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INTRODUCTION Of the great incidents of History, none has attracted more attention or proved more difficult of interpretation than the French Revolution. The ultimate significance of other striking events and their place in the development of mankind can be readily estimated. It is clear enough that the barbarian invasions marked the death of the classical world, already mortally wounded by the rise of Christianity. It is clear enough that the... more...

CHAPTER I PARENTAGE AND EARLY YEARS "I was born when my country was perishing. Thirty thousand French vomited upon our coasts, drowning the throne of Liberty in waves of blood, such was the sight which struck my eyes." This passionate utterance, penned by Napoleon Buonaparte at the beginning of the French Revolution, describes the state of Corsica in his natal year. The words are instinct with the vehemence of the youth and the extravagant... more...

In recasting Paris and its Story for issue in the "Mediæval Towns Series," opportunity has been taken of revising the whole and of adding a Second Part, wherein we have essayed the office of cicerone. Obviously in so vast a range of study as that afforded by the city of Paris, compression and selection have been imperative: we have therefore limited our guidance to such routes and edifices as seemed to offer the more important objects of... more...

CHAPTER I The remotest fact in the history of England is written in her rocks. Geology tells us of a time when no sea flowed between Dover and Calais, while an unbroken continent extended from the Mediterranean to the Orkneys. Huge mounds of rough stones called Cromlechs, have yielded up still another secret. Before the coming of the Keltic-Aryans, there dwelt there two successive races, whose story is briefly told in a few human fragments... more...

CHAPTER I: A Look Back In the old legend of Rip Van Winkle with which the American writer Washington Irving has made us so familiar, the ne'er-do-weel Rip wanders off into the Kaatskill Mountains with his dog and gun in order to escape from his wife's scolding tongue. Here he meets the spectre crew of Captain Hudson, and, after partaking of their hospitality, falls into a deep sleep which lasts for twenty years. The latter part of the story... more...


Chapter I. Birth and Childhood. 1615-1650 Marriage of Louis XIII. Louis XIII. of France married Anne of Austria on the 25th of November, 1615. The marriage ceremony was performed with great splendor in the Cathedral of Bordeaux. The bride was exceedingly beautiful, tall, and of exquisite proportions. She possessed the whitest and most delicate hand that ever made an imperious gesture. Her eyes were of matchless beauty, easily dilated, and of... more...

Since the appearance of this book in its original form, some seventeen years since, the construction of Railways has continued to make extraordinary progress.  Although Great Britain, first in the field, had then, after about twenty-five years’ work, expended nearly 300 millions sterling in the construction of 8300 miles of railway, it has, during the last seventeen years, expended about 288 millions more in constructing 7780... more...

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION In English history the fifteenth century is the last of the centuries that form the Middle Ages, which were preceded by the age of racial settlement and followed by that of the great Renaissance. Although the active beginnings of this new era are to be observed in the fifteenth century, yet this century belongs essentially to the Middle Ages. Perhaps the most attractive feature of the Middle Ages is that they were so... more...

Chapter I. The Britons. Alfred the Great figures in history as the founder, in some sense, of the British monarchy. Of that long succession of sovereigns who have held the scepter of that monarchy, and whose government has exerted so vast an influence on the condition and welfare of mankind, he was not, indeed, actually the first. There were several lines of insignificant princes before him, who governed such portions of the kingdom as they... more...

CHAPTER I. FAMOUS SOUTHWARK INNS. Unique among the quaint maps of old London is one which traces the ground-plan of Southwark as it appeared early in the sixteenth century. It is not the kind of map which would ensure examination honours for its author were he competing among schoolboys of the twentieth century, but it has a quality of archaic simplicity which makes it a more precious possession than the best examples of modern cartography.... more...