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America's Greatest Thinker

Ralph Waldo Emerson. (1803–1882). Essays and English Traits. Vol. 5, pp. 5-15 of The Harvard Classics
Emerson was included in Dr. Eliot's recent selection of the world's ten greatest educators of all time. Here the great thinker discusses this force within man that makes him a scholar. (Emerson delivers "American Scholar" lecture, Aug. 31, 1837.)

The American Scholar
An Oration Delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, at Cambridge, August 31, 1837
MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN: I greet you on the recommencement of our literary year. Our anniversary is one of hope, and, perhaps, not enough of labor. We do not meet for games of strength or skill, for the recitation of histories, tragedies, and odes, like the ancient Greeks; for parliaments of love and poesy, like the Troubadours; nor for the advancement of science, like our contemporaries in the British and European capitals. Thus far our holiday has been simply a friendly sign of the survival of the love of letters amo…

Simple Life in a Palace

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. (121–180). The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Vol. 2, pp. 222-228 of The Harvard Classics
Every luxury, all the wealth in the world at his command - yet Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of haughty Rome, led a simple life even in a palace. He left his secret in his "Meditations."

V
1. IN the morning when thou risest unwillingly, let this thought be present—I am rising to the work of a human being. Why then am I dissatisfied if I am going to do the things for which I exist and for which I was brought into the world? Or have I been made for this, to lie in the bedclothes and keep myself warm?—But this is more pleasant.—Dost thou exist then to take thy pleasure, and not at all for action or exertion? Dost thou not see the little plants, the little birds, the ants, the spiders, the bees working together to put in order their several parts of the universe? And art thou unwilling to do the work of a human being, and dost thou not make haste to do that which is ac…

Simple Life in a Palace

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. (121–180). The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Vol. 2, pp. 222-228 of The Harvard Classics
Every luxury, all the wealth in the world at his command - yet Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of haughty Rome, led a simple life even in a palace. He left his secret in his "Meditations."

V
1. IN the morning when thou risest unwillingly, let this thought be present—I am rising to the work of a human being. Why then am I dissatisfied if I am going to do the things for which I exist and for which I was brought into the world? Or have I been made for this, to lie in the bedclothes and keep myself warm?—But this is more pleasant.—Dost thou exist then to take thy pleasure, and not at all for action or exertion? Dost thou not see the little plants, the little birds, the ants, the spiders, the bees working together to put in order their several parts of the universe? And art thou unwilling to do the work of a human being, and dost thou not make haste to do that which is ac…

Cleopatra Bewitches Mark Antony

Plutarch (A.D. 46?–c.A.D. 120). Plutarch’s Lives. Vol. 12, pp. 339-349 of The Harvard Classics
Cleopatra rode to meet Antony in a gilded barge with sails of purple; oars of silver beat time to the music of flutes and fifes and harps. She went as Venus, and her attendants were dressed as Cupids and Nymphs. (Cleopatra dies after Antony's suicide, Aug. 29, 30 B. C.)

Antony
[…]
  When he made his entry into Ephesus, the women met him dressed up like Bacchantes, and the men and boys like Satyrs and Fauns, and throughout the town nothing was to be seen but spears wreathed about with ivy, harps, flutes, and psaltries, while Antony in their songs was Bacchus the Giver of Joy and the Gentle. And so indeed he was to some, but to far more the Devourer and the Savage; 1 for he would deprive persons of worth and quality of their fortunes to gratify villains and flatterers, who would sometimes beg the estates of men yet living, pretending they were dead, and, obtaining a grant, take possession. He…

The World's Love Tragedy

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832). Faust. Part I. Vol. 19, pp. 158-167 of The Harvard Classics
"Almighty God, I am undone." With this cry of despair, Mar­garet witnessed the fiendish work of Faust, her lover, who bartered his immortal soul for worldly pleasure. A thrilling drama, based on a famous medieval legend. (Johann Wolfgang Goethe born Aug. 28, 1749.)

