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CHARLOTTE BRONTË Objection is often raised against realistic biography because it reveals so much that is important and even sacred about a man's life. The real objection to it will rather be found in the fact that it reveals about a man the precise points which are unimportant. It reveals and asserts and insists on exactly those things in a man's life of which the man himself is wholly unconscious; his exact class in society, the... more...

Thrill Cruise   ance Kenniston felt the cold realization of failure as he came out of the building into the sharp chill of the Martian night. He stood for a moment, his lean, drawn face haggard in the light of the two hurtling moons. He looked hopelessly across the dark spaceport. It was a large one, for this ancient town of Syrtis was the main port of Mars. The forked light of the flying moons showed many ships docked on the... more...

CHAPTER I THE END OF THEIR LIFE "It is finished," said the woman, speaking very quietly to herself. "Not another day, nor a night, if I can be ready before morning!" She stood alone in her own room, with none to mark the white-hot pallor of the oval face, the scornful curve of quivering nostrils, the dry lustre of flashing eyes. But while she stood a heavy step went blustering down two flights of stairs, and double doors slammed upon the... more...

THE PEARL BOX   THE DYING BOY. A little boy, by the name of Bertie, was taken very ill, and for sometime continued to grow weaker until he died. A few hours before his death he revived up, and his first request was to be bathed in the river; but his mother persuaded him to be sponged only, as the river water would be too cold for his weak frame. After his mother had sponged him with water, he desired to be dressed; when his mother... more...

CHAPTER I THE SIERRA NEVADA Go where you may within the bounds of California, mountains are ever in sight, charming and glorifying every landscape. Yet so simple and massive is the topography of the State in general views, that the main central portion displays only one valley, and two chains of mountains which seem almost perfectly regular in trend and height: the Coast Range on the west side, the Sierra Nevada on the east. These two ranges... more...


INTRODUCTION This Supplement is designed to supply a double need: it furnishes an analytical index to the entire series of twenty volumes; and it affords a great deal of additional information, bearing on the subject-matter of these volumes, but which from its very nature it was impossible to incorporate in the text. This additional information includes biographical sketches of the characters mentioned in each volume; similar sketches of... more...

It isn't the dying itself. It's what comes before. The waiting, alone in a room without windows, trying to think. The opening of the door, the voices of the men who are going with you but not all the way, the walk down the corridor to the airlock room, the faces of the men, closed and impersonal. They do not enjoy this. Neither do they shrink from it. It's their job. This is the room. It is small and it has a window. Outside there is no friendly... more...

Happy nowadays is the tourist, with earth's wonders, new and old, spread invitingly open before him, and a host of able workers as his slaves making everything easy, padding plush about him, grading roads for him, boring tunnels, moving hills out of his way, eager, like the devil, to show him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory and foolishness, spiritualizing travel for him with lightning and steam, abolishing space and time and almost... more...

A DEFENCE OF PENNY DREADFULS One of the strangest examples of the degree to which ordinary life is undervalued is the example of popular literature, the vast mass of which we contentedly describe as vulgar. The boy's novelette may be ignorant in a literary sense, which is only like saying that a modern novel is ignorant in the chemical sense, or the economic sense, or the astronomical sense; but it is not vulgar intrinsically—it is the... more...

DEAR PROFESSOR WHIRLWIND, Your name in the original German is too much for me; and this is the nearest I propose to get to it: but under the majestic image of pure wind marching in a movement wholly circular I seem to see, as in a vision, something of your mind. But the grand isolation of your thoughts leads you to express them in such words as are gratifying to yourself, and have an inconspicuous or even an unfortunate effect upon others. If... more...