Harvard Classics Reading Guide
Use this Reading Guide 15 minutes a day and become a cultivated scholar with all the elements of a liberal education in one year
Year Month Day 90 Day Challenge
Jan 1: FRANKLIN'S AUTOBIOGRAPHYFranklin's Advice for the New Year
"Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without
fail what you resolve"—was one of the rules for success
framed by America's first "self-made" man.
Read from FRANKLIN'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY .......... Vol. I, pp. 79-85
Jan 2: MILTON'S POEMSSchool-Day Poems of John Milton
At the age of sixteen, Milton first appeared before the public
eye as a promising young poet. These early verses, written while
he was a boy in school, indicate his brilliant future.
Read: MILTON'S POEMS ............................ Vol. 4, pp. 7-18
Jan 3: Cicero ON FRIENDSHIPCicero on Friendship
"Fire and water are not of more universal use than friendship"—
such is the high value put upon this great human relationship
by the most famous orator of Rome.
Read from Cicero ON FRIENDSHIP ............... Vol. 9, pp. 16-26
Jan 4: GRIMM'S FAIRY TALESA Flounder Fish Story
A fisherman, so the story goes, once caught a flounder that spoke,
begging to be released. This was granted, whereupon the fisherman's
wife demanded that it grant her one miracle after another,
until even the flounder was disgusted.
Read from GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES ........................ Vol. 17, pp. 83-90
Jan 5: Mazzini's BYRON AND GOETHEThe Soaring Eagle and Contented Stork
Mazzini labored for the freedom of Italy, but was exiled. Byron
and Goethe also battled for liberty. Mazzini wrote an essay
in which he compared Byron to a soaring eagle and Goethe to
a contented stork.
Read: Mazzini's BYRON AND GOETHE ........ Vol. 32, pp. 377-396
Jan 6: Virgil's AENEIDWarned by Hector's Ghost
In the dead of night Hector's ghost appeared to warn Aeneas
of the impending doom to come upon the walled city of Troy.
Aeneas lifted his aged father on his back and, taking his son by
the hand, sought safety in flight. Off to Latium!
Read from Virgil's AENEID .................. Vol. 13, pp. 109-127
Jan 7: THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS
If He Yawned, She Lost Her Head!
The Sultan had a habit of beheading each dawn his beautiful
Read from THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS ...... Vol. 16, pp. 5-13
Jan 8: THE BOOK OF JOB
Trying the Patience of Job
God was pleased with the piety of Job, but Satan accredited the
Read from THE BOOK OF JOB ................... Vol. 44, pp. 71-87
Jan 9: Nichol's SIR FRANCIS DRAKE REVIVED
A Treasure Hunt in Nombre de Dios
With only fifty-two men, Sir Francis Drake conceives the idea
Jan 10: Euripides' THE BACCHAE
Where Love Lies Waiting
King Pantheus of Thebes contended against Dionysus, the God,
Read from Euripides' THE BACCHAE ......... Vol. 8, pp. 368-372
Jan 11: THE FEDERALISTHamilton—Father of Wall Street
Hamilton organized the Treasury Department. He penned
most of the Federalist papers, which were greatly influential
in bringing New York into the Union—the first step toward its
eminent position in national and world finance.
Read: THE FEDERALIST .................. Vol. 43, pp. 199-207
Jan 12: Burke ON TASTEWhat Is Good Taste?
A Turkish sultan, relates Burke, when shown a picture of the
beheaded John the Baptist, praised many things, but pointed
out one gruesome defect. Did this observation show the sultan
to be an inferior judge of art?
Read: Burke ON TASTE ....................... Vol. 24, pp. 11-26
Jan 13: Rousseau's INQUIRY ON INEQUALITYRousseau Seeks Sanctuary in England
Rousseau taught that men were not created free and equal.
To substantiate his daring beliefs he traced man's history back
to his primitive beginnings. For his teachings, Rousseau was
forced to seek refuge in England.
Read from Rousseau's INQUIRY ON INEQUALITY ... Vol. 34, pp. 215-228
Jan 14: THE FUNDAMENTAL ORDERS OF CONNECTICUTThe First Step Toward Independence
The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut is "the first written
constitution as a permanent limitation on governmental power,
known in history." It is the work of the Connecticut Yankee.
Read: THE FUNDAMENTAL ORDERS OF CONNECTICUT ..... Vol. 43, pp. 60-65
Jan 15: THE RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KHAYYAM"The Moving Finger Writes"
Omar Khayyam laughed and enjoyed the good things of life.
His "Rubaiyat," the most popular philosophic poem, is the best
of all books to dip into for an alluring thought.
Read from THE RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KHAYYAM ..... Vol. 41, pp. 943-953
Jan 16: AESOP'S FABLESThe Old Woman and the Wine Jar
An old woman once found a wine jar, but it was empty. She
sniffed at the mouth of the jar and said: "What memories cling
'round the instruments of our pleasure."
