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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...

ADVERTISEMENT. What I have here to say is rather in the nature of an apology than of a preface or advertisement. The very title of a Treatise upon the art of dancing by a dancing-master, implicitly threatens so much either of the exageration of the profession, or of the recommendation of himself, and most probably of both, that it cannot be improper for me to bespeak the reader’s favorable precaution against so natural a prejudice. My... 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...

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...

CHAPTER I THE EXPLANATION OF MATERIAL CHANGES GIVEN BY THE GREEK THINKERS. For thousands of years before men had any accurate and exact knowledge of the changes of material things, they had thought about these changes, regarded them as revelations of spiritual truths, built on them theories of things in heaven and earth (and a good many things in neither), and used them in manufactures, arts, and handicrafts, especially in one very curious... 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...

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...