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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...

I LIGHT AND PROGRESS The human race was born in slavery, totally subservient to nature. The earliest primitive beings feasted or starved according to nature's bounty and sweltered or shivered according to the weather. When night fell they sought shelter with animal instinct, for not only were activities almost completely curtailed by darkness but beyond its screen lurked many dangers. It is interesting to philosophize upon a distinction between... 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...

EMILY BRONTË. INTRODUCTION. There are, perhaps, few tests of excellence so sure as the popular verdict on a work of art a hundred years after its accomplishment. So much time must be allowed for the swing and rebound of taste, for the despoiling of tawdry splendours and to permit the work of art itself to form a public capable of appreciating it. Such marvellous fragments reach us of Elizabethan praises; and we cannot help recalling... more...

VOLUME I [p 2 is blank] p 3 TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE. ———————————- I CAN not more appropriately introduce the Cosmos than by presenting a brief sketch of the life of its illustrious author.* While the name of Alexander von Humboldt is familiar to every one, few, perhaps, are aware of the peculiar circumstances of his scientific career and of the extent of his labors in almost every... more...


This history of woodworking hand tools from the 17th to the 20th century is one of a very gradual evolution of tools through generations of craftsmen. As a result, the sources of changes in design are almost impossible to ascertain. Published sources, moreover, have been concerned primarily with the object shaped by the tool rather than the tool itself. The resulting scarcity of information is somewhat compensated for by collections in museums... more...

I DESIRE this evening to give you some account of the life and labours of a very noble Englishman—William Harvey. William Harvey was born in the year 1578, and as he lived until the year 1657, he very nearly attained the age of 80. He was the son of a small landowner in Kent, who was sufficiently wealthy to send this, his eldest son, to the University of Cambridge; while he embarked the others in mercantile pursuits, in which they all, as... more...

The Contemporary View of Bewick After 1790, when his A general history of quadrupeds appeared with its vivid animals and its humorous and mordant tailpiece vignettes, he was hailed in terms that have hardly been matched for adulation. Certainly no mere book illustrator ever received equal acclaim. He was pronounced a great artist, a great man, an outstanding moralist and reformer, and the master of a new pictorial method. This flood of eulogy... 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...

SAMUEL ELIOT History of the United States Samuel Eliot, a historian and educator, was born in Boston in 1821, graduated at Harvard in 1839, was engaged in business for two years, and then travelled and studied abroad for four years more. On his return, he took up tutoring and gave gratuitous instruction to classes of young workingmen. He became professor of history and political science in Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., in 1856, and... more...