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The Sign of the Four

By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Excerpt: Sherlock Holmes took his bottle from the corner of the mantelpiece and his hypodermic syringe from its neat morocco case. With his long, white, nervous fingers he adjusted the delicate needle, and rolled back his left shirt?cuff. For some little time his eyes rested thoughtfully upon the sinewy forearm and wrist all dotted and scarred with innumerable puncture?marks. Finally he thrust the sharp point home, pressed down the tiny piston, and sank back into the vel...

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The History of Landholding in England

By: Joseph Fisher

Introduction: This work is an expansion of a paper read at the meeting of the Royal Historical Society in May, 1875, and will be published in the volume of the Transactions of that body. But as it is an expensive work, and only accessible to the Fellows of that Society, and as the subject is one which is now engaging a good deal of public consideration, I have thought it desirable to place it within the reach of those who may not have access to the larger and more expens...

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Love's Delay

By: Elia Wilkinson Peattie

Excerpt: NAY, do not haste your coming, love. Wait for a little while. And why? I would postpone the sweets of your first kiss, And let you, too, feed on expectancy.

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The Lone Tiger

By: Maxwell Grant

Excerpt: THERE was a murmur, a stir, throughout the well?thronged courtroom. Buzzing sounds were silenced by the stern rap of the judge?s gavel. The quiet that ensued seemed chilled with fearful omen, particularly to the three prisoners who awaited the verdict. The judge?s eyes were fixed upon that trio. His gavel looked like a weapon more formidable than any that these prisoners had ever before faced. Those raps that the hammer had delivered were fateful strokes that en...

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An Echo from the Distant Past

The emergence of copyright traces back to 1455 AD when Johannes Gutenberg after decades of work completed the printing of his famous bible. The printing press saw the light of day and so did modern reproduction technique. In fact Gutenberg’s method of printing was used without important changes well into the 20th century. The use of the printing press spread quickly and in 1476 it was introduced in England where its use more than two centuries later, in 1709, gave rise t...

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Heart of Darkness

By: Joseph Conrad

The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of the sails, and was at rest. The flood had made, he wind was nearly calm, and being bound down the river, the only thing for it was to come to and wait for he turn of the tide.

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Many Voices

By: Edith Nesbit

The grass was gray with the moonlit dew, The stones were white as I came through; I came down the path by the thirteen yews, Through the blocks of shade that the moonlight hews. And when I came to the high lych-gate I waited awhile where the corpses wait; Then I came down the road where the moonlight lay Like the fallen ghost of the light of day.

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Daisy Miller : A Study

By: Henry James

Excerpt: 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 shore of the lake presents an unbroken array of establishments of this order, of every category, from the ?grand hotel? of the newest fash...

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Spanish Prisoners of War

By: William Dean Howells

Excerpt: Certain summers ago our cruisers, the St. Louis and the Harvard, arrived at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with sixteen or seventeen hundred Spanish prisoners from Santiago de Cuba. They were partly soldiers of the land forces picked up by our troops in the fights before the city, but by far the greater part were sailors and marines from Cervera?s ill?fated fleet. I have not much stomach for war, but the poetry of the fact I have stated made a very potent appeal to ...

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The Battle of the Books and Other Short Pieces

By: Jonathan Swift

Contents: Preface -- I. THE BATTLE OF THE BOOKS -- II. A MEDITATION UPON A BROOMSTICK. -- III. PREDICTIONS FOR THE YEAR 1708. -- IV. THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE FIRST OF MR. BICKERSTAFF’S PREDICTIONS. -- V. BAUCIS AND PHILEMON. -- VI. THE LOGICIANS REFUTED. -- VII. THE PUPPET SHOW. -- VIII. CADENUS AND VANESSA. -- IX. STELLA’S BIRTHDAYS -- X. TO STELLA -- XI. THE FIRST HE WROTE OCT. 17, 1727. -- XII. THE SECOND PRAYER WAS WRITTEN NOV. 6, 1727. -- XIII. THE BEASTS’ CONFESSI...

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The Clemency of the Court

By: Willa Sibert Cather

Excerpt: ?Damn you! What do you mean by giving me hooping like that?? Serge Povolitchky folded his big workworn hands and was silent. That helpless, doglike silence of his always had a bad effect on the guard?s temper, and he turned on him afresh. ?What do you mean by it, I say? Maybe you think you are some better than the rest of us; maybe you think you are too good to work. We'll see about that.? Serge still stared at the ground, muttering in a low, husky voice, ?I cou...

