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I. WHAT I CONSIDER TO HAVE BEEN THE BEGINNING OF MY YOUTH I have said that my friendship with Dimitri opened up for me a new view of my life and of its aim and relations. The essence of that view lay in the conviction that the destiny of man is to strive for moral improvement, and that such improvement is at once easy, possible, and lasting. Hitherto, however, I had found pleasure only in the new ideas... more...

CHAPTER I St George's Hall, situated on a high hill overlooking the city of Warwick, was still silent and tenantless, though the long vacation was drawing to a close. To a stranger passing that way for the first time, the building and the surrounding country would doubtless have suggested the old England rather than the new. There was something mediaeval in the massive, castellated tower that... more...

CHAPTER I Dillsborough I never could understand why anybody should ever have begun to live at Dillsborough, or why the population there should have been at any time recruited by new comers. That a man with a family should cling to a house in which he has once established himself is intelligible. The butcher who supplied Dillsborough, or the baker, or the ironmonger, though he might not drive what is... more...

CHAPTER I. June 18—. Squire Hawkins sat upon the pyramid of large blocks, called the "stile," in front of his house, contemplating the morning. The locality was Obedstown, East Tennessee. You would not know that Obedstown stood on the top of a mountain, for there was nothing about the landscape to indicate it—but it did: a mountain that stretched abroad over whole counties, and rose... more...

CHAPTER I. THE HONOURABLE HILARY VANE SITS FOR HIS PORTRAIT I may as well begin this story with Mr. Hilary Vane, more frequently addressed as the Honourable Hilary Vane, although it was the gentleman's proud boast that he had never held an office in his life. He belonged to the Vanes of Camden Street,—a beautiful village in the hills near Ripton,—and was, in common with some other great men... more...

CHAPTER I It was the custom of the geographers of a period not remote to grapple somewhat jejune facts to the infant mind by means of fanciful comparison: thus, Italy was likened to a boot, France to a coffee-pot, and the European domain of the Sultan to a ruffling turkey. In this pleasant scheme the state of New York was made to figure as a couchant lion, his massy head thrust high in the North... more...

CHAPTER I "A club for diplomats and gentlemen," Prince Karschoff remarked, looking lazily through a little cloud of tobacco smoke around the spacious but almost deserted card room. "The classification seems comprehensive enough, yet it seems impossible to get even a decent rubber of bridge." Sir Daniel Harker, a many years retired plenipotentiary to one of the smaller Powers, shrugged... more...

CHAPTER X. Only two or three days had elapsed since the funeral, when something happened which was to change the drift of Laura's life somewhat, and influence in a greater or lesser degree the formation of her character. Major Lackland had once been a man of note in the State—a man of extraordinary natural ability and as extraordinary learning. He had been universally trusted and honored in his... more...

CHAPTER I. THE IMPOSSIBLE—INEVITABLE. In the garden the question was settled without serious difference of opinion. If Sir Robert Perry really could not go on—and Lady Eynesford was by no means prepared to concede even that—then Mr. Puttock, bourgeois as he was, or Mr. Coxon, conceited and priggish though he might be, must come in. At any rate, the one indisputable fact was the impossibility of... more...

HOW IT ALL BEGAN "We can hold out six months longer,—at least six months." My mother's tone made the six months stretch encouragingly into six long years. I see her now, vividly as if it were only yesterday. We were at our scant breakfast, I as blue as was ever even twenty-five, she brave and confident. And hers was no mere pretense to reassure me, no cheerless optimism of ignorance, but... more...

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