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The Sunken Road at Waterloo

Photogravure. From a Painting by Stanley Berkley


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With a Gen :


Claeeic tTalce


jfamous Hutbors




Edited and Arranged by

Frederick B. De Berard

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With a General Introduction by

Rossiter Johnson, LL.D.

Published by

1 H E B O D L 1^: 1 A N S O C I E T Y

New York

IAN 1906

Columbia JE^itton

The publishers guarantee that this edition
is strictly limited to one thousand numbered
and registered copies, of which this is copy


Copyright 1902

Copyright 1905


The Bodleian Society






General Preface, iii

General Introduction, .... xiii

Critical Synopsis of Selections, . . xxxiii

Biographical Dictionary of Authors, xli

Waterloo Victor Hugo ii

Balaklava . . . William Howard Russell 39

Drums of the Fore and Aft . Rudyard Kipling 49

Csesar at Alesia . . James Antfwny Froude 91

Service of Danger, A . . Amelia B. Edwards lOl

Ivry Lord Macaulay 125

In the Land of the Masai . H. Rider Haggard 131

Battle of Beal' an Duine, The Sir Walter Scott 181

Revolt of Lucifer, The . . . John Milton 189

Picture of War, A . . . J. A. MacGahan 211

Downfall of the Moors, The Washington Irving 237



The Sunken Road at Waterloo . . Frontispiece

Frederick B. De Berard iii

Dr. Rossiter Johnson xiii

Charge of the Cuirassiers at Waterloo ... 25

Heroes of Waterloo 31

Day After Waterloo 35

Balaklava .43

Death of Caesar 93

H. Rider Haggard . . . . . .131

Sir Walter Scott 181

John Milton 189

Oliver Cromwell Visiting Milton . . . 191

Milton Dictating to His Daughter . . .197

The Soldier's Dream 215

Gates of Justice, Alhambra, Granada . . . 251


Portrait of Frederick B. De Berard

.8 >fDn9b9iT ^0 tiBitio*^



SIR THOMAS BROWNE, in his "Hydriotaphia,"
muses quaintly upon the mutability of man and
his works; how uncounted generations pass into
nothingness and leave no trace; how mighty empires
decay and vanish; how all that the hand of man has
wrought crumbles under the touch of time and is hidden
by the pall of oblivion.

Man dies and is forgot; his corporeal form vanishes
utterly; but the creations of his mind, the essence of
his potency, live on and on through the ages. The
physical being is transitory: the thought — intangible,
without entity — is immortal and survives the assault of
time, the tooth of decay, and the clash of empires.

The noblest works of man's hands are but fleeting
witnesses of vanished greatness — melancholy monuments
to the shadow of a name, memorials which show forth
naught of the actual man. Only in the world of thought
may imperishable monuments be founded, only in the
magic domain of books may the hidden past be unveiled,
the spirits of those long dead be re-created in the
semblance of living humanity — instinct with passion and
feeling, vivid portraitures of past actualities. The spirit-
ual part of Man departs, we know not whither; his
bodily presence dissolves and vanishes ; but that which
was potent in him, the creative force of Mind, survives
in books, the mediums which bear living messages from


the dead past, and transmit to the living present the
mental impulses born of great minds in the long ago.
Here is embalmed, secure against oblivion, aught that
is worthy of remembrance ; here are the true memorials
of the actual man, inscribed by by-gone chroniclers — his
passions, his emotions, his heroic deeds, written in words
of gold, or sung in tenderest accents by some great poet
— his character and motives mercilessly dissected by
some great mental anatomist, the noble crowned with
the laurels of immortal fame, the ignoble damned to
everlasting infamy.
The nations of the dead are an innumerable host :

"—All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom."

The crude imaginings of all races have peopled earth
and air with disembodied spirits, invisible to mortal
eyes, who throng about us by day and night, bemoaning
wasted lives, lamenting the crimes and follies of the
past, and haunting the living with vague terrors. But
these are the creations of superstition and ignorance — •
the fearsome shapes assumed by evil beings animated by
malevolence, the heralds of terror, injury and death.

Not such are the spirits evoked from the past by the
magic of letters, to inhabit this realm of books, the
illimitable domain of Thought. Hither the centuries
send throngs of stately shades, the spiritual embodiment
of great minds, the reincarnation of all the golden
thoughts and worthy deeds that Time has crowned
with immortality. All that men deem noblest and deem
of greatest worth — the profound thoughts of mighty
intellects; the lofty ideals of spiritual minds; the beauty
of holiness ; the inspiring recitals of heroic deeds, of
abnegation and self-sacrifice, of charity, kindly acts and


all good works ; the dainty fancy, graceful imagery, the
beautiful thought, the poet's melody and the soaring
imagination of the story-teller — these are the gracious
oflferings brought by the glorious shades of the past to
the treasure-house of Knowledge — their spiritual essence
transmuted into books, through which the great minds of
distant centuries shall forever hold communion with
untold millions.

