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BARON BEYENS I Political designs of Francis Ferdinand. The Archduke Francis Ferdinand will go down to posterity without having yielded up his secret. Great political designs have been ascribed to him, mainly on the strength of his friendship with William II. What do we really know about him? He was strong-willed and obstinate, very Clerical, very Austrian, disliking the Hungarians to such an extent that he kept their statesmen at arm's-length,... more...

CHAPTER I. THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA. It was a beautiful evening at the close of a warm, luscious day in old Spain. It was such an evening as one would select for trysting purposes. The honeysuckle gave out the sweet announcement of its arrival on the summer breeze, and the bulbul sang in the dark vistas of olive-trees,—sang of his love and his hope, and of the victory he anticipated in the morrow's bulbul-fight, and the plaudits of the... more...

Chapter I. Pastoral Life in Asia. Four different modes of life enumerated. There are four several methods by which the various communities into which the human race is divided obtain their subsistence from the productions of the earth, each of which leads to its own peculiar system of social organization, distinct in its leading characteristics from those of all the rest. Each tends to its own peculiar form of government, gives rise to its own... more...

CHARLES F. HORNE Our modern civilization is built up on three great corner-stones, three inestimably valuable heritages from the past. The Græco-Roman civilization gave us our arts and our philosophies, the bases of intellectual power. The Hebrews bequeathed to us the religious idea, which has saved man from despair, has been the potent stimulus to two thousand years of endurance and hope. The Teutons gave us a healthy, sturdy,... more...

CHAPTER I THE GREAT MIGRATION TO AMERICA The tide of migration that set in toward the shores of North America during the early years of the seventeenth century was but one phase in the restless and eternal movement of mankind upon the surface of the earth. The ancient Greeks flung out their colonies in every direction, westward as far as Gaul, across the Mediterranean, and eastward into Asia Minor, perhaps to the very confines of India. The... more...


ONCE UPON A TIME. Once upon a time, there lived in a city of Asia Minor, not far from Mount Ida, as old Homer tells us in his grand and beautiful poem, a king who had fifty sons and many daughters. How large his family was, indeed, we cannot say, for the storytellers of the olden time were not very careful to set down the actual and exact truth, their chief object being to give the people something to interest them. That they succeeded well in... more...

THE GREAT EVENTS (THE PERIOD OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE) CHARLES F. HORNE So vast and wonderful a construction was the Roman world, so different from our own, that we are apt to imagine it as an arrangement far more deliberately planned, far more mechanically complete, than it appeared to its own inhabitants. From a cursory glance, we may carry away wholly mistaken conceptions of its thought and purpose. Thus, for instance, the Roman Republic never... more...

General Introduction THE GREAT EVENTS BY FAMOUS HISTORIANS is the answer to a problem which has long been agitating the learned world. How shall real history, the ablest and profoundest work of the greatest historians, be rescued from its present oblivion on the dusty shelves of scholars, and made welcome to the homes of the people? THE NATIONAL ALUMNI, an association of college men, having given this question long and earnest discussion among... more...

Chapter 1.1.I. Louis the Well-Beloved. President Henault, remarking on royal Surnames of Honour how difficult it often is to ascertain not only why, but even when, they were conferred, takes occasion in his sleek official way, to make a philosophical reflection. 'The Surname of Bien-aime (Well-beloved),' says he, 'which Louis XV. bears, will not leave posterity in the same doubt. This Prince, in the year 1744, while hastening from one end of... more...

B.C. 413 SIR EDWARD SHEPHERD CREASY That great writer of the history of the Romans, Thomas Arnold, says of the defeat of the Athenian fleet at Syracuse: "The Romans knew not, and could not know, how deeply the greatness of their own posterity, and the fate of the whole western world, were involved in the destruction of the fleet of Athens in the harbor of Syracuse. Had that great expedition proved victorious, the energies of Greece during the... more...