Read from AESOP'S FABLES ....... Vol. 17, pp. 43-44; also pp. 31-43
Jan 17: FRANKLIN'S AUTOBIOGRAPHYFranklin's Family Tree
Good middle-class people, Franklin boasts, were his ancestors.
Some have attributed his genius to his being the youngest son
of the youngest son for five generations. In his famous autobiography,
he reveals quaint family history.
Read from FRANKLIN'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY ............... Vol. 1 , pp. 5-15
Jan 18: Aristophanes' THE FROGSOrigin of Yale "Brekekekex-Ko-ax"
"Shall I crack any of those old jokes, master, at which the audience
never fails to laugh?" Like an up-to-date vaudeville
team, Xanthias and Dionysus start off a dialogue that mingles
wit and poetry with humor and keen satire.
Read from Aristophanes' THE FROGS ............ Vol. 8, pp. 439-449
Jan 19: Poe's THE POETIC PRINCIPLEPoe on Poetry
Regarded in Europe as one of America' s greatest writers, Poe
originated the detective story, perfected the mystery short story,
and produced America's first great poems. Here he unravels
the fabric of which all poetry is woven.
Read from Poe's THE POETIC PRINCIPLE ......... Vol. 28, pp. 371-380
Jan 20: Keats' EVE OF ST. AGNES"Ah! It Is St. Agnes' Eve"
At midnight on the eve of St. Agnes there were certain solemn
ceremonies which all virgins must perform to have "visions of
delight and soft adorings from their loves." Porphyro took advantage
of this custom to win his bride.
Read: Keats' EVE OF ST. AGNES .................. Vol. 41, pp. 883-893
Jan 21: ANDERSEN'S TALESThe Nightingale's Healing Melody
The Emperor of China lies on his deathbed grieving for the
song of his favorite bird. Hark, the song! It charms, coaxes,
and bribes Death to depart. It brings new life to the master.
Read from ANDERSEN'S TALES ........... Vol. 17, pp. 301-310
Jan 22: Corneille's POLYEUCTEA King's Pleasure Now Yours
The classic plays of French literature are produced to-day precisely
as when they were given for the resplendent kings they
were written to please. We are fortunate to have in English,
excellent translations of these noble plays.
Read from Corneille's POLYEUCTE ................ Vol. 26, pp. 77-87
Jan 23: Pascal's THE ART OF PERSUASIONPascal Knew Men and Triangles
Pascal, the keen-minded philosopher and mathematician, fathomed
the human traits of man's nature with the same accurate
measurements which made him famous in the realm of geometry.
Read his searching analysis of man's conceit.
Read: Pascal's THE ART OF PERSUASION ......... Vol. 48, pp. 400-411
Jan 24: Homer's ODYSSEYOdysseus Silenced the Sirens
When his ship approached the siren's rock, Odysseus stuffed
the ears of his crew with wax and had himself bound to the mast
that he might hear the alluring voice of the siren and yet not
wreck his ship on the enchanted rock.
Read from Homer's ODYSSEY .................. Vol. 22, pp. 165-173
Jan 25: TO A MOUSE and Burns' other poemsA Field Mouse Made Famous
A humble Scotchman, plowing his fields, turns over the nest of
a frightened mouse. He apologizes with the deepest sincerity
and explains how "the best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang
Read: To A MOUSE and Burns' other poems....... Vol. 6, pp. 119-120, 388-394
Jan 26: Herodotus' AN ACCOUNT OF EGYPTIn the Cradle of Civilization
A king who entombed his daughter in a golden cow—the worship
of the bull and the cat—scandal of the court and the gossip
of the temples is given by Herodotus in his delightful story of
Read from Herodotus' AN ACCOUNT OF ECYPT ...... Vol. 33, pp. 65-75
Jan 27: Dante's DIVINE COMEDYDante and Beatrice in Paradise
Dante fell madly in love with Beatrice at first sight; but it is
doubted if he ever spoke to her in this world. He tells of his
happy meeting with Beatrice in Paradise.
Read from Dante's DIVINE COMEDY ...... Vol. 20, pp. 267-279
Jan 28: Thomas a KempisMan's Wings
A pure heart, says Thomas a Kempis, comprehends the very
depths of Heaven and Hell. And it is by the wings of simplicity
and purity that man is lifted above all earthly things.
Read from Thomas a Kempis ................. Vol. 7, pp. 242-249
Jan 29: Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLEVisits the Land of Fire
South of Patagonia is Tierra del Fuego—"The Land of Fire."
The natives of that primitive country are to-day almost extinct.
Darwin made a careful and vitally interesting study of that land
and its ill-fated inhabitants.
Read from Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE ..... Vol. 29, 209-221
Jan 30: Sophocles' ANTIGONE
First Problem Play Popular
Antigone, an orphan princess, defies a king's mandate and risks
her life to do her duty to her brother. What is this duty which
her brother calls her to perform and the king forbids?
Read from Sophocles' ANTIGONE ............. Vol. 8, pp. 255-266
Jan 31: DON QUIXOTE
What "Don Quixote " Really Slew
Slayer of windmills, rescuer of fair damsels in distress, eccentric
Don Quixote, scores of years behind his time, set out on a mad
quest of knight-errantry. Worlds of fun and killing satire are
in this absorbing story of Cervantes.
