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ALFRED DE MUSSET A poet has no right to play fast and loose with his genius. It does not belong to him, it belongs to the Almighty; it belongs to the world and to a coming generation. At thirty De Musset was already an old man, seeking in artificial stimuli the youth that would not spring again. Coming from a literary family the zeal of his house had eaten him up; his passion had burned itself out and his heart with it. He had done his work; it... more...

HOW THEY STRUCK A CONTEMPORARY There is such a thing as robbing a story of its reality by trying to make it too true, and The Black Arrow is so inartistic as not to contain a single anachronism to boast of, while the transformation of Dr. Jekyll reads dangerously like an experiment out of the Lancet.  As for Mr. Rider Haggard, who really has, or had once, the makings of a perfectly magnificent liar, he is now so afraid of being suspected of... more...

THE SCIENCE OF HISTORY. A LECTURE DELIVERED BY JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE AT THE ROYAL INSTITUTION FEBRUARY 5, 1864. Ladies and Gentlemen,—I have undertaken to speak to you this evening on what is called the Science of History. I fear it is a dry subject; and there seems, indeed, something incongruous in the very connection of such words as Science and History. It is as if we were to talk of the color of sound, or the longitude of the... more...

CHAPTER I. 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 KILGOBBIN CASTLE Some one has said that almost all that Ireland possesses of picturesque beauty is to be found on, or in the immediate neighbourhood of, the seaboard; and if we except some brief patches of river scenery on the Nore and the Blackwater, and a part of Lough Erne, the assertion is not devoid of truth. The dreary expanse called the Bog of Allen, which occupies a tableland in the centre of the island, stretches away for... more...


PREFACE Seneca, the favourite classic of the early fathers of the church and of the Middle Ages, whom Jerome, Tertullian, and Augustine speak of as "Seneca noster," who was believed to have corresponded with St. Paul, and upon whom [Footnote: On the "De Clementia," an odd subject for the man who burned Servetus alive for differing with him.] Calvin wrote a commentary, seems almost forgotten in modern times. Perhaps some of his popularity may... more...

Are you of that elect who, at certain seasons of the year—perhaps in March when there is timid promise of the spring or in the days of October when there are winds across the earth and gorgeous panic of fallen leaves—are you of that elect who, on such occasion or any occasion else, feel stirrings in you to be quit of whatever prosy work is yours, to throw down your book or ledger, or your measuring tape—if such device marks your... more...

FATHER GORIOT Mme. Vauquer (nee de Conflans) is an elderly person, who for the past forty years has kept a lodging-house in the Rue Nueve-Sainte-Genevieve, in the district that lies between the Latin Quarter and the Faubourg Saint-Marcel. Her house (known in the neighborhood as the Maison Vauquer) receives men and women, old and young, and no word has ever been breathed against her respectable establishment; but, at the same time, it must be... more...

Chapter I. The Historical Scope of the Subject. . . . . . . . . . Literature and Science. There are two words in the English language which are now used to express the two great divisions of mental production—Science and Literature; and yet, from their etymology, they have so much in common, that it has been necessary to attach to each a technical meaning, in order that we may employ them without confusion. Science, from the... more...

CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTORY. The ancient and famous metropolis of the North sits overlooking a windy estuary from the slope and summit of three hills.  No situation could be more commanding for the head city of a kingdom; none better chosen for noble prospects.  From her tall precipice and terraced gardens she looks far and wide on the sea and broad champaigns.  To the east you may catch at sunset the spark of the May lighthouse,... more...