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Margarita’s Soul The Romantic Recollections of a Man of Fifty
Excerpt: Roger Bradley was walking up Broadway. This fact calls sharply for comment, for he had not done it in years; the thoroughfare was intolerable to him. But one of its impingements upon a less blatant avenue had caught him napping and he found himself entangled in a mesh of theatre dribblings, pool-room loungers, wine-touts and homeward bent women of the middle, shopping class. Being there, he scorned to avail himself of the regularly recurring cross streets, but strode along, his straight, trim bulk, his keen, judicial profile—a profile that spoke strong of the best traditions of American blood—marking him for what he was among a crowd not to be matched, in its way, upon the Western Continent.
At the second slanting of the great, tawdry lane he bent with it and encountered suddenly a little knot of flustered women just descended from the elevated way that doubled the din and blare of the shrieking city. They were bundle-filled, voluble, dressed by any standards save those of their native city, far beyond their probable means and undoubted station. As they stopped unexpectedly and hesitated, damming the flood of hurrying citizens, Roger halted of necessity and stepped backward, but in avoiding them he bumped heavily against the person behind him. A startled gasp, something soft against his shoulder, the sharp edge of a projecting hat, told him that this person was a woman, and stepping sidewise into the shelter of a neighbouring news-stall, he raised his hat with a courtesy alien to the place and hour.
“I beg your pardon, madam,” he said, “I trust I have not hurt you?”
“No,” said the woman, who wore a heavy grey veil, and as that is literally all she said and as her method of saying it was as convincing as it was simple, one would suppose the incident closed and look to see Roger complete his journey to his club without further adventure.
Do I wish he had? God knows. It was undoubtedly the turning-point in his life and he was forty. Had he gone on to the club where I was waiting for him; had we dined, played out our rubber, dropped in at the occasional chamber concert that was our usual and almost our only dissipation in those days, I should not now be ransacking old letters and diaries from which to make this book, nor would Margarita’s picture—her loveliest, as Juliet—lean toward me from the wall. She is smiling; not as one smiles in photographs, but as a flesh-and-blood woman droops over the man she loves and smiles her heart into his lips, reaching over his shoulder. Everything slips behind but you two, herself and you, when you look at it. Sarony, who took it, told me he had never posed such a subject, and I believe him.
Boys and Girls of Colonial Days
Extract: Peering over the edge of the boat rail, Love strained her weary, blue eyes for a glimpse of land. The sun, a ball of soft, gold light, showed now through the haze, and suddenly, like a fairy place the city appeared. There were tall, shining towers, gold church spires, pointed roofs with wide, red chimneys where the storks stood in one-legged fashion, and great windmills with their long arms stretched out to catch the four winds. Amsterdam, in Holland, it was, the haven of this little boat load of Pilgrims.
Love Bradford, ten years old, flaxen haired, and as winsome as an English rose in June, wrapped her long, gray cloak more closely about her and turned to one of the women.
“Do you think that my father may have taken another boat that sailed faster than this and is waiting for me on the shore, Mistress Brewster? The last words that he said to me when he left me on the ship were ‘Bide patiently until I come, Love; I will not be long.’ That was many days ago.”
Mistress Brewster turned away that the little girl might not see the tears that filled her eyes. Love’s father, just before the ship that bore the Pilgrims from England had sailed, had been cast into prison by the King, because of his faith. Love was all alone, but Mistress Brewster did not want her to know of her father’s fate.
“Perhaps your father will meet you some day soon in Holland. Surely, if he said that he would not be long, he will keep his word. See, Love, see the little boy of your own age down there in the fishing boat.”
Love looked in the direction in which the woman pointed. A plump, rosy little boy with eyes as blue as Love’s own and dressed in full brown trousers and clumsy wooden shoes sat on a big net in one end of the boat. He looked up as the sails of the little fishing craft brought it alongside the boat that bore the wanderers from England. At first he dropped his eyes in shyness at sight of the little girl. Then he lifted them again and, as his eyes met hers, the two children smiled at each other. It was like a flash of sunshine piercing the gray haze that hung over the sea.
There were friends waiting on the shore for all save Love. Older brothers these were, fathers and other relatives who had made the pilgrimage from England a few months before and had homes ready for them all.