[…]
NIGHT. STREET BEFORE MARGARET’S DOOR

VALENTINE  (a soldier, MARGARET’S brother)
When seated ’mong the jovial crowd, Where merry comrades boasting loud Each named with pride his favourite lass, And in her honour drain’d his glass; Upon my elbows I would lean, With easy quiet view the scene, Nor give my tongue the rein until Each swaggering blade had talked his fill. Then smiling I my beard would stroke, The while, with brimming glass, I spoke; “Each to his taste!—but to my mind, Where in the country will you find, A maid, as my dear Gretchen fair, Who with my sister can compare?” Cling! Clang! so rang the jovial sou…

Priceless Treasures of Memory

Robert Burns (1759–1796). Poems and Songs. Vol. 6, pp. 317, 417, 442, 511 of The Harvard Classics
"A man's a man for a' that." "Should auld acquaintance be for­got." "To see her is to love her and love but her forever." "Flow gently, sweet Afton." Every stanza of Burns is treasured. How many have you stored up?

Song—Auld Lang Syne
SHOULD auld acquaintance be forgot,   And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot,   And auld lang syne!

The Prince of Wales Wins His Spurs

Jean Froissart (c.1337–1410?). The Chronicles of Froissart. Vol. 35, pp. 27-33 of The Harvard Classics
(Battle of Crecy, Aug. 26, 1346.) A brilliant victory for the English king was gained in this battle, a fight in which vast numbers of French nobility, many princes, and the aged King John of Bohemia were slain. Froissart de­scribes all in detail.

The Campaign of Crecy Of the Battle of Cressy between the King of England and the French King
THE ENGLISHMEN, who were in three battles lying on the ground to rest them, as soon as they saw the Frenchmen approach, they rose upon their feet fair and easily without any haste and arranged their battles. The first, which was the prince’s battle, the archers there stood in manner of a herse and the men of arms in the bottom of the battle. The earl of Northampton and the earl of Arundel with the second battle were on a wing in good order, ready to comfort the prince’s battle, if need were.

Britain Saved by a Full Moon

Sir William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) (1824-1907), The Tides Vol. 30, pp. 274-285 of The Harvard Classics
We to-day know that there is a direct relation between the moon and tides. When Julius Cæsar went to conquer Britain his trans­ports were wrecked because he did not know the tides on the English coast; a knowledge of which might have changed the whole course of history. (Kelvin delivers lecture on "Tides," Aug. 25, 1882.)

[Evening Lecture to the British Association at the Southampton Meeting, Friday, August 25th, 1882]
THE SUBJECT on which I have to speak this evening is the tides, and at the outset I feel in a curiously difficult position. If I were asked to tell what I mean by the Tides I should feel it exceedingly difficult to answer the question. The tides have something to do with motion of the sea. Rise and fall of the sea is sometimes called a tide; but I see, in the Admiralty Chart of the Firth of Clyde, the whole space between Ailsa Craig and the Ayrshire coast marked …
Pliny the Younger (A.D. 62?–c.A.D. 113). Letters. Vol. 9, pp. 284-291 of The Harvard Classics
(Pliny witnessed eruption of Vesuvius, Aug. 24, 79 A. D.) The eruption of Vesuvius that demolished Pompeii and buried thousands of people was witnessed by Pliny. He describes his panic-stricken flight with his mother from the doomed villa through falling ashes and sulphurous fumes. His famous uncle, the elder Pliny, lost his life while investigating the eruption and aiding refugees.

LXV. To Tacitus
YOUR request that I would send you an account of my uncle’s death, in order to transmit a more exact relation of it to posterity, deserves my acknowledgments; for, if this accident shall be celebrated by your pen, the glory of it, I am well assured, will be rendered for ever illustrious. And notwithstanding he perished by a misfortune, which, as it involved at the same time a most beautiful country in ruins, and destroyed so many populous cities, seems to promise him an everlasting remembrance; notwi…

Which Is a Beautiful Woman?

