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Chapter I 'A fair vestal, throned in the west' Elfride Swancourt was a girl whose emotions lay very near the surface. Their nature more precisely, and as modified by the creeping hours of time, was known only to those who watched the circumstances of her history. Personally, she was the combination of very interesting particulars, whose rarity, however, lay in the combination itself rather than in the individual elements combined. As a matter... more...

A Beautiful Alien I. On the deck of an ocean steamer, homeward bound from Europe, a man and girl were walking to and fro. Their long march of monotonous regularity had lasted perhaps an hour, and they had become objects of special attention to the people scattered about. A man, who was taking his afternoon exercise alone, and who had accidentally fallen into line directly behind this couple, kept that position purposely, turning as they... more...

On approaching the task of writing this Note for Victory, the first thing I am conscious of is the actual nearness of the book, its nearness to me personally, to the vanished mood in which it was written, and to the mixed feelings aroused by the critical notices the book obtained when first published almost exactly a year after the beginning of the war. The writing of it was finished in 1914 long before the murder of an Austrian Archduke sounded... more...

I. Mrs. Dewsbury's lawn was held by those who knew it the loveliest in Surrey. The smooth and springy sward that stretched in front of the house was all composed of a tiny yellow clover. It gave beneath the foot like the pile on velvet. One's gaze looked forth from it upon the endless middle distances of the oak-clad Weald, with the uncertain blue line of the South Downs in the background. Ridge behind ridge, the long, low hills of paludina... more...

CHAPTER I Enjoy the spring of love and youth,To some good angel leave the rest,For time will teach thee soon the truth,"There are no birds in last year's nest." —Longfellow. "Mamma, what was that I heard papa saying to you this morning about his lawsuit?" "I cannot tell you just now. Ellen, pick up that shawl and spread it over me." "Mamma!—are you cold in this warm room?" "A little,—there, that will do. Now, my daughter,... more...


CHAPTER I. Breaking the News. "Mamma, what was that I heard papa saying to you this morning about his lawsuit?" "I cannot tell you just now. Ellen, pick up that shawl and spread it over me." "Mamma! are you cold in this warm room?" "A little, there, that will do. Now, my daughter, let me be quiet a while don't disturb me." There was no one else in the room. Driven thus to her own resources, Ellen betook herself to the window, and sought... more...

THE VIRGINIAN I. ENTER THE MAN Some notable sight was drawing the passengers, both men and women, to the window; and therefore I rose and crossed the car to see what it was. I saw near the track an enclosure, and round it some laughing men, and inside it some whirling dust, and amid the dust some horses, plunging, huddling, and dodging. They were cow ponies in a corral, and one of them would not be caught, no matter who threw the rope. We... more...

CHAPTER I THE STRANGER AT DRY BOTTOM From the crest of Three Mile Slope the man on the pony could see the town of Dry Bottom straggling across the gray floor of the flat, its low, squat buildings looking like so many old boxes blown there by an idle wind, or unceremoniously dumped there by a careless fate and left, regardless, to carry out the scheme of desolation. Apparently the rider was in no hurry, for, as the pony topped the rise and the... more...

A Holy Saint.   T is in the Thebaïd, on the heights of a mountain, where a platform, shaped like a crescent, is surrounded by huge stones. The Hermit's cell occupies the background. It is built of mud and reeds, flat-roofed and doorless. Inside are seen a pitcher and a loaf of black bread; in the centre, on a wooden support, a large book; on the ground, here and there, bits of rush-work, a mat or two, a basket and a knife. Some ten... more...

Chapter I Dingwell Gives Three Cheers Dave Dingwell had been in the saddle almost since daylight had wakened him to the magic sunshine of a world washed cool and miraculously clean by the soft breath of the hills. Steadily he had jogged across the desert toward the range. Afternoon had brought him to the foothills, where a fine rain blotted out the peaks and softened the sharp outlines of the landscape to a gentle blur of green loveliness. The... more...