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32 Works of James Branch Cabell

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Porcelain Cups

Story type: Literature

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I OF GREATNESS INTIMATELY VIEWED “Oh, but they are beyond praise,” said Cynthia Allonby, enraptured, “and certainly you should have presented them to the Queen. ” “Her majesty already possesses a cup of that ware,” replied Lord Pevensey. “It was one of her New Year’s gifts, from Robert Cecil. Hers is, I believe, not quite […]

The Rhyme To Porringer

Story type: Literature

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As Played at Tunbridge Wells, April 2, 1750 “Ye gods, why are not hearts first paired above,But still some interfere in others’ love,Ere each for each by certain marks are known?You mould them up in haste, and drop them down,And while we seek what carelessly you sort,You sit in state, and make our pains your […]

The Casual Honeymoon

Story type: Literature

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As Played at Tunbridge Wells, April 1, 1750 “But this is the most cruel thing, to marry one does not know how, nor why, nor wherefore.–Gad, I never liked anybody less in my life. Poor woman!–Gad, I’m sorry for her, too; for I have no reason to hate her neither; but I wish we could […]

Simon’s Hour

Story type: Literature

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As Played at Stornoway Crag, March 25, 1750 “You’re a woman–one to whom Heaven gave beauty, when it grafted roses on a briar. You are the reflection of Heaven in a pond, and he that leaps at you is sunk. You were all white, a sheet of lovely spotless paper, when you first were born; […]

Love At Martinmas

Story type: Literature

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As Played at Tunbridge Wells, April 1, 1750 “He to love an altar builtOf twelve vast French romances, neatly gilt.There lay three garters, half a pair of gloves,And all the trophies of his former loves;With tender billet-doux he lights the pyre,And breathes three amorous sighs to raise the fire;Then prostrate falls, and begs with ardent […]

Heart Of Gold

Story type: Literature

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As Played at Paris, in the May of 1750 “Cette amoureuse ardeur qui dans les coeurs s’excite N’est point, comme l’on s�ait, un effet du merite; Le caprice y prend part, et, quand quelqu’un nous plaist, Souvent nous avons peine à dire pourquoy c’est. Mais on vois que l’amour se gouverne autrement. “ DRAMATIS PERSONÆ […]

April’s Message

Story type: Literature

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As Played at Halvergate House, April 9, 1750 “You cannot love, nor pleasure take, nor give,But life begin when ’tis too late to live.On a tired courser you pursue delight,Let slip your morning, and set out at night.If you have lived, take thankfully the past;Make, as you can, the sweet remembrance last.If you have not […]

In The Second April

Story type: Literature

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As Played at Bellegarde, in the April of 1750 “This passion is in honest minds the strongest incentive that can move the soul of man to laudable accomplishments. Is a man just? Let him fall in love and grow generous. It immediately makes the good which is in him shine forth in new excellencies, and […]

Actors All

Story type: Literature

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As Played at Tunbridge Wells, April 3, 1750 “I am thinking if some little, filching, inquisitive poet should get my story, and represent it to the stage, what those ladies who are never precise but at a play would say of me now,–that I were a confident, coming piece, I warrant, and they would damn […]

The Scapegoats

Story type: Literature

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As Played at Manneville, September 18, 1750 “L’on a choisi justement le temps que je parlois à mon traiste de fils. Sortons! Je veux aller querir la justice, et faire donner la question à toute ma maison; à servantes, à valets, à fils, à fille, et à moi aussi. “ DRAMATIS PERSONÆ PRINCE DE GATINAIS, […]

The Ducal Audience

Story type: Literature

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As Played at Breschau, May 3, 1755 “Venez, belle, venez,Qu’on ne s�auroit tenir, et qui vous mutinez.Void vostre galand! à moi pour recompenceVous pouvez faire une humble et douce reverence!Adieu, l’evenement trompe un peu mes souhaits;Mais tous les amoureux ne sont pas satisfaits.” DRAMATIS PERSONAE GRAND DUKE OF NOUMARIA, formerly LOUIS DE SOYECOURT, tormented beyond […]

Balthazar’s Daughter

Story type: Literature

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” A curious preference for the artificial should be mentioned as characteristic of ALESSANDRO DE MEDICI’S poetry. For his century was anything but artless; the great commonplaces that form the main stock of human thought were no longer in their first flush, and he addressed a people no longer childish. . . . Unquestionably his […]

