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    It was in the early days of April; Bernard Longueville had been spending the winter in Rome. He had travelled northward with the consciousness of several social duties that appealed to him from the further side of the Alps, but he was under the charm of the Italian spring, and he made a pretext for... Read More
    Or the Theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck, as compared with that of Charles Darwin
    The demand for a new edition of "Evolution, Old and New," gives me an opportunity of publishing Butler's latest revision of his work. The second edition of "Evolution, Old and New," which was published in 1882 and re-issued with a new title-page in 1890, was merely a re-issue of the first edition with a new... Read More
    Perhaps it was more the fault of Daniel Caldigate the father than of his son John Caldigate, that they two could not live together in comfort in the days of the young man's early youth. And yet it would have been much for both of them that such comfortable association should have been possible to... Read More
    At a private asylum in the west of England there lives, and has lived for some years past, an unfortunate lady, as to whom there has long since ceased to be any hope that she should ever live elsewhere. Indeed, there is no one left belonging to her by whom the indulgence of such a... Read More
    My Dear Sidney Colvin, The journey which this little book is to describe was very agreeable and fortunate for me. After an uncouth beginning, I had the best of luck to the end. But we are all travellers in what John Bunyan calls the wilderness of this world—all, too, travellers with a donkey: and the... Read More
    A Comedy in Narrative
    Comedy is a game played to throw reflections upon social life, and it deals with human nature in the drawing-room of civilized men and women, where we have no dust of the struggling outer world, no mire, no violent crashes, to make the correctness of the representation convincing. Credulity is not wooed through the impressionable... Read More
    In the best room of a farm-house on the skirts of a village in the hills of Northern Massachusetts, there sat one morning in August three people who were not strangers to the house, but who had apparently assembled in the parlor as the place most in accord with an unaccustomed finery in their dress.... Read More
    A Study
    At the little town of Vevey, in Switzerland, there is a particularly comfortable hotel. There are, indeed, many hotels, for the entertainment of tourists is the business of the place, which, as many travelers will remember, is seated upon the edge of a remarkably blue lake—a lake that it behooves every tourist to visit. The... Read More
    A Mystery of Modern Venice
    In the year 1860, the reputation of Doctor Wybrow as a London physician reached its highest point. It was reported on good authority that he was in receipt of one of the largest incomes derived from the practice of medicine in modern times. One afternoon, towards the close of the London season, the Doctor had... Read More
    The following pages were written more than twenty years since, and were then published periodically in Household Words. In the original form of publication the Rogue was very favorably received. Year after year, I delayed the republication, proposing, at the suggestion of my old friend, Mr. Charles Reade, to enlarge the present sketch of the... Read More
    It will be necessary, for several reasons, to give this short sketch the form rather of a critical essay than of a biography. The data for a life of Nathaniel Hawthorne are the reverse of copious, and even if they were abundant they would serve but in a limited measure the purpose of the biographer.... Read More
    To CAROLINE Experience of the reception of The Fallen Leaves by intelligent readers, who have followed the course of the periodical publication at home and abroad, has satisfied me that the design of the work speaks for itself, and that the scrupulous delicacy of treatment, in certain portions of the story, has been as justly... Read More
    With the exception of the Poems in Prose this volume does not contain anything which the author ever contemplated reprinting. The Rise of Historical Criticism is interesting to admirers of his work, however, because it shows the development of his style and the wide intellectual range distinguishing the least borné of all the late Victorian... Read More
    "I have a conscience, my dear, on this matter," said an old gentleman to a young lady, as the two were sitting in the breakfast parlour of a country house which looked down from the cliffs over the sea on the coast of Carmarthenshire. "And so have I, Uncle Indefer; and as my conscience is... Read More
    I, Martin Dupin (de la Clairière), had the honour of holding the office of Maire in the town of Semur, in the Haute Bourgogne, at the time when the following events occurred. It will be perceived, therefore, that no one could have more complete knowledge of the facts—at once from my official position, and from... Read More
    "Suspicione si quis errabit sua, Et rapiet ad se, quod erit commune omnium, Stulte nudabit animi conscientiam Huic excusatum me velim nihilominus Neque enim notare singulos mens est mihi, Verum ipsam vitam et mores hominum ostendere" -Phaedrus It is my habit to give an account to myself of the characters I meet with: can I... Read More
    In the foregoing volumes of this series of English Men of Letters, and in other works of a similar nature which have appeared lately as to the Ancient Classics and Foreign Classics, biography has naturally been, if not the leading, at any rate a considerable element. The desire is common to all readers to know... Read More
