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243 Works of Robert Louis Stevenson

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Markheim

Story type: Literature

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‘Yes,’ said the dealer, ‘our windfalls are of various kinds. Some customers are ignorant, and then I touch a dividend on my superior knowledge. Some are dishonest,’ and here he held up the candle, so that the light fell strongly on his visitor, ‘and in that case,’ he continued, ‘I profit by my virtue. ’ […]

The Body-Snatcher

Story type: Literature

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EVERY night in the year, four of us sat in the small parlour of the George at Debenham — the undertaker, and the landlord, and Fettes, and myself. Sometimes there would be more; but blow high, blow low, come rain or snow or frost, we four would be each planted in his own particular arm–chair. […]

The Bottle Imp

Story type: Literature

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Note. — Any student of that very unliterary product, the English drama of the early part of the century, will here recognise the name and the root idea of a piece once rendered popular by the redoubtable O. Smith. The root idea is there and identical, and yet I hope I have made it a […]

The Song Of Rahero

Story type: Literature

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A Legend Of Tahiti TO ORI A ORI Ori, my brother in the island mode, In every tongue and meaning much my friend, This story of your country and your clan, In your loved house, your too much honoured guest, I made in English. Take it, being done; And let me sign it with the […]

The Feast Of Famine

Story type: Literature

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Marquesan Manners I. THE PRIEST’S VIGIL In all the land of the tribe was neither fish nor fruit, And the deepest pit of popoi stood empty to the foot. {2a} The clans upon the left and the clans upon the right Now oiled their carven maces and scoured their daggers bright; They gat them to […]

Ticonderoga

Story type: Literature

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A Legend Of The West Highlands This is the tale of the man Who heard a word in the night In the land of the heathery hills, In the days of the feud and the fight. By the sides of the rainy sea, Where never a stranger came, On the awful lips of the dead, […]

Christmas At Sea

Story type: Poetry

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The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand; The decks were like a slide, where a seaman scarce could stand; The wind was a nor’wester, blowing squally off the sea; And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee. They heard the surf a-roaring before the break of day; But ’twas […]

Heather Ale

Story type: Poetry

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A Galloway Legend From the bonny bells of heather They brewed a drink long-syne, Was sweeter far than honey, Was stronger far than wine. They brewed it and they drank it, And lay in a blessed swound For days and days together In their dwellings underground. There rose a king in Scotland, A fell man […]

The Vagabond

Story type: Poetry

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(To an air of Schubert) GIVE to me the life I love, Let the lave go by me, Give the jolly heaven above And the byway nigh me. Bed in the bush with stars to see, Bread I dip in the river – There’s the life for a man like me, There’s the life for […]

Evensong

Story type: Poetry

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THE embers of the day are red Beyond the murky hill. The kitchen smokes: the bed In the darkling house is spread: The great sky darkens overhead, And the great woods are shrill. So far have I been led, Lord, by Thy will: So far I have followed, Lord, and wondered still. The breeze from […]

To S. R. Crockett

Story type: Poetry

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(On Receiving a Dedication) BLOWS the wind to-day, and the sun and the rain are flying, Blows the wind on the moors to-day and now, Where about the graves of the martyrs the whaups are crying, My heart remembers how! Grey recumbent tombs of the dead in desert places, Standing stones on the vacant wine-red […]

SING me a song of a lad that is gone, Say, could that lad be I? Merry of soul he sailed on a day Over the sea to Skye. Mull was astern, Rum on the port, Eigg on the starboard bow; Glory of youth glowed in his soul: Where is that glory now? Sing me […]

WE uncommiserate pass into the night From the loud banquet, and departing leave A tremor in men’s memories, faint and sweet And frail as music. Features of our face, The tones of the voice, the touch of the loved hand, Perish and vanish, one by one, from earth: Meanwhile, in the hall of song, the […]

An End Of Travel

Story type: Poetry

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LET now your soul in this substantial world Some anchor strike. Be here the body moored; – This spectacle immutably from now The picture in your eye; and when time strikes, And the green scene goes on the instant blind – The ultimate helpers, where your horse to-day Conveyed you dreaming, bear your body dead. […]

Tropic Rain

Story type: Poetry

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AS the single pang of the blow, when the metal is mingled well, Rings and lives and resounds in all the bounds of the bell, So the thunder above spoke with a single tongue, So in the heart of the mountain the sound of it rumbled and clung. Sudden the thunder was drowned – quenched […]

The Woodman

Story type: Poetry

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IN all the grove, nor stream nor bird Nor aught beside my blows was heard, And the woods wore their noonday dress – The glory of their silentness. From the island summit to the seas, Trees mounted, and trees drooped, and trees Groped upward in the gaps. The green Inarboured talus and ravine By fathoms. […]

[At my departure from the island of Apemama, for which you will look in vain in most atlases, the King and I agreed, since we both set up to be in the poetical way, that we should celebrate our separation in verse. Whether or not his Majesty has been true to his bargain, the laggard […]

To S. C

Story type: Poetry

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I HEARD the pulse of the besieging sea Throb far away all night. I heard the wind Fly crying and convulse tumultuous palms. I rose and strolled. The isle was all bright sand, And flailing fans and shadows of the palm; The heaven all moon and wind and the blind vault; The keenest planet slain, […]

THE tropics vanish, and meseems that I, From Halkerside, from topmost Allermuir, Or steep Caerketton, dreaming gaze again. Far set in fields and woods, the town I see Spring gallant from the shallows of her smoke, Cragged, spired, and turreted, her virgin fort Beflagged. About, on seaward-drooping hills, New folds of city glitter. Last, the […]

DO you remember – can we e’er forget? – How, in the coiled-perplexities of youth, In our wild climate, in our scowling town, We gloomed and shivered, sorrowed, sobbed and feared? The belching winter wind, the missile rain, The rare and welcome silence of the snows, The laggard morn, the haggard day, the night, The […]

LONG must elapse ere you behold again Green forest frame the entry of the lane – The wild lane with the bramble and the brier, The year-old cart-tracks perfect in the mire, The wayside smoke, perchance, the dwarfish huts, And ramblers’ donkey drinking from the ruts: – Long ere you trace how deviously it leads, […]

In Memoriam E. H

Story type: Poetry

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I KNEW a silver head was bright beyond compare, I knew a queen of toil with a crown of silver hair. Garland of valour and sorrow, of beauty and renown, Life, that honours the brave, crowned her himself with the crown. The beauties of youth are frail, but this was a jewel of age. Life, […]

To see the infinite pity of this place, The mangled limb, the devastated face, The innocent sufferer smiling at the rod – A fool were tempted to deny his God. He sees, he shrinks. But if he gaze again, Lo, beauty springing from the breast of pain! He marks the sisters on the mournful shores; […]

[Written in April to Kaiulani in the April of her age; and at Waikiki, within easy walk of Kaiulani’s banyan! When she comes to my land and her father’s, and the rain beats upon the window (as I fear it will), let her look at this page; it will be like a weed gathered and […]

To Kalakaua

Story type: Poetry

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(with a Present of a Pearl) THE Silver Ship, my King – that was her name In the bright islands whence your fathers came – The Silver Ship, at rest from winds and tides, Below your palace in your harbour rides: And the seafarers, sitting safe on shore, Like eager merchants count their treasures o’er. […]

SINCE long ago, a child at home, I read and longed to rise and roam, Where’er I went, whate’er I willed, One promised land my fancy filled. Hence the long roads my home I made; Tossed much in ships; have often laid Below the uncurtained sky my head, Rain-deluged and wind-buffeted: And many a thousand […]

To The Muse

Story type: Poetry

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RESIGN the rhapsody, the dream, To men of larger reach; Be ours the quest of a plain theme, The piety of speech. As monkish scribes from morning break Toiled till the close of light, Nor thought a day too long to make One line or letter bright: We also with an ardent mind, Time, wealth, […]

My Wife

Story type: Poetry

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TRUSTY, dusky, vivid, true, With eyes of gold and bramble-dew, Steel-true and blade-straight, The great artificer Made my mate. Honour, anger, valour, fire; A love that life could never tire, Death quench or evil stir, The mighty master Gave to her. Teacher, tender, comrade, wife, A fellow-farer true through life, Heart-whole and soul-free The august […]

GOD, if this were enough, That I see things bare to the buff And up to the buttocks in mire; That I ask nor hope nor hire, Nut in the husk, Nor dawn beyond the dusk, Nor life beyond death: God, if this were faith? Having felt thy wind in my face Spit sorrow and […]

FAREWELL, fair day and fading light! The clay-born here, with westward sight, Marks the huge sun now downward soar. Farewell. We twain shall meet no more. Farewell. I watch with bursting sigh My late contemned occasion die. I linger useless in my tent: Farewell, fair day, so foully spent! Farewell, fair day. If any God […]

HE hears with gladdened heart the thunder Peal, and loves the falling dew; He knows the earth above and under – Sits and is content to view. He sits beside the dying ember, God for hope and man for friend, Content to see, glad to remember, Expectant of the certain end.

