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E Americans devour eagerly any piece of writing that purports to tell us the secret of success in life; yet how often we are disappointed to find nothing but commonplace statements, or receipts that we know by heart but never follow. Most of the life stories of our famous and successful men fail to inspire because they lack the human element that makes the record real and brings the story within our... 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... more...

PRELIMINARY: MRS. GASKELL In the whole of English biographical literature there is no book that can compare in widespread interest with the Life of Charlotte Brontë by Mrs. Gaskell.  It has held a position of singular popularity for forty years; and while biography after biography has come and gone, it still commands a place side by side with Boswell’s Johnson and Lockhart’s Scott.  As far as... more...

by: Various
I. The Beginnings. The art of literary portraiture in the seventeenth century developed with the effort to improve the writing of history. Its first and at all times its chief purpose in England was to show to later ages what kind of men had directed the affairs and shaped the fortunes of the nation. In France it was to be practised as a mere pastime; to sketch well-known figures in society, or to... more...

by: Anonymous
JACK CADE—THE PRETENDED MORTIMER. Henry VI. was one of the most unpopular of our English monarchs. During his reign the nobles were awed by his austerity towards some members of their own high estate, and divided between the claims of Lancaster and York; and the peasantry, who cared little for the claims of the rival Roses, were maddened by the extortions and indignities to which they were subjected.... more...

CHAPTER I. ANTE BELLUM. At the Rocky Mountains.--Sentiment of the People.--Firing the Southern Heart.--A Midwinter Journey across the Plains.--An Editor's Opinion.--Election in Missouri.--The North springing to Arms.--An amusing Arrest.--Off for the Field.--Final Instructions.--Niagara.--Curiosities of Banking.--Arrival at the Seat of War. I passed the summer and autumn of 1860 in the Rocky... more...

CHAPTER I. A REVOLUTION must occur in the condition and sentiments of mankind more decided than we have any reason to expect that the lapse of ages will produce, before the mighty events which distinguished the spring of 1814 shall be spoken of in other terms than those of unqualified admiration. It was then that Europe, which during so many years had groaned beneath the miseries of war, found herself... more...

I. (BORN 1706--DIED 1790.) The late Judge Black was remarkable not only for his wit and humor, which often enlivened the dry logic of law and fact, but also for flashes of unique eloquence. In presenting a certain brief before the United States Supreme Court he had occasion to animadvert upon some of our great men. Among other things he said, as related to the writer by one who heard him: "The... more...

BOYS' BOOK OF FAMOUS SOLDIERS WASHINGTON THE YOUNG SURVEYOR "Turn your guns around on them! Stop them!" The command was given in peremptory tones to a demoralized group of soldiers. Not waiting for them to carry out his orders, the young officer who gave them leaped from his horse, and with his own hands turned one of the guns upon the advancing foe. Had it been the Argonne Forest, and the... more...

When, late in last autumn, I determined to start for the Confederate States as soon as necessary preparations could be completed, I had listened, not only to my own curiosity, impelling me at least to see one campaign of a war, the like of which this world has never known, but also to the suggestions of those who thought that I might find materials there for a book that would interest many here in... more...