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CHAPTER I When I was a small boy at the beginning of the century I remember an old man who wore knee-breeches and worsted stockings, and who used to hobble about the street of our village with the help of a stick.  He must have been getting on for eighty in the year 1807, earlier than which date I suppose I can hardly remember him, for I was born in 1802.  A few white locks hung about his ears, his... more...

by: Voltaire
INTRODUCTION François Marie Arouet, who called himself Voltaire, was the son of François Arouet of Poitou, who lived in Paris, had given up his office of notary two years before the birth of this his third son, and obtained some years afterwards a treasurer’s office in the Chambre des Comptes.  Voltaire was born in the year 1694.  He lived until within ten or eleven years of the outbreak of the... more...

Book 1 Chapter 1 "I'll take the odds against Caravan." "In poneys?" "Done." And Lord Milford, a young noble, entered in his book the bet which he had just made with Mr Latour, a grey headed member of the Jockey Club. It was the eve of the Derby of 1837. In a vast and golden saloon, that in its decorations would have become, and in its splendour would not have disgraced,... more...

CHAPTER I Amedeo Dorini, the hall porter of the Hotel Cavour in Milan, stood on the pavement before the hotel one autumn afternoon in the year 1894, waiting for the omnibus, which had gone to the station, and which was now due to return, bearing—Amedeo hoped—a load of generously inclined travelers. During the years of his not unpleasant servitude Amedeo had become a student of human nature. He had... more...

CARLYLE The accomplishments of our race have of late become so varied, that it is often no easy task to assign him whom we would judge to his proper station among men; and yet, until this has been done, the guns of our criticism cannot be accurately levelled, and as a consequence the greater part of our fire must remain futile. He, for example, who would essay to take account of Mr. Gladstone, must... more...

ACT I TABLEAU I The Double Life The Stage represents a room in the Deacon’s house, furnished partly as a sitting-, partly as a bed-room, in the style of an easy burgess of about 1780. C., a door; L.C., second and smaller door; R.C., practicable window; L., alcove, supposed to contain bed; at the back, a clothes-press and a corner cupboard containing bottles, etc. Mary Brodie at needlework; Old... more...

INTRODUCTION The circumstances which have made me responsible for selecting and editing the correspondence of Robert Louis Stevenson are the following. He was for many years my closest friend. We first met in 1873, when he was in his twenty-third year and I in my twenty-ninth, at the place and in the manner mentioned at page 54 of this volume. It was my good fortune then to be of use to him, partly by... more...

CHAPTER I. For the rest of the way Violet walked with Mrs. Scobel, and at the garden-gate of the Vicarage Roderick Vawdrey wished them both good-night, and tramped off, with his basket on his back and his rod on his shoulder, for the long walk to Briarwood. Here the children separated, and ran off to their scattered homes, dropping grateful bob-curtsies to the last—"louting," as they called... more...

INTRODUCTORY. Near the end of February 1857, I think about the 20th or so, though it don't much matter; I only know it was near the latter end of summer, burning hot, with the bushfires raging like volcanoes on the ranges, and the river reduced to a slender stream of water, almost lost upon the broad white flats of quartz shingle. It was the end of February, I said, when Major Buckley, Captain... more...

THE FOLD AND THE SHEPHERD 'So to-morrow, Alice,' said Dr. Madden, as he walked with his eldest daughter on the coast-downs by Clevedon, 'I shall take steps for insuring my life for a thousand pounds.' It was the outcome of a long and intimate conversation. Alice Madden, aged nineteen, a plain, shy, gentle-mannered girl, short of stature, and in movement something less than graceful,... more...