Edmund Burke (1729–1797). On the Sublime and Beautiful. Vol. 24, pp. 78-88 of The Harvard Classics
The Hottentot thinks his wife beautiful. Every American be­lieves his wife also to be beautiful. But the American and the Hottentot are quite different. What, after all, is Beauty?

Proportion not the Cause of Beauty in Animals
THAT proportion has but a small share in the formation of beauty, is full as evident among animals. Here the greatest variety of shapes and dispositions of parts are well fitted to excite this idea. The swan, confessedly a beautiful bird, has a neck longer than the rest of his body, and but a very short tail: is this a beautiful proportion? We must allow that it is. But then what shall we say to the peacock, who has comparatively but a short neck, with a tail longer than the neck and the rest of the body taken together? How many birds are there that vary infinitely from each of these standards, and from every other which you can fix; with proportions different, and …

Aboard the Old Sailing Ships

Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (1815–1882). Two Years before the Mast. Vol. 23, pp. 99-111 of The Harvard Classics
In the days when sailing ships plied the seven seas, common sailors were often subject to a brutal captain whose whim was law. Dana, a Boston college boy, makes an exciting story of his sea experiences.

Chapter XV A Flogging—A Night on Shore—The State of Things on Board—San Diego
FOR several days the captain seemed very much out of humor. Nothing went right, or fast enough for him. He quarrelled with the cook, and threatened to flog him for throwing wood on deck; and had a dispute with the mate about reeving a Spanish burton; the mate saying that he was right, and had been taught how to do it by a man who was a sailor!This, the captain took in dudgeon, and they were at sword’s points at once. But his displeasure was chiefly turned against a large, heavy-moulded fellow from the Middle States, who was called Sam. This man hesitated in his speech, and was rather slow in his motions, …

Hidden Treasures in an Old Book

Saint Augustine. (354–430). The Confessions of St. Augustine. Vol. 7, pp. 118-126 of The Harvard Classics
A certain man was willed a Bible. He scorned the legacy until one day, penniless and downcast, he turned to the book for con­solation. Imagine his amazement on finding hundred dollar bills between the pages. St. Augustine explains how he found even greater treasures in the Bible.

The Eighth Book
Augustine’s thirty-second year. He consults Simplicianus: from him hears the history of the conversion of Victorinus, and longs to devote himself entirely to God, but is mastered by his old habits; is still further roused by the history of St. Antony, and the conversion of two courtiers; during a severe struggle hears a voice from heaven, opens Scripture, and is converted, with his friend Alypius. His mother’s vision fulfilled.

Plot Against Eve

John Milton. (1608–1674). Paradise Lost: The Fourth Book.
Vol. 4, pp. 154-164 of The Harvard Classics

Driven from Heaven, Satan meditated revenge. He decided his greatest opportunity to injure God was to bring sin to man­kind. Satan's plot against Eve is told by Milton. ("Paradise Lost" published Aug. 20, 1667.)

THE ARGUMENT.—Satan, now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place where he must now attempt the bold enterprise which he undertook alone against God and Man, falls into many doubts with himself, and many passions—fear, envy, and despair; but at length confirms himself in evil; journeys on to Paradise, whose outward prospect and situation is described; overleaps the bounds; sits, in the shape of a Cormorant, on the Tree of Life, as highest in the Garden, to look about him. The Garden described; Satan’s first sight of Adam and Eve; his wonder at their excellent form and happy state, but with resolution to work their fall; overhears their discourse; thence gathers th…

Roses Boiled in Wine

Ambroise Paré (1510–90). Journeys in Diverse Places. Vol. 38, pp. 50-58 of The Harvard Classics
Astonishing treatments and cures are related by Ambroise Paré, famed surgeon of the fifteenth century. One remedy, for in­stance, used to cure a distinguished nobleman, was red roses boiled in white wine, - and it was effective.
Battle of Saint Denis. 1567
ASforthe battle of Saint Denis, there were many killed on both sides. Our wounded withdrew to Paris to be dressed, with the prisoners they had taken, and I dressed many of them. The King ordered me, at the request of Mme. the Constable’s Lady, to go to her house to dress the Constable: who had a pistol-shot in the middle of the spine of his back, whereby at once he lost all feeling and movement in his thighs and legs … because the spinal cord, whence arise the nerves to give feeling and movement to the parts below, was crushed, broken, and torn by the force of the bullet. Also he lost understanding and reason, and in a few days he died. The…