Read from DON QUIXOTE ....................... Vol. 14, pp. 60-67
Feb 1: Malory's THE HOLY GRAILKing Arthur's Knights Find Holy Grail
The intrepid Knights of the Round Table were startled by
"crackling and crying of thunder" which rang through the great
hall of the castle. Then there entered " The Holy Grail covered
with white samite."
Read from Malory's THE HOLY GRAIL ...... Vol. 35, pp. 112-123
Feb 2: Shakespeare's HAMLET"Apparel Oft Proclaims the Man "
Before his son, Laertes, departs for a foreign country, Polonius
advises him as to his conduct and dress, while Hamlet, the king's
son, has to learn by experience.
Read from Shakespeare's HAMLET ........... Vol. 46, pp. 107-120
Feb 3: Jonson's THE ALCHEMISTA House of Mirth and Revelry
While the cat's away the mice will play. Boisterous and ludicrous
happenings occur in a house left in charge of a servant.
But in midst of merriment the master returns.
Read from Jonson's THE ALCHEMIST ......... Vol. 47, pp. 543-558
Feb 4: Carlyle's CHARACTERISTICS"Genius, a Secret to Itself"
Thus wrote Carlyle, who affirms that great minds are unconscious
of their stupendous strength. And each of us has his
own peculiar mental attributes.
Read from Carlyle's CHARACTERISTICS ......... Vol. 25, pp. 319-327
Feb 5: THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTSDiamonds, Diamonds Everywhere!
Trapped in a valley filled with huge diamonds guarded by
venomous serpents, Sindibad devised a clever means of escaping
with many of the glittering jewels.
Read from THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS ..... Vol. 16, pp. 243-250
Feb 6: Marlowe's EDWARD THE SECONDCharles Lamb Suggests To-day's Reading
"The reluctant pangs of abdicating royalty in 'Edward' furnished
hints which Shakespeare scarcely improved in his 'Richard
the Second,' and the death scene of Marlowe's King moves to pity
and terror."—CHARLES LAMB.
Read from Marlowe's EDWARD THE SECOND ....... Vol. 46, pp. 73-89
Feb 7: LETTER TO LORD CHESTERFIELDA Letter from a Lion
Johnson was not always a conventional guest. Graciously treated,
he responded in like manner, but offended, Johnson could wield
a pen dripping with vitriol.
Read: LETTER TO LORD CHESTERFIELD ......... Vol. 39, pp. 206-207
Feb 8: BURNS' POEMSTragic Death of a World-Famous Beauty
"But I, the Queen of a' Scotland, maun lie in prison Strang."
Burns sings of poor Mary bound by chains, yearning for the day
when flowers would "bloom on her peaceful grave."
Read from BURNS' POEMS ................... Vol. 6, pp. 396-406
Feb 9: Tacitus ON GERMANYRest Between Wars
Tacitus, the historian, visited the virile German tribes in their
primitive homes on the banks of the Rhine. He was surprised
to learn that the men so active and eager in war lolled in indolence
during the intervals between.
Read from Tacitus ON GERMANY .................... Vol. 33, pp. 93-102
Feb 10: Voltaire's LETTERS ON THE ENGLISHNo Fancy for a Plain Gentleman
Voltaire once visited Congreve. This famous dramatist requested
to be regarded only as a plain gentleman. "Had you been that
I should never have come to see you," Voltaire cynically
Read from Voltaire's LETTERS ON THE ENGLISH .... Vol. 34, pp. 130-140
Feb 11: Descartes' DISCOURSE ON METHODThe Queen Freezes Her Philosophy
Descartes was slain through the eccentric whim of a queen who
demanded that he tutor her in the freezing dawn in the dead
of winter. His philosophy lives in this essay.
Read from Descartes' DISCOURSE ON METHOD .... Vol. 34, pp. 5-20
Feb 12: LINCOLN'S WRITINGSOxford Corrects Lincoln's Mistake
Lincoln himself thought his famous Gettysburg Address was a
failure. To-day the whole world acclaims its greatness. Cast
in bronze, it hangs on the wall of Balliol College, Oxford, regarded
as the perfection of English prose.
Read: LINCOLN'S WRITINGS ....................... Vol. 43, pp. 415-420
Feb 13: CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHYThe Frank Story of an Amazing Life
At the age of fifty-eight Benvenuto Cellini shaved his head
and retired to a monastery to write his own story of murder, passion,
and great deeds of the Renaissance. His life is a vivid picture
of the most colorful period in history, a period when statecraft
and religion and black magic and assassination were naively
mingled in men's lives.
Read from CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY .............. Vol. 31, pp. 68-80
Feb 14: Pascal's DISCOURSE ON THE PASSION OF LOVELove Always Young
Pascal—an original genius—purposed to master everything that
was new in art and science. He was a mathematician and scientist
as well as a religious enthusiast and moralist, and he shows a
decidedly human side of his nature in this superb essay on Love.
