Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Download: "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen

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IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man inpossession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
However little known the feelings or views of such a man may beon his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so wellfixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he isconsidered as the rightful property of some one or other oftheir daughters.
``My dear Mr. Bennet,'' said his lady to him one day, ``haveyou heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?''
Mr. Bennet replied that he had not.
``But it is,'' returned she; ``for Mrs. Long has just beenhere, and she told me all about it.''
Mr. Bennet made no answer.
``Do not you want to know who has taken it?'' cried his wifeimpatiently.
``_You_ want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearingit.''
This was invitation enough.
``Why, my dear, you must know, Mrs. Long says that Netherfieldis taken by a young man of large fortune from the north ofEngland; that he came down on Monday in a chaise and four tosee the place, and was so much delighted with it that he agreedwith Mr. Morris immediately; that he is to take possessionbefore Michaelmas, and some of his servants are to be in thehouse by the end of next week.''
``What is his name?''
``Is he married or single?''

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Download: “The Argonautica” by Apollonius Rhodius

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About the book:

The Argonautica differs in some respects from traditional or Homeric Greek epic, though Apollonius certainly used Homer as a model. The Argonautica is shorter than Homer’s epics, with four books totaling less than 6000 lines, while the Iliad runs to more than 16,000. Apollonius may have been influenced here by Callimachus’ brevity, or by Aristotle’s demand for "poems on a smaller scale than the old epics, and answering in length to the group of tragedies presented at a single sitting" (the Poetics).

Apollonius' epic also differs from the more traditional epic in its weaker, more human protagonist Jason and in its many discursions into local custom, aetiology, and other popular subjects of Hellenistic poetry. Apollonius also chooses the less shocking versions of some myths, having Medea, for example, merely watch the murder of Apsyrtus instead of murdering him herself. The gods are relatively distant and inactive throughout much of the epic, following the Hellenistic trend to allegorise and rationalise religion. Heterosexual loves such as Jason's are more emphasized than homosexual loves such as that of Heracles and Hylas, another trend in Hellenistic literature. Many critics regard the love of Medea and Jason in the third book as the best written and most memorable episode.

Opinions on the poem have changed over time. Some critics in antiquity considered it mediocre.[7] Recent criticism has seen a renaissance of interest in the poem and an awareness of its qualities: numerous scholarly studies are published regularly, its influence on later poets like Virgil is now well recognised, and any account of the history of epic poetry now routinely includes substantial attention to Apollonius.




Much has been written about the chronology of
Alexandrian literature and the famous Library, founded
by Ptolemy Soter, but the dates of the chief writers are
still matters of conjecture. The birth of Apollonius
Rhodius is placed by scholars at various times between
296 and 260 B.C., while the year of his death is equally
uncertain. In fact, we have very little information on
the subject. There are two “lives” of Apollonius in the
Scholia, both derived from an earlier one which is lost.
From these we learn that he was of Alexandria by
birth,* that he lived in the time of the Ptolemies, and
was a pupil of Callimachus; that while still a youth he
composed and recited in public his “Argonautica”, and
that the poem was condemned, in consequence of
which he retired to Rhodes; that there he revised his
poem, recited it with great applause, and hence called
himself a Rhodian. The second “life” adds: “Some say
that he returned to Alexandria and again recited his
poem with the utmost success, so that he was honoured
with the libraries of the Museum and was buried with
Callimachus.” The last sentence may be interpreted
by the notice of Suidas, who informs us that Apollonius
was a contemporary of Eratosthenes, Euphorion and
Timarchus, in the time of Ptolemy Euergetes, and that
he succeeded Eratosthenes in the headship of the
Alexandrian Library. Suidas also informs us elsewhere
that Aristophanes at the age of sixty-two succeeded
Apollonius in this office. Many modern scholars deny
the “bibliothecariate” of Apollonius for chronological
reasons, and there is considerable difficulty about it.
The date of Callimachus’ “Hymn to Apollo”, which
closes with some lines (105- 113) that are admittedly
an allusion to Apollonius, may be put with much probability
at 248 or 247 B.C. Apollonius must at that date
have been at least twenty years old. Eratosthenes died
196-193 B.C. This would make Apollonius seventytwo
to seventy-five when he succeeded Eratosthenes.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Download: “Love and Friendship” by Jane Austen

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"Deceived in Freindship and Betrayed in Love."


