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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 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. 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...

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...

The Thunders of Silence Some people said Congressman Mallard had gone mad. These were his friends, striving out of the goodness of their hearts to put the best face on what at best was a lamentable situation. Some said he was a traitor to his country. These were his enemies, personal, political and journalistic. Some called him a patriot who put humanity above nationality, a new John the Baptist come... more...

CHAPTER XXVIII. Whatever may have been the language of Harry's letter to the Colonel, the information it conveyed was condensed or expanded, one or the other, from the following episode of his visit to New York: He called, with official importance in his mien, at No.— Wall street, where a great gilt sign betokened the presence of the head-quarters of the "Columbus River Slack-Water... more...

INTRODUCTION BY HEYWOOD BROUN A good many of my radical friends express a certain kindly condescension when they speak of Edward Bellamy's "Looking Backward." "Of course you know," they say, "that it really isn't first-rate economics." And yet in further conversation I have known a very large number of these same somewhat scornful Socialists to admit, "You know,... more...

CHAPTER THE FIRST ~~ CONCERNING A BOOK THAT WAS NEVER WRITTEN1Since I came to this place I have been very restless, wasting my energies in the futile beginning of ill-conceived books. One does not settle down very readily at two and forty to a new way of living, and I have found myself with the teeming interests of the life I have abandoned still buzzing like a swarm of homeless bees in my head. My... more...

INTRODUCTION TURGENEV was the first writer who was able, having both Slavic and universal imagination enough for it, to interpret modern Russia to the outer world, and Virgin Soil was the last word of his greater testament. It was the book in which many English readers were destined to make his acquaintance about a generation ago, and the effect of it was, like Swinburne's Songs Before Sunrise,... more...

I am a sick man.... I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I believe my liver is diseased. However, I know nothing at all about my disease, and do not know for certain what ails me. I don't consult a doctor for it, and never have, though I have a respect for medicine and doctors. Besides, I am extremely superstitious, sufficiently so to respect medicine, anyway (I am well-educated enough... more...