Read: Pascal's DISCOURSE ON THE PASSION OF LOVE ...... Vol. 48, pp. 411-421
Feb 15: Dryden's ALL FOR LOVEThe World Well Lost?
The romantic and heedless loves of Antony and Cleopatra figure
prominently in history, literature, and drama. Dryden made a
fascinating play from the story of Antony, who sacrificed the
leadership of Rome, reputation, and life itself for love of the
Egyptian queen, who followed h im in death.
Read from Dryden's ALL FOR LOVE ........... Vol. 18, pp. 53-69
Feb 16: Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIESSocial Circles Among Ants
Ants have slaves who work for them. These slaves make the
nests, feed the master ants, tend the eggs, and do the moving
when a colony of ants migrate. Darwin minutely describes the
habits and lives of the industrious ants and their marvelous social
organization—a wonder to mankind.
Read from Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES ......... Vol. 11, pp. 264-268
Feb 17: Moliere's TARTUFFEDeath His Curtain Call
While acting in one of his own plays, Moliere was suddenly
stricken and died shortly after the final curtain. He took an important
role in "Tartuffe" which introduces to literature a character
as famous as Shakespeare's Falstaff.
Read from Moliere's TARTUFFE .................... Vol. 26, pp. 199-217
Feb 18: TREATY WITH GREAT BRITAINLasting Peace with Great Britain
All Americans should know this treaty which finally inaugurated
an era of peace and good understanding with England.
For over a hundred years this peace has been unbroken.
Read: TREATY WITH GREAT BRITAIN (1814) ....... Vol. 43, pp. 255-264
Feb 19: BUDDHIST WRITINGSEarthly Experience of a Chinese Goddess
The thousandth celestial wife of the Garland God slipped and
fell to earth, where she took mertal form and served as an attendant
in a temple. Death finally released her and she went
back to heaven to tell her lord of the ways of men.
Read from the BUDDHIST WRITINGS ............... Vol. 45, pp. 693-701
Feb 20: Voltaire's LETTERS ON THE ENGLISHVoltaire Observes the Quakers
Because the early Quakers shook, trembled, and quaked when
they became inspired—they received the title of "Quakers." This
sect attracted the keen-minded Voltaire, who made interesting
notes on them during his visit to England.
Read from Voltaire's LETTERS ON THE ENGLISH .... Vol. 34, pp. 65-78
Feb 21: Newman's THE IDEA OF A UNIVERSITYDoes Football Make a College?
Just what makes a university? A group of fine buildings? A
library? A staff of well-trained teachers? A body of eager students?
A winning football team? Cardinal Newman defines
the prime functions of a university.
Read from Newman's THE IDEA OF A UNIVERSITY .... Vol. 28, pp. 31-39
Feb 22: BURNS' POEMSAn Ode for Washington's Birthday
Burns asks for Columbia's harp, and then sings of liberty. He
bewails the sad state of the land of Alfred and Wallace which
once championed liberty, and now fights for tyranny.
Read from BURNS' POEMS .................. Vol. 6, pp. 492-494
Feb 23: Stevenson's SAMUEL PEPYSPepys' Nose for News
Gossipy, witty Pepys had a curiosity that made him famous. He
knew all the news of court and street. Stevenson, who never
put his pen to a dull subject, writes of Pepys.
Read from Stevenson's SAMUEL PEPYS ..... Vol. 28, pp. 285-292
Feb 24: MILTON'S POEMSLights and Shadows of Milton
In a superb poem, Milton bids Loathed Melancholy begone to
some dark cell. He calls for the joys of youth and vows eternal
faith with them.
Read: MILTON'S POEMS ......................... Vol. 4, pp. 30-38
Feb 25: THE SHORTEST WAY WITH DISSENTERSPunished for Too Sharp a Wit
The brilliant wit and cutting satire of Defoe made for him
friends and enemies—but mostly enemies. So piercing and twoedged
was "The Shortest-Way with Dissenters" that he was
fined, imprisoned and pilloried.
Read: THE SHORTEST-WAY WITH DISSENTERS ..... Vol. 27, pp. 133-147
Feb 26: HUGO'S PREFACE TO CROMWELLA David Who Side-stepped Goliath
Hugo was insulted by the most powerful critics in France. He
put into the preface of a play "his sling and his stone" by which
others might slay "the classical Goliath."
Read: HUGO'S PREFACE TO CROMWELL ..... Vol. 39, pp. 337-349
Feb 27: LONGFELLOW'S POEMSPoet Apostle of Good Cheer
"Tell me not in mournful numbers, life is but an empty dream . . ."
"Stars of the summer night! Far in yon azure deeps—"
So begin poems that have charmed and cheered thousands.
Read from LONGFELLOW'S POEMS .......... Vol. 42, pp. 1264-1280
Feb 28: Montaigne's ESSAYSSpoke Latin First
Proficient in Latin even before he knew his own tongue, Montaigne
received an unusual education. His whole life was spent
in storing up his choice thoughts for our profit and pleasure.