I HAVE trod the upward and the downward slope; I have endured and done in days before; I have longed for all, and bid farewell to hope; And I have lived and loved, and closed the door.

THE morning drum-call on my eager ear Thrills unforgotten yet; the morning dew Lies yet undried along my field of noon. But now I pause at whiles in what I do, And count the bell, and tremble lest I hear (My work untrimmed) the sunset gun too soon.

To —

Story type: Poetry

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I KNEW thee strong and quiet like the hills; I knew thee apt to pity, brave to endure, In peace or war a Roman full equipt; And just I knew thee, like the fabled kings Who by the loud sea-shore gave judgment forth, From dawn to eve, bearded and few of words. What, what, was […]

To Dr. Hake

Story type: Poetry

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(on Receiving a Copy of Verses) IN the beloved hour that ushers day, In the pure dew, under the breaking grey, One bird, ere yet the woodland quires awake, With brief reveille summons all the brake: Chirp, chirp, it goes; nor waits an answer long; And that small signal fills the grove with song. Thus […]

THE stormy evening closes now in vain, Loud wails the wind and beats the driving rain, While here in sheltered house With fire-ypainted walls, I hear the wind abroad, I hark the calling squalls – ‘Blow, blow,’ I cry, ‘you burst your cheeks in vain! Blow, blow,’ I cry, ‘my love is home again!’ Yon […]

Winter

Story type: Poetry

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IN rigorous hours, when down the iron lane The redbreast looks in vain For hips and haws, Lo, shining flowers upon my window-pane The silver pencil of the winter draws. When all the snowy hill And the bare woods are still; When snipes are silent in the frozen bogs, And all the garden garth is […]

IN the highlands, in the country places, Where the old plain men have rosy faces, And the young fair maidens Quiet eyes; Where essential silence cheers and blesses, And for ever in the hill-recesses Her more lovely music Broods and dies. O to mount again where erst I haunted; Where the old red hills are […]

(To the tune of Wandering Willie) HOME no more home to me, whither must I wander? Hunger my driver, I go where I must. Cold blows the winter wind over hill and heather; Thick drives the rain, and my roof is in the dust. Loved of wise men was the shade of my roof-tree. The […]

BRIGHT is the ring of words When the right man rings them, Fair the fall of songs When the singer sings them. Still they are carolled and said – On wings they are carried – After the singer is dead And the maker buried. Low as the singer lies In the field of heather, Songs […]

Mater Triumphans

Story type: Poetry

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SON of my woman’s body, you go, to the drum and fife, To taste the colour of love and the other side of life – From out of the dainty the rude, the strong from out of the frail, Eternally through the ages from the female comes the male. The ten fingers and toes, and […]

(To an Air of Diabelli) BERRIED brake and reedy island, Heaven below, and only heaven above, Through the sky’s inverted azure Softly swam the boat that bore our love. Bright were your eyes as the day; Bright ran the stream, Bright hung the sky above. Days of April, airs of Eden, How the glory died […]

I WILL make you brooches and toys for your delight Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night. I will make a palace fit for you and me Of green days in forests and blue days at sea. I will make my kitchen, and you shall keep your room, Where white flows the river and […]

I KNOW not how it is with you – I love the first and last, The whole field of the present view, The whole flow of the past. One tittle of the things that are, Nor you should change nor I – One pebble in our path – one star In all our heaven of […]

LET Beauty awake in the morn from beautiful dreams, Beauty awake from rest! Let Beauty awake For Beauty’s sake In the hour when the birds awake in the brake And the stars are bright in the west! Let Beauty awake in the eve from the slumber of day, Awake in the crimson eve! In the […]

TO you, let snow and roses And golden locks belong. These are the world’s enslavers, Let these delight the throng. For her of duskier lustre Whose favour still I wear, The snow be in her kirtle, The rose be in her hair! The hue of highland rivers Careering, full and cool, From sable on to […]

PLAIN as the glistering planets shine When winds have cleaned the skies, Her love appeared, appealed for mine, And wantoned in her eyes. Clear as the shining tapers burned On Cytherea’s shrine, Those brimming, lustrous beauties turned, And called and conquered mine. The beacon-lamp that Hero lit No fairer shone on sea, No plainlier summoned […]

THE infinite shining heavens Rose and I saw in the night Uncountable angel stars Showering sorrow and light. I saw them distant as heaven, Dumb and shining and dead, And the idle stars of the night Were dearer to me than bread. Night after night in my sorrow The stars stood over the sea, Till […]

SHE rested by the Broken Brook, She drank of Weary Well, She moved beyond my lingering look, Ah, whither none can tell! She came, she went. In other lands, Perchance in fairer skies, Her hands shall cling with other hands, Her eyes to other eyes. She vanished. In the sounding town, Will she remember too? […]

IN dreams, unhappy, I behold you stand As heretofore: The unremembered tokens in your hand Avail no more. No more the morning glow, no more the grace, Enshrines, endears. Cold beats the light of time upon your face And shows your tears. He came and went. Perchance you wept a while And then forgot. Ah […]

ONCE only by the garden gate Our lips we joined and parted. I must fulfil an empty fate And travel the uncharted. Hail and farewell! I must arise, Leave here the fatted cattle, And paint on foreign lands and skies My Odyssey of battle. The untented Kosmos my abode, I pass, a wilful stranger: My […]

To the heart of youth the world is a highwayside. Passing for ever, he fares; and on either hand, Deep in the gardens golden pavilions hide, Nestle in orchard bloom, and far on the level land Call him with lighted lamp in the eventide. Thick as the stars at night when the moon is down, […]

Moral Emblems I

Story type: Poetry

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Poem: I See how the children in the print Bound on the book to see what’s in ‘t! O, like these pretty babes, may you Seize and APPLY this volume too! And while your eye upon the cuts With harmless ardour opes and shuts, Reader, may your immortal mind To their sage lessons not be […]

The Isle Of Voices

Story type: Literature

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Keola was married with Lehua, daughter of Kalamake, the wise man of Molokai, and he kept his dwelling with the father of his wife. There was no man more cunning than that prophet; he read the stars, he could divine by the bodies of the dead, and by the means of evil creatures: he could […]

Will O’ the Mill

Story type: Literature

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CHAPTER I. THE PLAIN AND THE STARS. The Mill here Will lived with his adopted parents stood in a falling valley between pinewoods and great mountains. Above, hill after hill, soared upwards until they soared out of the depth of the hardiest timber, and stood naked against the sky. Some way up, a long grey […]

Olalla

Story type: Literature

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‘Now,’ said the doctor, ‘my part is done, and, I may say, with some vanity, well done. It remains only to get you out of this cold and poisonous city, and to give you two months of a pure air and an easy conscience. The last is your affair. To the first I think I […]

Originally intended to serve as the opening chapter of “Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes” Le Monastier is the chief place of a hilly canton in Haute Loire, the ancient Velay. As the name betokens, the town is of monastic origin; and it still contains a towered bulk of monastery and a church of […]

CITIES given, the problem was to light them. How to conduct individual citizens about the burgess-warren, when once heaven had withdrawn its leading luminary? or – since we live in a scientific age – when once our spinning planet has turned its back upon the sun? The moon, from time to time, was doubtless very […]

Pan’s Pipes

Story type: Essay

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THE world in which we live has been variously said and sung by the most ingenious poets and philosophers: these reducing it to formulae and chemical ingredients, those striking the lyre in high-sounding measures for the handiwork of God. What experience supplies is of a mingled tissue, and the choosing mind has much to reject […]

A Lodging For The Night

Story type: Literature

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It was late in November 1456. The snow fell over Paris with rigorous, relentless persistence; sometimes the wind made a sally and scattered it in flying vortices; sometimes there was a lull, and flake after flake descended out of the black night air, silent, circuitous, interminable. To poor people, looking up under moist eyebrows, it […]