Reader Review: What have we lost? What have the collectivists taken from us? Here it is. Children, burying silver before it is confiscated. Kids, asking God to win the battle and give them back their father. A father? God? Kids that work and are devoted to their family and country? Kids that understand George Washington to be a great man? Kids that do all sorts of “unsafe” things, and still somehow survive without State assistance? Buy this book. Remember our heritage, and pass it on.
Also by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey:
Wonder Stories The Best Myths for Boys and Girls
How the Myths Began
What Prometheus Did with a Bit of Clay
The Paradise of Children
What Became of the Giants
How Vulcan Made the Best of Things
How Orion Found His Sight
The Wonders Venus Wrought
Where the Labyrinth Led
How Perseus Conquered the Sea
Pegasus, the Horse Who Could Fly
How Mars Lost a Battle
How Minerva Built a City
Cadmus, the Alphabet King
The Picture Minerva Wove
The Hero with a Fairy Godmother
The Horn of Plenty
The Wonder the Frogs Missed
When Phaeton’s Chariot Ran Away
When Apollo was Herdsman
How Jupiter Granted a Wish
How Hyacinthus Became a Flower
How King Midas Lost His Ears
How Mercury Gave up his Tricks
A Little Errand Girl’s New Dress
When Proserpine was Lost
The Ploughman who Brought Famine
The Bee Man of Arcadia
When Pomona Shared Her Apples
How Psyche Reached Mount Olympus
How Melampos Fed the Serpent
How a Huntress Became a Bear
The Adventure of Glaucus
The Winning of the Golden Fleece
How a Golden Apple Caused a War
How a Wooden Horse Won a War
The Complete Home
Published in 1907. How to plan, furnish, decorate, and run a house room by room, and to some degree task by task. Here’s an extract:
THE NICE MACHINERY OF HOUSEKEEPING
Born on Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday.
That’s the end of
This little tale serves to show how it simplifies life to have a time for everything and everything in its time. System was probably a habit in the Grundy family, and was so bred in Solomon’s bones that it never occurred to him that he could reverse the order observed by the Grundys for generations back and be married on Thursday, for instance. And yet there is room for conjecture as to how much difference it might have made in his life if he had elected to contract an alliance on that day instead of a fatal illness. System is a fine servant but a poor master. Simply because custom has decreed that Monday shall be wash day, Tuesday ironing day, and so on, it does not necessarily follow that this programme must be strictly adhered to in every family, or that the schedule of the week’s work, once made out, cannot be changed to meet the unexpected exigencies which are apt to arise. To be sure, Monday as wash day has many points in its favor; but if it must be postponed until Tuesday, or the clothes have not dried well and the ironing has to go over into Wednesday, there is no reason why the whole domestic harmony should become “like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh.” Although order is heaven’s first law, it occasionally happens that it is better to break the law than to be broken by it. And so, when the young housekeeper’s nicely arranged plans for each day in the week are suddenly turned topsy-turvy, let her take heart of grace, remembering that there are whole days that “ain’t teched yet,” and begin again.
The chief objection to washing on Monday is that it necessitates sorting and putting the soiled linen to soak on Sunday, which not only violates the religious principles of many households, but shortens and spoils the flavor of the maid’s free Sabbath evening. Then, too, the sorting of the linen often reveals holes and rents which should properly be repaired before laundering increases the damage, and a Tuesday washing makes this possible, with the straightening out and readjustment generally necessary after Sunday. On the other hand, the longer the linen remains unlaundered the more difficult it is to cleanse, with the risk that good drying days may tarry and the ironing thus linger along till the end of the week, which is inconvenient and bothersome all round. Therefore it seems quite advisable for Mrs. Grundy to wash on Monday, and an occasional postponement until Tuesday will not then be a matter of any great moment. The routine work of every day—the airing, brushing up, and dusting of the rooms, the preparation and serving of meals at their regular hours, the chamber work, dish-washing, in short, all the have-to-be-dones, must not, and need not, be interfered with by the special work which belongs to each day. There are hours enough for both, and rest time, too, unless the housekeeper or maid be cut after the pattern of Chaucer’s Sergeant of the Law:
“Nowher so bisy a man as he ther nas,
And yet he semed bisier than he was.”