Read from Montaigne's ESSAYS ...................... Vol. 32, pp. 29-40
Feb 29: HERMANN AND DOROTHEAGoethe's Tale of a Maiden in Love
To either Saint Patrick or the Scottish Parliament of 1228 go
the honors—or dishonors—of originating the traditions attending
this day; says the latter, "ilka maiden ladee, of baith high and
lowe estait, shall hae libeitie to speak ye man she likes." The
course of true love runs smooth in Goethe's narrative poem, enduring
today for its characterization and swift-flowing lines.
Begin HERMANN AND DOROTHEA ............. Vol. 19, p. 337; also pp. 395-410
Mar 1: THE SPECTATOR CLUB
Invented Sir Roger de Coverly
Word pictures are often more vivid than photographs. Steele
had a gift for originating characters that are remembered longer
than flesh and blood people. Sir Roger de Coverly and Will
Honeycomb are now bold figures in literature.
Read: THE SPECTATOR CLUB ..................... Vol. 27, pp. 83-87
Mar 2: Dana's TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MASTWhat Sailors Do on Sunday
"A sailor's liberty is but for a day," as Dana explains. Dressed
in his Sunday best, the sailor feels like a dashing Beau Brummel;
and sets out to enjoy his freedom. "While it lasts it is perfect.
He is under no one's eye and can do whatever he pleases."
Read from Dana's Two YEARS BEFORE THE MAST ... Vol. 23, pp. 112-119
Mar 3: Walton's LIFE OF GEORGE HERBERTFor Poets and Fishermen
Isaak Walton, famed patron of fishermen, appreciated other
arts and hobbies. He writes of George Herbert, a preacher
whose hobby was poetry.
Read from Walton's LIFE OF GEORGE HERBERT .... Vol. 15, pp. 373-382
Mar 4: Penn's SOME FRUITS OF SOLITUDE
Penn—Pioneer, Thinker, and Builder
Penn, true to Quaker beliefs, came before the king with his
hat on. The king overlooked this and later made him governor
of Pennsylvania. A sagacious Penn is revealed in his writings.
Read from Penn's SOME FRUITS OF SOLITUDE ..... Vol. 1, pp. 321-330
Mar 5: CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHYLaughed at Locks
Prison walls were the least of Cellini's troubles. "Lock me well
up and watch me, for I shall certainly contrive to escape." In
spite of this warning, the utmost care of the jailers only furnished
amusement for the dauntless Cellini.
Read from CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY ........... Vol. 31, pp. 214-224
Mar 6: Poe's THE RAVENWest Point's Outcast, America's First Great Poet
Edgar Allan Poe was expelled from West Point and disinherited.
So poor was he that when his young wife lay dying, he could
not afford a fire to warm her. The weirdness and despair of
"The Raven" is particularly symbolic of his life.
Read: Poe's THE-RAVEN .................. Vol. 42, pp. 1227-1230
Mar 7: Bacon's OF JUDICATUREBacon Warns Judges
Bacon pointed out that a judge's duty was to interpret laws and
not to make laws. This single essay of Bacon's is a richly condensed
summary of the ethics of law.
Read: Bacon OF JUDICATURE ..................... Vol. 3, pp. 130-134
Mar 8: Cervantes' DON QUIXOTEDangerous Experiment with a Wife
Anselmo and Lothario were close friends. Anselmo, anxious to
learn if his wife were perfect, as he believed her to be, makes
an unusual proposal to his old friend.
Read from Cervantes' DON QUIXOTE ......... Vol. 14, pp. 307-319
Mar 9: TREATISE ON GOOD MANNERSCommon Sense and Good Manners
Swift regretted the laws against dueling because dueling at least
was a good means of ridding the country of bores and fools.
His keen eye penetrated social customs and saw the common
sense that governed good manners.
Read: TREATISE ON GOOD MANNERS ............. Vol. 27, pp. 99-103
Mar 10: PHILASTERBeaumont—The Adonis of Elizabethan Playwrights
In the days when contact with the theatre meant exile from the
best society, Beaumont and Fletcher, men from good families,
dared to ally themselves with the stage as playwrights. "Philaster"
won them immortal praise.
Read from PHILASTER ......................... Vol. 47, pp. 667-677
Mar 11: Emerson's COMPENSATION
Gain Gleaned from Suffering
We are paid for our suffering and we pay for our happiness.
Every ache, every sorrow receives its recompense here on earth.
Emerson gives the basis for this conviction.
Read from Emerson's COMPENSATION ............. Vol. 5, pp. 85-92
Mar 12: Berkeley's THREE DIALOGUES
An Irish Bishop's Wit
Berkeley believed in a great religious future for America. He
lived three years in Rhode Island, and made plans for a college
Read from Berkeley's THREE DIALOGUES ......... Vol. 37, pp. 228-238
Mar 13: Manzoni's I PROMESSI SPOSI
Before Noblity Ran Tea Rooms
Manzoni has pictured in this thrilling romance of the seventeenth
century nobility, the pompous and sporting life of those good old
days when nobles lived sumptuously in spacious castles surrounded
by vast estates.
