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CHAPTER I THE CAUSES OF THE FRANCO-GERMAN WAR "After the fatal year 1866, the Empire was in a state of decadence."--L. GREGOIRE, Histoire de France. The irony of history is nowhere more manifest than in the curious destiny which called a Napoleon III. to the place once occupied by Napoleon I., and at the very time when the national movements, unwittingly called to vigorous life by the great warrior, were attaining to the full strength of... more...

CHAPTER I PARENTAGE AND EARLY YEARS "I was born when my country was perishing. Thirty thousand French vomited upon our coasts, drowning the throne of Liberty in waves of blood, such was the sight which struck my eyes." This passionate utterance, penned by Napoleon Buonaparte at the beginning of the French Revolution, describes the state of Corsica in his natal year. The words are instinct with the vehemence of the youth and the extravagant... more...

CHAPTER I RESURGAM Italy from the Battle of Lodi to the Congress of Vienna. The unity of Italy, which the statesmen of Europe and all save a small number of the Italians themselves still regarded as an utopia when it was on the verge of accomplishment, was, nevertheless, desired and foreseen by the two greatest intellects produced by the Italian race. Dante conceived an Italy united under the Empire, which returning from a shameful because... more...

CHAPTER I. One of the greatest achievements of modern research is the discovery of a key by which we may determine the kinship of nations. What we used to conjecture, we now know. An identity in the structural form of language establishes with scientific certitude that however diverse their character and civilizations, Russian, German, Englishman, Frenchman, Spaniard, are all but branches from the same parent stem, are all alike children of the... more...

HOW TROY WAS TAKEN. The far-famed Helen, wife of King Menelaus of Sparta, was the most beautiful woman in the world. And from her beauty and faithlessness came the most celebrated of ancient wars, with death and disaster to numbers of famous heroes and the final ruin of the ancient city of Troy. The story of these striking events has been told only in poetry. We propose to tell it again in sober prose. But warning must first be given that Helen... more...


CHAPTER I. STORM AND SHIPWRECK. The Count of Monte-Cristo, with the beautiful Haydée clinging lovingly about his neck, her head pillowed upon his shoulder, stood on the deck of his superb yacht, the Alcyon, gazing at the fast-vanishing isle where he had left Maximilian Morrel and Valentine de Villefort. It was just daybreak, but by the faint glimmering light he could plainly distinguish the figures of a man and a woman upon the distant... more...

INTRODUCTION Diderot, writing to the Princess Dashkoff in 1771, thus analysed the spirit of his century: Chaque siècle a son esprit qui le caractérise. L'esprit du nôtre semble être celui de la liberté. La première attaque contre la superstition a été violente, sans mesure. Une fois que les hommes ont osé d'une manière quelconque donner l'assaut à la barrière de... 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...