Wash day is always somewhat of an ordeal, and a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull all together is necessary to carry it successfully through. A simple breakfast will give the maid an opportunity to sort and put the clothes to soak, if this was not done the night previous, heat water for the washing, and perhaps prepare vegetables for the day’s meals, before breakfast is served; and if her mistress lends a helping hand with the dishes, dusting, or other regular work of the day, she can go to her tubs just that much earlier. Getting up in the wee sma’ hours and working by early candle light is misdirected ambition. The maid needs her rest to fit her for her day’s labors, and washing well done requires the light of day. Set the breakfast hour ahead half an hour and so gain a little extra time. Foresight and extra planning on Saturday will provide certain left-overs from Sunday’s meals which can be quickly and easily transformed into Monday’s luncheon. Dinner, too, should be a simple meal, but don’t add to the other trials of the day cold comfort at meal time. A smoking-hot dinner has a certain heartening influence to which we are all more or less susceptible. The doors leading from the room in which the washing is done must be kept closed to exclude the steamy odor from the rest of the house, and the maid allowed to proceed with her work without interruption. By eleven o’clock she will probably have reached a point where she can stop to prepare luncheon. If the family is very small, she can frequently do not only the washing but considerable of the ironing as well on Monday, but that is crowding things a little too much. After the washing is accomplished the line should be drawn at what must be done, and nothing which is not absolutely necessary put into the few remaining hours of the day, for the maid’s back and arms have had quite enough exercise for the time being. If a laundress is employed, the cleaning of the kitchen floor and the laundry and the ironing should be about accomplished by night, unless it seems best to have her clean and do other extra work after the washing is finished. If the housewife is her own laundress, she must acquire the gentle art of letting things go on the hard days, for she cannot possibly be laundress, maid, and house-mother all in one, and her health and well-being are of prime importance.
Mrs. Beeton’s The Book of Household Management
Reader Review: This book is written in such a way that you are drawn into the past and standing alongside the mistress of the house…planning your day and making sure the “household help” do their jobs well. It certainly reminds us of the benfits we have currently – with washing machines, dishwashers, automobiles, pre-packaged food and yes,fast food, yet still don’t have enough time to do all the things we need/want to do. How would you like to dress your own cow or help make every article of clothing you wear (even though the “hired help” did most of it)? A brief introduction to the book instills in the reader a sense of where Mrs. Beeton arrived at her thoughts for “proper household management.” She seems to have been frustrated by societal changes she was witnessing and wanted her “good ol’ days” to return. It is a book I highly recommend not only for the history, but for the entertainment value. I could not put it down once I started.
A Modest Proposal
Classic satire by Jonathan Swift
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
Excerpt: As it is by treaty, by barter, and by purchase, that we obtain from one another the greater part of those mutual good offices which we stand in need of, so it is this same trucking disposition which originally gives occasion to the division of labour. In a tribe of hunters or shepherds, a particular person makes bows and arrows, for example, with more readiness and dexterity than any other. He frequently exchanges them for cattle or for venison, with his companions; and he finds at last that he can, in this manner, get more cattle and venison, than if he himself went to the field to catch them. From a regard to his own interest, therefore, the making of bows and arrows grows to be his chief business, and he becomes a sort of armourer. Another excels in making the frames and covers of their little huts or moveable houses. He is accustomed to be of use in this way to his neighbours, who reward him in the same manner with cattle and with venison, till at last he finds it his interest to dedicate himself entirely to this employment, and to become a sort of house-carpenter. In the same manner a third becomes a smith or a brazier; a fourth, a tanner or dresser of hides or skins, the principal part of the clothing of savages. And thus the certainty of being able to exchange all that surplus part of the produce of his own labour, which is over and above his own consumption, for such parts of the produce of other men’s labour as he may have occasion for, encourages every man to apply himself to a particular occupation, and to cultivate and bring to perfection whatever talent of genius he may possess for that particular species of business.
The difference of natural talents in different men, is, in reality, much less than we are aware of; and the very different genius which appears to distinguish men of different professions, when grown up to maturity, is not upon many occasions so much the cause, as the effect of the division of labour. The difference between the most dissimilar characters, between a philosopher and a common street porter, for example, seems to arise not so much from nature, as from habit, custom, and education. When they came in to the world, and for the first six or eight years of their existence, they were, perhaps, very much alike, and neither their parents nor play-fellows could perceive any remarkable difference. About that age, or soon after, they come to be employed in very different occupations. The difference of talents comes then to be taken notice of, and widens by degrees, till at last the vanity of the philosopher is willing to acknowledge scarce any resemblance. But without the disposition to truck, barter, and exchange, every man must have procured to himself every necessary and conveniency of life which he wanted. All must have had the same duties to perform, and the same work to do, and there could have been no such difference of employment as could alone give occasion to any great difference of talents.