"I Took Her by the Hair and Dragged Her Up and Down"

Benvenuto Cellini (1500–1571). Autobiography.
Vol. 31, pp. 312-323 of The Harvard Classics
In Cellini's day the model's life was a hazardous one. Cellini's Autobiography reveals how some models were treated. You will find it more thrilling than the most modern novel.

XXXIII
I HAD but just dismounted from my horse, when one of those excellent people who rejoice in mischief-making came to tell me that Pagolo Micceri had taken a house for the little hussy Caterina and her mother, and that he was always going there, and whenever he mentioned me, used words of scorn to this effect: “Benvenuto set the fox to watch the grapes,  and thought I would not eat them! Now he is satisfied with going about and talking big, and thinks I am afraid of him. But I have girt this sword and dagger to my side in order to show him that my steel can cut as well as his, and that I too am a Florentine, of the Micceri, a far better family than his Cellini.” The scoundrel who reported this poisonous goss…

Three Walls Luther Saw

Martin Luther (1483–1546). Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation Respecting the Reformation of the Christian Estate. Vol. 36, pp. 263-275 of The Harvard Classics
Luther declared that the unreformed church had drawn its doc­trines like three walls so closely about the people that they served not as protection but were the cause of untold misery and dis­tress. This he hoped to relieve by the Reformation.

Introduction
To his most Serene and Mighty Imperial Majesty and to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation.Dr. Martinus Luther.
THE GRACE and might of God be with you, Most Serene Majesty, most gracious, well-beloved gentlemen!
  It is not out of mere arrogance and perversity that I, an individual poor man, have taken upon me to address your lordships. The distress and misery that oppress all the Christian estates, more especially in Germany, have led not only myself, but every one else, to cry aloud and to ask for help, and have now forced me too to cry out and to ask…

Inspiring Ritual of Temple Worship

The Book of Psalms. Vol. 44, pp. 286-295 of The Harvard Classics
David - the psalm singer - knew the wondrous ways of the Lord and praised Him in his psalms. Burdened souls in all ages have found comfort in these songs that once were used in the gorgeous ritual of Jerusalem's temple.

Book V CX Jehovah Gives Dominion to the King
A Psalm of David.
[1]   JEHOVAH saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand,
Until I make thine enemies thy footstool. [2]   Jehovah will send 1 forth the rod 2 of thy strength out of Zion:
Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. [3]   Thy people offer 3 themselves willingly
In the day of thy power,  4 in 5 holy array:
Out of the womb of the morning
Thou 6 hast the dew of thy youth. [4]   Jehovah hath sworn, and will not repent:
Thou art a priest for ever
After the order 7 of Melchizedek. [5]   The Lord at thy right hand
Will 8 strike through kings in the day of his wrath. [6]   He will judge among the nations,
He 9 will…

Into Death's Face He Flung This Song

The Song of Roland. Vol. 49, pp. 166-173 of The Harvard Classics
(Roland died at Roncesvaux, Aug. 15, 778.) Charlemagne's rear guard was attacked by the Basques in the valley of Roncesvaux. Roland, its leader, fought a courageous fight, and, though conquered, became immortal.