How often, in answer to my repeated intreaties that you would
give my Daughter a regular detail of the Misfortunes and
Adventures of your Life, have you said "No, my freind never will
I comply with your request till I may be no longer in Danger of
again experiencing such dreadful ones."

Surely that time is now at hand. You are this day 55. If a
woman may ever be said to be in safety from the determined
Perseverance of disagreeable Lovers and the cruel Persecutions of
obstinate Fathers, surely it must be at such a time of Life.


Altho' I cannot agree with you in supposing that I shall never
again be exposed to Misfortunes as unmerited as those I have
already experienced, yet to avoid the imputation of Obstinacy or
ill-nature, I will gratify the curiosity of your daughter; and
may the fortitude with which I have suffered the many afflictions
of my past Life, prove to her a useful lesson for the support of
those which may befall her in her own.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Download: "Persuasion" by Jane Austen

Click here to download the book.

Chapter 1

Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs changed naturally into pity and contempt as he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century; and there, if every other leaf were powerless, he could read his own history with an interest which never failed. This was the page at which the favourite volume always opened:


"Walter Elliot, born March 1, 1760, married, July 15, 1784, Elizabeth, daughter of James Stevenson, Esq. of South Park, in the county of Gloucester, by which lady (who died 1800) he has issue Elizabeth, born June 1, 1785; Anne, born August 9, 1787; a still-born son, November 5, 1789; Mary, born November 20, 1791."

Precisely such had the paragraph originally stood from the printer's hands; but Sir Walter had improved it by adding, for the information of himself and his family, these words, after the date of Mary's birth-- "Married, December 16, 1810, Charles, son and heir of Charles Musgrove, Esq. of Uppercross, in the county of Somerset," and by inserting most accurately the day of the month on which he had lost his wife.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Download: "Lady Susan" by Jane Austen

Click here to download this book.


Langford, Dec.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--I can no longer refuse myself the pleasure of profiting by your kind invitation when we last parted of spending some weeks with you at Churchhill, and, therefore, if quite convenient to you and Mrs. Vernon to receive me at present, I shall hope within a few days to be introduced to a sister whom I have so long desired to be acquainted with. My kind friends here are most affectionately urgent with me to prolong my stay, but their hospitable and cheerful dispositions lead them too much into society for my present situation and state of mind; and I impatiently look forward to the hour when I shall be admitted into Your delightful retirement.

I long to be made known to your dear little children, in whose hearts I shall be very eager to secure an interest I shall soon have need for all my fortitude, as I am on the point of separation from my own daughter. The long illness of her dear father prevented my paying her that attention which duty and affection equally dictated, and I have too much reason to fear that the governess to whose care I consigned her was unequal to the charge. I have therefore resolved on placing her at one of the best private schools in town, where I shall have an opportunity of leaving her myself in my way to you. I am determined, you see, not to be denied admittance at Churchhill. It would indeed give me most painful sensations to know that it were not in your power to receive me.