Excerpt: The institution of long apprenticeships can give no security that insufficient workmanship shall not frequently be exposed to public sale. When this is done, it is generally the effect of fraud, and not of inability; and the longest apprenticeship can give no security against fraud. Quite different regulations are necessary to prevent this abuse. The sterling mark upon plate, and the stamps upon linen and woollen cloth, give the purchaser much greater security than any statute of apprenticeship. He generally looks at these, but never thinks it worth while to enquire whether the workman had served a seven years apprenticeship.
The institution of long apprenticeships has no tendency to form young people to industry. A journeyman who works by the piece is likely to be industrious, because he derives a benefit from every exertion of his industry. An apprentice is likely to be idle, and almost always is so, because he has no immediate interest to be otherwise. In the inferior employments, the sweets of labour consist altogether in the recompence of labour. They who are soonest in a condition to enjoy the sweets of it, are likely soonest to conceive a relish for it, and to acquire the early habit of industry. A young man naturally conceives an aversion to labour, when for a long time he receives no benefit from it. The boys who are put out apprentices from public charities are generally bound for more than the usual number of years, and they generally turn out very idle and worthless.
Apprenticeships were altogether unknown to the ancients. The reciprocal duties of master and apprentice make a considerable article in every modern code. The Roman law is perfectly silent with regard to them. I know no Greek or Latin word (I might venture, I believe, to assert that there is none) which expresses the idea we now annex to the word apprentice, a servant bound to work at a particular trade for the benefit of a master, during a term of years, upon condition that the master shall teach him that trade.
Long apprenticeships are altogether unnecessary.
Three Men in a Boat
I love this book and find it delightfully funny.
Excerpt: We sat there for half-an-hour, describing to each other our maladies. I explained to George and William Harris how I felt when I got up in the morning, and William Harris told us how he felt when he went to bed; and George stood on the hearth-rug, and gave us a clever and powerful piece of acting, illustrative of how he felt in the night.
George fancies he is ill; but there’s never anything really the matter with him, you know.
At this point, Mrs. Poppets knocked at the door to know if we were ready for supper. We smiled sadly at one another, and said we supposed we had better try to swallow a bit. Harris said a little something in one’s stomach often kept the disease in check; and Mrs. Poppets brought the tray in, and we drew up to the table, and toyed with a little steak and onions, and some rhubarb tart.
I must have been very weak at the time; because I know, after the first half-hour or so, I seemed to take no interest whatever in my food—an unusual thing for me—and I didn’t want any cheese.
This duty done, we refilled our glasses, lit our pipes, and resumed the discussion upon our state of health. What it was that was actually the matter with us, we none of us could be sure of; but the unanimous opinion was that it—whatever it was—had been brought on by overwork.
“What we want is rest,” said Harris.
“Rest and a complete change,” said George. “The overstrain upon our brains has produced a general depression throughout the system. Change of scene, and absence of the necessity for thought, will restore the mental equilibrium.”
George has a cousin, who is usually described in the charge-sheet as a medical student, so that he naturally has a somewhat family-physicianary way of putting things.
I agreed with George, and suggested that we should seek out some retired and old-world spot, far from the madding crowd, and dream away a sunny week among its drowsy lanes—some half-forgotten nook, hidden away by the fairies, out of reach of the noisy world—some quaint-perched eyrie on the cliffs of Time, from whence the surging waves of the nineteenth century would sound far-off and faint.
Harris said he thought it would be humpy. He said he knew the sort of place I meant; where everybody went to bed at eight o’clock, and you couldn’t get a Referee for love or money, and had to walk ten miles to get your baccy.
“No,” said Harris, “if you want rest and change, you can’t beat a sea trip.”
I objected to the sea trip strongly. A sea trip does you good when you are going to have a couple of months of it, but, for a week, it is wicked.
