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16.7.17

The Memoirs of Jacques CASANOVA de Seingalt Vol. I (of VI) "Venetian Years": The First Complete and Unabridged English Translation, Illustrated with Old Engravings

Fiction > Erotica

novel, casanova, fiction, erotica, Jacques Casanova de Seingalt, Arthur Machen, biography

Description

by Jacques Casanova de Seingalt (Author), Arthur Machen (Editor, Translator)

AUTHOR'S PREFACE

I will begin with this confession: whatever I have done in the course of my life, whether it be good or evil, has been done freely; I am a free agent.

The doctrine of the Stoics or of any other sect as to the force of Destiny is a bubble engendered by the imagination of man, and is near akin to Atheism. I not only believe in one God, but my faith as a Christian is also grafted upon that tree of philosophy which has never spoiled anything.

I believe in the existence of an immaterial God, the Author and Master of all beings and all things, and I feel that I never had any doubt of His existence, from the fact that I have always relied upon His providence, prayed to Him in my distress, and that He has always granted my prayers. Despair brings death, but prayer does away with despair; and when a man has prayed he feels himself supported by new confidence and endowed with power to act. As to the means employed by the Sovereign Master of human beings to avert impending dangers from those who beseech His assistance, I confess that the knowledge of them is above the intelligence of man, who can but wonder and adore. Our ignorance becomes our only resource, and happy, truly happy; are those who cherish their ignorance! Therefore must we pray to God, and believe that He has granted the favour we have been praying for, even when in appearance it seems the reverse. As to the position which our body ought to assume when we address ourselves to the Creator, a line of Petrarch settles it:

'Con le ginocchia della mente inchine.'

Man is free, but his freedom ceases when he has no faith in it; and the greater power he ascribes to faith, the more he deprives himself of that power which God has given to him when He endowed him with the gift of reason. Reason is a particle of the Creator's divinity. When we use it with a spirit of humility and justice we are certain to please the Giver of that precious gift. God ceases to be God only for those who can admit the possibility of His non-existence, and that conception is in itself the most severe punishment they can suffer.

Man is free; yet we must not suppose that he is at liberty to do everything he pleases, for he becomes a slave the moment he allows his actions to be ruled by passion. The man who has sufficient power over himself to wait until his nature has recovered its even balance is the truly wise man, but such beings are seldom met with.

The reader of these Memoirs will discover that I never had any fixed aim before my eyes, and that my system, if it can be called a system, has been to glide away unconcernedly on the stream of life, trusting to the wind wherever it led. How many changes arise from such an independent mode of life! My success and my misfortunes, the bright and the dark days I have gone through, everything has proved to me that in this world, either physical or moral, good comes out of evil just as well as evil comes out of good. My errors will point to thinking men the various roads, and will teach them the great art of treading on the brink of the precipice without falling into it. It is only necessary to have courage, for strength without self-confidence is useless. I have often met with happiness after some imprudent step which ought to have brought ruin upon me, and although passing a vote of censure upon myself I would thank God for his mercy. But, by way of compensation, dire misfortune has befallen me in consequence of actions prompted by the most cautious wisdom. This would humble me; yet conscious that I had acted rightly I would easily derive comfort from that conviction.

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9.7.17

Myths of Greece and Rome: Narrated with Special Reference to Literature and Art With Full Illustrated

Fiction > Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology

novel, Myths of Greece and Rome, H. A. Guerber, fiction, Mythology, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends, ebook, cheap ebook

Description

by H. A. (Hélène Adeline) Guerber

The readers reviews

Ensiform's review: Jan 29, 12

bookshelves: fiction, mythology
Read in August, 2003

Revised by Dorothy Margaret Stuart. A formidable tome, retelling a great many of the myths, from creation and the twelve main gods to Bellerophon to the Trojan War to the Aeneid. The language is rich and literate, representative of the time the book was written (originally published in 1907). Guerber also adorns her retellings with excerpts from Milton, Shakespeare, Keats and other poets whose work was drenched in mythological allusion. She finishes the book with some interesting comments on interpretation of myth.