Part II: The Prelude of the Great Battle Death of Olivier
[…]
CLXXXI
The heathens said, “We were born to shame. This day for our disaster came: Our lords and leaders in battle lost, And Karl at hand with his marshalled host; We hear the trumpets of France ring out, And the cry ‘Montjoie!’ their rallying shout. Roland’s pride is of such a height, Not to be vanquished by mortal wight; Hurl we our missiles, and hold aloof.” And the word they spake, they put in proof,— They flung, with all their strength and craft, Javelin, barb, and plumèd shaft. Roland’s buckler was torn and frayed, His cuirass broken and disarrayed, Yet entrance none to his flesh they made. From thirty wounds Veillantif bled, Beneath his rider they…

A College Boy Goes to Sea

Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (1815–1882).  Two Years before the Mast. Vol. 23, pp. 30-37 of The Harvard Classics
Leaving Harvard on account of ill health, Dana sought adventure and thrilling experience aboard a sailing vessel that rounded Cape Horn. He turned the dangers, hardships, and keen joys of a sailor's life into a fascinating story. (Dana begins famous two-year voyage, Aug. 14, 1834.)

Chapter V Cape Horn—A Visit
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 5TH.—The weather was fine during the previous night, and we had a clear view of the Magellan Clouds, and of the Southern Cross. The Magellan Clouds consist of three small nebulae in the southern part of the heavens,—two bright, like the milky-way, and one dark. These are first seen, just above the horizon, soon after crossing the southern tropic. When off Cape Horn, they are nearly over head. The cross is composed of four stars in that form, and is said to be the brightest constellation in the heavens.

Too Close to See the Battle

Robert Southey (1774–1843), Selected Poems Vol. 41, pp. 732-735 of The Harvard Classics
(Battle of Blenheim, Aug. 13. 1704.) England and France caine to battle near Blenheim. Years later the people of Blenheim called it a "famous victory," but could not tell whose victory it was.

After Blenheim
IT was a summer evening,   Old Kaspar’s work was done, And he before his cottage door   Was sitting in the sun; And by him sported on the green His little grandchild Wilhelmine.

Zekle's Courtin'

James Russell Lowell (1819–1891), The Courtin' Vol. 42, pp. 1376-1379
Huldy, the rustic belle, sat alone peeling apples. She was bashful in her consciousness that Zekle would come soon. When he did, she merely blushed and timidly said: "Ma's sprinklin' clo'es," and then -
GOD makes sech nights, all white an’ still   Fur ’z you can look or listen, Moonshine an’ snow on field an’ hill,   All silence an’ all glisten.
Zekle crep’ up quite unbeknown   An’ peeked in thru’ the winder, An’ there sot Huldy all alone,   ’ith no one nigh to hender.

Clever Repartee of Epictetus

Epictetus. (c.A.D. 50–c.A.D. 138). The Golden Sayings of Epictetus. Vol. 2, pp. 176-182 of The Harvard Classics
Epictetus advises that if a person speaks ill of you, make no de­fense, but answer: "He surely knew not of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these only."

CLXVIII Take what relates to the body as far as the bare use warrants—as meat, drink, raiment, house and servants. But all that makes for show and luxury reject.

CLXIX If you are told that such an one speaks ill of you, make no defence against what was said, but answer, He surely knew not my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these only!

"Give Them Cake," said the Queen

Edmund Burke (1729–1797). Reflections on the French Revolution. Vol. 24, pp. 143-157 of The Harvard Classics
When the people of Paris howled because they had no bread to eat, Queen Marie Antoinette exclaimed: "Well, then, let them eat cake!" Such an attitude hastened the revolution. (French royal family imprisoned, Aug. 10, 1792.)

IT may not be unnecessary to inform the reader; that the following Reflections had their origin in a correspondence between the Author and a very young gentleman at Paris, who did him the honour of desiring his opinion upon the important transactions, which then, and ever since, have so much occupied the attention of all men. An answer was written some time in the month of October, 1789; but it was kept back upon prudential considerations. That letter is alluded to in the beginning of the following sheets. It has been since forwarded to the person to whom it was addressed. The reasons for the delay in sending it were assigned in a short letter to th…

English Bridal Party Jailed

Izaak Walton (1593–1683). The Lives of John Donne and George Herbert. Vol. 15, pp. 326-334 of The Harvard Classics
Minister and witness, bride and groom were arrested by an enraged father when John Donne married his employer's niece. Donne was soon released, but he found himself without money, position or bride. (Isaak Walton born Aug. 9, 1593.)

