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CHAPTER I. Geographical sketch of California Its political and social institutions Colorado River Valley and river of San Joaquin Former government Presidios Missions Ports and commerce. For the general information of the reader, it will be proper to give a brief geographical sketch of California, and some account of its political and social institutions, as they have heretofore existed. The district of country known... more...

Introduction In an issue of the London World in April, 1890, there appeared the following paragraph: "Two small rooms connected by a tiny hall afford sufficient space to contain Mr. Rudyard Kipling, the literary hero of the present hour, 'the man who came from nowhere,' as he says himself, and who a year ago was consciously nothing in the literary world." Six months previous to this Mr. Kipling, then but twenty-four years old, had arrived in... more...

Travel and Adventure SIR SAMUEL BAKER The Albert N'yanza I.—Explorations of the Nile Source Sir Samuel White Baker was born in London, on June 8, 1821. From early manhood he devoted himself to a life of adventure. After a year in Mauritius he founded a colony in the mountains of Ceylon at Newera Eliya, and later constructed the railway across the Dobrudsha. His discovery of the Albert N'yanza completed the labours of Speke and Grant,... more...

WITH THE VICEROY [August 2, 1879.] It is certainly a little intoxicating to spend a day with the Great Ornamental. You do not see much of him perhaps; but he is a Presence to be felt, something floating loosely about in wide epicene pantaloons and flying skirts, diffusing as he passes the fragrance of smile and pleasantry and cigarette. The air around him is laden with honeyed murmurs; gracious whispers play about the twitching bewitching... more...

THE PYRAMIDS Why do you come to Egypt? Do you come to gain a dream, or to regain lost dreams of old; to gild your life with the drowsy gold of romance, to lose a creeping sorrow, to forget that too many of your hours are sullen, grey, bereft? What do you wish of Egypt? The Sphinx will not ask you, will not care. The Pyramids, lifting their unnumbered stones to the clear and wonderful skies, have held, still hold, their secrets; but they do not... more...


After one has left a country it is interesting to collect together the emotions it has given in an effort to define its particular character. And with Andalusia the attempt is especially fascinating, for it is a land of contrasts in which work upon one another, diversely, a hundred influences. In London now, as I write, the rain of an English April pours down; the sky is leaden and cold, the houses in front of me are almost terrible in their... more...

PREFACE Said a friend of mine to me some months ago: “Well now, why don’t you write a sensible book?  I should like to see you make people think.” “Do you believe it can be done, then?” I asked. “Well, try,” he replied. Accordingly, I have tried.  This is a sensible book.  I want you to understand that.  This is a book to improve your mind.  In this book I tell you all about... more...

CHAPTER I. CELEBRATED TRAVELLERS BEFORE THE CHRISTIAN ERA.HANNO, 505; HERODOTUS, 484; PYTHEAS, 340; NEARCHUS, 326;EUDOXUS, 146; CÆSAR, 100; STRABO, 50. Hanno, the Carthaginian—Herodotus visits Egypt, Lybia, Ethiopia, Phoenicia, Arabia, Babylon, Persia, India, Media, Colchis, the Caspian Sea, Scythia, Thrace, and Greece—Pytheas explores the coasts of Iberia and Gaul, the English Channel, the Isle of Albion, the Orkney... more...

PREFACE. The following pages were written to beguile the tediousness of a long voyage from Hong Kong to England, during the spring and summer of 1844. When I state, that the whole was written with the paper on my knee, for want of a desk, amid continual interruptions from three young children lacking amusement during their long confinement on ship-board, and with a perpetual liability to be pitched to leeward, paper and all,—I shall have... more...

AREAS AND BOUNDARIES Fig. 1. Arms of Panjáb. Introductory.—Of the provinces of India the Panjáb must always have a peculiar interest for Englishmen. Invasions by land from the west have perforce been launched across its great plains. The English were the first invaders who, possessing sea power, were able to outflank the mountain ranges which guard the north and west of India. Hence the Panjáb was the last, and not... more...