CHAPTER I Monsieur Leon Berthelini had a great care of his appearance, and sedulously suited his deportment to the costume of the hour. He affected something Spanish in his air, and something of the bandit, with a flavour of Rembrandt at home. In person he was decidedly small and inclined to be stout; his face […]

Denis de Beaulieu was not yet two-and-twenty, but he counted himself a grown man, and a very accomplished cavalier into the bargain. Lads were early formed in that rough, warfaring epoch; and when one has been in a pitched battle and a dozen raids, has killed one’s man in an honourable fashion, and knows a […]

Prince Florizel walked with Mr. Rolles to the door of a small hotel where the latter resided. They spoke much together, and the clergyman was more than once affected to tears by the mingled severity and tenderness of Florizel’s reproaches. “I have made ruin of my life,” he said at last. “Help me; tell me […]

Francis Scrymgeour, a clerk in the Bank of Scotland at Edinburgh, had attained the age of twenty-five in a sphere of quiet, creditable, and domestic life. His mother died while he was young; but his father, a man of sense and probity, had given him an excellent education at school, and brought him up at […]

The Reverend Mr. Simon Rolles had distinguished himself in the Moral Sciences, and was more than usually proficient in the study of Divinity. His essay “On the Christian Doctrine of the Social Obligations” obtained for him, at the moment of its production, a certain celebrity in the University of Oxford; and it was understood in […]

The Bandbox

Story type: Literature

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UP to the age of sixteen, at a private school and afterwards at one of those great institutions for which England is justly famous, Mr. Harry Hartley had received the ordinary education of a gentleman. At that period, he manifested a remarkable distaste for study; and his only surviving parent being both weak and ignorant, […]

Lieutenant Brackenbury Rich had greatly distinguished himself in one of the lesser Indian hill wars. He it was who took the chieftain prisoner with his own hand; his gallantry was universally applauded; and when he came home, prostrated by an ugly sabre cut and a protracted jungle fever, society was prepared to welcome the Lieutenant […]

MR. SILAS Q. SCUDDAMORE was a young American of a simple and harmless disposition, which was the more to his credit as he came from New England – a quarter of the New World not precisely famous for those qualities. Although he was exceedingly rich, he kept a note of all his expenses in a […]

I THE clinkum-clank o’ Sabbath bells Noo to the hoastin’ rookery swells, Noo faintin’ laigh in shady dells, Sounds far an’ near, An’ through the simmer kintry tells Its tale o’ cheer. II An’ noo, to that melodious play, A deidly awn the quiet sway – A’ ken their solemn holiday, Bestial an’ human, The […]

INTRODUCTION In every Samoan household the day is closed with prayer and the singing of hymns. The omission of this sacred duty would indicate, not only a lack of religious training in the house chief, but a shameless disregard of all that is reputable in Samoan social life. No doubt, to many, the evening service […]

The Waif Woman

Story type: Literature

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This is a tale of Iceland, the isle of stories, and of a thing that befell in the year of the coming there of Christianity. In the spring of that year a ship sailed from the South Isles to traffic, and fell becalmed inside Snowfellness. The winds had speeded her; she was the first comer […]

Walking Tours

Story type: Essay

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IT must not be imagined that a walking tour, as some would have us fancy, is merely a better or worse way of seeing the country. There are many ways of seeing landscape quite as good; and none more vivid, in spite of canting dilettantes, than from a railway train. But landscape on a walking […]

Child’s Play

Story type: Essay

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THE regret we have for our childhood is not wholly justifiable: so much a man may lay down without fear of public ribaldry; for although we shake our heads over the change, we are not unconscious of the manifold advantages of our new state. What we lose in generous impulse, we more than gain in […]

THROUGH the initiative of a prominent citizen, Edinburgh has been in possession, for some autumn weeks, of a gallery of paintings of singular merit and interest. They were exposed in the apartments of the Scotch Academy; and filled those who are accustomed to visit the annual spring exhibition, with astonishment and a sense of incongruity. […]

“Whether it be wise in men to do such actions or no, I am sure it is so in States to honour them.” – SIR WILLIAM TEMPLE. THERE is one story of the wars of Rome which I have always very much envied for England. Germanicus was going down at the head of the legions […]

El Dorado

Story type: Essay

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IT seems as if a great deal were attainable in a world where there are so many marriages and decisive battles, and where we all, at certain hours of the day, and with great gusto and despatch, stow a portion of victuals finally and irretrievably into the bag which contains us. And it would seem […]

BY a curious irony of fate, the places to which we are sent when health deserts us are often singularly beautiful. Often, too, they are places we have visited in former years, or seen briefly in passing by, and kept ever afterwards in pious memory; and we please ourselves with the fancy that we shall […]

“You know my mother now and then argues very notably; always very warmly at least. I happen often to differ from her; and we both think so well of our own arguments, that we very seldom are so happy as to convince one another. A pretty common case, I believe, in all VEHEMENT debatings. She […]

WITH the single exception of Falstaff, all Shakespeare’s characters are what we call marrying men. Mercutio, as he was own cousin to Benedick and Biron, would have come to the same end in the long run. Even Iago had a wife, and, what is far stranger, he was jealous. People like Jacques and the Fool […]

Heathercat

Story type: Literature

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(Unfinished story) CHAPTER I. TRAQUAIRS OF MONTROYMONT The period of this tale is in the heat of the KILLING-TIME; the scene laid for the most part in solitary hills and morasses, haunted only by the so-called Mountain Wanderers, the dragoons that came in chase of them, the women that wept on their dead bodies, and […]

The Young Chevalier

Story type: Literature

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(Unfinished story) PROLOGUE. THE WINE-SELLER’S WIFE There was a wine-seller’s shop, as you went down to the river in the city of the Anti-popes. There a man was served with good wine of the country and plain country fare; and the place being clean and quiet, with a prospect on the river, certain gentlemen who […]

CHAPTER I. NANCE AT THE ‘GREEN DRAGON’ Nance Holdaway was on her knees before the fire blowing the green wood that voluminously smoked upon the dogs, and only now and then shot forth a smothered flame; her knees already ached and her eyes smarted, for she had been some while at this ungrateful task, but […]

Sketches

Story type: Essay

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SATIRIST My companion enjoyed a cheap reputation for wit and insight. He was by habit and repute a satirist. If he did occasionally condemn anything or anybody who richly deserved it, and whose demerits had hitherto escaped, it was simply because he condemned everything and everybody. While I was with him he disposed of St. […]

Criticisms

Story type: Essay

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CHAPTER I. LORD LYTTON’S ‘FABLES IN SONG’ It seems as if Lord Lytton, in this new book of his, had found the form most natural to his talent. In some ways, indeed, it may be held inferior to Chronicles and Characters; we look in vain for anything like the terrible intensity of the night-scene in […]

College Papers

Story type: Essay

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CHAPTER I. EDINBURGH STUDENTS IN 1824 On the 2nd of January 1824 was issued the prospectus of the Lapsus Linguae; or, the College Tatler; and on the 7th the first number appeared. On Friday the 2nd of April ‘Mr. Tatler became speechless.’ Its history was not all one success; for the editor (who applies to […]

History is much decried; it is a tissue of errors, we are told, no doubt correctly; and rival historians expose each other’s blunders with gratification. Yet the worst historian has a clearer view of the period he studies than the best of us can hope to form of that in which we live. The obscurest […]

A PAGE OF HISTORY 1666 ‘A cloud of witnesses lyes here, Who for Christ’s interest did appear.’ Inscription on Battlefield at Rullion Green. CHAPTER I. THE CAUSES OF THE REVOLT ‘Halt, passenger; take heed what thou dost see, This tomb doth show for what some men did die.’ Monument, Greyfriars’ Churchyard, Edinburgh, 1661-1668. {2a} {2a} […]

Lay Morals

Story type: Essay

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CHAPTER I The problem of education is twofold: first to know, and then to utter. Every one who lives any semblance of an inner life thinks more nobly and profoundly than he speaks; and the best of teachers can impart only broken images of the truth which they perceive. Speech which goes from one to […]

Father Damien

Story type: Essay

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FATHER DAMIEN AN OPEN LETTER TO THE REVEREND DOCTOR HYDE OF HONOLULU FROM ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON 1914 LONDON CHATTO & WINDUS A new impression All rights reserved SYDNEY, February 25, 1890. Sir,–It may probably occur to you that we have met, and visited, and conversed; on my side, with interest. You may remember that you […]

