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PREFACE. Though this work was first published in 1830, it has never before been translated into English. Indeed, the volumes are almost out of print. When in Paris a few years ago the writer secured, with much difficulty, a copy, from which this translation has been made. Notes have been added by the translator, and illustrations by the publishers, which, it is believed, will enhance the interest of the original work by Constant. "To paint... 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 sketch oneself, was for some years the... more...

CHAPTER I. BIRTH OF SIR MOSES MONTEFIORE AT LEGHORN—HIS FAMILY—EARLY YEARS. The neighbourhood of the Tower of London was, a hundred years ago, the centre of attraction for thousands of persons engaged in financial pursuits, not so much on account of the protection which the presence of the garrison might afford in case of tumult, as of the convenience offered by the locality from its vicinity to the wharves, the Custom House, the... more...

CHAPTER I. GENEALOGY OF THE WASHINGTON FAMILY. The Washington family is of an ancient English stock, the genealogy of which has been traced up to the century immediately succeeding the Conquest. At that time it was in possession of landed estates and manorial privileges in the county of Durham, such as were enjoyed only by those, or their descendants, who had come over from Normandy with the Conqueror, or fought under his standard. When William... more...

No golden eagle, warm from the stamping press of the mint, is more sharply impressed with its image and superscription than was the formative period of our government by the genius and personality of Thomas Jefferson. Standing on the threshold of the nineteenth century, no one who attempted to peer down the shadowy vista, saw more clearly than he the possibilities, the perils, the pitfalls and the achievements that were within the grasp of the... more...


PRIOR. Matthew Prior is one of those that have burst out from an obscure original to great eminence. He was born July 21, 1664, according to some, at Winburn, in Dorsetshire, of I know not what parents; others say, that he was the son of a joiner of London: he was, perhaps, willing enough to leave his birth unsettled, in hope, like Don Quixote, that the historian of his actions might find him some illustrious alliance. He is supposed to have... more...

I The Historical Situation 1. When Tacitus, the Roman historian, records the attempt of Nero to charge the Christians with the burning of Rome, he has patience for no more than the cursory remark that the sect originated with a Jew who had been put to death in Judea during the reign of Tiberius. This province was small and despised, and Tacitus could account for the influence of the sect which sprang thence only by the fact that all that was... more...

LIFE OF JESUS CHAPTER I. PLACE OF JESUS IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. The great event of the History of the world is the revolution by which the noblest portions of humanity have passed from the ancient religions, comprised under the vague name of Paganism, to a religion founded on the Divine Unity, the Trinity, and the Incarnation of the Son of God. It has taken nearly a thousand years to accomplish this conversion. The new religion had itself... more...

SLAVERY DAYS. THE OLD PLANTATION. MY EARLY FORAGING. THE STOLEN DEMIJOHN. MY FIRST DRINK. THE CURSE OF SLAVERY. In an old log cabin, on my Master's plantation in Davidson County in Tennessee in June, 1854, I first saw the light of day. The exact date of my birth I never knew, because in those days no count was kept of such trivial matters as the birth of a slave baby. They were born and died and the account was balanced in the gains and... more...

CAMBRIDGE 1828-1831. After having spent two sessions in Edinburgh, my father perceived, or he heard from my sisters, that I did not like the thought of being a physician, so he proposed that I should become a clergyman. He was very properly vehement against my turning into an idle sporting man, which then seemed my probable destination. I asked for some time to consider, as from what little I had heard or thought on the subject I had scruples... more...