    Four years ago—in 1874—two young Englishmen had occasion to go to the United States. They crossed the ocean at midsummer, and, arriving in New York on the first day of August, were much struck with the fervid temperature of that city. Disembarking upon the wharf, they climbed into one of those huge high-hung coaches which... Read More
    To Emma, Ida, Carl, and Lina Over the Sea, This Little Book is Affectionately Inscribed By Their New Friend and Sister, L.M.A. The elm-tree avenue was all overgrown, the great gate was never unlocked, and the old house had been shut up for several years. Yet voices were heard about the place, the lilacs nodded... Read More
    A narrow grave-yard in the heart of a bustling, indifferent city, seen from the windows of a gloomy-looking inn, is at no time an object of enlivening suggestion; and the spectacle is not at its best when the mouldy tombstones and funereal umbrage have received the ineffectual refreshment of a dull, moist snow-fall. If, while... Read More
    Since Samuel Butler published “Life and Habit” thirty-three [vii] years have elapsed—years fruitful in change and discovery, during which many of the mighty have been put down from their seat and many of the humble have been exalted. I do not know that Butler can truthfully be called humble, indeed, I think he had very... Read More
    The date at which the following events are assumed to have occurred may be set down as between 1840 and 1850, when the old watering place herein called “Budmouth” still retained sufficient afterglow from its Georgian gaiety and prestige to lend it an absorbing attractiveness to the romantic and imaginative soul of a lonely dweller... Read More
    An Episode in the Life of a Young Girl
    Women: Lady Lydiard (Widow of Lord Lydiard) Isabel Miller (her Adopted Daughter) Miss Pink (of South Morden) The Hon. Mrs. Drumblade (Sister to the Hon. A. Hardyman) Men The Hon. Alfred Hardyman (of the Stud Farm) Mr. Felix Sweetsir (Lady Lydiard’s Nephew) Robert Moody (Lady Lydiard’s Steward) Mr. Troy (Lady Lydiard’s Lawyer) Old Sharon (in... Read More
    I would that it were possible so to tell a story that a reader should beforehand know every detail of it up to a certain point, or be so circumstanced that he might be supposed to know. In telling the little novelettes of our life, we commence our narrations with the presumption that these details... Read More
    TURGENEV was the first writer who was able, having both Slavic and universal imagination enough for it, to interpret modern Russia to the outer world, and Virgin Soil was the last word of his greater testament. It was the book in which many English readers were destined to make his acquaintance about a generation ago,... Read More
    and, The Parlour Car
    (The Scene is always in the Parlour of the Ponkwasset Hotel.) ON a lovely day in September, at that season when the most sentimental of the young maples have begun to redden along the hidden courses of the meadow streams, and the elms, with a sudden impression of despair in their languor, betray flecks of... Read More
    A Realistic Tale
    The experience of great officials who have laid down their dignities before death, or have had the philosophic mind to review themselves while still wielding the deputy sceptre, teaches them that in the exercise of authority over men an eccentric behaviour in trifles has most exposed them to hostile criticism and gone farthest to jeopardize... Read More
    On a brilliant day in May, in the year 1868, a gentleman was reclining at his ease on the great circular divan which at that period occupied the centre of the Salon Carré, in the Museum of the Louvre. This commodious ottoman has since been removed, to the extreme regret of all weak-kneed lovers of... Read More
    I never could understand why anybody should ever have begun to live at Dillsborough, or why the population there should have been at any time recruited by new comers. That a man with a family should cling to a house in which he has once established himself is intelligible. The butcher who supplied Dillsborough, or... Read More
    Translated by Constance Garnett
    Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Everything was in confusion in the Oblonskys’ house. The wife had discovered that the husband was carrying on an intrigue with a French girl, who had been a governess in their family, and she had announced to her husband that she... Read More
    And A Whisper in the Dark
    Without, a midwinter twilight, where wandering snowflakes eddied in the bitter wind between a leaden sky and frost-bound earth. Within, a garret; gloomy, bare, and cold as the bleak night coming down. [center/] A haggard youth knelt before a little furnace, kindling a fire, with an expression of quiet desperation on his face, which made... Read More
    A Last Chronicle of Carlingford
    Miss Phœbe Tozer, the only daughter of the chief deacon and leading member of the Dissenting connection in Carlingford, married, shortly after his appointment to the charge of Salem Chapel, in that town, the Reverend Mr. Beecham, one of the most rising young men in the denomination. The marriage was in many ways satisfactory to... Read More
    TO EDMUND YATES, EDITOR OF "THE WORLD," IN WHICH PAPER "THE GOLDEN BUTTERFLY" WAS FIRST PUBLISHED, THIS STORY IS INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHORS. The Golden Butterfly, which gives a name to this novel, was seen by an English traveller, two years ago, preserved as a curiosity in a mining city near Sacramento, where it probably... Read More
