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Category: Classic

1601

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Title: 1601
Author: Mark Twain
Description:

INTRODUCTION

"Born irreverent," scrawled Mark Twain on a scratch pad, "--like all other people I have ever known or heard of--I am hoping to remain so while there are any reverent irreverences left to make fun of."

[Holograph manuscript of Samuel L. Clemens, in the collection of the F. J. Meine]

Mark Twain was just as irreverent as he dared be, and 1601 reveals his richest expression of sovereign contempt for overstuffed language, genteel literature, and conventional idiocies. Later, when a magazine editor apostrophized, "O that we had a Rabelais!" Mark impishly and anonymously--submitted 1601; and that same editor, a praiser of Rabelais, scathingly abused it and the sender. In this episode, as in many others, Mark Twain, the "bad boy" of American literature, revealed his huge delight in blasting the shams of contemporary hypocrisy. Too, there was always the spirit of Tom Sawyer deviltry in Mark's make-up that prompted him, as he himself boasted, to see how much holy indignation he could stir up in the world.

WHO WROTE 1601?

The correct and complete title of 1601, as first issued, was: [Date,
1601.] 'Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors.' For many years after its anonymous first issue in 1880, its authorship was variously conjectured and widely disputed. In Boston, William T. Ball, one of the leading theatrical critics during the late go's, asserted that it was originally written by an

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Category: Classic

The Andrew Murray Collection

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Title: The Andrew Murray Collection
Author: Andrew Murray
Description:

Andrew Murray served as the first president of the Young Men's Christian Fellowship (YMCA), was the author of over 240 ebooks, and was also a man of great prayer. Through his private devotion with the Savior, he learned that laughter and fellowship were two of life's most important activities.
He often prayed, "May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love, and joy of God's presence and may not a moment without the entire surrender of my self as a vessel for Him to fill full of His Spirit and His love."
Abiding in Christ was the cornerstone to Andrew Murray's life and ministry. He writes: "Abide in Jesus: your life in Him will lead you to that fellowship with God in which the only true knowledge of God is to be had. His love, His power, His infinite glory will, as you abide in Jesus, be so revealed as it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive."

Murray is one of the most beloved Christian authors of all time. We hope you enjoy this collection of some of his most famous and moving writings.

OR buy individual Andrew Murray e-books:

1 The New Life - Words of God for Young Disciples of Christ
2 WITH CHRIST In the School of Prayer
3 The School of Obedience
4 THE LORD'S TABLE - A Help to the Right Observance of the Holy

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Category: Classic

Hard Times

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Title: Hard Times
Author: Charles Dickens
Description:

EBOOK THE FIRST - SOWING

CHAPTER I - THE ONE THING NEEDFUL

'NOW, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!'

The scene was a plain, bare, monotonous vault of a school-room, and the speaker's square forefinger emphasized his observations by underscoring every sentence with a line on the schoolmaster's sleeve. The emphasis was helped by the speaker's square wall of a forehead, which had his eyebrows for its base, while his eyes found commodious cellarage in two dark caves, overshadowed by the wall. The emphasis was helped by the speaker's mouth, which was wide, thin, and hard set. The emphasis was helped by the speaker's voice, which was inflexible, dry, and dictatorial. The emphasis was helped by the speaker's hair, which bristled on the skirts of his bald head, a plantation of firs to keep the wind from its shining surface, all covered with knobs, like the crust of a plum pie, as if the head had scarcely warehouse-room for the hard facts stored inside. The speaker's obstinate carriage, square coat, square legs, square shoulders, - nay, his very neckcloth, trained to take him by the throat with

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Category: Adventure, Classic

Valley Of Fear

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Title: Valley Of Fear
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Description:

PART 1 The Tragedy of Birlstone

Chapter 1 The Warning

"I am inclined to think -- " said I.

"I should do so," Sherlock Holmes remarked impatiently.

I believe that I am one of the most long-suffering of mortals; but I'll admit that I was annoyed at the sardonic interruption.

"Really, Holmes," said I severely, "you are a little trying at times."

He was too much absorbed with his own thoughts to give any immediate answer to my remonstrance. He leaned upon his hand, with his untasted breakfast before him, and he stared at the slip of paper which he had just drawn from its envelope. Then he took the envelope itself, held it up to the light, and very carefully studied both the exterior and the flap.

