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Preface In writing this book my intention was to present, in the form of an interesting story, a faithful picture of working-class life--more especially of those engaged in the Building trades--in a small town in the south of England. I wished to describe the relations existing between the workmen and their employers, the attitude and feelings of these two classes towards each other; their circumstances when at work and when out of employment;... more...

CHAPTER I. June 18—. Squire Hawkins sat upon the pyramid of large blocks, called the "stile," in front of his house, contemplating the morning. The locality was Obedstown, East Tennessee. You would not know that Obedstown stood on the top of a mountain, for there was nothing about the landscape to indicate it—but it did: a mountain that stretched abroad over whole counties, and rose very gradually. The district was called the "Knobs of... more...

I. WHAT I CONSIDER TO HAVE BEEN THE BEGINNING OF MY YOUTH I have said that my friendship with Dimitri opened up for me a new view of my life and of its aim and relations. The essence of that view lay in the conviction that the destiny of man is to strive for moral improvement, and that such improvement is at once easy, possible, and lasting. Hitherto, however, I had found pleasure only in the new ideas which I discovered to arise from that... more...

INTRODUCTION TURGENEV was the first writer who was able, having both Slavic and universal imagination enough for it, to interpret modern Russia to the outer world, and Virgin Soil was the last word of his greater testament. It was the book in which many English readers were destined to make his acquaintance about a generation ago, and the effect of it was, like Swinburne's Songs Before Sunrise, Mazzini's Duties of Man, and other congenial... more...

CHAPTER I. CLOUDS GATHER AT WILKES-BARRE. There are few valleys to compare with that of the Susquehanna. In point of picturesque scenery and modern alteration attained by the unceasing labor of man, the antithesis between the natural and the artificial is pronounced in many respects; especially at that place in the river where it runs through the steep banks on which is situated the thriving city of Wilkes-Barre. Here may be seen the majestic... more...


CHAPTER I THE LOAD All love is a gas, and it takes either loneliness, strength of character, or religion to liquefy it into a condition to be ladled out of us, one to another. There is a certain dangerously volatile state of it; and occasionally people, especially of opposite sexes, try to administer it to each other in that form, with asphyxiation resulting to both hearts. And I'm willing to confess that it is generally a woman's fault when... more...

The Thunders of Silence Some people said Congressman Mallard had gone mad. These were his friends, striving out of the goodness of their hearts to put the best face on what at best was a lamentable situation. Some said he was a traitor to his country. These were his enemies, personal, political and journalistic. Some called him a patriot who put humanity above nationality, a new John the Baptist come out of the wilderness to preach a sobering... more...

CHAPTER I. BY SAMUEL MERWIN Genevieve Remington had been called beautiful. She was tall, with brown eyes and a fine spun mass of golden-brown hair. She had a gentle smile, that disclosed white, even teeth. Her voice was not unmusical. She was twenty-three years old and possessed a husband who, though only twenty-six, had already shown such strength of character and such aptitude at the criminal branch of the law that he was now a candidate for... more...

THE ENCOUNTER Glenister gazed out over the harbor, agleam with the lights of anchored ships, then up at the crenelated mountains, black against the sky. He drank the cool air burdened with its taints of the sea, while the blood of his boyhood leaped within him. "Oh, it's fine—fine," he murmured, "and this is my country—my country, after all, Dex. It's in my veins, this hunger for the North. I grow. I expand." "Careful you don't... more...

CHAPTER I THE BAITING OF THE ANCIENT LION War and Peace had swapped corners that morning in the village of Fort Canibas. War was muttering at the end where two meeting-houses placidly faced each other across the street. Peace brooded over the ancient blockhouse, relic of the "Bloodless War," and upon the structure that Thelismer Thornton had converted from officers' barracks to his own uses as a dwelling. At dawn a telegraph messenger jangled... more...