Auctorial Induction

Story type: Literature

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” These questions, so long as they remain with the Muses, may very well be unaccompanied with severity, for where there is no other end of contemplation and inquiry but that of pastime alone, the understanding is not oppressed; but after the Muses have given over their riddles to Sphinx,–that is, to practise, which urges […]

Belhs Cavaliers

Story type: Literature

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” For this RAIMBAUT DE VAQUIERAS lived at a time when prolonged habits of extra-mundane contemplation, combined with the decay of real knowledge, were apt to volatilize the thoughts and aspirations of the best and wisest into dreamy unrealities, and to lend a false air of mysticism to love. . . . It is as […]

As Played at Ingilby, October 6, 1755 ” Though marriage be a lottery, in which there are a wondrous many blanks, yet there is one inestimable lot, in which the only heaven on earth is written. Would your kind fate but guide your hand to that, though I were wrapt in all that luxury itself […]

A Brown Woman

Story type: Literature

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” A critical age called for symmetry, and exquisite finish had to be studied as much as nobility of thought. . . . POPE aimed to take first place as a writer of polished verse. Any knowledge he gained of the world, or any suggestion that came to him from his intercourse with society, was […]

Concerning Corinna

Story type: Literature

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” Dr. Herrick told me that, in common with all the Enlightened or Illuminated Brothers, of which prying sect the age breeds so many, he trusted the great lines of Nature, not in the whole, but in part, as they believed Nature was in certain senses not true, and a betrayer, and that she was […]

Olivia’s Pottage

Story type: Literature

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” Mr. Wycherley was naturally modest until King Charles’ court, that late disgrace to our times, corrupted him. He then gave himself up to all sorts of extravagances and to the wildest frolics that a wanton wit could devise. . . . Never was so much ill-nature in a pen as in his, joined with […]

Judith’s Creed

Story type: Literature

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” It does not appear that the age thought his works worthy of posterity, nor that this great poet himself levied any ideal tribute on future times, or had any further prospect than of present popularity and present profit. So careless was he, indeed, of fame, that, when he retired to ease and plenty, while […]

“Though–or, rather, because–VANDERHOFFEN was a child of the French Revolution, and inherited his social, political and religious–or, rather, anti-religious–views from the French writers of the eighteenth century, England was not ready for him and the unshackled individualism for which he at first contended. Recognizing this fact, he turned to an order of writing begotten of […]

Pro Honoria

Story type: Literature

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” But that sense of negation, of theoretic insecurity, which was in the air, conspiring with what was of like tendency in himself, made of Lord UFFORD a central type of disillusion. . . . He had been amiable because the general betise of humanity did not in his opinion greatly matter, after all; and […]

The Irresistible Ogle

Story type: Literature

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“But after SHERIDAN had risen to a commanding position in the gay life of London, he rather disliked to be known as a playwright or a poet, and preferred to be regarded as a statesman and a man of fashion who ‘set the pace’ in all pastimes of the opulent and idle. Yet, whatever he […]

The Choices

Story type: Literature

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“Sest fable es en aquest monSemblans al homes que i son;Que el mager sen qu’om pot averSo es amar Dieu et sa mer,E gardar sos comendamens.” YSABEAU OF FRANCE, DESIROUS OFDISTRACTION, LOOKS FOR RECREATION IN THE TORMENTOF A CERTAIN KNIGHT, WHOM SHE PROVES TO BE NO MORETHAN HUMAN; BUT IN THE OUTCOME OF HER HOLIDAYHE […]

The Tenson

Story type: Literature

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“Plagues a Dieu ja la nueitz non falhis,Ni ‘l mieus amicx lonc de mi no s partis,Ni la gayta jorn ni alba ne vis.Oy Dieus! oy Dieus! de l’ alba tan tost ve!” ELLINOR OF CASTILE, BEINGENAMORED OF A HANDSOME PERSON, IS IN HER FLIGHT FROMMARITAL OBLIGATIONS ASSISTED BY HER HUSBAND, ANDIS IN THE END […]