The Story of a Lie

Story type: Literature

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CHAPTER I – INTRODUCES THE ADMIRAL WHEN Dick Naseby was in Paris he made some odd acquaintances; for he was one of those who have ears to hear, and can use their eyes no less than their intelligence. He made as many thoughts as Stuart Mill; but his philosophy concerned flesh and blood, and was […]

CHAPTER I. BY THE DYING MOUNTEBANK They had sent for the doctor from Bourron before six. About eight some villagers came round for the performance, and were told how matters stood. It seemed a liberty for a mountebank to fall ill like real people, and they made off again in dudgeon. By ten Madame Tentaillon […]

The Merry Men

Story type: Literature

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CHAPTER I. EILEAN AROS. It was a beautiful morning in the late July when I set forth on foot for the last time for Aros. A boat had put me ashore the night before at Grisapol; I had such breakfast as the little inn afforded, and, leaving all my baggage till I had an occasion […]

The Suicide Club

Story type: Literature

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STORY OF THE YOUNG MAN WITH THE CREAM TARTS During his residence in London, the accomplished Prince Florizel of Bohemia gained the affection of all classes by the seduction of his manner and by a well-considered generosity. He was a remarkable man even by what was known of him; and that was but a small […]

I All through my boyhood and youth, I was known and pointed out for the pattern of an idler;[1] and yet I was always busy on my own private end, which was to learn to write. I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in. As I walked, my […]

The civilisation, the manners, and the morals of dog-kind[1] are to a great extent subordinated to those of his ancestral master, man. This animal, in many ways so superior, has accepted a position of inferiority, shares the domestic life, and humours the caprices of the tyrant. But the potentate, like the British in India, pays […]

In anything fit to be called by the name of reading, the process itself should be absorbing and voluptuous; we should gloat over a book, be rapt clean out of ourselves, and rise from the perusal, our mind filled with the busiest, kaleidoscopic dance of images, incapable of sleep or of continuous thought. The words, […]

I “Sir, we had a good talk.”[1]–JOHNSON. “As we must account[2] for every idle word, so we must for every idle silence.”–FRANKLIN. There can be no fairer ambition than to excel in talk; to be affable, gay, ready, clear and welcome; to have a fact, a thought, or an illustration, pat to every subject; and […]

Aes Triplex

Story type: Essay

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[1] The changes wrought by death are in themselves so sharp and final, and so terrible and melancholy in their consequences, that the thing stands alone in man’s experience, and has no parallel upon earth. It outdoes all other accidents because it is the last of them. Sometimes it leaps suddenly upon its victims, like […]

BOSWELL: “We grow weary when idle.” JOHNSON: “That is, sir, because others being busy, we want company; but if we were idle, there would be no growing weary; we should all entertain one another.”[1] Just now, when every one is bound, under pain of a decree in absence convicting them of lese-respectability,[2] to enter on […]

It is a difficult matter[1] to make the most of any given place, and we have much in our own power. Things looked at patiently from one side after another generally end by showing a side that is beautiful. A few months ago some words were said in the Portfolio as to an “austere regimen […]

{19} 1889. Although an old, consistent exile, the editor of the following pages revisits now and again the city of which he exults to be a native; and there are few things more strange, more painful, or more salutary, than such revisitations. Outside, in foreign spots, he comes by surprise and awakens more attention than […]

I was walking one night in the verandah of a small house in which I lived, outside the hamlet of Saranac. It was winter; the night was very dark; the air extraordinary clear and cold, and sweet with the purity of forests. From a good way below, the river was to be heard contending with […]

{17} It was far indeed from being my first book, for I am not a novelist alone. But I am well aware that my paymaster, the Great Public, regards what else I have written with indifference, if not aversion; if it call upon me at all, it calls on me in the familiar and indelible […]

{16} Style is the invariable mark of any master; and for the student who does not aspire so high as to be numbered with the giants, it is still the one quality in which he may improve himself at will. Passion, wisdom, creative force, the power of mystery or colour, are allotted in the hour […]

{14} The Editor {15} has somewhat insidiously laid a trap for his correspondents, the question put appearing at first so innocent, truly cutting so deep. It is not, indeed, until after some reconnaissance and review that the writer awakes to find himself engaged upon something in the nature of autobiography, or, perhaps worse, upon a […]

{11} The profession of letters has been lately debated in the public prints; and it has been debated, to put the matter mildly, from a point of view that was calculated to surprise high-minded men, and bring a general contempt on books and reading. Some time ago, in particular, a lively, pleasant, popular writer {12} […]

{1} There is nothing more disenchanting to man than to be shown the springs and mechanism of any art. All our arts and occupations lie wholly on the surface; it is on the surface that we perceive their beauty, fitness, and significance; and to pry below is to be appalled by their emptiness and shocked […]

Rain

Story type: Poetry

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The rain is falling all around, It falls on field and tree, It rains on the umbrellas here, And on the ships at sea.

The Cow

Story type: Poetry

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The friendly cow all red and white, I love with all my heart: She gives me cream with all her might, To eat with apple-tart. She wanders lowing here and there, And yet she cannot stray, All in the pleasant open air, The pleasant light of day; And blown by all the winds that pass […]

Good-Night

Story type: Poetry

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When the bright lamp is carried in, The sunless hours again begin; O’er all without, in field and lane, The haunted night returns again. Now we behold the embers flee About the firelit hearth; and see Our faces painted as we pass, Like pictures, on the window glass. Must we to bed indeed? Well then, […]

Gardener

Story type: Poetry

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The gardener does not love to talk. He makes me keep the gravel walk; And when he puts his tools away, He locks the door and takes the key. Away behind the currant row, Where no one else but cook may go, Far in the plots, I see him dig, Old and serious, brown and […]

To Any Reader

Story type: Poetry

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As from the house your mother sees You playing round the garden trees, So you may see, if you will look Through the windows of this book, Another child, far, far away, And in another garden, play. But do not think you can at all, By knocking on the window, call That child to hear […]

To My Name-Child

Story type: Poetry

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1 Some day soon this rhyming volume, if you learn with proper speed, Little Louis Sanchez, will be given you to read. Then you shall discover, that your name was printed down By the English printers, long before, in London town. In the great and busy city where the East and West are met, All […]

To Minnie

Story type: Poetry

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The red room with the giant bed Where none but elders laid their head; The little room where you and I Did for awhile together lie And, simple suitor, I your hand In decent marriage did demand; The great day nursery, best of all, With pictures pasted on the wall And leaves upon the blind– […]

To My Mother You too, my mother, read my rhymes For love of unforgotten times, And you may chance to hear once more The little feet along the floor. To Auntie “Chief of our aunts”–not only I, But all your dozen of nurselings cry– “What did the other children do? And what were childhood, wanting […]

If two may read aright These rhymes of old delight And house and garden play, You two, my cousins, and you only, may. You in a garden green With me were king and queen, Were hunter, soldier, tar, And all the thousand things that children are. Now in the elders’ seat We rest with quiet […]

Dear Uncle Jim, this garden ground That now you smoke your pipe around, Has seen immortal actions done And valiant battles lost and won. Here we had best on tip-toe tread, While I for safety march ahead, For this is that enchanted ground Where all who loiter slumber sound. Here is the sea, here is […]

Autumn Fires

Story type: Poetry

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In the other gardens And all up the vale, From the autumn bonfires See the smoke trail! Pleasant summer over And all the summer flowers, The red fire blazes, The grey smoke towers. Sing a song of seasons! Something bright in all! Flowers in the summer, Fires in the fall!

