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CHAPTER I. "Since I can do no good because a woman,Reach constantly at something that is near it.—The Maid's Tragedy: BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER. Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress. Her hand and wrist were so finely formed that she could wear sleeves not less bare of style than those in which the Blessed Virgin appeared to Italian painters; and her profile as well as her stature and bearing... more...

I. The Period It was the best of times,it was the worst of times,it was the age of wisdom,it was the age of foolishness,it was the epoch of belief,it was the epoch of incredulity,it was the season of Light,it was the season of Darkness,it was the spring of hope,it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way— in short, the... more...

CHAPTER I CAPTAIN MENARD HAS A LAZY DAY. Captain Daniel Menard leaned against the parapet at the outer edge of the citadel balcony. The sun was high, the air clear and still. Beneath him, at the foot of the cliff, nestled the Lower Town, a strip of shops and houses, hemmed in by the palisades and the lower battery. The St. Lawrence flowed by, hardly stirred by the light breeze. Out in the channel, beyond the merchantmen, lay three ships of... more...

CHAPTER I. ZEB AND HIS MASTER. At the southern part of Ohio, where the river of that name swerves from its south-western course, and makes a sweeping bend toward the north-west, many years ago stood a large and imposing dwelling. Its character, so different and superior to others found here and there along the Ohio, showed that its owner must have been a man both of superior taste and abundant means. It had been built by Sir William Leland, who... more...

CHAPTER 1. I AM BORN Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o'clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously. In consideration of the day and hour of my birth, it was... more...


Chapter 1 In the year 1775, there stood upon the borders of Epping Forest, at a distance of about twelve miles from London—measuring from the Standard in Cornhill,' or rather from the spot on or near to which the Standard used to be in days of yore—a house of public entertainment called the Maypole; which fact was demonstrated to all such travellers as could neither read nor write (and at that time a vast number both of travellers... more...

CHAPTER I. THE BOHEMIANS. Early one morning in the month of March, 1770, a woman bearing in her arms a new-born infant, was hastening along the left bank of the Garden, a small river that rises in the Cevennes, traverses the department of the Gard, and empties into the Rhone, not far from Beaucaire. It would be difficult to find more varied and picturesque scenery than that which borders this stream whose praises have been chanted by Florian,... more...

CHAPTER I. AT ZATON'S 'Marked cards!' There were a score round us when the fool, little knowing the man with whom he had to deal, and as little how to lose like a gentleman, flung the words in my teeth. He thought, I'll be sworn, that I should storm and swear and ruffle it like any common cock of the hackle. But that was never Gil de Berault's way. For a few seconds after he had spoken I did not even look at him. I passed my eye... more...

In which there is more Ale than Argument. It was on a blusterous windy night in the early part of November, 1812, that three men were on the high road near to the little village of Grassford, in the south of Devonshire. The moon was nearly at the full, but the wild scud, and occasionally the more opaque clouds, passed over in such rapid succession, that it was rarely, and but for a moment or two, that the landscape was thrown into light and... more...

CHAPTER I. THE PICKWICKIANS The first ray of light which illumines the gloom, and converts into a dazzling brilliancy that obscurity in which the earlier history of the public career of the immortal Pickwick would appear to be involved, is derived from the perusal of the following entry in the Transactions of the Pickwick Club, which the editor of these papers feels the highest pleasure in laying before his readers, as a proof of the careful... more...