"It is Porlock's writing," said he thoughtfully. "I can hardly doubt that it is Porlock's writing, though I have seen it only twice before. The Greek e with the peculiar top flourish is distinctive. But if it is Porlock, then it must be something of the very first importance."

He was speaking to himself rather than to me; but my vexation disappeared in the interest which the words awakened.

"Who then is Porlock?" I asked.

"Porlock, Watson, is a nom-de-plume, a mere identification mark; but behind it lies a shifty and evasive personality. In a former letter he frankly informed me that the name was not his own, and defied me ever to trace him among the teeming mil- lions of this great city. Porlock is

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Category: Classic, Romance, Mystery

The Mysterious Stranger

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Title: The Mysterious Stranger
Author: Mark Twain
Description:

Chapter 1

IT WAS IN 1590 -- winter. Austria was far away from the world, and asleep; it was still the Middle Ages in Austria, and promised to remain so forever. Some even set it away back centuries upon centuries and said that by the mental and spiritual clock it was still the Age of Belief in Austria. But they meant it as a compliment, not a slur, and it was so taken, and we were all proud of it. I remember it well, although I was only a boy; and I remember, too, the pleasure it gave me.

Yes, Austria was far from the world, and asleep, and our village was in the middle of that sleep, being in the middle of Austria. It drowsed in peace in the deep privacy of a hilly and woodsy solitude where news from the world hardly ever came to disturb its dreams, and was infinitely content. At its front flowed the tranquil river, its surface painted with cloud-forms and the reflections of drifting arks and stone-boats; behind it rose the woody steeps to the base of the lofty precipice; from the top of the precipice frowned a vast castle, its long stretch of towers and bastions mailed in vines; beyond the river, a league to the left, was a tumbled expanse of forest-clothed hills cloven by winding gorges where the sun never penetrated; and to the right a precipice overlooked the river, and between it and the hills just spoken of lay a far-reaching plain dotted with little homesteads nested among orchards and shade trees.

The whole region for leagues around was

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Category: Adventure, Classic

The White Company

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Title: The White Company
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Description:

CHAPTER I. HOW THE BLACK SHEEP CAME FORTH FROM THE FOLD.

THE great bell of Beaulieu was ringing. Far away through the forest might be heard its musical clangor and swell, Peat-cutters on Blackdown and fishers upon the Exe heard the distant throbbing rising and falling upon the sultry summer air. It was a common sound in those parts--as common as the chatter of the jays and the booming of the bittern. Yet the fishers and the peasants raised their heads and looked questions at each other, for the angelus had already gone and vespers was still far off. Why should the great bell of Beaulieu toll when the shadows were neither short nor long?

All round the Abbey the monks were trooping in. Under the long green-paved avenues of gnarled oaks and of lichened beeches the white-robed brothers gathered to the sound, From the vine-yard and the vine-press, from the bouvary or ox-farm, from the marl- pits and salterns, even from the distant iron-works of Sowley and the outlying grange of St. Leonard's, they had all turned their steps homewards. It had been no sudden call. A swift messenger had the night before sped round to the outlying dependencies of the Abbey, and had left the summons for every monk to be back in the cloisters by the third hour after noontide. So urgent a message had not been issued within the memory of old lay-brother Athanasius, who had cleaned the Abbey knocker since the year after the Battle of Bannockburn.

A stranger who knew nothing

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Category: Classic

The Chimes

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Title: The Chimes
Author: Charles Dickens
Description:

FIRST QUARTER

There are not many people -- and as it is desirable that a story-teller and a story-reader should establish a mutual understanding as soon as possible, I beg it to be noticed that I confine this observation neither to young people nor to little people, but extend it to all conditions of people: little and big, young and old: yet growing up, or already growing down again -- there are not, I say, many people who would care to sleep in a church. I don't mean at sermon-time in warm weather (when the thing has actually been done, once or twice), but in the night, and alone. A great multi- tude of persons will be violently astonished, I know, by this position, in the broad bold Day. But it applies to Night. It must be argued by night, and I will undertake to maintain it successfully on any gusty winter's night appointed for the purpose, with any one opponent chosen from the rest, who will meet me singly in an old church-yard, before an old church- door; and will previously empower me to lock him in, if needful to his satisfaction, until morning.

