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PREFACE Writing not long ago to my oldest literary friend, I expressed in a moment of heedless sentiment the wish that we might have again one of our talks of long-past days, over the purposes and methods of our art. And my friend, wiser than I, as he has always been, replied with this doubting phrase "Could we recapture the zest of that old time?" I would not like to believe that our faith in the value of imaginative art has diminished, that... more...

CHAPTER I THE ELEMENTS OF DISCORD: NATIVE The story I have to tell is still going on as I write; the characters are alive and active; it is a piece of contemporary history in the most exact sense. And yet, for all its actuality and the part played in it by mails and telegraphs and iron war-ships, the ideas and the manners of the native actors date back before the Roman Empire. They are Christians, church-goers, singers of hymns at family... more...

CHAPTER I—THE ISLAND OF SILVER-STORE It was in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-four, that I, Gill Davis to command, His Mark, having then the honour to be a private in the Royal Marines, stood a-leaning over the bulwarks of the armed sloop Christopher Columbus, in the South American waters off the Mosquito shore. My lady remarks to me, before I go any further, that there is no such christian-name as Gill, and... more...

CHAPTER I—THE VILLAGE “And a mighty sing’lar and pretty place it is, as ever I saw in all the days of my life!” said Captain Jorgan, looking up at it. Captain Jorgan had to look high to look at it, for the village was built sheer up the face of a steep and lofty cliff.  There was no road in it, there was no wheeled vehicle in it, there was not a level yard in it.  From the sea-beach to the cliff-top two... more...

THE DAWN OF A GALA DAY To begin with the old rigmarole of childhood. In a country there was a shire, and in that shire there was a town, and in that town there was a house, and in that house there was a room, and in that room there was a bed, and in that bed there lay a little girl; wide awake and longing to get up, but not daring to do so for fear of the unseen power in the next room—a certain Betty, whose slumbers must not be disturbed... more...


CHAPTER I INTRODUCES THE ADMIRAL When Dick Naseby was in Paris he made some odd acquaintances, for he was one of those who have ears to hear, and can use their eyes no less than their intelligence. He made as many thoughts as Stuart Mill; but his philosophy concerned flesh and blood, and was experimental as to its method. He was a type-hunter among mankind. He despised small game and insignificant personalities, whether in the shape of dukes or... more...

ACT I TABLEAU I The Double Life The Stage represents a room in the Deacon’s house, furnished partly as a sitting-, partly as a bed-room, in the style of an easy burgess of about 1780. C., a door; L.C., second and smaller door; R.C., practicable window; L., alcove, supposed to contain bed; at the back, a clothes-press and a corner cupboard containing bottles, etc. Mary Brodie at needlework; Old Brodie, a paralytic, in wheeled chair, at... more...

THE FOREIGNER AT HOME “This is no’ my ain house; I ken by the biggin’ o’t.” Two recent books, one by Mr. Grant White on England, one on France by the diabolically clever Mr. Hillebrand, may well have set people thinking on the divisions of races and nations. Such thoughts should arise with particular congruity and force to inhabitants of that United Kingdom, peopled from so many different stocks,... more...

CHAPTER I THE OLD SEA-DOG AT THE “ADMIRAL BENBOW” Squire Trelawney, Dr. Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen, having asked me to write down the whole particulars about Treasure Island, from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings of the island, and that only because there is still treasure not yet lifted, I take up my pen in the year of grace 17—, and go back to the time when my father kept the... more...

CHAPTER I NIGHT ON THE BEACH Throughout the island world of the Pacific, scattered men of many European races, and from almost every grade of society, carry activity and disseminate disease. Some prosper, some vegetate. Some have mounted the steps of thrones and owned islands and navies. Others again must marry for a livelihood; a strapping, merry, chocolate-coloured dame supports them in sheer idleness; and, dressed like natives, but still... more...