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On August 18, 1814, Admiral Cockburn, having returned with his fleet from the West Indies, sent to Secretary Monroe at Washington, the following threat: SIR: Having been called upon by the Governor-General of the Canadas to aid him in carrying into effect measures of retaliation against the inhabitants of United States for the wanton destruction committed by their army in Upper Canada, it has become imperiously my duty, in conformity with the... more...

I. When we try to picture to ourselves the intellectual and moral state of Europe in the Middle Ages, some fixed and almost stereotyped ideas immediately suggest themselves. We think of the nations immersed in a gross mental lethargy; passively witnessing the gradual extinction of arts and sciences which Greece and Rome had splendidly inaugurated; allowing libraries and monuments of antique civilisation to crumble into dust; while they trembled... more...

By Sir John Burtonhead. [Listen]   LL Christians and Lay-Elders too,For Shame amend your Lives;I’ll tell you of a Dog-trick now,Which much concerns you Wives:An Elder’s Maid near Temple-Bar,(Ah! what a Quean was she?)Did take an ugly Mastiff Cur,Where Christians use to be.Help House of Commons, House of Peers,Oh now or never help!Th’ Assembly hath not sat Four Years,Yet hath brought forth a Whelp.One Evening late she... more...

APOLOGIA IT may reasonably be asked by what authority a mere landsman publishes a book on a nautical subject. I may, therefore, plead in extenuation that I have all my life been closely connected with seafaring matters, especially during childhood and youth, and have literally 'grown up with' shanties. My maternal ancestors followed the sea as far back as the family history can be traced, and sailor uncles and grand-uncles have sung shanties to... more...

by Various
INTRODUCTION It is now four or five years since my attention was called to the collection of native American ballads from the Southwest, already begun by Professor Lomax. At that time, he seemed hardly to appreciate their full value and importance. To my colleague, Professor G.L. Kittredge, probably the most eminent authority on folk-song in America, this value and importance appeared as indubitable as it appeared to me. We heartily joined in... more...


INTRODUCTION BY THE EDITOR. Recitation with dramatic energy by men whose business it was to travel from one great house to another and delight the people by the way, was usual among us from the first. The scop invented and the glee-man recited heroic legends and other tales to our Anglo-Saxon forefathers. These were followed by the minstrels and other tellers of tales written for the people. They frequented fairs and merrymakings, spreading the... more...

COWBOY YARNS The centipede runs across my head,The vinegaroon crawls in my bed,Tarantulas jump and scorpions play,The broncs are grazing far away,The rattlesnake gives his warning cry,And the coyotes sing their lullaby,While I sleep soundly beneath the sky. OUT WHERE THE WEST BEGINS OUT where the handclasp's a little stronger,Out where the smile dwells a little longer,That's where the West begins;Out where the sun is a... more...

FOREWORDS When Harrison Ainsworth, in his preface to Rookwood, claimed tobe "the first to write a purely flash song" he was very wide of themark. As a matter of fact, "Nix my doll, pals, fake away!" had beenanticipated, in its treatment of canting phraseology, by nearly three centuries, and subsequently, by authors whose names stand high, in other respects, in English literature. The mistake, however, was not altogether unpardonable; few,... more...

About the sweet bag of a beeA chieftain to the Highlands boundAe fond kiss, and then we severAgincourt, AgincourtAh, my swete swetyngAlas! my love, you do me wrongAllen-a-Dale has no faggot for burningAll in the Downs the fleet was moor'dAll ye woods, and trees, and bowersAnd did you not hear of a jolly young WatermanAn old song made by an aged old pateA parrot from the Spanish mainArm, arm, arm, arm, the scouts are all come inA simple childAs I... more...

My Dear Young Friends, Whom I am constrained to love and honour by many Obligations. It was the generous and condescending Friendship of your Parents under my weak Circumstances of Health, that brought me to their Country-Seat for the Benefit of the Air; but it was an Instance of most uncommon Kindness, to supply me there so chearfully for two Years of Sickness with the richest Conveniences of Life. Such a Favour requires my most affectionate... more...