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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...

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...

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...

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...

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...


BURLESQUE AUTOBIOGRAPHY. Two or three persons having at different times intimated that if I would write an autobiography they would read it, when they got leisure, I yield at last to this frenzied public demand, and herewith tender my history: Ours is a noble old house, and stretches a long way back into antiquity. The earliest ancestor the Twains have any record of was a friend of the family by the name of Higgins. This was in the eleventh... more...

IN A COLLEGE GARDEN.      Senex. Saye, cushat, callynge from the brake,               What ayles thee soe to pyne?             Thy carefulle heart shall cease to ake                 When dayes be... more...

LETTER I SHANGHAI, 18—. DEAR CHING-FOO: It is all settled, and I am to leave my oppressed and overburdened native land and cross the sea to that noble realm where all are free and all equal, and none reviled or abused—America! America, whose precious privilege it is to call herself the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. We and all that are about us here look over the waves longingly, contrasting the privations of this our... more...

RUDOLPH OF TRULYRURALANIA When I state that I was own brother to Lord Burleydon, had an income of two thousand a year, could speak all the polite languages fluently, was a powerful swordsman, a good shot, and could ride anything from an elephant to a clotheshorse, I really think I have said enough to satisfy any feminine novel-reader of Bayswater or South Kensington that I was a hero. My brother's wife, however, did not seem to incline to this... more...

CHAPTER I. The Dodds were dead. For twenty year they had slept under the green graves of Kittery churchyard. The townfolk still spoke of them kindly. The keeper of the alehouse, where David had smoked his pipe, regretted him regularly, and Mistress Kitty, Mrs. Dodd's maid, whose trim figure always looked well in her mistress's gowns, was inconsolable. The Hardins were in America. Raby was aristocratically gouty; Mrs. Raby, religious. Briefly,... more...