Read from Manzoni's I PROMESSI SPOSI ............ Vol. 21, pp. 318-332
Mar 14: THE HOLY GRAIL
A Maiden's Forfeit
"This gentlewoman that ye lead with you is a maid? " demanded
the knight. "Sir," said she, "a maid I am." "Then she must
yield us the custom of this castle."
Read from THE HOLY GRAIL ................... Vol. 35, pp. 194-200
Mar 15: Plutarch's Caesar
Beware the Ides of March!
Twice warned of the danger that threatened him on the Ides
of March, although "the earth rocked and the stars fell and
headless men walked in the Forum," Caesar goes to the doom
awaiting him in the Senate Chamber.
Read from Plutarch's CESAR ............... Vol. 12, pp. 315-321
Mar 16: Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE
Crabs Climb Trees?
Many amazing things happen in the Malay jungles. For example,
Darwin tells about a crab that climbs trees and walks
down the trunks for an occasional bath in a pool.
Read from Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE .... Vol. 29, pp. 466-475
Mar 17: THE POETRY OF THE CELTIC RACES
An Old Irish Legend
An old Irish legend tells how, while St. Patrick was preaching
about Paradise and Hell, several of his audience begged to be
allowed to investigate the reality of these places. St. Patrick
actually satisfied their curiosity.
Read from THE POETRY OF THE CELTIC RACES .... Vol. 32, pp. 174-182
Mar 18: A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS
New Way to Pay Old Debts
A cunning uncle cheats his worthless nephew out of his fortune.
The nephew, laughing stock of his former servants, sets out to
retrieve his old position and riches.
Read from A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS ..... Vol. 47, pp. 859-870
Mar 19: Herodotus' AN ACCOUNT OF EGYPT
Seeing Old Egypt
The mysterious Egyptian temples, the floating islands, the huge
pyramids and the many wonders of ancient Egypt are pictured
for you by Herodotus.
Read from Herodotus' AN ACCOUNT OF EGYPT .... Vol. 33, pp. 72-84
Mar 20: Voltaire's LETTERS ON THE ENGLISHApples, Feathers, and Coals
Sir Isaac Newton was aided in his momentous discoveries by the
most insignificant objects—even apples, feathers, and coal. Voltaire
discusses the wondrous discoveries of Newton.
Read from Voltaire's LETTERS ON THE ENGLISH .... Vol. 34, pp. 113-124
Mar 21: Virgil's AENEID1,000 Years of History on the Surface of a Shield
Venus, mother of Aeneas and wife of Vulcan, obtained from
her husband, by seductive witchery, a marvelous shield whose
surface reflected a thousand years of future events. Venus describes
the wonders of the magic armor.
Read from Virgil's AENEID ........................... Vol. 13, pp. 280-292
Mar 22: Goethe's FAUSTFrom Puppet Show to Majestic Drama
The Faust legend, which can be traced to puppet shows of earlier
days, portrays a philosopher who, through Satan's aid and in return
for the price of his soul, works magic at will. From this
rude framework Goethe has reared a drama of sublime grandeur.
Read from Goethe's FAUST .......................... Vol. 19, pp. 23-36
Mar 23: THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTSFirst of a Thousand Harem Stories
Shahrazad, favorite of the treacherous Sultan's harem, selected
a most thrilling story for her bridal night. By leaving it unfinished
she was privileged to live to continue it the next night—and
so on for a thousand and one nights.
Read from THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS ....... Vol. 16, pp. 15-24
Mar 24: Morris' DEFENSE OF GUENEVERE
A Queen Pleads
Guenevere, King Arthur's queen, justly accused but harshly
treated, makes a noble and brave attempt to convince her court
that Gawaine lied and that Launcelot was true.
Read: Morris' DEFENSE OF GUENEVERE ...... Vol. 42, pp. 1183-1193
Mar 25: Shakespeare's HAMLETHow Conscience Makes Cowards of Us All
Hamlet pondered over which course contained the least unhappiness—
whether to suffer here and not incur new dangers, or
whether to end it all and chance the unknown terrors of the
next world. See how Hamlet reasoned.
Read from Shakespeare's HAMLET .................. Vol. 46, pp. 144-158
Mar 26: Aesop’s FABLES
"2,500 Years Ago Aesop Said . . ."
Men in all ages have recognized the ingenuity of the practical
philosophy and freshness of Aesop's allegories. Spend a few
delightful moments with the wit and wisdom of Aesop.
Read from Aesop's FABLES ................... Vol. 17, pp. 21-30
Mar 27: Stevenson's TRUTH OF INTERCOURSE
When Is a Lie Not a Lie?
Is lying or quibbling ever permissible? May one juggle words
so a truth is conveyed through a lie and a lie told by a truth?
Stevenson unravels this puzzle.
