"Or ever the knightly years were gone With the old world to the grave, I was a king in Babylon And you were a Christian slave," -W.E. Henley. His name was Charlie Mears; he was the only son of his mother who was a widow, and he lived in the north of London, coming into the City every day to work in a bank. He was twenty years old and suffered from aspirations. I met him in a public billiard-saloon where the marker called him by his given name, and he called the marker "Bullseyes." Charlie explained, a little nervously, that he had only come to the place to look on, and since looking on at games of skill is not a cheap amusement for the young, I suggested that Charlie should go back to his mother. That was our first step toward better acquaintance. He would call on me sometimes in the evenings instead of running about London with his fellow-clerks; and before long, speaking of himself as a young man must, he told me of his aspirations, which were all literary. He desired to make himself an undying name chiefly through verse, though he was not above sending stories of love and death to the drop-a-penny-in-the-slot journals.
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While, in general, I like Rudyard Kipling's writing, the quality of the stories in this book is patchy. That's my assessment. Some stories have power; some have pathos, and others were a bit muddled ... Read full review
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Page 504 - Singing and murmuring in her feastful mirth, Joying to feel herself alive, Lord over Nature, Lord of the visible earth, Lord of the senses five ; Communing with herself : ' All these are mine, And let the world have peace or wars, Tis one to me.
Page 18 - Some — there are losses in every trade — Will break their hearts ere bitted and made, Will fight like fiends as the rope cuts hard, And die dumb-mad in the breaking-yard.
Page 599 - BAA BAA, BLACK SHEEP BAA BAA, BLACK SHEEP Baa Baa, Black Sheep, Have you any wool ? Yes, Sir, yes, Sir, three bags full.
Page 632 - Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?
Page 548 - I have been fellow to a beggar again and again under circumstances which prevented either of us finding out whether the other was worthy. I have still to be brother to a Prince, though I once came near to kinship with what might have been a veritable King and was promised the reversion of a Kingdom — army, law-courts, revenue, and policy all complete. But, to-day, I greatly fear that my King is dead, and if I want a crown I must go and hunt it for myself.
Page 553 - I want a hundred lady's cards printed at once, please," which is manifestly part of an Editor's duty; and every dissolute ruffian that ever tramped the Grand Trunk Road makes it his business to ask for employment as a proofreader. And, all the time, the telephone-bell is ringing madly, and Kings are being killed on the Continent, and Empires are saying— "You're another...
Page 574 - Then he bangs the butt of his gun for a gavel and says: 'By virtue of the authority vested in me by my own right hand and the help of Peachey, I declare myself Grand-Master of all Freemasonry in Kafiristan in this the Mother Lodge o...
Page 576 - em among the men that the Chiefs sent in to me to drill. Dravot was too busy to attend to those things, but the old Army that we first made helped me, and we turned out five hundred men that could drill, and two hundred that knew how to hold arms pretty straight. Even those corkscrewed, hand-made guns was a miracle to them. Dravot talked big about powder-shops and factories, walking up and down in the pine wood when the winter was coming on. " 'I won't make a Nation,