Their corporeal lives are separated from ours by
centuries of time ; their bodily abodes, mayhap, were far
distant, across vast spaces of land and sea, beset with
deadly perils and unimaginable fatigues, frightful with
terrors and fearful portents.

But lo ! a marvel !

Here is a book — a fragile thing at best, sensitive to
many agencies of destruction. Ranged about the walls,
row upon row, are many others — "infinite riches in a
little room." A fleeting fancy, an idle hand stretched
forth, a half-purposeless turning of the leaves, and
behold! in a flash time and space are annihilated, we
have sped forty centuries into the past, and raptly
hearken to an old blind poet, a homeless stroller who
chants to the low undertone of his harp the wondrous
story of Troy. The blind old minstrel. Homer, rolls
forth the tale of fierce combat and the deeds of heroes,
in words sometimes stately and sonorous as the ocean's
roar, sometimes racing with the speed and turbulence of
a mountain torrent ; now soaring and flashing like raging
fire, anon moving with the calm majesty of a great river.
As he sings, the warring hosts of Hellas and Troy leap
into being, the tumult of the battle is all about us, the
din of arms, the death-shriek, the furious shout, resound ;
the fierce chiefs, the madly-rushing chariots, the deadly
struggle for the gate, the desperate defence of the ships
— we are in the midst of these actualities, the undying
progeny of the brain, the immortal children of the poet's


lofty thought. The sun sinks low, the battle ceases, the
tumult lessens to silence; darkness falls and the heavens
are bright with the radiance of stars ; when lo ! a thou-
sand camp fires gleam upon the plain ; and soon the
warring hosts lie plunged in sleep.

"As when in heav'n, around the glitt'ring moon
The stars shine bright amid the breathless air;
And ev'ry crag, and ev'ry jutting peak
Stands boldly forth, and ev'ry forest glade ;
Ev'n to the gates of Heav'n is open'd wide
The boundless sky : shines each particular star
Distinct; joy fills the gazing shepherd's heart.
So bright, so thickly scatter'd o'er the plain.
Before the walls of Troy, between the ships
And Xanthus' stream, the Trojan watchfires blaz'd.
A thousand fires burnt brightly ; and round each
Sat fifty warriors in the ruddy glare ;
Champing the provender before them laid.
Barley and rye, the tether'd horses stood
Beside the cars, and waited for the morn."

Four thousand years ago the warrior bands of Greece
and Troy sprang from the poet's brain : for forty cen-
turies they have been battling on by day : and now, as I
turn the leaves of Homer, I stand on the plain of Ilium,
the tired warriors still peacefully slumber beside their
watchfires after the toils of battle, and as of old the
overarching heavens are brilliant with silver stars.

"For books are not absolutely dead things," says
Milton, "but do contain a potency of life in them to be
as active as that soul was whose progeny they are ; nay,
they do preserve, as in a vial, the purest efficacy and
extraction of that living intellect that bred them. . . .
Many a man lives a burden to the earth; but a good
book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, em-


balmed and treasured up on purpose for a life beyond

Many have written lovingly of delightful intimacies,
through books, with the noblest and best of past ages.
Nearly six hundred years ago, "When all the land was
filled with violence," and the light of knowledge had
fallen very faint, Richard de Bury in his Philobiblon
wrote in the Latin tongue these words in praise of
books :

"The library, therefore, of wisdom is more precious
than all riches; and nothing that can be wished for is
worthy to be compared with it. Whosoever acknowl-
edges himself to be a zealous follower of truth, of hap-
piness, of wisdom, of science, or even of the faith, must
of necessity make himself a Lover of Books."

In later days Lowell descants in similar strain ; Dr.
Holmes, the witty "Autocrat," tells of the cumulated
wisdom of Nineteenth Century youth and their advan-
tages over the sages of the past ; and a long line of
reflective minds take up the theme.

"Consider what you have in the smallest chosen
library," says Emerson. "A company of the wisest and
wittiest men that could be picked out of all civil coun-
tries in a thousand years, have set in best order the
results of their learning and wisdom. The men them-
selves were hid and inaccessible, solitary, impatient of
interruption, fenced by etiquette ; but the thought which
they did not uncover to their bosom friend is here
written out in transparent words, to us, the strangers
of another age."

