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FOREWORD Piracy embodies the romance of the sea at its highest expression. It is a sad but inevitable commentary on our civilization, that, so far as the sea is concerned, it has developed from its infancy down to a century or so ago, under one phase or another of piracy. If men were savages on land they were doubly so at sea, and all the years of maritime adventure—years that added to the map of the world till there was little left to... more...

Algernon Blackwood Sept. 4.—I have hunted all over London for rooms suited to my income—£120 a year—and have at last found them. Two rooms, without modern conveniences, it is true, and in an old, ramshackle building, but within a stone's throw of P— Place and in an eminently respectable street. The rent is only £25 a year. I had begun to despair when at last I found them by chance. The chance was a mere... more...

Richard Burwell, of New York, will never cease to regret that the French language was not made a part of his education. This is why: On the second evening after Burwell arrived in Paris, feeling lonely without his wife and daughter, who were still visiting a friend in London, his mind naturally turned to the theatre. So, after consulting the daily amusement calendar, he decided to visit the Folies Bergère, which he had heard of as one of... more...

It was in the spring when I at last found time from the hospital work to visit my friend, the old folk-lorist, in his country isolation, and I rather chuckled to myself, because in my bag I was taking down a book that utterly refuted all his tiresome pet theories of magic and the powers of the soul. These theories were many and various, and had often troubled me. In the first place, I scorned them for professional reasons, and, in the second,... more...

Nil sapientiæ odiosius acumine nimio.—Seneca. At Paris, just after dark one gusty evening in the autumn of 18—, I was enjoying the twofold luxury of meditation and meerschaum, in company with my friend, C. Auguste Dupin, in his little back library, or book-closet, au troisième, No. 33 Rue Dunôt, Faubourg St. Germain. For one hour at least we had maintained a profound silence; while each, to any casual... more...

GREAT SEA STORIES SPANISH BLOODHOUNDS AND ENGLISH MASTIFFS From "Westward Ho!" BY CHARLES KINGSLEY When the sun leaped up the next morning, and the tropic light flashed suddenly into the tropic day, Amyas was pacing the deck, with disheveled hair and torn clothes, his eyes red with rage and weeping, his heart full—how can I describe it? Picture it to yourselves, you who have ever lost a brother; and you who have not, thank God that... more...