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1—A Face on Which Time Makes but Little Impression A Saturday afternoon in November was approaching the time of twilight, and the vast tract of unenclosed wild known as Egdon Heath embrowned itself moment by moment. Overhead the hollow stretch of whitish cloud shutting out the sky was as a tent which had the whole heath for its floor. The heaven being spread with this pallid screen and the earth with the darkest vegetation, their... more...

CHAPTER 1 Night is generally my time for walking. In the summer I often leave home early in the morning, and roam about fields and lanes all day, or even escape for days or weeks together; but, saving in the country, I seldom go out until after dark, though, Heaven be thanked, I love its light and feel the cheerfulness it sheds upon the earth, as much as any creature living. I have fallen insensibly into this habit, both because it favours my... more...

CHAPTER I f all the sensations to which the human mind is a prey, there is none so powerful in its finality, so chilling in its sense of an impending event as the knowledge that Death—grim, implacable Death—has cast his shadow on a life that custom and circumstance have rendered familiar. Whatever the personal feeling may be—whether dismay, despair, or relief—no man or woman can watch that advancing shadow without a... more...

I and my chimney, two grey-headed old smokers, reside in the country. We are, I may say, old settlers here; particularly my old chimney, which settles more and more every day. Though I always say, I AND MY CHIMNEY, as Cardinal Wolsey used to say, "I AND MY KING," yet this egotistic way of speaking, wherein I take precedence of my chimney, is hereby borne out by the facts; in everything, except the above phrase, my chimney taking precedence of... more...

The Legend of L'Ile Derniere I. Travelling south from New Orleans to the Islands, you pass through a strange land into a strange sea, by various winding waterways. You can journey to the Gulf by lugger if you please; but the trip may be made much more rapidly and agreeably on some one of those light, narrow steamers, built especially for bayou-travel, which usually receive passengers at a point not far from the foot of old Saint-Louis Street,... more...


PART I. A WOMAN'S PLAN. 'My dear Mary,' said I, one morning, to my widowed sister, as she sank into an arm chair in front of my library fire, and heaved a sigh replete with exhaustion and sadness: 'What is the matter?' 'Enough for a woman, William, but of course, nothing for an old bachelor like you, who have only to pay your own bills, eat your meals without the trouble of ordering them; lounge through a clean house with no chasing after... more...

CHAPTER I He was thinking of the town he had known. Not of old New York—he had heard of that from old, old men when he himself had still been young and had smiled at their garrulity. He was thinking of a young New York, the mighty throbbing city to which he had come long ago as a lad from the New Hampshire mountains. A place of turbulent thoroughfares, of shouting drivers, hurrying crowds, the crack of whips and the clatter of wheels; an... more...

OPENING CHAPTER. A CHILD'S SUNDAY. At a quarter to one o'clock, on a wet Sunday afternoon, in November 1837, Samuel Snoxell, page to Mr. Zachary Thorpe, of Baregrove Square, London, left the area gate with three umbrellas under his arm, to meet his master and mistress at the church door, on the conclusion of morning service. Snoxell had been specially directed by the housemaid to distribute his three umbrellas in the following manner: the new... more...

CHAPTER I. Some Account of the Family of Armine, andEspecially of Sir Ferdinand and of Sir Ratcliffe. THE family of Armine entered England with William the Norman. Ralph d'Armyn was standard-bearer of the Conqueror, and shared prodigally in the plunder, as appears by Doomsday Book. At the time of the general survey the family of Ermyn, or Armyn, possessed numerous manors in Nottinghamshire, and several in the shire of Lincoln. William D'Armyn,... more...

The first cause, so far as it can be determined, of the existence of this book may be found in the following letter, written by my only married sister, and received by me, Harry Burton, salesman of white goods, bachelor, aged twenty-eight, and received just as I was trying to decide where I should Spend a fortnight's vacation:— "HILLCREST, June 15, 1875. "DEAR HARRY:—Remembering that you are always complaining that you never have... more...