An eloquent divine thus voices the profound feelings
which books inspire : "Let us thank God for books !
When I consider what some books have done for the
world, and what they are doing; how they keep up our
hope, awaken new courage and faith, soothe pain, give
an ideal life to those whose homes are hard and cold,


bind together distant ages and foreign lands, create new
worlds of beauty, bring down truths from heaven — I give
eternal blessings for this gift, and pray that we may use
it aright, and abuse it not."

Still loftier is the strain, more intimate the apprecia-
tion of Edwin Percy Whipple : "Precious and priceless
are the blessings which books scatter around our daily
paths. We walk, in imagination, with the noblest spirits,
through the most sublime and enchanting regions —
regions which, to all that is lovely in the forms and
colors of earth,

"Add the gleam,
The light that never was on land or sea,
The consecration and the poet's dream."

"A motion of the hand brings all Arcadia to sight.
The war of Troy can, at our bidding, rage in the nar-
rowest chamber. Without stirring from our firesides,
we may roam to the most remote regions of the earth,
or soar into realms where Spenser's shapes of unearthly
beauty flock to meet us, where Milton's angels peal in
our ears the choral hymns of Paradise. Science, art, lit-
erature, philosophy — all that man has thought, all that
man has done — the experience that has been bought with
the sufferings of a hundred generations — all are gar-
nered up for us in the world of books. There, among
realities, in a 'substantial world,' we move with the
crowned kings of thought. There our minds have a free
range, our hearts a free utterance. Reason is confined
within none of the partitions that trammel it in life. In
that world, no divinity hedges a king, no accident of
rank or fashion ennobles a dunce or shields a knave.
We can select our companions from among the most
richly gifted of the sons of God; and they are com-
panions who will not desert us in poverty, or sickness,
or disgrace."



In every age since the light of letters began to illumine
the pathway of mankind, the praise of books has been
heralded by men of finer mold, those attuned to the
subtler harmonies of existence, responsive to the rarer
and more spiritual of the forces which shape men's lives.
But for long the class of book-lovers was a mere handful.
Only in very recent times have the generality of men
come into their delightful heritage in the world of books
— the domain where the accidents of time and space are
not, where the hard bondage of the physical senses is
escaped, where the grossness of material things gives
place to illimitable freedom and ethereal charm — to the
noble potency of philosophy, the serenity of things spir-
itual — to the joyonsness of lightly-flitting fancy, and
the boundless marvels of imagination.

In the Seventeenth Century a few great minds formu-
lated the essential principles of knowledge. Thereby
men speedily discovered the secrets of physical forces,
whose command has gone far to create a general con-
dition of material comfort. Bacon, Descartes and others
taught men the right use of the understanding. Their
mighty intellectual impulse fertilized all succeeding gen-
erations of minds, created the world of science, and
infinitely broadened the field of education.

Thus, as the barriers of ignorance and poverty have
been overthrown by the force of rightly directed intelli-
gence, the portals of the world of books — once sacred to
the scholar and inaccessible to the generality — have
swung wide that all mankind may freely enter into the
enchanted land, to hold delightful discourse with the
living thoughts of noble minds. Here, at last, the true
perspective of life appears, the material concerns which
have filled all our horizon shrink to their real propor-
tions, we stand amazed at their littleness, their barren-
ness, their poverty in all that is graceful, beautiful,
ennobling, uplifting. We gaze beyond them, and behold !


before us are endless vistas of enchantment, radiant with
the elusive tints of fancy, glorious with the ethereal
beauties of imagination — a new and entrancing world,
impalpable to the deadened senses of those in bondage
to material things, palpable and real to the finer spiritual

The "Classic Library" represents only the literature of
imagination and fancy — the powerful imaginings of the
great romancers and novelists, the beautiful fancies of
great poets. It is the outcome of a chastening
process of selection, not formal or premeditated, but
possibly more drastic. It represents the "survival of the
fittest," the consensus of many minds, and not merely
the personal opinion of a single mind. Real book-lovers
are always critical and usually discriminating. They
have many friends among books to whom they are
drawn by some positive literary quality — by intellectual
strength, imagination, beauty of diction, dramatic power.
Many book-lovers have suggested their favorite stories
to the. Editor of the "Classic Library." Many others
have critically discussed the merits or demerits of the
selections. The critics include men-of-letters with whom
literary criticism is a pursuit, and book-lovers of culti-
vated tastes and wide acquaintance with literature.
Hence this library is made up of what many capable
judges deem to be strong and worthy literature, dis-
tinctive because of dramatic force, imaginative quality
or beautiful fancy.


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Online LibraryUnknownClassic tales by famous authors (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 19)