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28 Works of Charles Lever

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The road from Genoa to Spezia is one of the most beautiful in Europe. As the Apennines descend to the sea they form innumerable little bays and creeks, alongside of which the road winds–now coasting the very shore, now soaring aloft on high-perched cliffs, and looking down into deep dells, or to the waving tops […]

Here I am at the “Feder” in Turin–as dirty a hotel, be it said passingly, as you’ll find out of Ireland, and seventeen long years it is since I saw it first. Italy has changed a good deal in the meanwhile–changed rulers, landmarks, systems, and ideas; not so my old acquaintance, the Feder! There’s the […]


Story type: Essay

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Bland Reader,–If you ever look into the Irish papers–and I hope you are not so exclusive regarding them as is Mr Cobden with the ‘Times’–you will see that, under the title, “Landed Estates Court, County Mayo,” Judge Dobbs has just sold the town and lands of Kilmuray-nabachlish, Ballaghy, and Gregnaslattery, the property of Cornelius O’Dowd, […]

There is scarcely any better measure of the amount of comfort a man enjoys than in the sort of things of which he makes grievances. When the princess in the Eastern story passed a restless night on account of the rumpled rose-leaf she lay on, the inference is, that she was not, like another character […]

My Garibaldian friend has returned, but only to bid me good-bye and be off again. The Government, it would seem, are rather uneasy as to the movements of the “Beds,” and quietly intimated to my friend that they were sure he had something particular to do–some urgent private affairs–at Geneva; and, like the well-bred dog […]

“When I first knew Spezia, it was a very charming spot to pass the summer in. The English had not found it out A bottle of Harvey sauce or a copy of ‘Galignani’ had never been seen here; and the morning meal, which now figures in my bill as ‘Dejeuner complet–two francs.’ was then called […]

At the Croce di Malta, where we stopped–the Odessa, we heard, was atrociously bad–we met a somewhat depressed countryman, whose familiarity with place and people was indicated by several little traits. He rebuked the waiter for the salad oil, and was speedily supplied with better; he remonstrated about the wine, and a superior “cru” was […]

Our host of the Feder was not wrong. There was not a word of exaggeration in what he said of Spezia. It could contain all the harbours of France and England, and have room for all the fleets of Europe besides. About seven miles in depth, and varying in width from two to three and […]

What is the reason of the decline of Whist? Why is it that every year we find fewer players, and less proficiency in those who play? It is a far graver question than it may seem at first blush, and demands an amount of investigation much deeper than I am able to give it here. […]

My diplomatic friend is rarely very serious in his humour; this morning, however, he was rather disposed that way, and so I took the opportunity to question him about Italy, a country where he has lived long, and whose people he certainly understands better than most Englishmen. I gathered from him that he considered the […]

I am not so sure how far we ought to be grateful for it, but assuredly the fact is so, that nothing has so much tended to show the world with what little wisdom it is governed than the Telegraph. It is not merely that cabinets are no longer the sole possessors of early intelligence, […]

I was struck the other day by an account of an application made to the Lord Mayor of London by a country clergyman, to give, as a warning to others, publicity to a letter he had just received from the East. The clergyman, it seems, had advertised in the ‘Times’ for pupils, and gave for […]

I have frequently heard medical men declare that no test of a candidate’s fitness to be admitted as a physician was equal to a brief examination at the bedside of a sick man. To be able to say, “There is a patient; tell us his malady, and what you will do for it,” was infinitely […]

Foreign Clubs

Story type: Essay

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How is it, will any one tell me, that all foreign Clubs are so ineffably stupid? I do not suspect that we English are pre-eminent for social gifts; and yet we are the only nation that furnishes clubable men. Frenchmen are wittier, Germans profounder, Russians–externally at least–more courteous and accommodating; and yet their Clubs are […]

A New Hansard

Story type: Essay

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There is an annual publication called the ‘Wreck Register,’ which probably few of us have ever seen, if even heard of. Its object is to record all the wrecks which have occurred during the preceding year, accompanying the narrative by such remarks or observations as may contribute to explain each catastrophe, or offer likelihood of […]

It is no small privilege to you “gentlemen of England who live at home at ease,” or otherwise, that you cannot hear how the whole Continent is talking of you at this moment. We have, as a nation, no small share of self-sufficiency and self-esteem. If we do not thank God for it, we are […]

The two puzzles of our era are, how to employ our women, and what to do with our convicts; and how little soever gallant it may seem to place them in collocation, there is a bond that unites the attempt to keep the good in virtue with the desire to reform the bad from vice, […]

There is a story current of a certain very eminent French naturalist, who is so profoundly impressed by the truth of the Darwinian theory, that he never passes the cage where the larger apes are confined in the Jardin des Plantes without taking off his hat, making a profound obeisance, and wishing them a bon […]

A Grumble

Story type: Essay

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I wonder is the world as pleasant as it used to be? Not to myself, of course–I neither ask nor expect it; but I mean to those who are in the same position to enjoy it as I was–years ago. I am delicate about the figures, for Mrs O’D. occasionally reads these sketches, and might […]

I do not remember ever to have read more pompons nonsense than was talked a few days ago in Parliament on the subject of pensions for retired colonial governors. On all ordinary occasions the strongest case a man can have with the British public is to be an ill-used man–that is to say, if you […]