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THE FIRST NIGHT I sat with a melting ice on my plate, and my gaze on a very distant swinging door, through which came and went every figure except the familiar figure I desired. The figure of a woman came. She wore a pale-blue dress and a white apron and cap, and carried a dish in uplifted hands, with the gesture of an acolyte. On the bib of the apron were two red marks, and as she approached, tripping, scornful, unheeding, along the... more...

CHAPTER I. THE CAUSE OF THE WAR.   On April 21st, 1898, a war began between the United States and Spain. All the other countries of the world felt an interest in it, but did not take any part in it. They were what we call "neutral"—that is, they did not help either side. As soon as the war was proclaimed a great wave of excitement swept through the United States, from shore to shore. Flags were hung out in every city and town;... more...

CHAPTER I. ITALY. I am going to tell you next about the most famous nation in the world. Going westward from Greece another peninsula stretches down into the Mediterranean. The Apennine Mountains run like a limb stretching out of the Alps to the south eastward, and on them seems formed that land, shaped somewhat like a leg, which is called Italy. Round the streams that flowed down from these hills, valleys of fertile soil formed themselves,... more...

The Mother of Xerxes. B.C. 522–484 Persian magnificence. The name of Xerxes is associated in the minds of men with the idea of the highest attainable elevation of human magnificence and grandeur. This monarch was the sovereign of the ancient Persian empire when it was at the height of its prosperity and power. It is probable, however, that his greatness and fame lose nothing by the manner in which his story comes down to us through the... more...

POTASH AND PERLMUTTER DISCUSS THE CZAR BUSINESS Like the human-hair business and the green-goods business it is not what it used to be. "Yes, Abe," Morris Perlmutter said to his partner, Abe Potash, as they sat in their office one morning in September, "the English language is practically a brand-new article since the time when I used to went to night school. In them days when a feller says he is feeling like a king, it meant that he was... more...


RAOUL BLANCHARD Greatest drama of the war. The Battle of Verdun, which continued through from February 21, 1916, to the 16th of December, ranks next to the Battle of the Marne as the greatest drama of the world war. Like the Marne, it represents the checkmate of a supreme effort on the part of the Germans to end the war swiftly by a thunderstroke. It surpasses the Battle of the Marne by the length of the struggle, the fury with which it was... more...

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...

A DESTROYER IN ACTIVE SERVICE BY AN AMERICAN OFFICER April 7. War accepted with equanimity. Life on a destroyer is simple. Well, I must confess that, even after war has been declared, the skies haven't fallen and oysters taste just the same. I never would have dreamed that so big a step would be accepted with so much equanimity. It is due to two causes, I think. First, because we have trembled on the verge so long and sort of dabbled our... more...

THE CONSULATE (1799-1804). For more than ten years, amid unheard of shocks and sufferings, France had been seeking for a free and regular government, that might assure to her the new rights which had only been gained through tribulation. She had overthrown the Monarchy and attempted a Republic; she had accepted and rejected three constitutions, all the while struggling single-handed with Europe, leagued against her. She had undergone the... more...

INTRODUCTION The number of books on the labor problem is indeed legion. The tragedy of the literature on any dynamic subject is that most of it is written by people who have time to do little else. Perhaps the best books on many subjects will never be written because those folk, who would be most competent to do the writing, through their vital connection with the problem at hand, never find the spare minutes to put their findings down on paper.... more...