You start on Monday with the idea implanted in your bosom that you are going to enjoy yourself. You wave an airy adieu to the boys on shore, light your biggest pipe, and swagger about the deck as if you were Captain Cook, Sir Francis Drake, and Christopher Columbus all rolled into one. On Tuesday, you wish you hadn’t come. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, you wish you were dead. On Saturday, you are able to swallow a little beef tea, and to sit up on deck, and answer with a wan, sweet smile when kind-hearted people ask you how you feel now. On Sunday, you begin to walk about again, and take solid food. And on Monday morning, as, with your bag and umbrella in your hand, you stand by the gunwale, waiting to step ashore, you begin to thoroughly like it.
The original version of My Fair Lady, rather different from the American movie.
Excerpt; Covent Garden at 11.15 p.m. Torrents of heavy summer rain. Cab whistles blowing frantically in all directions. Pedestrians running for shelter into the market and under the portico of St. Paul’s Church, where there are already several people, among them a lady and her daughter in evening dress. They are all peering out gloomily at the rain, except one man with his back turned to the rest, who seems wholly preoccupied with a notebook in which he is writing busily.
The church clock strikes the first quarter.
THE DAUGHTER [in the space between the central pillars, close to the one on her left] I’m getting chilled to the bone. What can Freddy be doing all this time? He’s been gone twenty minutes.
THE MOTHER [on her daughter's right] Not so long. But he ought to have got us a cab by this.
A BYSTANDER [on the lady's right] He won’t get no cab not until half-past eleven, missus, when they come back after dropping their theatre fares.
THE MOTHER. But we must have a cab. We can’t stand here until half-past eleven. It’s too bad.
THE BYSTANDER. Well, it ain’t my fault, missus.
THE DAUGHTER. If Freddy had a bit of gumption, he would have got one at the theatre door.
THE MOTHER. What could he have done, poor boy?
THE DAUGHTER. Other people got cabs. Why couldn’t he?
Freddy rushes in out of the rain from the Southampton Street side, and comes between them closing a dripping umbrella. He is a young man of twenty, in evening dress, very wet around the ankles.
THE DAUGHTER. Well, haven’t you got a cab?
FREDDY. There’s not one to be had for love or money.
THE MOTHER. Oh, Freddy, there must be one. You can’t have tried.
THE DAUGHTER. It’s too tiresome. Do you expect us to go and get one ourselves?
FREDDY. I tell you they’re all engaged. The rain was so sudden: nobody was prepared; and everybody had to take a cab. I’ve been to Charing Cross one way and nearly to Ludgate Circus the other; and they were all engaged.
THE MOTHER. Did you try Trafalgar Square?
FREDDY. There wasn’t one at Trafalgar Square.
THE DAUGHTER. Did you try?
FREDDY. I tried as far as Charing Cross Station. Did you expect me to walk to Hammersmith?
THE DAUGHTER. You haven’t tried at all.
THE MOTHER. You really are very helpless, Freddy. Go again; and don’t come back until you have found a cab.
FREDDY. I shall simply get soaked for nothing.
THE DAUGHTER. And what about us? Are we to stay here all night in this draught, with next to nothing on. You selfish pig—
FREDDY. Oh, very well: I’ll go, I’ll go. [He opens his umbrella and dashes off Strandwards, but comes into collision with a flower girl, who is hurrying in for shelter, knocking her basket out of her hands. A blinding flash of lightning, followed instantly by a rattling peal of thunder, orchestrates the incident]
THE FLOWER GIRL. Nah then, Freddy: look wh’ y’ gowin, deah.
FREDDY. Sorry [he rushes off].
THE FLOWER GIRL [picking up her scattered flowers and replacing them in the basket] There’s menners f’ yer! Te-oo banches o voylets trod into the mad. [She sits down on the plinth of the column, sorting her flowers, on the lady's right. She is not at all an attractive person. She is perhaps eighteen, perhaps twenty, hardly older. She wears a little sailor hat of black straw that has long been exposed to the dust and soot of London and has seldom if ever been brushed. Her hair needs washing rather badly: its mousy color can hardly be natural. She wears a shoddy black coat that reaches nearly to her knees and is shaped to her waist. She has a brown skirt with a coarse apron. Her boots are much the worse for wear. She is no doubt as clean as she can afford to be; but compared to the ladies she is very dirty. Her features are no worse than theirs; but their condition leaves something to be desired; and she needs the services of a dentist].
The Interpreter A Tale of the War
Extract: “And so, you see, my dear Egerton, it is out of the question. I own to a great liking for your character. I think you behaved yesterday like a trump. I am too old for romance, and all that, but I can understand your feeling, my boy, and I am sorry for you. The objection I have named would alone be sufficient. Let it never be mentioned again. Your father was my oldest friend, and I hope you will not think it necessary to break with us; but marriage is a serious affair, and indeed is not to be thought of.”
