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Don’t be ashamed to let us knowWhy you tried matrimony,For others brave the under-towFor reasons quite as funny;We give these little facts away,Perhaps it is a treason,Don’t marry in an off-hand way,Be sure “there’s a reason!” THE AUTHOR     STUNG! He was a gentle and sensitive chap,He married the forceful Miss Howe,He wanted her sympathy, did the poor yap—He has everyone’s sympathy... more...

BEST SHORT STORIES THE POINT OF HONOR A young lieutenant was passed by a private, who failed to salute. The lieutenant called him back, and said sternly: "You did not salute me. For this you will immediately salute two hundred times." At this moment the General came up. "What's all this?" he exclaimed, seeing the poor private about to begin. The lieutenant explained. "This ignoramus failed to salute me, and as a punishment, I am making him... more...

The life of a literary man offers but few points upon which even the pens of his professional brethren can dwell, with the hope of exciting interest among that large and constantly increasing class who have a taste for books. The career of the soldier may be colored by the hues of romantic adventure; the politician may leave a legacy to history, which it would be ingratitude not to notice; but what triumphs or matters of exciting moment can... more...

FOREWORD Having recently passed into what my great-grandson Shem calls my Anecdotage, it has occurred to me that perhaps some of the recollections of a more or less extended existence upon this globular mass of dust and water that we are pleased to call the earth, may prove of interest to posterity, and I have accordingly, at the earnest solicitation of my grandson, Noah, and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japhet, consented to put them into permanent... more...

PREFACE The ways of telling a story are as many as the tellers themselves. It is impossible to lay down precise rules by which any one may perfect himself in the art, but it is possible to offer suggestions by which to guide practise in narration toward a gratifying success. Broadly distinguished, there are two methods of telling a story. One uses the extreme of brevity, and makes its chief reliance on the point. The other devotes itself in... more...


CHAPTER I Once upon a time, more years ago than anybody can remember, before the first hotel had been built or the first Englishman had taken a photograph of Mont Blanc and brought it home to be pasted in an album and shown after tea to his envious friends, Switzerland belonged to the Emperor of Austria, to do what he liked with. One of the first things the Emperor did was to send his friend Hermann Gessler to govern the country. Gessler was... more...

Trust no prayer or promise,Words are grains of sand;To keep your heart unbrokenHold your child in hand. "Al-f-u-r-d!" "Al-f-u-r-d!!" "Al-f-u-r-d!!!" The last syllable, drawn out the length of an expiring breath, was the first sound recorded on the memory of the First Born. Indeed, constant repetition of the word, day to day, so filled his brain cells with "Al-f-u-r-d" that it was years after he realized his given patronymic was Alfred.... more...

THE HERO In the year —— there dwelt on Hampstead Heath a small thin gentleman of fifty-eight, gentle disposition, and independent means, whose wits had become somewhat addled from reading the writings and speeches of public men. The castle which, like every Englishman, he inhabited was embedded in lilac bushes and laburnums, and was attached to another castle, embedded, in deference to our national dislike of uniformity, in acacias... more...

A ADAM(1) (last name unknown), ancestor, explorer, gardener, and inaugurator of history. Biographers differ as to his parentage. Born first Saturday of year 1. Little is known of his childhood. Education: Self-educated. Entered the gardening and orchard business when a young man. Was a strong anti-polygamist. Married Eve, a close relative. Children, Cain and Abel (see them). Was prosperous for some years, but eventually fell prey to his wife's... more...

My Old Yaller Almanac Hangin' on theKitchen WallI'M sort of fond of readin' onething and another,So I've read promiscus likewhatever cum my way,And many a friendly argument's cum up 'tweenme and mother,'Bout things that I'd be readin' settin' rounda rainy day.Sometimes it jist seemed to me thar wa'ntno end of books,Some made fer useful readin' and some jistmade fer looks;But of all the different books I've read,thar's none comes up at allTo My... more...