The Dumb Soldier

Story type: Poetry

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When the grass was closely mown, Walking on the lawn alone, In the turf a hole I found, And hid a soldier underground. Spring and daisies came apace; Grasses hide my hiding place; Grasses run like a green sea O’er the lawn up to my knee. Under grass alone he lies, Looking up with leaden […]

Summer Sun

Story type: Poetry

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Great is the sun, and wide he goes Through empty heaven with repose; And in the blue and glowing days More thick than rain he showers his rays. Though closer still the blinds we pull To keep the shady parlour cool, Yet he will find a chink or two To slip his golden fingers through. […]

Flowers

Story type: Poetry

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All the names I know from nurse: Gardener’s garters, Shepherd’s purse, Bachelor’s buttons, Lady’s smock, And the Lady Hollyhock. Fairy places, fairy things, Fairy woods where the wild bee wings, Tiny trees for tiny dames– These must all be fairy names! Tiny woods below whose boughs Shady fairies weave a house; Tiny tree-tops, rose or […]

Nest Eggs

Story type: Poetry

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Birds all the sunny day Flutter and quarrel Here in the arbour-like Tent of the laurel. Here in the fork The brown nest is seated; Four little blue eggs The mother keeps heated. While we stand watching her Staring like gabies, Safe in each egg are the Bird’s little babies. Soon the frail eggs they […]

Night And Day

Story type: Poetry

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When the golden day is done, Through the closing portal, Child and garden, flower and sun, Vanish all things mortal. As the building shadows fall As the rays diminish, Under evening’s cloak they all Roll away and vanish. Garden darkened, daisy shut, Child in bed, they slumber– Glow-worm in the hallway rut, Mice among the […]

The Little Land

Story type: Poetry

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When at home alone I sit And am very tired of it, I have just to shut my eyes To go sailing through the skies– To go sailing far away To the pleasant Land of Play; To the fairy land afar Where the Little People are; Where the clover-tops are trees, And the rain-pools are […]

The lamps now glitter down the street; Faintly sound the falling feet; And the blue even slowly falls About the garden trees and walls. Now in the falling of the gloom The red fire paints the empty room: And warmly on the roof it looks, And flickers on the back of books. Armies march by […]

At evening when the lamp is lit, Around the fire my parents sit; They sit at home and talk and sing, And do not play at anything. Now, with my little gun, I crawl All in the dark along the wall, And follow round the forest track Away behind the sofa back. There, in the […]

Block City

Story type: Poetry

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What are you able to build with your blocks? Castles and palaces, temples and docks. Rain may keep raining, and others go roam, But I can be happy and building at home. Let the sofa be mountains, the carpet be sea, There I’ll establish a city for me: A kirk and a mill and a […]

My Treasures

Story type: Poetry

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These nuts, that I keep in the back of the nest, Where all my tin soldiers are lying at rest, Were gathered in Autumn by nursie and me In a wood with a well by the side of the sea. This whistle we made (and how clearly it sounds!) By the side of a field […]

Summer fading, winter comes– Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs, Window robins, winter rooks, And the picture story-books. Water now is turned to stone Nurse and I can walk upon; Still we find the flowing brooks In the picture story-books. All the pretty things put by, Wait upon the children’s eye, Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks, […]

My Kingdom

Story type: Poetry

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Down by a shining water well I found a very little dell, No higher than my head. The heather and the gorse about In summer bloom were coming out, Some yellow and some red. I called the little pool a sea; The little hills were big to me; For I am very small. I made […]

My Ship And I

Story type: Poetry

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O it’s I that am the captain of a tidy little ship, Of a ship that goes a sailing on the pond; And my ship it keeps a-turning all around and all about; But when I’m a little older, I shall find the secret out How to send my vessel sailing on beyond. For I […]

When children are playing alone on the green, In comes the playmate that never was seen. When children are happy and lonely and good, The Friend of the Children comes out of the wood. Nobody heard him, and nobody saw, His is a picture you never could draw, But he’s sure to be present, abroad […]

In Port

Story type: Poetry

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Last, to the chamber where I lie My fearful footsteps patter nigh, And come out from the cold and gloom Into my warm and cheerful room. There, safe arrived, we turn about To keep the coming shadows out, And close the happy door at last On all the perils that we past. Then, when mamma […]

Shadow March

Story type: Poetry

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All around the house is the jet-black night; It stares through the window-pane; It crawls in the corners, hiding from the light, And it moves with the moving flame. Now my little heart goes a beating like a drum, With the breath of the Bogies in my hair; And all around the candle the crooked […]

The coach is at the door at last; The eager children, mounting fast And kissing hands, in chorus sing: Good-bye, good-bye, to everything! To house and garden, field and lawn, The meadow-gates we swang upon, To pump and stable, tree and swing, Good-bye, good-bye, to everything! And fare you well for evermore, O ladder at […]

The Hayloft

Story type: Poetry

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Through all the pleasant meadow-side The grass grew shoulder-high, Till the shining scythes went far and wide And cut it down to dry. Those green and sweetly smelling crops They led in waggons home; And they piled them here in mountain tops For mountaineers to roam. Here is Mount Clear, Mount Rusty-Nail, Mount Eagle and […]

Winter-time

Story type: Poetry

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Late lies the wintry sun a-bed, A frosty, fiery sleepy-head; Blinks but an hour or two; and then, A blood-red orange, sets again. Before the stars have left the skies, At morning in the dark I rise; And shivering in my nakedness, By the cold candle, bathe and dress. Close by the jolly fire I […]

Faster than fairies, faster than witches, Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches; And charging along like troops in a battle All through the meadows the horses and cattle: All of the sights of the hill and the plain Fly as thick as driving rain; And ever again, in the wink of an eye, Painted stations […]

Fairy Bread

Story type: Poetry

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Come up here, O dusty feet! Here is fairy bread to eat. Here in my retiring room, Children, you may dine On the golden smell of broom And the shade of pine; And when you have eaten well, Fairy stories hear and tell.

Smooth it glides upon its travel, Here a wimple, there a gleam– O the clean gravel! O the smooth stream! Sailing blossoms, silver fishes, Paven pools as clear as air– How a child wishes To live down there! We can see our colored faces Floating on the shaken pool Down in cool places, Dim and […]

Time To Rise

Story type: Poetry

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A birdie with a yellow bill Hopped upon my window sill, Cocked his shining eye and said: “Ain’t you ‘shamed, you sleepy-head!”

The Swing

Story type: Poetry

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How do you like to go up in a swing, Up in the air so blue? Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing Ever a child can do! Up in the air and over the wall, Till I can see so wide, River and trees and cattle and all Over the countryside– Till I […]

Moon

Story type: Poetry

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The moon has a face like the clock in the hall; She shines on thieves on the garden wall, On streets and fields and harbour quays, And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees. The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse, The howling dog by the door of the house, The bat that lies […]

My Bed Is A Boat

Story type: Poetry

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My bed is like a little boat; Nurse helps me in when I embark; She girds me in my sailor’s coat And starts me in the dark. At night I go on board and say Good-night to all my friends on shore; I shut my eyes and sail away And see and hear no more. […]

Lamplighter

Story type: Poetry

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My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky. It’s time to take the window to see Leerie going by; For every night at teatime and before you take your seat, With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street. Now Tom would be a driver and Maria go to […]

The Sun Travels

Story type: Poetry

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The sun is not a-bed, when I At night upon my pillow lie; Still round the earth his way he takes, And morning after morning makes. While here at home, in shining day, We round the sunny garden play, Each little Indian sleepy-head Is being kissed and put to bed. And when at eve I […]

Foreign Children

Story type: Poetry

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Little Indian, Sioux, or Crow, Little frosty Eskimo, Little Turk or Japanee, Oh! don’t you wish that you were me? You have seen the scarlet trees And the lions over seas; You have eaten ostrich eggs, And turned the turtles off their legs. Such a life is very fine, But it’s not so nice as […]

Children, you are very little, And your bones are very brittle; If you would grow great and stately, You must try to walk sedately. You must still be bright and quiet, And content with simple diet; And remain, through all bewild’ring, Innocent and honest children. Happy hearts and happy faces, Happy play in grassy places– […]

Keepsake Mill

Story type: Poetry

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Over the borders, a sin without pardon, Breaking the branches and crawling below, Out through the breach in the wall of the garden, Down by the banks of the river we go. Here is a mill with the humming of thunder, Here is the weir with the wonder of foam, Here is the sluice with […]

The Wind

Story type: Poetry

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I saw you toss the kites on high And blow the birds about the sky; And all around I heard you pass, Like ladies’ skirts across the grass– O wind, a-blowing all day long, O wind, that sings so loud a song! I saw the different things you did, But always you yourself you hid. […]

Happy Thought

Story type: Poetry

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The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.

Marching Song

Story type: Poetry

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Bring the comb and play upon it! Marching, here we come! Willie cocks his highland bonnet, Johnnie beats the drum. Mary Jane commands the party, Peter leads the rear; Feet in time, alert and hearty, Each a Grenadier! All in the most martial manner Marching double-quick; While the napkin, like a banner, Waves upon the […]

Escape At Bedtime

Story type: Poetry

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The lights from the parlour and kitchen shone out Through the blinds and the windows and bars; And high overhead and all moving about, There were thousands of millions of stars. There ne’er were such thousands of leaves on a tree, Nor of people in church or the Park, As the crowds of the stars […]

A Good Boy

Story type: Poetry

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I woke before the morning, I was happy all the day, I never said an ugly word, but smiled and stuck to play. And now at last the sun is going down behind the wood, And I am very happy, for I know that I’ve been good. My bed is waiting cool and fresh, with […]

System

Story type: Poetry

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Every night my prayers I say, And get my dinner every day; And every day that I’ve been good, I get an orange after food. The child that is not clean and neat, With lots of toys and things to eat, He is a naughty child, I’m sure– Or else his dear papa is poor.