“No hope, Sir Harry?” I gasped out; “years hence, if I could win fame, distinction, throw a cloak of honour over this accursed brand, give her a name to be proud of, is there no hope?”
“None,” replied Sir Harry; “these things are better settled at once. It is far wiser not to delude yourself into the notion that, because you are a disappointed man now, you are destined to become a great one hereafter. Greatness grows, Vere, just like a cabbage or a cauliflower, and must be tended and cultivated with years of labour and perseverance; you cannot pluck it down with one spring, like an apple from a bough. No, no, my lad; you will get over this disappointment, and be all the better for it. I am sorry to refuse you, but I must, Vere, distinctly, and for the last time. Besides, I tell you in confidence, I have other views for Constance, so you see it is totally out of the question. You may see her this afternoon, if you like. She is a good child, and will do nothing in disobedience to her father. Farewell, Vere, I am sorry for you, but the thing’s done.”
So I walked out of the Baronet’s room in the unenviable character of a disappointed suitor, and he went back to his farm book and his trainer’s accounts, as coolly as if he had just been dismissing a domestic; whilst I–my misery was greater than I could bear–his last words seemed to scorch me. “I should get over it–I should be the better for it.” And I felt all the time that my heart was breaking; and then, “he had other views for Constance;” not only must she never be mine, but I must suffer the additional pang of feeling that she belongs to another. “Would to God,” I thought, “that we had sunk together yesterday, never to rise again!”
I went to look for her in the shrubbery: I knew where I should find her; there was an old summer-house that we two had sat in many a time before, and I felt sure Constance would be there. She rose as I approached it: she must have seen by my face that it was all over. She put her hand in mine, and, totally unmanned, I bent my head over it, and burst into a flood of tears, like a child. I remember to this day the very pattern of the gown she wore; even now I seem to hear the soft, gentle accents in which she reasoned and pleaded with me, and strove to mitigate my despair.
by Agatha Christie
Excerpt: CHAPTER V. MR. JULIUS P. HERSHEIMMER
“WELL,” said Tuppence, recovering herself, “it really seems as though it were meant to be.”
“I know what you mean. I’m superstitious myself. Luck, and all that sort of thing. Fate seems to have chosen you out to be mixed up in this.”
Tommy indulged in a chuckle.
“My word! I don’t wonder Whittington got the wind up when Tuppence plumped out that name! I should have myself. But look here, sir, we’re taking up an awful lot of your time. Have you any tips to give us before we clear out?”
“I think not. My experts, working in stereotyped ways, have failed. You will bring imagination and an open mind to the task. Don’t be discouraged if that too does not succeed. For one thing there is a likelihood of the pace being forced.”
Tuppence frowned uncomprehendingly.
“When you had that interview with Whittington, they had time before them. I have information that the big coup was planned for early in the new year. But the Government is contemplating legislative action which will deal effectually with the strike menace. They’ll get wind of it soon, if they haven’t already, and it’s possible that that may bring things to a head. I hope it will myself. The less time they have to mature their plans the better. I’m just warning you that you haven’t much time before you, and that you needn’t be cast down if you fail. It’s not an easy proposition anyway. That’s all.”
“I think we ought to be businesslike. What exactly can we count upon you for, Mr. Carter?” Mr. Carter’s lips twitched slightly, but he replied succinctly: “Funds within reason, detailed information on any point, and NO OFFICIAL RECOGNITION. I mean that if you get yourselves into trouble with the police, I can’t officially help you out of it. You’re on your own.”
Tuppence nodded sagely.
“I quite understand that. I’ll write out a list of the things I want to know when I’ve had time to think. Now—about money——”
“Yes, Miss Tuppence. Do you want to say how much?”
“Not exactly. We’ve got plenty to go with for the present, but when we want more——”
“It will be waiting for you.”
“Yes, but—I’m sure I don’t want to be rude about the Government if you’ve got anything to do with it, but you know one really has the devil of a time getting anything out of it! And if we have to fill up a blue form and send it in, and then, after three months, they send us a green one, and so on—well, that won’t be much use, will it?”
Mr. Carter laughed outright.
