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INTRODUCTORY. For the investigation of art in its early stages and in its widest sense—there is probably no fairer field than that afforded by aboriginal America, ancient and modern. At the period of discovery, art at a number of places on the American continent seems to have been developing surely and steadily, through the force of the innate genius of the race, and the more advanced nations were already approaching the threshold of... more...

THE TOBACCO PLANT. Botanical Description — Ancient Plant-Bed — Description of the Leaves — Color of Leaves — Blossoms — The Capsules and Seed — Selection for Seed — Suckers — Nicotine Qualities — Medicinal Properties — Improvement in Plants. CHAPTER II. TOBACCO. ITS DISCOVERY. Early Use — Origin of its Name — Early Snuff-Taking — Tobacco in Mexico —... more...

ENGLISH A COMPOSITE LANGUAGE “A very slight acquaintance with the history of our own language will teach us that the speech of Chaucer’s age is not the speech of Skelton’s, that there is a great difference between the language under Elizabeth and that under Charles the First, between that under Charles the First and Charles the Second, between that under Charles the Second and Queen Anne; that considerable changes had taken... more...

Preface The kindly reception accorded to the first volume of the Historical Nights Entertainment, issued in December of 1917, has encouraged me to prepare the second series here assembled. As in the case of the narratives that made up the first volume, I set out again with the same ambitious aim of adhering scrupulously in every instance to actual, recorded facts; and once again I find it desirable at the outset to reveal how far the... more...

PREFACE In approaching "The Historical Nights' Entertainment" I set myself the task of reconstructing, in the fullest possible detail and with all the colour available from surviving records, a group of more or less famous events. I would select for my purpose those which were in themselves bizarre and resulting from the interplay of human passions, and whilst relating each of these events in the form of a story, I would compel that story... more...


THE INN-YARDS BEFORE the building of regular playhouses the itinerant troupes of actors were accustomed, except when received into private homes, to give their performances in any place that chance provided, such as open street-squares, barns, town-halls, moot-courts, schoolhouses, churches, and—most frequently of all, perhaps—the yards of inns. These yards, especially those of carriers' inns, were admirably suited to dramatic... more...

CHAPTER I. Position Of The Islands—Early Visitors And Traditionary Origin. Samoa is the native name of the group of volcanic islands in central Polynesia long known as the "Navigators Islands." They are situated about 3000 miles from Sydney, and stand on the charts between the parallels of 13° and 15° south latitude, and 168° and 173° west longitude. The mountains of Savaii, one of which is 4000 feet high, may be seen 50... more...

THE FIRST REMOVE Now away we must go with those barbarous creatures, with our bodies wounded and bleeding, and our hearts no less than our bodies. About a mile we went that night, up upon a hill within sight of the town, where they intended to lodge. There was hard by a vacant house (deserted by the English before, for fear of the Indians). I asked them whether I might not lodge in the house that night, to which they answered, "What, will you... more...

Chapter I. Ancient Furniture. Biblical References: Solomon's House and Temple—Palace of Ahashuerus. Assyrian Furniture: Nimrod's Palace—Mr. George Smith quoted. Egyptian Furniture: Specimens in the British Museum—the Workman's Stool—various articles of Domestic Furniture—Dr. Birch quoted. Greek Furniture: The Bas Reliefs in the British Museum—the Chest of Cypselus—Laws and Customs of the... more...

1. PRIMITIVE ASTRONOMY AND ASTROLOGY. The growth of intelligence in the human race has its counterpart in that of the individual, especially in the earliest stages. Intellectual activity and the development of reasoning powers are in both cases based upon the accumulation of experiences, and on the comparison, classification, arrangement, and nomenclature of these experiences. During the infancy of each the succession of events can be watched,... more...