My Shadow

Story type: Poetry

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I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me, And what can be the use of him is more than I can see. He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head; And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed. The funniest thing […]

The Land Of Nod

Story type: Poetry

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From breakfast on through all the day At home among my friends I stay, But every night I go abroad Afar into the land of Nod. All by myself I have to go, With none to tell me what to do– All alone beside the streams And up the mountain-sides of dreams. The strangest things […]

When I was sick and lay a-bed, I had two pillows at my head, And all my toys beside me lay, To keep me happy all the day. And sometimes for an hour or so I watched my leaden soldiers go, With different uniforms and drills, Among the bed-clothes, through the hills; And sometimes sent […]

Auntie’s Skirts

Story type: Poetry

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Whenever Auntie moves around, Her dresses make a curious sound, They trail behind her up the floor, And trundle after through the door.

Dark brown is the river, Golden is the sand. It flows along for ever, With trees on either hand. Green leaves a-floating, Castles of the foam, Boats of mine a-boating– Where will all come home? On goes the river And out past the mill, Away down the valley, Away down the hill. Away down the […]

A Good Play

Story type: Poetry

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We built a ship upon the stairs All made of the back-bedroom chairs, And filled it full of sofa pillows To go a-sailing on the billows. We took a saw and several nails, And water in the nursery pails; And Tom said, “Let us also take An apple and a slice of cake;”– Which was […]

Looking Forward

Story type: Poetry

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When I am grown to man’s estate I shall be very proud and great, And tell the other girls and boys Not to meddle with my toys.

Singing

Story type: Poetry

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Of speckled eggs the birdie sings And nests among the trees; The sailor sings of ropes and things In ships upon the seas. The children sing in far Japan, The children sing in Spain; The organ with the organ man Is singing in the rain.

Travel

Story type: Poetry

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I should like to rise and go Where the golden apples grow;– Where below another sky Parrot islands anchored lie, And, watched by cockatoos and goats, Lonely Crusoes building boats;– Where in sunshine reaching out Eastern cities, miles about, Are with mosque and minaret Among sandy gardens set, And the rich goods from near and […]

Windy Nights

Story type: Poetry

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Whenever the moon and stars are set, Whenever the wind is high, All night long in the dark and wet, A man goes riding by. Late in the night when the fires are out, Why does he gallop and gallop about? Whenever the trees are crying aloud, And ships are tossed at sea, By, on […]

Foreign Lands

Story type: Poetry

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Up into the cherry tree Who should climb but little me? I held the trunk with both my hands And looked abroad in foreign lands. I saw the next door garden lie, Adorned with flowers, before my eye, And many pleasant places more That I had never seen before. I saw the dimpling river pass […]

Pirate Story

Story type: Poetry

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Three of us afloat in the meadow by the swing, Three of us abroad in the basket on the lea. Winds are in the air, they are blowing in the spring, And waves are on the meadow like the waves there are at sea. Where shall we adventure, to-day that we’re afloat, Wary of the […]

A child should always say what’s true And speak when he is spoken to, And behave mannerly at table; At least as far as he is able.

All night long and every night, When my mama puts out the light, I see the people marching by, As plain as day before my eye. Armies and emperor and kings, All carrying different kinds of things, And marching in so grand a way, You never saw the like by day. So fine a show […]

At The Sea-Side

Story type: Poetry

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When I was down beside the sea A wooden spade they gave to me To dig the sandy shore. My holes were empty like a cup. In every hole the sea came up, Till it could come no more.

A Thought

Story type: Poetry

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It is very nice to think The world is full of meat and drink, With little children saying grace In every Christian kind of place.

Bed In Summer

Story type: Poetry

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In winter I get up at night And dress by yellow candle-light. In summer quite the other way, I have to go to bed by day. I have to go to bed and see The birds still hopping on the tree, Or hear the grown-up people’s feet Still going past me in the street. And […]

By the time this paper appears, I shall have been talking for twelve months;[1] and it is thought I should take my leave in a formal and seasonable manner. Valedictory eloquence is rare, and death-bed sayings have not often hit the mark of the occasion. Charles Second, wit and sceptic, a man whose life had […]

It’s an owercome sooth for age an’ youth And it brooks wi’ nae denial, That the dearest friends are the auldest friends And the young are just on trial. There’s a rival bauld wi’ young an’ auld And it’s him that has bereft me; For the surest friends are the auldest friends And the maist […]

(Whan the dear doctor, dear to a’, Was still amang us here belaw, I set my pipes his praise to blaw Wi’ a’ my speerit; But noo, Dear Doctor! he’s awa’, An’ ne’er can hear it.) By Lyne and Tyne, by Thames and Tees, By a’ the various river-Dee’s, In Mars and Manors ‘yont the […]

My Conscience!

Story type: Poetry

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Of a’ the ills that flesh can fear, The loss o’ frien’s, the lack o’ gear, A yowlin’ tyke, a glandered mear, A lassie’s nonsense – There’s just ae thing I cannae bear, An’ that’s my conscience. Whan day (an’ a’ excuse) has gane, An’ wark is dune, and duty’s plain, An’ to my charmer […]

Late in the nicht in bed I lay, The winds were at their weary play, An’ tirlin’ wa’s an’ skirlin’ wae Through Heev’n they battered; – On-ding o’ hail, on-blaff o’ spray, The tempest blattered. The masoned house it dinled through; It dung the ship, it cowped the coo’. The rankit aiks it overthrew, Had […]

In a letter from Mr. Thomson to Mr. Johnstone. In mony a foreign pairt I’ve been, An’ mony an unco ferlie seen, Since, Mr. Johnstone, you and I Last walkit upon Cocklerye. Wi’ gleg, observant een, I pass’t By sea an’ land, through East an’ Wast, And still in ilka age an’ station Saw naething […]

Embro Hie Kirk

Story type: Poetry

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The Lord Himsel’ in former days Waled out the proper tunes for praise An’ named the proper kind o’ claes For folk to preach in: Preceese and in the chief o’ ways Important teachin’. He ordered a’ things late and air’; He ordered folk to stand at prayer, (Although I cannae just mind where He […]

Dear Thamson class, whaure’er I gang It aye comes ower me wi’ a spang: “LORDSAKE! THEY THAMSON LADS – (DEIL HANG OR ELSE LORD MEND THEM!) – AN’ THAT WANCHANCY ANNUAL SANG I NE’ER CAN SEND THEM!” Straucht, at the name, a trusty tyke, My conscience girrs ahint the dyke; Straucht on my hinderlands I […]

It’s strange that God should fash to frame The yearth and lift sae hie, An’ clean forget to explain the same To a gentleman like me. They gutsy, donnered ither folk, Their weird they weel may dree; But why present a pig in a poke To a gentleman like me? They ither folk their parritch […]

My bonny man, the warld, it’s true, Was made for neither me nor you; It’s just a place to warstle through, As job confessed o’t; And aye the best that we’ll can do Is mak the best o’t. There’s rowth o’ wrang, I’m free to say: The simmer brunt, the winter blae, The face of […]

It’s rainin’. Weet’s the gairden sod, Weet the lang roads whaur gangrels plod – A maist unceevil thing o’ God In mid July – If ye’ll just curse the sneckdraw, dod! An’ sae wull I! He’s a braw place in Heev’n, ye ken, An’ lea’s us puir, forjaskit men Clamjamfried in the but and ben […]

The Spaewife

Story type: Poetry

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O, I wad like to ken – to the beggar-wife says I – Why chops are guid to brander and nane sae guid to fry. An’ siller, that’s sae braw to keep, is brawer still to gi’e. – IT’S GEY AN’ EASY SPIERIN’, says the beggar-wife to me. O, I wad like to ken – […]

When aince Aprile has fairly come, An’ birds may bigg in winter’s lum, An’ pleisure’s spreid for a’ and some O’ whatna state, Love, wi’ her auld recruitin’ drum, Than taks the gate. The heart plays dunt wi’ main an’ micht; The lasses’ een are a’ sae bricht, Their dresses are sae braw an’ ticht, […]