Your most obliged and affectionate sister,


Friday, 5 June 2009

Download: "Mansfield Park" by Jane Austen

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About thirty years ago Miss Maria Ward, of Huntingdon, with only seven thousand pounds, had the good luck to captivate Sir Thomas Bertram, of Mansfield Park, in the county of Northampton, and to be thereby raised to the rank of a baronet's lady, with all the comforts and consequences of an handsome house and large income. All Huntingdon exclaimed on the greatness of the match, and her uncle, the lawyer, himself, allowed her to be at least three thousand pounds short of any equitable claim to it. She had two sisters to be benefited by her elevation; and such of their acquaintance as thought Miss Ward and Miss Frances quite as handsome as Miss Maria, did not scruple to predict their marrying with almost equal advantage. But there certainly are not so many men of large fortune in the world as there are pretty women to deserve them. Miss Ward, at the end of half a dozen years, found herself obliged to be attached to the Rev. Mr. Norris, a friend of her brother-in-law, with scarcely any private fortune, and Miss Frances fared yet worse. Miss Ward's match, indeed, when it came to the point, was not contemptible: Sir Thomas being happily able to give his friend an income in the living of Mansfield; and Mr. and Mrs. Norris began their career of conjugal felicity with very little less than a thousand a year. But Miss Frances married, in the common phrase, to disoblige her family, and by fixing on a lieutenant of marines, without education, fortune, or connexions, did it very thoroughly. She could hardly have made a more untoward choice. Sir Thomas Bertram had interest, which, from principle as well as pride--from a general wish of doing right, and a desire of seeing all that were connected with him in situations of respectability, he would have been glad to exert for the advantage of Lady Bertram's sister; but her husband's profession was such as no interest could reach; and before he had time to devise any other method of assisting them, an absolute breach between the sisters had taken place. It was the natural result of the conduct of each party, and such as a very imprudent marriage almost always produces. To save herself from useless remonstrance, Mrs. Price never wrote to her family on the subject till actually married. Lady Bertram, who was a woman of very tranquil feelings, and a temper remarkably easy and indolent, would have contented herself with merely giving up her sister, and thinking no more of the matter; but Mrs. Norris had a spirit of activity, which could not be satisfied till she had written a long and angry letter to Fanny, to point out the folly of her conduct, and threaten her with all its possible ill consequences. Mrs. Price, in her turn, was injured and angry; and an answer, which comprehended each sister in its bitterness, and bestowed such very disrespectful reflections on the pride of Sir Thomas as Mrs. Norris could not possibly keep to herself, put an end to all intercourse between them for a considerable period.

Their homes were so distant, and the circles in which they moved so distinct, as almost to preclude the means of ever hearing of each other's existence during the eleven following years, or, at least, to make it very wonderful to Sir Thomas that Mrs. Norris should ever have it in her power to tell them, as she now and then did, in an angry voice, that Fanny had got another child. By the end of eleven years, however, Mrs. Price could no longer afford to cherish pride or resentment, or to lose one connexion that might possibly assist her. A large and still increasing family, an husband disabled for active service, but not the less equal to company and good liquor, and a very small income to supply their wants, made her eager to regain the friends she had so carelessly sacrificed; and she addressed Lady Bertram in a letter which spoke so much contrition and despondence, such a superfluity of children, and such a want of almost everything else, as could not but dispose them all to a reconciliation. She was preparing for her ninth lying-in; and after bewailing the circumstance, and imploring their countenance as sponsors to the expected child, she could not conceal how important she felt they might be to the future maintenance of the eight already in being. Her eldest was a boy of ten years old, a fine spirited fellow, who longed to be out in the world; but what could she do? Was there any chance of his being hereafter useful to Sir Thomas in the concerns of his West Indian property? No situation would be beneath him; or what did Sir Thomas think of Woolwich? or how could a boy be sent out to the East?

The letter was not unproductive. It re-established peace and kindness. Sir Thomas sent friendly advice and professions, Lady Bertram dispatched money and baby-linen, and Mrs. Norris wrote the letters.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Download: "Jack and Jill" by Louisa May Alcott

Click here to download this book.