The Rat-Trap

Story type: Literature

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“Leixant a part le stil dels trobados,Dos grans dezigs han combatut ma pensa,Mas lo voler vers un seguir dispensa;Yo l’vos publich, amar dretament vos.” MEREGRETT OF FRANCE, THINKINGTO PRESERVE A HOODWINKED GENTLEMAN, ANNOYS ASPIDER; AND BY THE GRACE OF DESTINY THE WEB OF THATCUNNING INSECT ENTRAPS A BUTTERFLY, A WASP, ANDTHEN A GOD; WHO SHATTERS […]

“In JOHN CHARTERIS appeared a man with an inborn sense of the supreme interest and the overwhelming emotional and spiritual relevancy of human life as it is actually and obscurely lived; a man with unmistakable creative impulses and potentialities; a man who, had he lived in a more mature and less self-deluding community–a community that […]

The Sestina

Story type: Literature

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“Armatz de fust e de fer e d’acier,Mos ostal seran bosc, fregz, e semdier,E mas cansos sestinas e descortz,E mantenrai los frevols contra ‘ls fortz.” THE FIRST NOVEL.–ALIANORA OF PROVENCE, COMING INDISGUISE AND IN ADVERSITY TO A CERTAIN CLERK, IS BYHIM CONDUCTED ACROSS A HOSTILE COUNTRY; AND INTHAT TROUBLED JOURNEY ARE MADE MANIFEST TO EITHERTHE […]

The Satraps

Story type: Literature

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“Je suis voix au desert criantQue chascun soyt rectifiantLa voye de Sauveur; non suis,Et accomplir je ne le puis.” ANNE OF BOHEMIA HAS ONE ONLY FRIEND,AND BY HIM PLAYS THE FRIEND’S PART; ANDACHIEVES IN DOING SO THEIR COMMON ANGUISH, AS WELLAS THE CONFUSION OF STATECRAFT AND THE POULTICINGOF A GREAT DISEASE. In the year of […]

The Scabbard

Story type: Literature

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“Ainsi il avoit trouve sa mieSi belle qu’on put souhaiter.N’avoit cure d’ailleurs plaider,Fors qu’avec lui manoir et estre.Bien est Amour puissant et maistre.” BRANWEN OF WALES GETS A KING’S LOVEUNWITTINGLY, AND IN ALL INNOCENCE CONVINCESHIM OF THE LITTLENESS OF HIS KINGDOM; SO THAT HEBESIEGES AND IN DUE COURSE TRIUMPHANTLY OCCUPIESANOTHER REALM AS YET UNMAPPED. In […]

The Housewife

Story type: Literature

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“Selh que m blasma vostr’ amor ni m defenNon podon far en re mon cor mellor,Ni’l dous dezir qu’ieu ai de vos major,Ni l’enveya’ ni’l dezir, ni’l talen.” PHILIPPA OF HAINAULT DARES TOLOVE UNTHRIFTILY, AND BY THE PRODIGALITY OF HERAFFECTION SHAMES TREACHERY, AND COMMON-SENSE,AND HIGH ROMANCE, QUITE STOLIDLY; BUT, AS LOVINGGOES, IS OVERTOPPED BY HER […]

The Navarrese

Story type: Literature

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“J’ay en mon cueur joyeusementEscript, afin que ne l’oublie,Ce refrain qu’ayme chierement,C’estes vous de qui suis amye.” JEHANE OF NAVARRE, AFTER A SHREWD WITHSTANDINGOF ALL OTHER ASSAULTS, IS IN A LONGDUEL WHEREIN TIME AND COMMON-SENSE ARE FLOUTED,AND TWO KINGDOMS SHAKEN, ALIKE DETHRONED ANDRECOMPENSED BY AN ENDURING LUNACY. In the year of grace 1386, upon the […]

The Fox-Brush

Story type: Literature

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“Dame serez de mon cueur, sans debat,Entierement, jusques mort me consume.Laurier souef qui pour mon droit combat,Olivier franc, m’ostant toute amertume.” KATHARINE OF VALOIS IS WON BY A HUNTSMAN,AND LOVES HIM GREATLY; THEN FINDS HIM, TOHER HORROR, AN IMPOSTOR; AND FOR A SUFFICIENT REASONCONSENTS TO MARRY QUITE ANOTHER PERSON, ANDNOT ALL UNWILLINGLY. In the year […]