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I Some people think it great fun to build a house of cards slowly and anxiously, and then knock it to pieces with one little snip of the finger. Or to fix up a snow man in fine style and watch a sudden thaw melt him out of sight. Or to write a name carefully, like a copy-book, and with many curlicues, in the wet sand, and then scamper off and let the first high wave smooth it away as a boy's sponge wipes from his slate some such marvelous... more...

CHAPTER I Then the big door swung back as if of itself. Marie Louise had felt that she would scream if she were kept a moment outside. The luxury of simply wishing the gate ajar gave her a fairy-book delight enhanced by the pleasant deference of the footman, whose face seemed to be hung on the door like a Japanese mask. Marie Louise rejoiced in the dull splendor of the hall. The obsolete gorgeousness of the London home had never been in good... more...

CHAPTER I Kedzie Thropp had never seen Fifth Avenue or a yacht or a butler or a glass of champagne or an ocean or a person of social prominence. She wanted to see them. For each five minutes of the day and night, one girl comes to NewYork to make her life; or so the compilers of statistics claim. This was Kedzie Thropp's five minutes. She did not know it, and the two highly important, because extremely wealthy, beings in the same Pullman car... more...

MRS. BUDLONG'S CHRISTMAS PRESENTS I AT THE SIGN OF THE PIANO LAMP The morning after Christmas Eve is the worst morning-after there is.The very house suffers the headache that follows a prolonged spree.Remorse stalks at large; remorse for the things one gave—and did notgive—and got. Everybody must act a general glee which can be felt only specifically, if at all. Everybody must exclaim about everything Oh! and Ah! and How Sweet of... more...

FOREWORD There are two immortal imbecilities that I have no patience for. The other one is the treatment of little towns as if they were essentially different from big towns. Cities are not "Ninevehs" and "Babylons" any more than little towns are Arcadias or Utopias. In fact we are now unearthing plentiful evidence of what might have been safely assumed, that Babylon never was a "Babylon" nor Nineveh a "Nineveh" in the sense employed by poets... more...

FOREWORD. One day there came into Robert Schumann's ken the work of a young fellow named Brahms, and the master cried aloud in the wilderness, "Behold, the new Messiah of music!" Many have refused to accept Brahms at this rating, and I confess to being one of the unregenerate, but the spirit that kept Schumann's heart open to the appeal of any stranger, that led him into instant enthusiasms of which he was neither afraid nor ashamed, enthusiasms... more...

f all the strange gatherings that have distinguished Madison Square Garden, the strangest was probably on the occasion, last Christmas, when the now well-known Colonel D. A. Crockett, of Waco, rented the vast auditorium for one thousand dollars, and threw it open to the public. As he is going to do it again this coming Christmas, an account of the con-, in-, and re-ception of his scheme may interest some of the thousands who find themselves... more...