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CHAPTER I. ABOVE BUTTONS Long after the hours when tradesmen are in the habit of commencing business, the shutters of a certain shop in the town of Lymport-on-the-Sea remained significantly closed, and it became known that death had taken Mr. Melchisedec Harrington, and struck one off the list of living tailors. The demise of a respectable member of this class does not ordinarily create a profound sensation. He dies, and his equals debate who is... more...

PART I Once there was a great noise in our house,—a thumping and battering and grating. It was my own self dragging my big trunk down from the garret. I did it myself because I wanted it done. If I had said, "Halicarnassus, will you fetch my trunk down?" he would have asked me what trunk? and what did I want of it? and would not the other one be better? and couldn't I wait till after dinner?—and so the trunk would probably have had a... more...

My Dear Sir, Many thanks for your interesting and kind letter, in which you do me the honour to ask my opinion respecting the pedigree of your island goblin, le feu follet Belenger; that opinion I cheerfully give, with a promise that it is only an opinion; in hunting for the etymons of these fairy names we can scarcely expect to arrive at any thing like certainty. I suppose you are aware that the name of Bilenger, or Billinger, is of occasional... more...

MAY-DAY. Art thou beautiful, as of old, O wild, moorland, sylvan, and pastoral Parish! the Paradise in which our spirit dwelt beneath the glorious dawning of life—can it be, beloved world of boyhood, that thou art indeed beautiful as of old? Though round and round thy boundaries in half an hour could fly the flapping dove—though the martens, wheeling to and fro that ivied and wall-flowered ruin of a Castle, central in its own domain,... more...

CHAPTER I THE NINTH GENERATION The house was very silent. An odour of disinfectants pervaded the atmosphere. Upstairs hushed, swift steps moved to and fro. Hugh Vallincourt stood at the window of his study, staring out with unseeing eyes at the smooth, shaven lawns and well-kept paths with their background of leafless trees. It seemed to him that he had been standing thus for hours, waiting—waiting for someone to come and tell him that a... more...


The Woman Scorned To the village of Carcajou came a young man in the spring. The last patches of snow were disappearing from under the protecting fronds of trees bursting into new leaf. From the surface of the lakes the heavy ice had melted and broken, and still lay in shattered piles on the lee shores. Black-headed chickadees, a robin or two, and finally swallows had appeared, following the wedges of geese returning from the south on their... more...

A BROTHER TO DRAGONS. I. In the year of grace, 1586, on the last day of the month of May, to all who may chance to read this narrative, these: I will first be at the pains of stating that had it not been for Marian I had never indited these or any other papers, true or false. Secondly, that the facts herein set down be true facts; none the less true that they are strange. I will furthermore explain that Marian is the Christian name of my... more...

CHAPTER I. CLARA LAWTON. "Well, dear," said Mrs. Lawton to her daughter Clara, "the home you will enter to-morrow as a bride is very different from the home that I entered as your father's bride. Our home was a log cabin in the Michigan woods, with only an acre of clearing, where the growing season is only about four months long and the winter eight. Snow lay on the ground six months of the year, from one to three feet deep. In our cabin, we... more...

CHAPTER I. It was near sunset, and the season was early summer. Every tree was in full leaf, but the foliage had still the exquisite freshness of its first tints, undimmed by dust or scorching heat. The grass was, for the present, as green as English grass, but the sky overhead was more glorious than any that ever bent above an English landscape. So far away it rose overhead, where colour faded into infinite space, that the eye seemed to look up... more...

CHAPTER I. Mrs. Costello had felt it a kind of reprieve when she heard from Mr. Strafford that they might delay their journey safely for a month. The sober middle age which had come upon her before its time, as her life rolled on out of the anguish and tumult of the past, made home and quietness the most desirable things on earth to her, and her health and spirits, neither yet absolutely broken, but both strained almost to the extent of their... more...