Read: Stevenson's TRUTH OF INTERCOURSE ..... Vol. 28, pp. 277-284
Mar 28: Adam Smith's WEALTH OF NATIONS
Pins and Other Points
The making of a simple pin is one of the most complex affairs
of modern industry. Adam Smith regards the process from the
worker's point of view, and shows the many and varied economic
principles that are involved in pin making.
Read from Adam Smith's WEALTH OF NATIONS .... Vol. 10, pp. 9-17
Mar 29: EPIC AND SAGA
Hero and Goddess Break Engagement
Brynhild, favorite goddess of Norse mythology, plighted troth
with Sigurd, fearless warrior. But Sigurd forgot Brynhild and
married Gudrun, whose brother, Gunner, then set out to win
the beautiful Brynhild. Complications very like a modern triangle
Read from EPIC AND SAGA .................... Vol. 49, pp. 307-317
Mar 30: Manzoni's I PROMESSI SPOSI
The Plague of Milan
"I Promessi Sposi," a seventeenth century novel, vividly describes
the devastating plague of Milan. Then whole families sickened
in a few hours and died in less than a day's time of strange and
violent complaints whose symptoms were unknown to physicians.
Read from Manzoni's I PROMESSI SPOSI ........ Vol. 21, pp. 500-512
Mar 31: Walton's LIFE OF DR. DONNE
The Ghastly Whim of John Donne
Monuments are usually made from death masks, but John Donne
took pleasure in posing for his, wrapped from head to foot in a
shroud. Isaak Walton tells of this in his fascinating biography
of the eccentric poet.
Read from Walton's LIFE OF DR. DONNE ....... Vol. 15, pp. 364-369
Apr 1: BROWNING'S POEMS
"Oh! to Be in England Now That April's There"
Everyone knows the pangs of homesickness in the spring. Even
bright, sparkling Italy could not wean Browning's affection from
the green hedgerows of misty England.
Read: BROWNING'S POEMS ................. Vol. 42, pp. 1068-1074
Apr 2: Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLEA Spoon Dances in the Moonlight
A huge spoon dressed in human finery, placed on a grave, appears
to become convulsed when the moon's rays fall on it and
dances to the tune of chanting natives. Weird sights, according
to Darwin, abound in the South Seas.
Read from Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE ..... Vol. 29, pp. 462-471
Apr 3: Walton's LIFE OF GEORGE HERBERT
Romance with a Happy Ending
"As a conqueror enters a surprised city; love made such resolutions
as neither party was able to resist. She changed her name
into Herbert the third day after this first interview."
Read from Walton's LIFE OF GEORGE HERBERT ........ Vol. 15, pp. 392-404
Apr 4: SHE STOOPS TO CONQUERThe Mistakes of a Night
Genial and rollicking fun are provided in this highly entertaining
story of a man who mistakes a private house for an inn,
and who treats his host's daughter like a serving maid.
Read from SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER ........ Vol. 18, pp. 205-215
Apr 5: Hobbes' LEVIATHANYou and Your Dreams
Dreams and their causes interested Hobbes. Without superstition,
the philosopher weighed the evidence of ghosts, goblins,
Read from Hobbes' LEVIATHAN ................ Vol. 34, pp. 313-322
Apr 6: MARCUS AURELIUS' MEDITATIONS
Who Is Bad?
Badness has many interpretations, a different definition has been
the dictate of each new generation. The solution of the eternal
riddle was earnesdy sought by Marcus Aurelius.
Read: MARCUS AURELIUS' MEDITATIONS ........ Vol. 2, pp. 243-253
Apr 7: WORDSWORTH'S POEMS
Nature Guided His Pen
Wordsworth was so closely in touch with Nature that the simple
beauty of flowers, woods, and fields is reflected in his poems as
if Nature herself took up the pen and wrote.
Read: WORDSWORTH'S POEMS ................ Vol. 41, pp. 639-651
Apr 8: Aeschylus' THE LIBATION BEARERS
Beware the Vengeful Hounds!
Orestes, holding an avenging sword over his mother, is told:
"Beware thy mother's vengeful hounds." How he pays for disregarding
his mother's warning is told in this drama where a
mother is slain to avenge a father's ghost.
Read from Aeschylus' THE LIBATION BEARERS ....... Vol. 8, pp.111-121
Apr 9: Bacon's NEW ATLANTIS
A Perfect Land in a Wilderness of Waters
West of Peru there was reported to be a land where Truth and
Science were used to promote the happiness and freedom of man.
Here is Bacon's description of this ideal commonwealth.
Read from Bacon's NEW ATLANTIS ............... Vol. 3, pp. 145-155
Apr 10: First Charter of Virginia
Americans—by Will of the King
Before English adventurers could attempt settlement in America
it was necessary first to get permission from the King . The
charter of King James to the oldest American colony is an extremely
important historical document.
Read: FIRST CHARTER OF VIRGINIA ................. Vol. 43, pp. 49-58
Apr 11: Goethe's FAUSTDanger in Being Young and Fair
The virgin beauty of Margaret enchanted Faust, who dazzled
her with the brilliance of many gems. Margaret innocently took
his gifts, believing that beauty should not "blush unseen"—but
unmindful of consequences to follow.