Her style is on the whole pleasingly arch, as for example when she mentions that Cronus must have been “not of a very inquiring turn of mind” when he swallows a rock instead of Zeus. On the negative side, Guerber often robs the tales of their drama: she skims over such incredible feats as Bellerophon’s destruction of the invincible Solymi, and fails to tell how exactly the sons of Boreas destroyed the harpies, or where King Admetus managed to find and ride a chariot drawn by boars. I also found the tales gutted in places; I’m not speaking of obvious bowdlerization such as references to homosexuality, but surprising omissions such as how Heracles ripped Theseus’ hips when he rescued him from Hades, or why Echo was punished by Hera (it wasn’t just for talking too much). Guerber doesn’t even make it explicit that Achilles refuses to fight in the Iliad! These odd gaps aren’t too distracting, however, as Guerber is usually thorough, and as noted before, her style is entertaining.

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Martha Wilkins's review: Dec 11, 11

I own a copy

This book is very informative and I am glad to say that learned a lot from it. I would like to comment on the fact that the author uses a lot of words throughout the book that are not very common and unless you have an extensive vocabulary, you might want to have a dictionary nearby. The author also does not make the distinction between the Roman names and the Greek names given to the Gods; unless you are already familiar with their names it may require independent research. Aside from that, he does a good job of going through each myth and he even adds snippets of famous works from literature which pertain to the myth being discussed.

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"THE aim of this book is to present a complete and entertaining account of Grecian and Roman mythology in such a manner that the student will appreciate its great influence upon literature and art.

These myths, an inexhaustible fund of inspiration for the poets and artists of the past, have also inspired many noted modern works. To impress this fact forcibly upon the student, appropriate quotations from the poetical writings of all ages, from Hesiod’s “Works and Days,” to Tennyson’s “Œnone,” have been inserted in the text, while reproductions of ancient masterpieces and noted examples of modern painting and sculpture are plentifully used as illustrations.

The myths are told as graphically and accurately as possible, great care being taken, however, to avoid the more repulsive features of heathen mythology; and when two or more versions of the same myth occur, the preference has invariably been given to the most popular, that is to say, to the one which has inspired the greatest works.

Both the Latin and the Greek forms of proper names are given, but the Latin names are usually retained throughout the narrative, because more frequently used in poetry and art.

The closing chapter includes an analysis of myths by the light of philology and comparative mythology, and the philological explanation of the stories related in the preceding chapters.

A map, genealogical table, and complete glossary and index adapt this little volume for constant use in the library and art gallery, at home and abroad."__Pref.

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2.7.17

Woodbine-Arbor or the Little Gardeners: A Story of a Happy Childhood

Gardening > General

novel, Woodbine-Arbor, little gardeners, Story of a Happy Childhood, gardening, garden, childhood, children, ebook, cheap ebook

Description

by Anonymous

Let me tell you, my dear young reader, about a happy little family of three brothers and three sisters, who lived in a pleasant home, not far from the great city of New-York. Their father, Mr. Howard, was a wealthy merchant, and had his store in the city, to which he usually rode early in the morning, directly after breakfast, and returned home in season to take tea with his family. He had six children, the little folks whom I am now going to tell you about.

The girls were named Maria, Elizabeth, and Harriet. The boys were Henry, Charles, and John.—Henry was the oldest, then Charles, Maria, John, Elizabeth, and Harriet.

Their home was a beautiful country-seat, situated not far from the East river, with fine old shade trees in front of it. In the rear was a very large garden, laid out with great neatness and taste, and well stocked with fruits and flowers. Then there were walks and borders, and summer-houses, and arbors, and almost every thing which could render it a delightful place.

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1.7.17

Joel: A Boy of Galilee (Illustrated)

Juvenile Fiction > Classics

novel, children's Books, juvenile fiction, classics, Joel: A Boy of Galilee, Joel, Annie F. Johnston, jewish, ebook, cheap ebook

Description

by Annie F.(Annie Fellows) Johnston (Author), L. J. (Lewis Jesse) Bridgman (Illustrator)

"In this volume, it has been the purpose of the author to present to children, through "Joel," as accurate a picture of the times of the Christ as has been given to older readers through "Ben Hur." With this in view, the customs of the private and public life of the Jews, the temple service with its sacerdotal rites, and the minute observances of the numerous holidays have been studied so carefully that the descriptions have passed the test of the most critical inspection. An eminent rabbi pronounces them correct in every detail.