[…]
  Not long after his return into England, that exemplary pattern of gravity and wisdom, the Lord Ellesmere, then Keeper of the Great Seal, the Lord Chancellor of England, taking notice of his learning, languages, and other abilities, and much affecting his person and behaviour, took him to be his chief secretary; supposing and intending it to be an introduction to some more weighty employment in the State; for which, his Lordship did often protest, he thought him very fit.


  Nor did his Lordship in this time of Master Donne’s attendance upon him, account him to be so much his servant, as to forget he was his friend; and, to testify it, …

Men Transformed by Circe's Wand

Homer (fl. 850 B.C.). The Odyssey. Vol. 22, pp. 133-144 of The Harvard Classics
Unfavorable winds sent by angry gods blew the ships of Odysseus far off their course. The sailors were cast upon a remote island, governed by an enchantress where, for their coarse manners, they were put under a magic spell.

Book X
[…]
  ‘Therewith he sent me forth from the house making heavy moan. Thence we sailed onwards stricken at heart. And the spirit of the men was spent beneath the grievous rowing by reason of our vain endeavour, for there was no more any sign of a wafting wind. So for the space of six days we sailed by night and day continually, and on the seventh we came to the steep stronghold of Lamos, Telepylos of the Laestrygons, where herdsman hails herdsman as he drives in his flock, and the other who drives forth answers the call. There might a sleepless man have earned a double wage, the one as neat-herd, the other shepherding white flocks: so near are the outgoings of the night and of the …

The Last Golden Words of Socrates

Plato. (427?–347 B.C.). Phaedo. Vol. 2, pp. 45-54 of The Harvard Classics
The death sentence of Socrates could not be executed until the return of the sacred ship from Delos. One day his friends learned that the ship had returned. They hastened to the prison to lis­ten to the last words of Athens' sage.

Persons of the Dialogue



Phædo, who is the narrator of the dialogue to Echecrates of Phlius
Socrates
Apollodorus
Simmias
Cebes
Crito
Attendant of the Prison

SceneThe Prison of Socrates


Place of the NarrationPhlius




Echecrates. WERE you yourself, Phædo, in the prison with Socrates on the day when he drank the poison?
Phædo. Yes, Echecrates, I was.
Ech. I wish that you would tell me about his death. What did he say in his last hours? We were informed that he died by taking poison, but no one knew anything more; for no Phliasian ever goes to Athens now, and a long time has elapsed since any Athenian found his way to Phlius, and therefore we had no clear account.
Phæd. Did you not hear of th…

A Prophet of Aerial Warfare

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892) Vol. 42, pp. 979-986 of The Harvard Classics
"For I dipt into the future - saw the nation's airy navies grap­pling in the central blue." We are amazed at the accuracy of Tennyson's prediction. But he also foretells "the federation of the world" - yet to be fulfilled. (Alfred Lord Tennyson born Aug. 6, 1809.)

Locksley Hall
COMRADES, leave me here a little, while as yet ’tis early morn:
Leave me here, and when you want me, sound upon the bugle horn.

’Tis the place, and all around it, as of old, the curlews call,
Dreary gleams about the moorland flying over Locksley Hall;

Locksley Hall, that in the distance overlooks the sandy tracts,
And the hollow ocean-ridges roaring into cataracts.

Many a night from yonder ivied casement, ere I went to rest,
Did I look on great Orion sloping slowly to the West.

Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising thro’ the mellow shade,
Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies tangled in a silver braid.

Joys of the Simple Life

Robert Burns (1759–1796). Poems and Songs. Vol. 6, pp. 134-140 of The Harvard Classics
"Cotter's Saturday Night" for generations to come will remain the choicest picture of Scotch home life. Into this poem Burns instills the sense of all-pervading peace and happiness that comes at the end of a well-spent day. (Robert Burns married Jean Armour, Aug. 5, 1788.)

