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 →
A Christmas Sermon by Robert Louis Stevenson written while he convalesced from a lung ailment at Lake Sarnac in the winter of 1887. In the short text he meditates on the questions of death, morality and man's main task in life which he concludes is "To be honest, to be kind - to earn a little and to spend a little less. A Christmas Sermon by Robert Louis Stevenson written while he convalesced from a lung ailment at Lake Sarnac in the winter of 1887. In the short text he meditates on the questions of death, morality and man's main task in life which he concludes is "To be honest, to be kind - to earn a little and to spend a little less.More info →
It was Christmas Eve and a Saturday night when Mrs. Larrabee, the Beulah minister's wife, opened the door of the study where her husband was deep in the revision of his next day's sermon, and thrust in her comely head framed in a knitted rigolette.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 →
Perhaps best described as Charles Dickens's other' Christmas story, "A Christmas Tree" is an elderly narrator's reminiscence of holidays past, each incident inspired by the gifts and toys that decorate the traditional tree. There is a range of appeal in the story itself, from snug memories of beloved toys to the passing along of eerie stories surrounding various childhood haunts. This sweet short story told from the Christmas tree's point of view is one of the best Christmas stories ever told.More info →
The Spirit of Christmas is a short story, an essay, a sermon and two prayers for Christmas.
"It was the hour of rest in the Country Beyond the Stars. All the silver bells that swing with the turning of the great ring of light which lies around that land were softly chiming.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 →