A mile an’ a bittock, a mile or twa, Abune the burn, ayont the law, Davie an’ Donal’ an’ Cherlie an’ a’, An’ the mune was shinin’ clearly! Ane went hame wi’ the ither, an’ then The ither went hame wi’ the ither twa men, An’ baith wad return him the service again, An’ the […]

Ille Terrarum

Story type: Poetry

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Frae nirly, nippin’, Eas’lan’ breeze, Frae Norlan’ snaw, an’ haar o’ seas, Weel happit in your gairden trees, A bonny bit, Atween the muckle Pentland’s knees, Secure ye sit. Beeches an’ aiks entwine their theek, An’ firs, a stench, auld-farrant clique. A’ simmer day, your chimleys reek, Couthy and bien; An’ here an’ there your […]

Far ‘yont amang the years to be When a’ we think, an’ a’ we see, An’ a’ we luve, ‘s been dung ajee By time’s rouch shouther, An’ what was richt and wrang for me Lies mangled throu’ther, It’s possible – it’s hardly mair – That some ane, ripin’ after lear – Some auld professor […]

Say not of me that weakly I declined The labours of my sires, and fled the sea, The towers we founded and the lamps we lit, To play at some with paper like a child. But rather say: IN THE AFTERNOON OF TIME A STRENUOUS FAMILY DUSTED FROM ITS HANDS THE SAND OF GRANITE, AND […]

My body which my dungeon is, And yet my parks and palaces:- Which is so great that there I go All the day long to and fro, And when the night begins to fall Throw down my bed and sleep, while all The building hums with wakefulness – Even as a child of savages When […]

MY HOUSE, I say. But hark to the sunny doves That make my roof the arena of their loves, That gyre about the gable all day long And fill the chimneys with their murmurous song: OUR HOUSE, they say; and MINE, the cat declares And spreads his golden fleece upon the chairs; And MINE the […]

Here all is sunny, and when the truant gull Skims the green level of the lawn, his wing Dispetals roses; here the house is framed Of kneaded brick and the plumed mountain pine, Such clay as artists fashion and such wood As the tree-climbing urchin breaks. But there Eternal granite hewn from the living isle […]

The Country of the Camisards (1) We travelled in the print of olden wars, Yet all the land was green, And love we found, and peace, Where fire and war had been. They pass and smile, the children of the sword – No more the sword they wield; And O, how deep the corn Along […]

Skerryvore

Story type: Poetry

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For love of lovely words, and for the sake Of those, my kinsmen and my countrymen, Who early and late in the windy ocean toiled To plant a star for seamen, where was then The surfy haunt of seals and cormorants: I, on the lintel of this cot, inscribe The name of a strong tower.

A Camp

Story type: Poetry

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A Camp (1) The bed was made, the room was fit, By punctual eve the stars were lit; The air was still, the water ran, No need was there for maid or man, When we put up, my ass and I, At God’s green caravanserai. (1) From TRAVELS WITH A DONKEY

Sing clearlier, Muse, or evermore be still, Sing truer or no longer sing! No more the voice of melancholy Jacques To wake a weeping echo in the hill; But as the boy, the pirate of the spring, From the green elm a living linnet takes, One natural verse recapture – then be still.

A Portrait

Story type: Poetry

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I am a kind of farthing dip, Unfriendly to the nose and eyes; A blue-behinded ape, I skip Upon the trees of Paradise. At mankind’s feast, I take my place In solemn, sanctimonious state, And have the air of saying grace While I defile the dinner plate. I am “the smiler with the knife,” The […]

In The States

Story type: Poetry

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With half a heart I wander here As from an age gone by A brother – yet though young in years. An elder brother, I. You speak another tongue than mine, Though both were English born. I towards the night of time decline, You mount into the morn. Youth shall grow great and strong and […]

To My Father

Story type: Poetry

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Peace and her huge invasion to these shores Puts daily home; innumerable sails Dawn on the far horizon and draw near; Innumerable loves, uncounted hopes To our wild coasts, not darkling now, approach: Not now obscure, since thou and thine are there, And bright on the lone isle, the foundered reef, The long, resounding foreland, […]

Yet, O stricken heart, remember, O remember How of human days he lived the better part. April came to bloom and never dim December Breathed its killing chills upon the head or heart. Doomed to know not Winter, only Spring, a being Trod the flowery April blithely for a while, Took his fill of music, […]

The Sick Child

Story type: Poetry

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CHILD. O Mother, lay your hand on my brow! O mother, mother, where am I now? Why is the room so gaunt and great? Why am I lying awake so late? MOTHER. Fear not at all: the night is still. Nothing is here that means you ill – Nothing but lamps the whole town through, […]

It is not yours, O mother, to complain, Not, mother, yours to weep, Though nevermore your son again Shall to your bosom creep, Though nevermore again you watch your baby sleep. Though in the greener paths of earth, Mother and child, no more We wander; and no more the birth Of me whom once you […]

Not yet, my soul, these friendly fields desert, Where thou with grass, and rivers, and the breeze, And the bright face of day, thy dalliance hadst; Where to thine ear first sang the enraptured birds; Where love and thou that lasting bargain made. The ship rides trimmed, and from the eternal shore Thou hearest airy […]

Out of the sun, out of the blast, Out of the world, alone I passed Across the moor and through the wood To where the monastery stood. There neither lute nor breathing fife, Nor rumour of the world of life, Nor confidences low and dear, Shall strike the meditative ear. Aloof, unhelpful, and unkind, The […]

If I have faltered more or less In my great task of happiness; If I have moved among my race And shown no glorious morning face; If beams from happy human eyes Have moved me not; if morning skies, Books, and my food, and summer rain Knocked on my sullen heart in vain:- Lord, thy […]

Requiem

Story type: Poetry

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Under the wide and starry sky, Dig the grave and let me lie. Glad did I live and gladly die, And I laid me down with a will. This be the verse you grave for me: HERE HE LIES WHERE HE LONGED TO BE; HOME IS THE SAILOR, HOME FROM SEA, AND THE HUNTER HOME […]

To F. J. S

Story type: Poetry

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I read, dear friend, in your dear face Your life’s tale told with perfect grace; The river of your life, I trace Up the sun-chequered, devious bed To the far-distant fountain-head. Not one quick beat of your warm heart, Nor thought that came to you apart, Pleasure nor pity, love nor pain Nor sorrow, has […]

Katharine

Story type: Poetry

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We see you as we see a face That trembles in a forest place Upon the mirror of a pool Forever quiet, clear and cool; And in the wayward glass, appears To hover between smiles and tears, Elfin and human, airy and true, And backed by the reflected blue.

The Mirror Speaks

Story type: Poetry

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Where the bells peal far at sea Cunning fingers fashioned me. There on palace walls I hung While that Consuelo sung; But I heard, though I listened well, Never a note, never a trill, Never a beat of the chiming bell. There I hung and looked, and there In my gray face, faces fair Shone […]

To W. E. Henley

Story type: Poetry

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The year runs through her phases; rain and sun, Springtime and summer pass; winter succeeds; But one pale season rules the house of death. Cold falls the imprisoned daylight; fell disease By each lean pallet squats, and pain and sleep Toss gaping on the pillows. But O thou! Uprise and take thy pipe. Bid music […]

(TO R. A. M. S.) In ancient tales, O friend, thy spirit dwelt; There, from of old, thy childhood passed; and there High expectation, high delights and deeds, Thy fluttering heart with hope and terror moved. And thou hast heard of yore the Blatant Beast, And Roland’s horn, and that war-scattering shout Of all-unarmed Achilles, […]

To Andrew Lang

Story type: Poetry

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Dear Andrew, with the brindled hair, Who glory to have thrown in air, High over arm, the trembling reed, By Ale and Kail, by Till and Tweed: An equal craft of band you show The pen to guide, the fly to throw: I count you happy starred; for God, When He with inkpot and with […]

To H. F. Brown

Story type: Poetry

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(Written during a dangerous sickness.) I sit and wait a pair of oars On cis-Elysian river-shores. Where the immortal dead have sate, ‘Tis mine to sit and meditate; To re-ascend life’s rivulet, Without remorse, without regret; And sing my ALMA GENETRIX Among the willows of the Styx. And lo, as my serener soul Did these […]

Even in the bluest noonday of July, There could not run the smallest breath of wind But all the quarter sounded like a wood; And in the chequered silence and above The hum of city cabs that sought the Bois, Suburban ashes shivered into song. A patter and a chatter and a chirp And a […]

To Will. H. Low

Story type: Poetry

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Youth now flees on feathered foot Faint and fainter sounds the flute, Rarer songs of gods; and still Somewhere on the sunny hill, Or along the winding stream, Through the willows, flits a dream; Flits but shows a smiling face, Flees but with so quaint a grace, None can choose to stay at home, All […]

To N. V. De G. S.