The Cotter’s Saturday Night
Inscribed to R. Aiken, Esq.
“Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
  Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,
  The short and simple annals of the Poor. GRAY.
MY lov’d, my honour’d, much respected friend!   No mercenary bard his homage pays;
With honest pride, I scorn each selfish end,
  My dearest meed, a friend’s esteem and praise:
  To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,
The lowly train in life’s sequester’d scene,
  The native feelings strong, the guileless ways,
What Aiken in a cottage would have been;
Ah! tho’ his worth unknown, far happier the…

World's Greatest Bedtime Stories

Hans Christian Andersen. (1805–1875) Tales. Vol. 17, pp. 221-230 of The Harvard Classics
Hans Christian Andersen had an extraordinary capacity for amus­ing children. Were he living to-day he might be in great de­mand as a radio bedtime story man. (H. C. Andersen died Aug. 4, 1875.)

The Ugly Duckling
IT was so glorious out in the country; it was summer; the cornfields were yellow, the oats were green, the hay had been put up in stacks in the green meadows, and the stork went about on his long red legs, and chattered Egyptian, for this was the language he had learned from his good mother. All around the fields and meadows were great forests, and in the midst of these forests lay deep lakes. Yes, it was right glorious out in the country. In the midst of the sunshine there lay an old farm, with deep canals about it, and from the wall down to the water grew great burdocks, so high that little children could stand upright under the loftiest of them. It was just as wild there as in the deepest…

When the Greeks Sacked Troyv

Vergil (70 B.C.–19 B.C.). Æneid. Vol. 13, pp. 110-117 of The Harvard Classics
They battered down the palace gates and ravaged with fire and sword the chambers of King Priam's hundred wives. Through halls resounding with shrieks of terror, Priam and his household fled to sanctuary.

The Second Book of the Æneis
[…]
Enough is paid to Priam’s royal name,
More than enough to duty and to fame.
If by a mortal hand my father’s throne
Could be defended, ’t was by mine alone.
Now Troy to thee commends her future state,
And gives her gods companions of thy fate:
From their assistance happier walls expect,
Which, wand’ring long, at last thou shalt erect.’
He said, and brought me, from their blest abodes,
The venerable statues of the gods,
With ancient Vesta from the sacred choir,
The wreaths and relics of th’ immortal fire.

Poems from a Heart of Love

William Drummond (1585–1649), Selected Poetry Vol. 40, pp. 326-330 of The Harvard Classics
"Here is the pleasant place - and nothing wanting is, save She, alas!" How often we too are faced with like adversity. So sings Drummond - a master songster and composer.

Saint John Baptist
THE LAST and greatest Herald of Heaven’s King
Girt with rough skins, hies to the deserts wild,
Among that savage brood the woods forth bring,
Which he more harmless found than man, and mild.
His food was locusts, and what there doth spring,
With honey that from virgin hives distill’d;
Parch’d body, hollow eyes, some uncouth thing
Made him appear, long since from earth exiled.
There burst he forth: All ye whose hopes rely
On God, with me amidst these deserts mourn,
Repent, repent, and from old errors turn!
—Who listen’d to his voice, obey’d his cry?
  Only the echoes, which he made relent,
  Rung from their flinty caves, Repent! Repent!

His Influence Still Lives

John Calvin (1509-1564), Dedication of the Institutes of the Christian Religion Vol. 39, pp. 27-33 of The Harvard Classics
Steadfast allegiance to duty, simple living and adherence to plain, honest, homely doctrines are Calvin's principles. Are not these same old-fashioned truths followed to-day? (Calvin issues "Dedication," Aug. 1, 1536.)

To His Most Christian Majesty, FRANCIS, King of the French, and his Sovereign, John Calvin wisheth peace and salvation in Christ.
1 WHEN I began this work, Sire, nothing was further from my thoughts than writing a book which would afterwards be presented to your Majesty. My intention was only to lay down some elementary principles, by which inquirers on the subject of religion might be instructed in the nature of true piety. and this labour I undertook chiefly for my countrymen, the French, of whom I apprehended multitudes to be hungering and thirsting after Christ, but saw very few possessing any real knowledge of him. That this was my…