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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...

by Various
In the warm sun of the southern morning the great plantation lay as though half-asleep, dozing and blinking at the advancing day. The plantation house, known in all the country side as the Big House, rested calm and self-confident in the middle of a wide sweep of cleared lands, surrounded immediately by dark evergreens and the occasional primeval oaks spared in the original felling of the forest. Wide and rambling galleries of one height or... more...

THEPIRATE'S POCKET BOOK This book you hold in your hand belonged once to a very celebrated Pirate. He was so celebrated that the newspapers—of that time—always said nice things about him, and always knew what he was doing before he did himself. As he was a very truthful man, he did the things, so that the editors might not get into trouble. Which was kind. By which I do not mean that he was always kind.   Map of Tomb's... more...

PART I. A Sublime Elopement IT WAS clearly a runaway match—never indeed was such a sublime elopement. The four horses were coal-black, with blood-red manes and tails; and they were shod with rubies. They were harnessed to a basaltic car by a single rein of flame. Waving his double-pronged trident in the air, the god struck the blue breast of Cyane, and the waters instantly parted. In rushed the wild chariot, the pale and insensible... more...

PREFACE. The design of the projector of this volume was, that it should contain the Best of the shorter humorous poems in the literatures of England and the United States, except: Poems so local or cotemporary in subject or allusion, as not to be readily understood by the modern American reader; Poems which, from the freedom of expression allowed in the healthy ages, can not now be read aloud in a company of men and women; Poems that have... more...


PREFACE I The superficial, no doubt, will mistake this little book for a somewhat laborious attempt at jocosity. Because, incidentally to its main purpose, it unveils occasional ideas of so inordinate an erroneousness that they verge upon the ludicrous, it will be set down a piece of spoofing, and perhaps denounced as in bad taste. But all the while that main purpose will remain clear enough to the judicious. It is, in brief, the purpose of... more...

CHAPTER I. MR. SOLOMON SMOOTH IN WASHINGTON. "Dear Uncle—Once upon a time you were called Sam; but now that the reign of Pierce is upon us it is difficult to tell what you may not be called. Not long since you were the son of greatness, you are now the shadow of Pierce—the man whose little light posterity will snuff out. I have thought of you frequently, Uncle: I have seen you in sorrow looking back upon the past, and my heart has... more...

CHAPTER I. — UNDER TWO FLAGS. 'You send out teachers of religion to undermine and ruin thepeople.'—Black Flag Proclamation to the French, 1883. The moonlight, in wave on wave of silver, flooded all the Sacred Island. Far away and faint ran the line of the crests of Samoa, like the hills of heaven in the old ballad, or a scene in the Italian opera. Then came a voice from the Calling Place, and the smooth sea thrilled, and all the... more...


Of the Rolling Stone Once upon a time in a small village in Bruce County, Province of Ontario, Dominion of Canada, there lived a man who was destined to establish a precedent. He was to prove to the world that a rolling stone is capable at times of gathering as much moss as a stationary one, and how it is possible for the rock with St. Vitus dance to become more coated than the one that is confined to perpetual isolation. Like most iconoclasts... more...