The following pages are intended to present a picture of Western China as the writer saw it in 1882, 1883, and 1884. Chapter VII., in a somewhat modified form, was read at a meeting of the Royal Geographical Society on the 22nd of February, and published in the Proceedings for June, 1886; Chapter XI. was read at the Aberdeen meeting of the British Association in September, 1885; and Chapter XII. was addressed to a special meeting of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce on the 12th of May, 1886. The remaining Chapters are now published for the first time, and, if they meet with half the favour bestowed upon the Parliamentary Papers in which the journeys were first, and somewhat roughly, described, the writer will consider himself amply rewarded for the work which want of leisure has compelled him to neglect so long.
September 6, 1889.
THE romance entitled "The Achievements of the Ingenious Gentleman, Don Quixote de la Mancha," was originally written in Spanish by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. It was published in two parts, the first in 1605 and the second in 1615—now just about three hundred years ago. Among the great books of the world it holds a permanent place. It has been translated into every language of Europe, even Turkish and Slavonic. It has been published in numberless editions. It has been read and enjoyed by men of the most diverse tastes and conditions.More info →
Mr. Hungerton, her father, really was the most tactless person upon earth,—a fluffy, feathery, untidy cockatoo of a man, perfectly good-natured, but absolutely centered upon his own silly self. If anything could have driven me from Gladys, it would have been the thought of such a father-in-law. I am convinced that he really believed in his heart that I came round to the Chestnuts three days a week for the pleasure of his company, and very especially to hear his views upon bimetallism, a subject upon which he was by way of being an authority.
For an hour or more that evening I listened to his monotonous chirrup about bad money driving out good, the token value of silver, the depreciation of the rupee, and the true standards of exchange.
"Suppose," he cried with feeble violence, "that all the debts in the world were called up simultaneously, and immediate payment insisted upon,—what under our present conditions would happen then?"
Jean Bodel a minstrel of the thirteenth century, wrote, "There are but three subjects which interest men,—the tales of France, of Britain, and of Rome the great; and to these subjects there is nothing like. The tales of Britain are so light and pleasant, those of Rome are wise and of teachful sense; those of France, truly every day of greater appearance."More info →
This book is merely a personal narrative, and not a pretentious history or a philosophical dissertation. It is a record of several years of variegated vagabondizing, and its object is rather to help the resting reader while away an idle hour than afflict him with metaphysics, or goad him with science.More info →
WHEN the world was in its childhood, men looked upon the works of Nature with a strange kind of awe. They fancied that every thing upon the earth, in the air, or in the water, had a life like their own, and that every sight which they saw, and every sound which they heard, was caused by some intelligent being. All men were poets, so far as their ideas and their modes of expression were concerned, although it is not likely that any of them wrote poetry. This was true in regard to the Saxon in his chilly northern home, as well as to the Greek in the sunny southland.More info →
onas Lie is sufficiently famous to need but a very few words of introduction. Ever since 1870, when he made his reputation by his first novel, "Den Fremsynte," he has been a prime favourite with the Scandinavian public, and of late years his principal romances have gone the round of Europe. He has written novels of all kinds, but he excels when he describes the wild seas of Northern Norway, and the stern and hardy race of sail-ors and fishers who seek their fortunes, and so often find their graves, on those dangerous waters.More info →
MY Dear Young Folks,—In the first book which I wrote for you, we traveled together through the Gorilla Country, and saw not only the gigantic apes, but also the cannibal tribes which eat men.
In the second book we continued our hunting, and met leopards, elephants, hippopotami, wild boars, great serpents, etc., etc. We were stung and chased by the fierce Bashikouay ants, and plagued by flies.More info →
“There’s no music like a little river’s. It plays the same tune (and that’s the favourite) over and over again, and yet does not weary of it like men fiddlers.
It takes the mind out of doors; and though we should be grateful for good houses, there is, after all, no house like God’s out-of-doors. And lastly, sir, it quiets a man down like saying his prayers.”——
Robert Louis Stevenson: Prince Otto.More info →
IT was a bright, beautiful, warm day when our ship spread her canvas to the breeze, and sailed for the regions of the south. Oh, how my heart bounded with delight as I listened to the merry chorus of the sailors, while they hauled at the ropes and got in the anchor! The captain shouted; the men ran to obey; the noble ship bent over to the breeze, and the shore gradually faded from my view, while I stood looking on with a kind of feeling that the whole was a delightful dream.More info →