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CHAPTER I "What! never been to a political meeting; an' you living in a city. Back to the hamlet for you, boy; you're lost. "You're not? You know where you live, and could find your way home in the dark? My, but you're cert'nly the quick actor when it comes to thinking. "Sure I've been to more'n a dozen political meetin's. Ain't my Pa a member er the ex-ecutive of Ward Eighteen Conservative Club? He's a charter member, too. Don't he rent the... more...

RICHARD HENRY DANA, SENIOR (1787-1879) Richard H. Dana   ichard Henry Dana the elder, although he died less than twenty years in 1787, in Cambridge, four years after Washington Irving. He came of a distinguished and scholarly family: his father had been minister to Russia during the Revolution, and was afterwards Chief Justice of Massachusetts; through his mother he was descended from Anne Bradstreet. At the age of ten he went to... more...

CHAPTER I THE LURE OF FALLING WATER It was evening and a late April wind was whipping down the valley. It swayed the tops of the tall pine and spruce trees as they shouldered up from the swift brook below. It tossed into driving spray the water of Break Neck Falls where it leaped one hundred feet below with a thundering roar and swirl. It tossed as well the thin grey hair, long beard, and thread-bare clothes of an old man standing upon a large... more...

CHAPTER I. The Sabbath day was drawing to a close, as Agnes Wiltshire sat at her chamber window, absorbed in deep and painful thought. The last rays of the sun lighted up the garden overlooked by the casement,—if garden it could be called,—a spot that had once been most beautiful, when young and fair hands plucked the noxious weed, and took delight in nursing into fairest life, flowers, whose loveliness might well have vied with any;... more...

INTRODUCTION A section of a long and splendid literature can be most conveniently treated in one of two ways. It can be divided as one cuts a currant cake or a Gruyère cheese, taking the currants (or the holes) as they come. Or it can be divided as one cuts wood—along the grain: if one thinks that there is a grain. But the two are never the same: the names never come in the same order in actual time as they come in any serious study... more...


CHAPTER I. THE DANUBE PICTURE. There was no air of uncertainty upon the handsome countenance ofMr. Randall Clayton as he stepped out of the elevator of a sedateFourteenth Street business building and approvingly sniffed theApril morning breeze. On this particular Saturday of ninety-seven, the shopping multitude was already pouring from the Scylla of Simpson, Crawford & Simpson's on Sixth Avenue—and its Charybdis of the Big... more...

CHAPTER I. Where the North Fork of the Stanislaus River begins to lose its youthful grace, vigor, and agility, and broadens more maturely into the plain, there is a little promontory which at certain high stages of water lies like a small island in the stream. To the strongly-marked heroics of Sierran landscape it contrasts a singular, pastoral calm. White and gray mosses from the overhanging rocks and feathery alders trail their filaments in... more...

Introduction My aim in this little book has been to give short sketches and estimates of the greatest modern English writers from Macaulay to Stevenson and Kipling. Omissions there are, but my effort has been to give the most characteristic writers a place and to try to stimulate the reader's interest in the man behind the book as well as in the best works of each author. Too much space is devoted in most literary criticism to the bare facts... more...

INTRODUCTIONTHE KINDS OF CRITICISM It is probably unnecessary, and might possibly be impertinent, to renew here at any length the old debate between reviewers as reviewers, and reviewers as authors—the debate whether the reissue of work contributed to periodicals is desirable or not. The plea that half the best prose literature of this century would be inaccessible if the practice had been forbidden, and the retort that anything which can... more...

When I was honoured by the invitation to deliver this course of lectures, I did not accept without some hesitation. I am not qualified to speak with authority upon such subjects as have been treated by my predecessors—the course of political events or the growth of legal institutions. My attention has been chiefly paid to the history of literature, and it might be doubtful whether that study is properly included in the phrase 'historical.'... more...