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CHAPTER THE FIRST ~~ CONCERNING A BOOK THAT WAS NEVER WRITTEN 1 Since I came to this place I have been very restless, wasting my energies in the futile beginning of ill-conceived books. One does not settle down very readily at two and forty to a new way of living, and I have found myself with the teeming interests of the life I have abandoned still buzzing like a swarm of homeless bees in my head. My mind has been full of confused protests and... more...

I am a sick man.... I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I believe my liver is diseased. However, I know nothing at all about my disease, and do not know for certain what ails me. I don't consult a doctor for it, and never have, though I have a respect for medicine and doctors. Besides, I am extremely superstitious, sufficiently so to respect medicine, anyway (I am well-educated enough not to be superstitious, but I am superstitious).... more...

TO HILAIRE BELLOC For every tiny town or placeGod made the stars especially;Babies look up with owlish faceAnd see them tangled in a tree:You saw a moon from Sussex Downs,A Sussex moon, untravelled still,I saw a moon that was the town's,The largest lamp on Campden Hill.Yea; Heaven is everywhere at homeThe big blue cap that always fits,And so it is (be calm; they comeTo goal at last, my wandering wits),So is it with the heroic thing;This shall... more...

CHAPTER I MY EAGLE The soft summer wind stirs the redwoods, and Wild-Water ripples sweet cadences over its mossy stones. There are butterflies in the sunshine, and from everywhere arises the drowsy hum of bees. It is so quiet and peaceful, and I sit here, and ponder, and am restless. It is the quiet that makes me restless. It seems unreal. All the world is quiet, but it is the quiet before the storm. I strain my ears, and all my senses, for... more...

THE NOMINEE The huge convention-hall still rang with the thunders of applause, and most of the delegates were on their feet shouting or waving their hats, when Harley slipped from his desk and made his way quietly to the little side-door leading from the stage. It was all over now but the noise; after a long and desperate fight Grayson, a young lawyer, with little more than a local reputation, had been nominated by his party for the Presidency... 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...