To the schoolmates of ELLSWORTH DEVENS,
Whose lovely character will not soon be forgotten,
This Village Story is affectionately inscribed by their friend,



Chapter 1 The Catastrophe
Chapter 2 Two Penitents
Chapter 3 Ward No. I
Chapter 4 Ward No. 2
Chapter 5 Secrets
Chapter 6 Surprises
Chapter 7 Jill's Mission
Chapter 8 Merry and Molly
Chapter 9 The Debating Club
Chapter 10 The Dramatic Club
Chapter 11 "Down Brakes"
Chapter 12 The Twenty-second of February
Chapter 13 Jack Has a Mystery
Chapter 14 And Jill Finds it out
Chapter 15 Saint Lucy
Chapter 16 Up at Merry's
Chapter 17 Down at Molly's
Chapter 18 May Baskets
Chapter 19 Good Templars
Chapter 20 A Sweet Memory
Chapter 21 Pebbly Beach
Chapter 22 A Happy Day
Chapter 23 Cattle Show
Chapter 24 Down the River

Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To coast with fun and laughter;
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.

Chapter 1 The Catastrophe

"Clear the lulla!" was the general cry on a bright December afternoon, when all the boys and girls of Harmony Village were out enjoying the first good snow of the season. Up and down three long coasts they went as fast as legs and sleds could carry them. One smooth path led into the meadow, and here the little folk congregated; one swept across the pond, where skaters were darting about like water-bugs; and the third, from the very top of the steep hill, ended abruptly at a rail fence on the high bank above the road. There was a group of lads and lasses sitting or leaning on this fence to rest after an exciting race, and, as they reposed, they amused themselves with criticising their mates, still absorbed in this most delightful of out-door sports.

"Here comes Frank Minot, looking as solemn as a judge," cried one, as a tall fellow of sixteen spun by, with a set look about the mouth and a keen sparkle of the eyes, fixed on the distant goal with a do-or-die expression.

"Here's Molly Loo
And little Boo?

sang out another; and down came a girl with flying hair, carrying a small boy behind her, so fat that his short legs stuck out from the sides, and his round face looked over her shoulder like a full moon.

"There's Gus Burton; doesn't he go it?" and such a very long boy whizzed by, that it looked almost as if his heels were at the top of the hill when his head was at the bottom!

"Hurrah for Ed Devlin!" and a general shout greeted a sweet-faced lad, with a laugh on his lips, a fine color on his brown cheek, and a gay word for every girl he passed.

"Laura and Lotty keep to the safe coast into the meadow, and Molly Loo is the only girl that dares to try this long one to the pond. I wouldn't for the world; the ice can't be strong yet, though it is cold enough to freeze one's nose off," said a timid damsel, who sat hugging a post and screaming whenever a mischievous lad shook the fence.

"No, she isn't here's Jack and Jill going like fury."

"Clear the track
For jolly Jack!"

sang the boys, who had rhymes and nicknames for nearly everyone.

Down came a gay red sled, bearing a boy who seemed all smile and sunshine, so white were his teeth, so golden was his hair, so bright and happy his whole air. Behind him clung a little gypsy of a girl, with black eyes and hair, cheeks as red as her hood, and a face full of fun and sparkle, as she waved Jack's blue tippet like a banner with one hand, and held on with the other.

"Jill goes wherever Jack does, and he lets her. He's such a good-natured chap, he can't say No."

Monday, 1 June 2009

Download: "An Old-fashioned Girl" by Louisa May Alcott

To download the book, click here.


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 book.

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, learn 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 the little men and women, for whom it is an honor and a pleasure to write, since in them I have always found my kindest patrons, gentlest critics, warmest friends.

L. M. A.

Chapter 1. Polly Arrives
Chapter 2. New Fashions
Chapter 3. Polly's Troubles
Chapter 4. Little Things
Chapter 5. Scrapes
Chapter 6. Grandma
Chapter 7. Good-by
Chapter 8. Six Years Afterward
Chapter 9. Lessons
Chapter 10. Brothers and Sisters
Chapter 11. Needles and Tongues
Chapter 12. Forbidden Fruit
Chapter 13. The Sunny Side
Chapter 14. Nipped in the Bud
Chapter 15. Breakers Ahead
Chapter 16. A Dress Parade
Chapter 17. Playing Grandmother
Chapter 18. The Woman Who Did Not Dare
Chapter 19. Tom's Success


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