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PREFACE. It was most reluctantly that I determined to suspend, during the last autumn, a work which is the business and the pleasure of my life, in order to prepare these Speeches for publication; and it is most reluctantly that I now give them to the world. Even if I estimated their oratorical merit much more highly than I do, I should not willingly have revived, in the quiet times in which we are so... more...

This is a very interesting age. Within the memory of men not yet come to middle life the time of the trotting horse has been reduced from two minutes forty seconds to two minutes eight and a quarter seconds. During the past fifteen years a universal and wholesome pastime of boys has been developed into a great national industry, thoroughly organized and almost altogether relegated to professional... more...

A NIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF THE TUILERIES It was in the time of the Second Empire. To be exact, it was the night of the 18th of June, 1868; I remember the date, because, contrary to the astronomical theory of short nights at this season, this was the longest night I ever saw. It was the loveliest time of the year in Paris, when one was tempted to lounge all day in the gardens and to give to sleep none of... more...

CHAPTER I Quand on veut dessecher un marais, on ne fait pas voter les grenouilles.—Mme. EMILE. DE GIRADIN 'Richard? That's right! Here's a tea-cup waiting for you,' as the almost thirty-year-old Incumbent of Cocksmoor, still looking like a young deacon, entered the room with his quiet step, and silent greeting to its four inmates. 'Thank you, Ethel. Is papa gone out?'... more...

CHAPTER I. One summer afternoon, Helen Woodbourne returned from her daily walk with her sisters, and immediately repaired to the school-room, in order to put the finishing touches to a drawing, with which she had been engaged during the greater part of the morning. She had not been long established there, before her sister Katherine came in, and, taking her favourite station, leaning against the window... more...

Our theme for the hour is the American Newspaper. It is a subject in which everybody is interested, and about which it is not polite to say that anybody is not well informed; for, although there are scattered through the land many persons, I am sorry to say, unable to pay for a newspaper, I have never yet heard of anybody unable to edit one. The topic has many points of view, and invites various study... more...

CHAPTER 1 At eight o'clock on Sunday morning, Arthur Peachey unlocked his front door, and quietly went forth. He had not ventured to ask that early breakfast should be prepared for him. Enough that he was leaving home for a summer holiday—the first he had allowed himself since his marriage three years ago. It was a house in De Crespigny Park; unattached, double-fronted, with half-sunk basement,... more...

THE FOREIGNER AT HOME “This is no’ my ain house; I ken by the biggin’ o’t.” Two recent books, one by Mr. Grant White on England, one on France by the diabolically clever Mr. Hillebrand, may well have set people thinking on the divisions of races and nations. Such thoughts should arise with particular congruity and force to inhabitants of that United Kingdom, peopled from so many different... more...

INTRODUCTORY SKETCH The title naturally suggested for this story was "A Dead Soul," but it was discarded because of the similarity to that of the famous novel by Nikolai Gogol—"Dead Souls"—though the motive has nothing in common with that used by the Russian novelist. Gogol exposed an extensive fraud practiced by the sale, in connection with lands, of the names of "serfs"... more...

I The bright pale February sunlight lay on the little court of Beaufort College, Cambridge, on the old dull-red smoke-stained brick, the stone mullions and mouldings, the Hall oriel, the ivied buttresses and battlements, the turrets, the tiled roofs, the quaint chimneys, and the lead-topped cupola over all. Half the court was in shadow. It was incredibly picturesque, but it had somehow the look of a... more...