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PREFACE In the former volume, entitled "William Pitt and National Revival," I sought to trace the career of Pitt the Younger up to the year 1791. Until then he was occupied almost entirely with attempts to repair the evils arising out of the old order of things. Retrenchment and Reform were his first watchwords; and though in the year 1785 he failed in his efforts to renovate the life of Parliament and to improve the fiscal relations with... more...

The Afghan Campaigns—1839-42. In 1809 the reigning Ameer of Afghanistan, Shah Soojah-ul-Moolk, was dispossessed of his throne and an exile. Runjeet Singh, the Sikh ruler of Punjaub, plundered and imprisoned him at Lahore, and obtained from him the famous Koh-i-noor, the great diamond which is now among the crown jewels of Great Britain. Eventually Soojah escaped from Lahore and became a pensioner of the East India Company. For many years... more...

Chapter I. The Britons. Alfred the Great figures in history as the founder, in some sense, of the British monarchy. Of that long succession of sovereigns who have held the scepter of that monarchy, and whose government has exerted so vast an influence on the condition and welfare of mankind, he was not, indeed, actually the first. There were several lines of insignificant princes before him, who governed such portions of the kingdom as they... more...

INTRODUCTORY I was once greatly impressed by a story of an officer in the German army, who told his English hostess that he knew the position of every blacksmith's forge in Yorkshire. I wondered at the time how many officers in the English army had learned where to find the blacksmiths' forges in Pomerania. But those are bygone days. Most of us know more about Germany now than we do about our own country. We go over there singly and in... more...

CHAPTER I COMMUNISTIC FARMING.—GROWTH OF THE MANOR.—EARLY PRICES.—THE ORGANIZATION AND AGRICULTURE OF THE MANOR When the early bands of English invaders came over to take Britain from its Celtic owners, it is almost certain that the soil was held by groups and not by individuals, and as this was the practice of the conquerors also they readily fell in with the system they found. These English, unlike their descendants of to... more...


THE CONSULATE (1799-1804). For more than ten years, amid unheard of shocks and sufferings, France had been seeking for a free and regular government, that might assure to her the new rights which had only been gained through tribulation. She had overthrown the Monarchy and attempted a Republic; she had accepted and rejected three constitutions, all the while struggling single-handed with Europe, leagued against her. She had undergone the... more...

CHAPTER I THE AGE OF THE COUNTESS MATILDA OF TUSCANY The eleventh century, which culminated in the religious fervor of the First Crusade, must not on that account be considered as an age of unexampled piety and devotion. Good men there were and true, and women of great intellectual and moral force, but it cannot be said that the time was characterized by any deep and sincere religious feeling which showed itself in the general conduct of... more...

The Age of the Countess Matilda of Tuscany The eleventh century, which culminated in the religious fervor of the First Crusade, must not on that account be considered as an age of unexampled piety and devotion. Good men there were and true, and women of great intellectual and moral force, but it cannot be said that the time was characterized by any deep and sincere religious feeling which showed itself in the general conduct of society. Europe... more...

TWENTY YEARS OF BALKAN TANGLE CHAPTER ONE PICKING UP THE THREADS It was in Cetinje in August, 1900, that I first picked up a thread of the Balkan tangle, little thinking how deeply enmeshed I should later become, and still less how this tangle would ultimately affect the whole world. Chance, or the Fates, took me Near Eastward. Completely exhausted by constant attendance on an invalid relative, the future stretched before me as endless years... more...

JOURNEY TO PARIS. We passed through Kent in our way to France, on Sunday the first of May 1814. This day's journey was very delightful. The whole scenery around us,—the richness of the fields and woods, then beginning to assume the first colours of spring; the extent and excellence of the cultivation; the thriving condition of the towns, and the smiling aspect of the neat and clean villages through which we passed; the luxuriant bloom of... more...