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HIS BIRTH Leonardo Da Vinci, the many-sided genius of the Italian Renaissance, was born, as his name implies, at the little town of Vinci, which is about six miles from Empoli and twenty miles west of Florence. Vinci is still very inaccessible, and the only means of conveyance is the cart of a general carrier and postman, who sets out on his journey from Empoli at sunrise and sunset. Outside a house in the middle of the main street of Vinci... more...

CHAPTER I PARENTS AND CHILDHOOD  IF the story of any man's life, truly told, must be interesting, as some sage avers, those of my relatives and immediate friends who have insisted upon having an account of mine may not be unduly disappointed with this result. I may console myself with the assurance that such a story must interest at least a certain number of people who have known me, and that knowledge will encourage me to proceed. A book... more...

INTRODUCTORY NOTE BENJAMIN FRANKLIN was born in Milk Street, Boston, on January 6, 1706. His father, Josiah Franklin, was a tallow chandler who married twice, and of his seventeen children Benjamin was the youngest son. His schooling ended at ten, and at twelve he was bound apprentice to his brother James, a printer, who published the "New England Courant." To this journal he became a contributor, and later was for a time its nominal editor. But... more...

INTRODUCTION In studying the subject of this book I have found the names of more than a thousand women whose attainments in the Fine Arts—in various countries and at different periods of time before the middle of the nineteenth century—entitle them to honorable mention as artists, and I doubt not that an exhaustive search would largely increase this number. The stories of many of these women have been written with more or less... more...

I A BOYHOOD IN SCOTLAND Earliest Recollections—The "Dandy Doctor" Terror—Deeds of Daring—The Savagery of Boys—School and Fighting—Birds'-nesting. When I was a boy in Scotland I was fond of everything that was wild, and all my life I've been growing fonder and fonder of wild places and wild creatures. Fortunately around my native town of Dunbar, by the stormy North Sea, there was no lack of wildness, though... more...


PREFACE I began these memoirs when about twenty-five years old, having from youth kept a diary of some sort, which perhaps from habit made me think of recording my inner and secret life. When I began it, I had scarcely read a baudy book, none of which excepting "Fanny Hill" appeared to me to be truthful, that did, and it does so still; the others telling of recherche eroticisms, or of inordinate copulative powers, of the strange twists, tricks,... more...

CHAPTER I. BIRTH AND EDUCATION—CAMBRIDGE. I cannot, perhaps, more fitly begin this short biography than with some words in which its subject has expressed his own feelings as to the spirit in which such a task should be approached. "Silence," says Wordsworth, "is a privilege of the grave, a right of the departed: let him, therefore, who infringes that right by speaking publicly of, for, or against, those who cannot speak for themselves,... more...

CHAPTER I. MY BIRTH AND PARENTAGE—EARLY TASTES AND TRAVELS—MARRIAGE, AND WIDOWHOOD. I was born in the town of Kingston, in the island of Jamaica, some time in the present century. As a female, and a widow, I may be well excused giving the precise date of this important event. But I do not mind confessing that the century and myself were both young together, and that we have grown side by side into age and consequence. I am a... more...

PREFACE. The history of our race is the record mainly of men's achievements, in war, in statecraft and diplomacy. If mention is made of woman it is of queens and intriguing beauties who ruled and schemed for power and riches, and often worked mischief and ruin by their wiles. The story of woman's work in great migrations has been told only in lines and passages where it ought instead to fill volumes. Here and there incidents and anecdotes... more...

WITH THOSE WHO WAIT I Once upon a time there wasn't any war. In those days it was my custom to drive over to Château-Thierry every Friday afternoon. The horses, needing no guidance, would always pull up at the same spot in front of the station from which point of vantage, between a lilac bush and the switch house, I would watch for the approaching express that was to bring down our week-end guests. A halt at the bridge head would... more...