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Preface. The conquest of Mexico, an extensive empire with a numerous and warlike population, by a mere handful of Spaniards, is one of the romances of history. Indeed, a writer of fiction would scarcely have dared to invent so improbable a story. Even the bravery of the Spaniards, and the advantage of superior arms would not have sufficed to give them the victory, had it not been that Mexico was ripe... more...

CHAPTER I HAZARDOUS PLANS The lightning flashes, the mutterings of thunder, like the low growls of some angry animal, and the shrieking of the wind through swaying branches, gave a weird, uncanny effect to a scene which was being enacted, on a certain April night of the year 1862, in a secluded piece of woodland a mile or more east of the village of Shelbyville, Tennessee. In the centre of a small... more...

In flower of youth and beauty's pride." DRYDEN A crowded New York street,—Fifth Avenue at the height of the afternoon; a gallant and brilliant throng. Looking over the glittering array, the purple and fine linen, the sweeping robes, the exquisite equipages, the stately houses; the faces, delicate and refined, proud, self-satisfied, that gazed out from their windows on the street, or that... more...

CHAPTER I THE THREE FRIENDS A canoe containing two boys and a man was moving slowly on one of the little lakes in the great northern wilderness of what is now the State of New York. The water, a brilliant blue under skies of the same intense sapphire tint, rippled away gently on either side of the prow, or rose in heaps of glittering bubbles, as the paddles were lifted for a new stroke. Vast masses of... more...

INTRODUCTION. Once the author awoke to a painful reflection that he knew no place well, though his occupation had taken him to many, and that, after twenty-five years of describing localities and society, he would be identified with none. "Where shall I begin to rove within confines?" he asked, feeling the vacant spaces in his nature: the want of all those birds, forest trees, household habits,... more...

CHAPTER I. MORNING DISPUTE AND EVENING CONTENTION. "My sweet friend," said Judge Frank, in a tone of vexation, "it is not worth while reading aloud to you if you keep yawning incessantly, and looking about, first to the right and then to the left;" and with these words he laid down a treatise of Jeremy Bentham, which he had been reading, and rose from his seat. "Ah, forgive me, dear... more...

by: Anonymous
CHAPTER I. "Let not ambition mock their useful toil,Their homely joys and destiny obscure,Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile,The short and simple annals of the poor."Gray. The Counties of Compton and Beauce, in the Province of Quebec, were first opened up to settlement about fifty years ago. To this spot a small colony of Highlanders from the Skye and Lewis Islands gravitated. They... more...

CHAPTER I. When I was a young man, and full of spirits, some forty years ago or more, I lost my best and truest friend in a very sad and mysterious way. The greater part of my life has been darkened by this heavy blow and loss, and the blame which I poured upon myself for my own share in the matter. George Bowring had been seven years with me at the fine old school of Shrewsbury, and trod on my heels... more...