    THE parish of Brentburn lies in the very heart of the leafy county of Berks. It is curiously situated on the borders of the forest, which is rich as Arden on one side, and on the edge of a moorland country abounding in pines and heather on the other; so that in the course of... Read More
    Let thy chief terror be of thine own soul: There, 'mid the throng of hurrying desires That trample on the dead to seize their spoil, Lurks vengeance, footless, irresistible As exhalations laden with slow death, And o'er the fairest troop of captured joys Breathes pallid pestilence. Men can do nothing without the make-believe of a... Read More
    or, The Courier of the Czar
    “SIRE, a fresh dispatch.” “Whence?” “From Tomsk?” “Is the wire cut beyond that city?” “Yes, sire, since yesterday.” “Telegraph hourly to Tomsk, General, and keep me informed of all that occurs.” “Sire, it shall be done,” answered General Kissoff. These words were exchanged about two hours after midnight, at the moment when the fete given... Read More
    An Old-Fashioned Love Story
    It was a very ugly bush indeed; that is, so far as any thing in nature can be really ugly. It was lopsided—having on the one hand a stunted stump or two, while on the other a huge heavy branch swept down to the gravel-walk. It had a crooked gnarled trunk or stem, hollow enough... Read More
    A Sequel to "Eight Cousins"
    As authors may be supposed to know better than anyone else what they intended to do when writing a book, I beg leave to say that there is no moral to this story. Rose is not designed for a model girl, and the Sequel was simply written in fulfillment of a promise, hoping to afford... Read More
    A Comedy in Chapters
    This somewhat frivolous narrative was produced as an interlude between stories of a more sober design, and it was given the sub-title of a comedy to indicate—though not quite accurately—the aim of the performance. A high degree of probability was not attempted in the arrangement of the incidents, and there was expected of the reader... Read More
    Most of the adventures recorded in this book really occurred; one or two were experiences of my own, the rest those of boys who were schoolmates of mine. Huck Finn is drawn from life; Tom Sawyer also, but not from an individual—he is a combination of the characteristics of three boys whom I knew, and... Read More
    It is certainly of service to a man to know who were his grandfathers and who were his grandmothers if he entertain an ambition to move in the upper circles of society, and also of service to be able to speak of them as of persons who were themselves somebodies in their time. No doubt... Read More
    MANY years have passed since my wife and I left the United States to pay our first visit to England. We were provided with letters of introduction, as a matter of course. Among them there was a letter which had been written for us by my wife’s brother. It presented us to an English gentleman... Read More
    Let the reader be introduced to Lady Carbury, upon whose character and doings much will depend of whatever interest these pages may have, as she sits at her writing-table in her own room in her own house in Welbeck Street. Lady Carbury spent many hours at her desk, and wrote many letters,—wrote also very much... Read More
    Till about the Year of Grace 860 there were no kings in Norway, nothing but numerous jarls,—essentially kinglets, each presiding over a kind of republican or parliamentary little territory; generally striving each to be on some terms of human neighborhood with those about him, but,—in spite of "Fylke Things" (Folk Things, little parish parliaments), and... Read More
    It was an old manor-house, not a deserted convent, as you might suppose by the name. The conventual buildings from which no doubt the place had taken its name, had dropped away, bit by bit, leaving nothing but one wall of the chapel, now closely veiled and mantled with ivy, behind the orchard, about a... Read More
    The Author is quite aware of the defects of this little story, many of which were unavoidable, as it first appeared serially. But, as Uncle Alec’s experiment was intended to amuse the young folks, rather than suggest educational improvements for the consideration of the elders, she trusts that these shortcomings will be overlooked by the... Read More
    IN offering this book to you, I have no Preface to write. I have only to request that you will bear in mind certain established truths, which occasionally escape your memory when you are reading a work of fiction. Be pleased, then, to remember (First): That the actions of human beings are not invariably governed... Read More
    Mallet had made his arrangements to sail for Europe on the first of September, and having in the interval a fortnight to spare, he determined to spend it with his cousin Cecilia, the widow of a nephew of his father. He was urged by the reflection that an affectionate farewell might help to exonerate him... Read More
    When young Nevil Beauchamp was throwing off his midshipman’s jacket for a holiday in the garb of peace, we had across Channel a host of dreadful military officers flashing swords at us for some critical observations of ours upon their sovereign, threatening Afric’s fires and savagery. The case occurred in old days now and again,... Read More
    He was the most beautiful Prince that ever was born. Of course, being a prince, people said this: but it was true besides. When he looked at the candle, his eyes had an expression of earnest inquiry quite startling in a new-born baby. His nose—there was not much of it certainly, but what there was... Read More