“Don’t worry, Miss Tuppence. You will send a personal demand to me here, and the money, in notes, shall be sent by return of post. As to salary, shall we say at the rate of three hundred a year? And an equal sum for Mr. Beresford, of course.”
Tuppence beamed upon him.
The History of the Peloponnesian War
Excerpt:The way in which Athens came to be placed in the circumstances under which her power grew was this. After the Medes had returned from Europe, defeated by sea and land by the Hellenes, and after those of them who had fled with their ships to Mycale had been destroyed, Leotychides, king of the Lacedaemonians, the commander of the Hellenes at Mycale, departed home with the allies from Peloponnese. But the Athenians and the allies from Ionia and Hellespont, who had now revolted from the King, remained and laid siege to Sestos, which was still held by the Medes. After wintering before it, they became masters of the place on its evacuation by the barbarians; and after this they sailed away from Hellespont to their respective cities. Meanwhile the Athenian people, after the departure of the barbarian from their country, at once proceeded to carry over their children and wives, and such property as they had left, from the places where they had deposited them, and prepared to rebuild their city and their walls. For only isolated portions of the circumference had been left standing, and most of the houses were in ruins; though a few remained, in which the Persian grandees had taken up their quarters.
Perceiving what they were going to do, the Lacedaemonians sent an embassy to Athens. They would have themselves preferred to see neither her nor any other city in possession of a wall; though here they acted principally at the instigation of their allies, who were alarmed at the strength of her newly acquired navy and the valour which she had displayed in the war with the Medes. They begged her not only to abstain from building walls for herself, but also to join them in throwing down the walls that still held together of the ultra-Peloponnesian cities. The real meaning of their advice, the suspicion that it contained against the Athenians, was not proclaimed; it was urged that so the barbarian, in the event of a third invasion, would not have any strong place, such as he now had in Thebes, for his base of operations; and that Peloponnese would suffice for all as a base both for retreat and offence. After the Lacedaemonians had thus spoken, they were, on the advice of Themistocles, immediately dismissed by the Athenians, with the answer that ambassadors should be sent to Sparta to discuss the question. Themistocles told the Athenians to send him off with all speed to Lacedaemon, but not to dispatch his colleagues as soon as they had selected them, but to wait until they had raised their wall to the height from which defence was possible. Meanwhile the whole population in the city was to labour at the wall, the Athenians, their wives, and their children, sparing no edifice, private or public, which might be of any use to the work, but throwing all down. After giving these instructions, and adding that he would be responsible for all other matters there, he departed. Arrived at Lacedaemon he did not seek an audience with the authorities, but tried to gain time and made excuses. When any of the government asked him why he did not appear in the assembly, he would say that he was waiting for his colleagues, who had been detained in Athens by some engagement; however, that he expected their speedy arrival, and wondered that they were not yet there. At first the Lacedaemonians trusted the words of Themistocles, through their friendship for him; but when others arrived, all distinctly declaring that the work was going on and already attaining some elevation, they did not know how to disbelieve it. Aware of this, he told them that rumours are deceptive, and should not be trusted; they should send some reputable persons from Sparta to inspect, whose report might be trusted. They dispatched them accordingly. Concerning these Themistocles secretly sent word to the Athenians to detain them as far as possible without putting them under open constraint, and not to let them go until they had themselves returned. For his colleagues had now joined him, Abronichus, son of Lysicles, and Aristides, son of Lysimachus, with the news that the wall was sufficiently advanced; and he feared that when the Lacedaemonians heard the facts, they might refuse to let them go. So the Athenians detained the envoys according to his message, and Themistocles had an audience with the Lacedaemonians, and at last openly told them that Athens was now fortified sufficiently to protect its inhabitants; that any embassy which the Lacedaemonians or their allies might wish to send to them should in future proceed on the assumption that the people to whom they were going was able to distinguish both its own and the general interests. That when the Athenians thought fit to abandon their city and to embark in their ships, they ventured on that perilous step without consulting them; and that on the other hand, wherever they had deliberated with the Lacedaemonians, they had proved themselves to be in judgment second to none. That they now thought it fit that their city should have a wall, and that this would be more for the advantage of both the citizens of Athens and the Hellenic confederacy; for without equal military strength it was impossible to contribute equal or fair counsel to the common interest. It followed, he observed, either that all the members of the confederacy should be without walls, or that the present step should be considered a right one.
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