While the story is that of an ordinary boy, living among shepherds and fishermen, it touches at every point the gospel narrative, making Joel, in a natural and interesting way, a witness to the miracles, the death, and the resurrection of the Nazarene.

It was with the deepest reverence that the task was undertaken, and the fact that the little book is accomplishing its mission is evinced not only by the approval accorded its first editions by so many, from Bible students to bishops, but by the boys and girls here and in distant lands."--Publisher's Pref.

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30.6.17

The Lincoln Year Book: Axioms and Aphorisms from the Great Emancipator (Full Illustrated)

History > Americas

novel, Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln Year Book, axioms, great emancipator, history, Americas, president, ebook, cheap ebook

Description

by Abraham Lincoln (Author)
Compiled by Wallace Rice

JANUARY

The dogmas of the past are inadequate to the stormy present.

FIRST

Always do the very best you can.

SECOND

If our sense of duty forbids, then let us stand by our sense of duty.

THIRD

It's no use to be always looking up these hard spots.

FOURTH

All I am in the world, I owe to the opinion of me which the people express when they call me "Honest Old Abe."

FIFTH

The way for a young man to rise is to improve himself in every way he can, never suspecting that anybody is hindering him.

About the Author

ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1809-1865), 16th President of the United States (1861-65), was one of the nation's greatest success stories. Born in Hardin County, Kentucky, his family moved frequently forcing Lincoln to gain what education he could along the way. While reading law, he worked in a store, managed a mill, surveyed and split rails. As a result of his passion for hard work, Lincoln developed great ability in law, a ready grasp of argument, and sincerity, color, and lucidity of speech evident during his long and distinguished career in public life. 

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29.6.17

Æsop's Fables: Embellished with One Hundred and Eleven Emblematical Devices (Full Illustrated)

Juvenile Fiction > Legends, Myths, Fables > Greek & Roman

novel, AEsop, Æsop's Fables, juvenile fiction, fables, legends, myths, greek, roman, ebook, cheap ebook

Description

by Æsop

PREFACE,
BY S. CROXALL.

So much has been already said concerning Æsop and his writings, both by ancient and modern authors, that the subject seems to be quite exhausted. The different conjectures, opinions, traditions, and forgeries, which from time to time we have had given to us of him, would fill a large volume: but they are, for the most part, so inconsistent and absurd, that it would be but a dull amusement for the reader to be led into such a maze of uncertainty: since Herodotus, the most ancient Greek historian, did not flourish till near an hundred years after Æsop.

As for his Life, with which we are entertained in so complete a manner, before most of the editions of his Fables, it was invented by one Maximus Planudes, a Greek Monk; and, if we may judge of him from that composition, just as judicious and learned a person, as the rest of his fraternity are at this day observed to be. Sure there never were so many blunders and childish dreams mixed up together, as are to be met with in the short compass of that piece. For a Monk, he might be very good and wise, but in point of history and chronology, he shows himself to be very ignorant. He brings Æsop to Babylon, in the reign of king Lycerus, a king of his own making; for his name is not to be found in any catalogue, from Nabonassar to Alexander the Great; Nabonadius, most probably, reigning in Babylon about that time. He sends him into Egypt in the days of Nectanebo, who was not in being till two hundred years afterwards; with some other gross mistakes of that kind, which sufficiently show us that this Life was a work of invention, and that the inventor was a bungling poor creature. He never mentions Æsop's being at Athens; though Phædrus speaks of him as one that lived the greatest part of his time there; and it appears that he had a statue erected in that city to his memory, done by the hand of the famed Lysippus. He writes of him as living at Samos, and interesting himself in a public capacity in the administration of the affairs of that place; yet, takes not the least notice of the Fable which Aristotle tells us he spoke in behalf of a famous Demagogue there, when he was impeached for embezzling the public money; nor does he indeed give us the least hint of such a circumstance. An ingenious man might have laid together all the materials of this kind that are to be found in good old authors, and, by the help of a bright invention, connected and worked them up with success; we might have swallowed such an imposition well enough, because we should not have known how to contradict it: but in Planudes' case, the imposture is doubly discovered; first, as he has the unquestioned authority of antiquity against him; secondly, (and if the other did not condemn him) as he has introduced the witty, discreet, judicious Æsop, quibbling in a strain of low monastic waggery, and as archly dull as a Mountebank's Jester.  

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