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Tancred

By: Benjamin Disraeli

Excerpt: VOL. I. BOOK I. Chapter 1. In that part of the celebrated parish of St. George, which is bounded on one side by Piccadilly and on the other by Curzon Street, is a district of a peculiar character. ?Tis a cluster of small streets of little houses, frequently intersected by mews, which here are numerous, and sometimes gradually, rather than abruptly, terminating in a ramification of those mysterious regions. Sometimes a group of courts develops itself.

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Johnson's Notes to Shakespeare Vol. I, Comedies

By: Samuel Johnson

Excerpt: Dr. Johnson?s Preface to Shakespeare is one of the most famous critical essays of the eighteenth century, and yet too many students have forgotten that it is, precisely, a preface to the plays of Shakespeare, edited by Dr. Johnson himself. That is to say, the edition itself has been obscured or overshadowed by its preface, and the sustained effort of that essay has virtually monopolized scholarly attention?much of which should be directed to the commentary. John...

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An Autumn Fan

By: Sui Sin Far

Excerpt: FOR two weeks Ming Hoan was a guest in the house of Yen Chow, the father of Ah Leen, and because love grows very easily between a youth and a maid it came to pass that Ah Leen unconsciously yielded to Ming Hoan her heart and Ming Hoan as unconsciously yielded his to her. After the yielding they became conscious. When their tale was told to Yen Chow he was much disturbed, and vowed that he would not disgrace his house by giving his daughter to a youth whose paren...

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Margaret Ogilvy

By: James Matthew Barrie

Excerpt: On the day I was born we bought six hair?bottomed chairs, and in our little house it was an event, the first great victory in a woman?s long campaign; how they had been laboured for, the pound? note and the thirty threepenny?bits they cost, what anxiety there was about the purchase, the show they made in possession of the west room, my father?s unnatural coolness when he brought them in (but his face was white)?I so often heard the tale afterwards, and shared as...

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The Land of the Blue Flower

By: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Part One -- Part Two...

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Guns and Snowshoes

By: Captain Ralph Bonehill

Preface: MY DEAR LADS. This story is complete in itself, but forms volume two of a set known under the general title of the ?Boy Hunters Series,? taking the heroes through various adventures while out hunting and fishing, in the woods and mountains, and on rivers and lakes. The boys are bright, lively lads of to?day, with a strong liking for a life in the open air and a keen taste for hunting both big and little game, and for fishing in various ways. In the former volume...

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The New Mirror for Travellers, And Guide to the Springs

By: James Kirke Paulding

Preface: Ever since the invention of steam engines, steam boats, steam carriages, Liverpool packets, rail roads, and other delightful facilities for travelling, the march of the human body has kept pace with the march of the human mind, so that it is now a moot point which gets on the faster. If the body moves at the rate of fifteen miles an hour, the mind advances in an equal pace, and children of sixteen are in a fair way to become wiser than their grandfathers. While ...

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A Woman Intervenes

By: Robert Barr

Excerpt: Erstes Kapitel Felix war in den Garten gesprungen, Wilhelm folgte ihm mit Entzuecken, der schoenste Morgen zeigte jeden Gegenstand mit neuen Reizen, und Wilhelm genoss den heitersten Augenblick. Felix war neu in der freien und herrlichen Welt, und sein Vater nicht viel bekannter mit den Gegenstaenden, nach denen der Kleine wiederholt und unermuedet fragte. Sie gesellten sich endlich zum Gaertner, der die Namen und den Gebrauch mancher Pflanzen hererzaehlen musst...

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Miss Minerva and William Green Hill

By: Frances Boyd Calhoun

Excerpt: Chapter 1. A SCANDALIZED VIRGIN THE bus drove up to the gate and stopped under the electric street?light. Perched on the box by the big, black negro driver sat a little boy whose slender figure was swathed in a huge rain coat. Miss Minerva was on the porch waiting to receive him. ?Mercy on me, child,? she said, ?what on earth made you ride up there? Why didn?t you get inside?? ?I jest wanted to ride by Sam Lamb,? replied the child as he was lifted down.

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