Story type: Poetry

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The unfathomable sea, and time, and tears, The deeds of heroes and the crimes of kings Dispart us; and the river of events Has, for an age of years, to east and west More widely borne our cradles. Thou to me Art foreign, as when seamen at the dawn Descry a land far off and […]

To K. De M

Story type: Poetry

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A lover, of the moorland bare And honest country winds, you were; The silver-skimming rain you took; And loved the floodings of the brook, Dew, frost and mountains, fire and seas, Tumultuary silences, Winds that in darkness fifed a tune, And the high-riding, virgin moon. And as the berry, pale and sharp, Springs on some […]

(With a hand-glass) A picture-frame for you to fill, A paltry setting for your face, A thing that has no worth until You lend it something of your grace I send (unhappy I that sing Laid by awhile upon the shelf) Because I would not send a thing Less charming than you are yourself. And […]

To A Gardener

Story type: Poetry

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Friend, in my mountain-side demesne My plain-beholding, rosy, green And linnet-haunted garden-ground, Let still the esculents abound. Let first the onion flourish there, Rose among roots, the maiden-fair, Wine-scented and poetic soul Of the capacious salad bowl. Let thyme the mountaineer (to dress The tinier birds) and wading cress, The lover of the shallow brook, […]

Far from the loud sea beaches Where he goes fishing and crying, Here in the inland garden Why is the sea-gull flying? Here are no fish to dive for; Here is the corn and lea; Here are the green trees rustling. Hie away home to sea! Fresh is the river water And quiet among the […]

A NAKED HOUSE, A NAKED MOOR, A SHIVERING POOL BEFORE THE DOOR, A GARDEN BARE OF FLOWERS AND FRUIT AND POPLARS AT THE GARDEN FOOT: SUCH IS THE PLACE THAT I LIVE IN, BLEAK WITHOUT AND BARE WITHIN. Yet shall your ragged moor receive The incomparable pomp of eve, And the cold glories of the […]

It is the season now to go About the country high and low, Among the lilacs hand in hand, And two by two in fairy land. The brooding boy, the sighing maid, Wholly fain and half afraid, Now meet along the hazel’d brook To pass and linger, pause and look. A year ago, and blithely […]

The Canoe Speaks

Story type: Poetry

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On the great streams the ships may go About men’s business to and fro. But I, the egg-shell pinnace, sleep On crystal waters ankle-deep: I, whose diminutive design, Of sweeter cedar, pithier pine, Is fashioned on so frail a mould, A hand may launch, a hand withhold: I, rather, with the leaping trout Wind, among […]

The gauger walked with willing foot, And aye the gauger played the flute; And what should Master Gauger play But OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY? Whene’er I buckle on my pack And foot it gaily in the track, O pleasant gauger, long since dead, I hear you fluting on ahead. You go with me […]

“BE ashamed of yourself,” said the frog. “When I was a tadpole, I had no tail.” “Just what I thought!” said the tadpole. “You never were a tadpole.”

Two cart-horses, a gelding and a mare, were brought to Samoa, and put in the same field with a saddle-horse to run free on the island. They were rather afraid to go near him, for they saw he was a saddle-horse, and supposed he would not speak to them. Now the saddle-horse had never seen […]

ONCE upon a time there came to this earth a visitor from a neighbouring planet. And he was met at the place of his descent by a great philosopher, who was to show him everything. First of all they came through a wood, and the stranger looked upon the trees. “Whom have we here?” said […]

The Reader

Story type: Literature

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I NEVER read such an impious book,” said the reader, throwing it on the floor. “You need not hurt me,” said the book; “you will only get less for me second hand, and I did not write myself.” “That is true,” said the reader. “My quarrel is with your author.” “Ah, well,” said the book, […]

The Man And His Friend

Story type: Literature

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A MAN quarrelled with his friend. “I have been much deceived in you,” said the man. And the friend made a face at him and went away. A little after, they both died, and came together before the great white Justice of the Peace. It began to look black for the friend, but the man […]

The Four Reformers

Story type: Literature

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FOUR reformers met under a bramble bush. They were all agreed the world must be changed. “We must abolish property,” said one. “We must abolish marriage,” said the second. “We must abolish God,” said the third. “I wish we could abolish work,” said the fourth. “Do not let us get beyond practical politics,” said the […]

The House Of Eld

Story type: Literature

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So soon as the child began to speak, the gyve was riveted; and the boys and girls limped about their play like convicts. Doubtless it was more pitiable to see and more painful to bear in youth; but even the grown folk, besides being very unhandy on their feet, were often sick with ulcers. About […]

The Yellow Paint

Story type: Literature

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IN a certain city there lived a physician who sold yellow paint. This was of so singular a virtue that whoso was bedaubed with it from head to heel was set free from the dangers of life, and the bondage of sin, and the fear of death for ever. So the physician said in his […]

ONCE upon a time the devil stayed at an inn, where no one knew him, for they were people whose education had been neglected. He was bent on mischief, and for a time kept everybody by the ears. But at last the innkeeper set a watch upon the devil and took him in the fact. […]

THERE was once a sick man in a burning house, to whom there entered a fireman. “Do not save me,” said the sick man. “Save those who are strong.” “Will you kindly tell me why?” inquired the fireman, for he was a civil fellow. “Nothing could possibly be fairer,” said the sick man. “The strong […]

The Two Matches

Story type: Literature

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ONE day there was a traveller in the woods in California, in the dry season, when the Trades were blowing strong. He had ridden a long way, and he was tired and hungry, and dismounted from his horse to smoke a pipe. But when he felt in his pocket he found but two matches. He […]

The Sinking Ship

Story type: Literature

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“SIR,” said the first lieutenant, bursting into the Captain’s cabin, “the ship is going down.” “Very well, Mr. Spoker,” said the Captain; “but that is no reason for going about half-shaved. Exercise your mind a moment, Mr. Spoker, and you will see that to the philosophic eye there is nothing new in our position: the […]

The Persons Of The Tale

Story type: Literature

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AFTER the 32nd chapter of TREASURE ISLAND, two of the puppets strolled out to have a pipe before business should begin again, and met in an open place not far from the story. “Good-morning, Cap’n,” said the first, with a man-o’-war salute, and a beaming countenance. “Ah, Silver!” grunted the other. “You’re in a bad […]

The Song Of The Morrow

Story type: Literature

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THE King of Duntrine had a daughter when he was old, and she was the fairest King’s daughter between two seas; her hair was like spun gold, and her eyes like pools in a river; and the King gave her a castle upon the sea beach, with a terrace, and a court of the hewn […]

The Poor Thing

Story type: Literature

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THERE was a man in the islands who fished for his bare bellyful, and took his life in his hands to go forth upon the sea between four planks. But though he had much ado, he was merry of heart; and the gulls heard him laugh when the spray met him. And though he had […]

The Touchstone

Story type: Literature

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THE King was a man that stood well before the world; his smile was sweet as clover, but his soul withinsides was as little as a pea. He had two sons; and the younger son was a boy after his heart, but the elder was one whom he feared. It befell one morning that the […]

IN the ancient days there went three men upon pilgrimage; one was a priest, and one was a virtuous person, and the third was an old rover with his axe. As they went, the priest spoke about the grounds of faith. “We find the proofs of our religion in the works of nature,” said he, […]

Something In It

Story type: Literature

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THE natives told him many tales. In particular, they warned him of the house of yellow reeds tied with black sinnet, how any one who touched it became instantly the prey of Akaanga, and was handed on to him by Miru the ruddy, and hocussed with the kava of the dead, and baked in the […]

Thrawn Janet

Story type: Literature

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The Reverend Murdoch Soulis was long minister of the moorland parish of Balweary, in the vale of Dule. A severe, bleak-faced old man, dreadful to his hearers, he dwelt in the last years of his life, without relative or servant or any human company, in the small and lonely manse under the Hanging Shaw. In […]