Joseph, another cut into material for Elijah’s mantle. Baldwin, from his stall on the site... more...