For the night-wind has a dismal trick of wander- ing round and round a building of that sort, and moaning as it goes; and of trying, with its unseen hand, the windows and the doors; and seeking out some crevices by which to enter. And when it has got in; as one not finding what it seeks, whatever that may be, it wails and howls to issue forth again: and not content with stalking through the aisles, and

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The Arthur Conan Doyle Collection

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Title: The Arthur Conan Doyle Collection
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Description:

Arthur Conan Doyle was born to a family of Roman Catholics in Edinburgh, in 1859. His father, Charles, was a civil servant who suffered from epilepsy and alcoholism. He was educated in Jesuit schools and eventually lost his faith in Catholicism in favor of his Jesuit training. He would later use his friends and teachers from Stonyhurst College as inspiration for characters in his Holmes stories.

Doyle married Louise Hawkins in 1884 and then in 1885 he graduated as a doctor from Edinburgh University. After graduation Doyle practiced medicine and specialized in eye care in Hampshire. He remained there until 1891 when he became a full time writer. His first story, a Sherlock Holmes novel called A Study in Scarlet, had been published in 1887.

Doyle followed his first novel with The Sign of Four and then in 1891 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was incrementally published by the Strand Magazine. His works were met with public approval and he soon became quite popular, in fact he would eventually, in the 1920s, become one of the highest paid writers in the world. But the massive initial popularity had an affect on Doyle and by the end of 1891 he had sworn to end the series, which he thought he achieved by killing Sherlock Holmes in The Final Problem, which was published in December of 1893.

During the South African War (1899-1902) Doyle served as a physician in a field hospital, where he wrote The Great Boer War in which he defended the policy of his

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Category: Adventure, Children, Classic

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz

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Title: Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
Author: Frank Baum
Description:

Preface

A Faithful Record of Their Amazing Adventures in an Underground World; and How with the Aid of Their Friends Zeb Hugson, Eureka the Kitten, and Jim the Cab-Horse, They Finally Reached the Wonderful Land of Oz

by L. Frank Baum "Royal Historian of Oz"

To My Readers

It's no use; no use at all. The children won't let me stop telling tales of the Land of Oz. I know lots of other stories, and I hope to tell them, some time or another; but just now my loving tyrants won't allow me. They cry: "Oz--Oz! more about Oz, Mr. Baum!" and what can I do but obey their commands?

This is Our Book--mine and the children's. For they have flooded me with thousands of suggestions in regard to it, and I have honestly tried to adopt as many of these suggestions as could be fitted into one story.

After the wonderful success of "Ozma of Oz" it is evident that Dorothy has become a firm fixture in these Oz stories. The little ones all love Dorothy, and as one of my small friends aptly states: "It isn't a real Oz story without her." So here she is again, as sweet and gentle and innocent as ever, I hope, and the heroine of another strange adventure.

There were many requests from my little correspondents for "more about the Wizard." It seems the jolly old fellow made hosts of friends in the first Oz ebook, in spite of the fact that he frankly acknowledged himself "a humbug." The children had heard how he mounted into the sky in a balloon

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Category: Children, Classic

The Louisa May Alcott Collection

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Title: The Louisa May Alcott Collection
Author: Louisa May Alcott
Description:

An Old-fashioned Girl

AS a preface is the only place where an author can with propriety explain a purpose or apologize for shortcomings, I venture to avail myself of the privilege to make a statement for the benefit of my readers.
As the first part of "An Old-Fashioned Girl" was written in 1869, the demand for a sequel, in beseeching little letters that made refusal impossible, rendered it necessary to carry my heroine boldly forward some six or seven years into the future. The domestic nature of the story makes this audacious proceeding possible; while the lively fancies of my young readers will supply all deficiencies, and overlook all discrepancies.
This explanation will, I trust, relieve those well-regulated minds, who cannot conceive of such literary lawlessness, from the bewilderment which they suffered when the same experiment was tried in a former ebook.
The "Old-Fashioned Girl" is not intended as a perfect model, but as a possible improvement upon [Page] the Girl of the Period, who seems sorrowfully ignorant or ashamed of the good old fashions which make woman truly beautiful and honored, and, through her, render home what it should be,-a happy place, where parents and children, brothers and sisters, discover to love and know and help one another.
If the history of Polly's girlish experiences suggests a hint or insinuates a lesson, I shall feel that, in spite of many obstacles, I have not entirely neglected my duty toward

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