Hilaire Belloc

Hilaire Belloc
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INTRODUCTIONI callyou bad, my little child,Upon the title page,Because a manner rude and wildIs common at your age. The Moral of this priceless work(If rightly understood)Will make you—from a little Turk—Unnaturally good. Do not as evil children do,Who on the slightest groundsWill imitatethe Kangaroo,With wild unmeaning bounds: Do not as children badly bred,Who eat like little Hogs,And when they... more...

MY DEAR ECCLES, You will, I know, permit me to address you these essays which are more the product of your erudition than of my enthusiasm. With the motives of their appearance you are familiar. We have wondered together that a society so avid of experience and enlargement as is ours, should ignore the chief expression of its closest neighbour, its highest rival and its coheir in Europe: should ignore,... more...

INTRODUCTION The Battle of Poitiers was fought ten years and four weeks after that of Crécy. The singular similarity between the two actions will be pointed out upon a later page. For the moment it must suffice to point out that Poitiers and Crécy form unique historical parallels, distinguishing like double summits the English successes of Edward III.’s army upon the Continent and of the first part... more...

PRAISE OF THIS BOOK To every honest reader that may purchase, hire, or receive this book, and to the reviewers also (to whom it is of triple profit), greeting--and whatever else can be had for nothing. If you should ask how this book came to be written, it was in this way. One day as I was wandering over the world I came upon the valley where I was born, and stopping there a moment to speak with them... more...

The Roman Roads in Picardy If a man were asked where he would find upon the map the sharpest impress of Rome and of the memories of Rome, and where he would most easily discover in a few days on foot the foundations upon which our civilization still rests, he might, in proportion to his knowledge of history and of Europe, be puzzled to reply. He might say that a week along the wall from Tyne to Solway... more...

My dear Maurice, It was in Normandy, you will remember, and in the heat of the year, when the birds were silent in the trees and the apples nearly ripe, with the sun above us already of a stronger kind, and a somnolence within and without, that it was determined among us (the jolly company!) that I should write upon Nothing, and upon all that is cognate to Nothing, a task not yet attempted since the... more...

DEDICATION TOTHE OTHER MANMR PHILIP KERSHAW There were once two men. They were men of might and breeding. They were young, they were intolerant, they were hale. Were there for humans as there is for dogs a tribunal to determine excellence; were there judges of anthropoidal points and juries to, give prizes for manly race, vigour, and the rest, undoubtedly these two men would have gained the gold and... more...

INTRODUCTION. It is the object of this book, and those which will succeed it in the same series, to put before the reader the main lines of the European War as it proceeds. Each such part must necessarily be completed and issued some little time after the events to which it relates have passed into history. The present first, or introductory volume, which is a preface to the whole, covers no more than... more...

THE POLITICAL MEANING OF MALPLAQUET That political significance which we must seek in all military history, and without which that history cannot be accurate even upon its technical side, may be stated for the battle of Malplaquet in the following terms. Louis XIV. succeeding to a cautious and constructive period in the national life of France, this in its turn succeeding to the long impotence of the... more...

INTRODUCTIONThe parents of the learned child(His father and his mother)Were utterly aghast to noteThe facts he would at random quoteOn creatures curious, rare and wild;And wondering, asked each other:"An idle little child like this,How is it that he knowsWhat years of close analysisAre powerless to disclose? Our brains are trained, our books are big,And yet we always failTo answer why the... more...

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