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There existed formerly, in diplomatic circles, a curious custom, since fallen into disuse, entitled the Pêle Mêle, contrived doubtless by some distracted Master of Ceremonies to quell the endless jealousies and quarrels for precedence between courtiers and diplomatists of contending pretensions.  Under this rule no rank was recognized, each person being allowed at banquet, fête, or other public ceremony only such place as... more...

WHAT IS MAN? I a. Man the Machine. b. Personal Merit (The Old Man and the Young Man had been conversing. The Old Man had asserted that the human being is merely a machine, and nothing more. The Young Man objected, and asked him to go into particulars and furnish his reasons for his position.) Old Man. What are the materials of which a steam-engine is made? Young Man. Iron, steel, brass, white-metal, and so on. O.M. Where are these found?... more...

ELIA (From the 1st Edition, 1823) THE SOUTH-SEA HOUSE Reader, in thy passage from the Bank—where thou hast been receiving thy half-yearly dividends (supposing thou art a lean annuitant like myself)—to the Flower Pot, to secure a place for Dalston, or Shacklewell, or some other thy suburban retreat northerly,—didst thou never observe a melancholy looking, handsome, brick and stone edifice, to the left—where... more...

CHAPTER I Quand on veut dessecher un marais, on ne fait pas voter les grenouilles.—Mme. EMILE. DE GIRADIN 'Richard? That's right! Here's a tea-cup waiting for you,' as the almost thirty-year-old Incumbent of Cocksmoor, still looking like a young deacon, entered the room with his quiet step, and silent greeting to its four inmates. 'Thank you, Ethel. Is papa gone out?' 'I have not seen him since dinner-time. You said he was gone out... more...

CHAPTER I ON THE TERRACE AT SHENSTONE Three o’clock on a dank afternoon, early in November. The wintry sunshine, in fitful gleams, pierced the greyness of the leaden sky. The great trees in Shenstone Park stood gaunt and bare, spreading wide arms over the sodden grass. All nature seemed waiting the first fall of winter’s snow, which should hide its deadness and decay under a lovely pall of sparkling white, beneath which a promise... more...


PREFACE. Lord Macaulay always looked forward to a publication of his miscellaneous works, either by himself or by those who should represent him after his death. And latterly he expressly reserved, whenever the arrangements as to copyright made it necessary, the right of such publication. The collection which is now published comprehends some of the earliest and some of the latest works which he composed. He was born on 25th October, 1800;... more...

1836 to 1839. Mr. John Hullah. Furnival's Inn, Sunday Evening (1836) (?). My dear Hullah, Have you seen The Examiner? It is rather depreciatory of the opera; but, like all inveterate critiques against Braham, so well done that I cannot help laughing at it, for the life and soul of me. I have seen The Sunday Times, The Dispatch, and The Satirist, all of which blow their critic trumpets against unhappy me most lustily. Either I must have... more...

1857. NARRATIVE. This was a very full year in many ways. In February, Charles Dickens obtained possession of Gad's Hill, and was able to turn workmen into it. In April he stayed, with his wife and sister-in-law, for a week or two at Wate's Hotel, Gravesend, to be at hand to superintend the beginning of his alterations of the house, and from thence we give a letter to Lord Carlisle. He removed his family, for a summer residence in the house, in... more...

PREFACE. We intend this Collection of Letters to be a Supplement to the "Life of Charles Dickens," by John Forster. That work, perfect and exhaustive as a biography, is only incomplete as regards correspondence; the scheme of the book having made it impossible to include in its space any letters, or hardly any, besides those addressed to Mr. Forster. As no man ever expressed himself more in his letters than Charles Dickens, we believe that in... more...

THE LIFE OF GUSTAV FREYTAG By ERNEST F. HENDERSON, PH.D., L.H.D. Author of A History of Germany in the Middle Ages; A Short History ofGermany, etc. It is difficult to assign to Gustav Freytag his exact niche in the hall of fame, because of his many-sidedness. He wrote one novel of which the statement has been made by an eminent French critic that no book in the German language, with the exception of the Bible, has enjoyed in its day so wide a... more...