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27 Works of Maurice Maeterlinck

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Towards the hour of supper on Friday, the twenty-sixth day of the month of December, a little shepherd lad came into Nazareth, crying bitterly. Some peasants, who were drinking ale in the Blue Lion, opened the shutters to look into the village orchard, and saw the child running over the snow. They recognized him as […]

In a preceding essay we were compelled to admit that, eager as man might be to discover in the universe a sanction for his virtues, neither heaven nor earth displayed the least interest in human morality; and that all things would combine to persuade the upright among us that they merely are dupes, were it […]

It is not unreasonable to believe that the paramount interest of life, all that is truly lofty and remarkable in the destiny of man, reposes almost entirely in the mystery that surrounds us; in the two mysteries, it may be, that are mightiest, most dreadful of all–fatality and death. And indeed there are many whom […]

I speak, for those who do not believe in the existence of a unique, all-powerful, infallible Judge, for ever intent on our thoughts, our feelings and actions, maintaining justice in this world and completing it in the next. And if there be no Judge, what justice is there? None other than that which men have […]

In A Beleaguered City, a little book which, in its curious way, is a masterpiece, Mrs. Oliphant shows us the dead of a provincial town suddenly waxing indignant over the conduct and the morals of those inhabiting the town which they had founded. They rise up in rebellion, invest the houses, the streets, the market-places […]

Before closing this book, I wish to weigh for the last time in my conscience the words of hatred and malediction which it has made me speak in spite of myself. We have to do with the strangest of enemies. He has knowingly and deliberately, while in the full possession of his faculties and without […]

Translator: Alexander Teixeira de Mattos I I have lost, within these last few days, a little bull-dog. He had just completed the sixth month of his brief existence. He had no history. His intelligent eyes opened to look out upon the world, to love mankind, then closed again on the cruel secrets of death. The […]

The other day I went to see a woman whom I knew before the war–she was happy then–and who had lost her only son in one of the battles in the Argonne. She was a widow, almost a poor woman; and, now that this son, her pride and her joy, was no more, she no […]

At the end of an essay occurring in The Unknown Guest and entitled, The Knowledge of the Future, in which I examined a certain number of phenomena relating to the anticipatory perception of events, such as presentiments, premonitions, precognitions, predictions, etc., I concluded in nearly the following terms: “To sum up, if it is difficult […]

To-day’s conflict is but a revival of that which has not ceased to drench the west of Europe in blood since the historical birth of the continent. The two chief episodes in the conflict, as we all know, are the invasion of Roman Gaul, including the north of Italy, by the Franks and the successive […]

For Poland

Story type: Essay

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The Allies have entered into a solemn compact that none of them will conclude a separate peace. They undertook recently, by an equally irrevocable convention, that they would not lay down their arms until Belgium was delivered. These two acts, one of prudence, the other of elementary justice, appear at first sight superfluous. Yet they […]

In Italy

Story type: Essay

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A few days before Italy formed her great resolve, the following lines appeared in one of the leading Pangermanic organs of the peoples beyond the Rhine, the Kreuzzeitung: “We have already observed that it will not do to be too optimistic as to Italy’s decision; in point of fact, the situation is very serious. If […]

At moments above all when history is in the making, in these times when great and as yet incomplete pages are being traced, pages by the side of which all that had already been written will pale, it is a good and salutary thing to turn to the past in search of instruction, warning and […]

When we behold the terrible loss of so many young lives, when we see so many incarnations of physical and moral vigour, of intellect and of glorious promise pitilessly cut off in their first flower, we are on the verge of despair. Never before have the fairest energies and aspirations of men been flung recklessly […]

In a volume entitled The Unknown Guest, published not long ago, among other essays I devoted one in particular[1] to certain phenomena of intuition, clairvoyance or clairaudience, vision at great distance and even vision of the future. These phenomena were grouped together under the somewhat unsuitable and none too well-constructed title of “psychometry,” which, to […]

Edith Cavell

Story type: Essay

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Edith Cavell[1] To-day, in honouring the memory of Miss Edith Cavell, we honour not only the heroine who fell in the midst of her labours of love and piety, we honour also those, wherever they may be, who have accomplished or will yet accomplish the same sacrifice and who are ready, in like circumstances, to […]

Pro Patria:II

Story type: Essay

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Pro Patria: II[1] More than three months ago, I was in one of the grandest of your cities, a city that welcomed in a manner which I shall never forget the cause which I had come among you to represent. I was there, as I told my hearers at the time, in the name of […]

Pro Patria: III

Story type: Essay

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Pro Patria: III[1] Although nothing entitles me to the honour of addressing you in the name of my refugee countrymen, nevertheless it is only fitting, since a kindly insistence brings me here, that I should in the first place give thanks to England for the manner in which she welcomed them in their distress. I […]

To-day our flag will quiver in every French hand as a symbol of love and gratitude. This day should be a day of hope and glory for all Belgium. Let us forget for a moment our terrible distress; let us forget our plains and meadows, the fairest and most fertile in Europe, now ravaged to […]

When I speak of this little soldier who fell a few days ago, up there in the Vosges, it is not that I may mourn him publicly. It behoves us in these days to mourn our dead in secret. Personal sorrows no longer count; and we must learn how to suppress them in the presence […]

We are already free to speak of this war as if it were ended and of victory as if it were assured. In principle, in the region of moral certainties, Germany has been beaten since the battle of the Marne; and reality, which is always slower, because it goes burdened beneath the weight of matter, […]

After the Victory[1] Translator: Alexander Teixeira de Mattos At these moments of tragedy, none should be allowed to speak who cannot shoulder a rifle, for the written word seems so monstrously useless, so overwhelmingly trivial, in front of this mighty drama which shall for a long time, it may be for ever, free mankind from […]

King Albert

Story type: Essay

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Translator: Alexander Teixeira de Mattos Of all the heroes of this stupendous war, heroes who will live in the memory of man, one assuredly of the most unsullied, one of those whom we can never love enough, is the great young king of my little country. He was indeed at the critical hour the appointed […]

Thanks to the heroism of the Allies, the hour is approaching when thehordes of William the Madman will quit the soil of afflicted Belgium. After what they have done in cold blood, what excesses, what disastersmust we not expect of the last convulsions of their rage? Our anguishis all the more poignant in that they […]

First Louvain, Malines, Termonde, Lierre, Dixmude, Nieuport (and I am speaking only of the disasters of Flanders); now Ypres is no more and Furnes is half in ruins. By the side of the great Flemish cities, Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges, those vast and incomparable living museums which have been watchfully preserved by a whole […]

Pro Patria: I

Story type: Essay

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Pro Patria: I [1] I need not here recall the events that hurled Belgium into the depths of distress most glorious where she is struggling to-day. She has been punished as never nation was punished for doing her duty as never nation did before. She saved the world while knowing that she could not be […]


Story type: Essay

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I OUR IDEA OF DEATH It has been well said: “Death and death alone is what we must consult about life; and not some vague future or survival, in which we shall not be present. It is our own end; and everything happens in the interval between death and now. Do not talk to me […]