Read from Goethe's FAUST ................... Vol. 19, pp. 115-131
Apr 12: Berkeley's THREE DIALOGUESThe Perfect Argument
You would doubdess like to know how to hold your own in any
argument. Read what Leslie Stephen declares the finest specimen
in our language of the conduct of argument.
Read from Berkeley's THREE DIALOGUES ...... Vol. 37, pp. 230-240
Apr 13: CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHYMichelangelo His Boon Companion
Kings, emperors, the greatest artists and sculptors of the Renaissance
at its most magnificent period, walk through the pages of
his autobiography—not as cold, austere, historical character,
but as the intimate friends of Cellini.
Read from CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY ............... Vol. 31, pp. 23-35
Apr 14: Biggs' DRAKE'S GREAT ARMADAA Raid on Spanish Treasure in America
Spanish towns in the New World were rich in treasure and tempting
booty for English soldiers of fortune, who were venturesome
and merciless. "Ho! for the Spanish Main!" was the rallying
cry for all freebooters and buccaneers.
Read from Biggs' DRAKE'S GREAT ARMADA ....... Vol. 33, pp. 229-242
Apr 15: WHITMAN'S POEMSO Captain! My Captain!
The rugged, genuine Lincoln was idealized by Walt Whitman—
the founder of the new school of American poetry. Two of
Whitman's finest poems were inspired by Lincoln.
Read: WHITMAN'S POEMS ............... Vol. 42, pp. 1412-1420
Apr 16: Dante's DIVINE COMEDYInside the Gates of Hell
The city of Dis, within the gates of Hell, was guarded by monsters
and surrounded by a moat filled with the tormented. Dante,
protected by Virgil, entered the forbidden city, and viewed
sights never before seen by living man.
Read from Dante's DIVINE COMEDY ............... Vol. 20, pp. 32-39
Apr 17: FRANKLIN'S AUTOBIOGRAPHYBenjamin Franklin—Book Salesman
In 1731 there were not many books in America. Franklin saw
the need for more books and by house-to-house canvassing persuaded
Philadelphians to aid him in founding a public library
which to-day stands as a lasting memorial to Franklin.
Read from FRANKLIN'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY .............. Vol. 1, pp. 66-77
Apr 18: Cervantes' DON QUIXOTEReady for Adventures and Conquests
Reading too many romances of knights and valorous deeds caused
a poor Spanish gentleman to polish up his great-grandfather's
armor, rechristen his old nag, and sally forth. "Don Quixote,"
besides holding a secure niche in literature as the work that
quashed the romantic school of knight-errantry, is at the same
time one of the most widely-read stories in the world.
Read from Cervantes' DON QUIXOTE ........... Vol. 14, pp. 17-28
Apr 19: Emerson's CONCORD HYMNBattle of Concord
Dr. Eliot says of the opening stanza of the "Concord Hymn":
"In twenty-eight words here are the whole scene and all the
essential circumstances . . . what an accurate, moving, immortal
description is this!"
Read: Emerson's CONCORD HYMN .......... Vol. 42, pp. 1245-1246
Apr 20: BYRON'S POEMSByron Gave His Life for Freedom
England's romantic poet died while fighting against the Turkson
the side of the Greeks. His poems, "The Isles of Greece" and
"The Prisoner of Chillon," proclaim freedom.
Read: BYRON'S POEMS ...................... Vol. 41, pp. 801-815
Apr 21: INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH LITERATUREBooks as Windows to the Past
Through the pages of a book the reader sees the life of past days.
Carnivals, processions, battles, coronations, voyages—the whole
history of the world and its people is revealed in a stupendous
pageant. Taine was a Frenchman who wrote an unsurpassed
history of English literature; its introduction reveals the unusual
combination of an imaginative and an analytical style.
Read from INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH LITERATURE .... Vol. 39, pp. 410-418
Apr 22: FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF MORALS
Happiness as a Duty
Immanuel Kant, the most influential of German philosophers,
taught that it was man's duty to be happy, for an unhappy man
is tempted to sin. Seekers after happiness find aid and inspiration
in Kant's writings.
Read from FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF MORALS ........ Vol. 32, pp. 310-317
Apr 23: Shakespeare's KING LEAR
"If You Have Poison for Me, I Will Drink It"
Shaken and disillusioned by the treachery of his elder daughter,
King Lear suspected even the faithful Cordelia of evil designs.
Her most tender efforts to comfort him failed to drive away the
insistent specter of his madness.
Read from Shakespeare's KING LEAR ......... Vol. 46, pp. 293-303
Apr 24: Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES
Nineteen Million Elephants
At the rate at which elephants naturally increase, Darwin estimated
that in 750 years there could be nearly 19,000,000 elephants.
But did Darwin consider the ravages of civilization and circuses?
Read from Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES ............ Vol. 11, pp. 74-86
Apr 25: Tacitus' ON GERMANY
Mighty Rome Feared These Men
Men who danced among sharp swords—who gambled with their
lives—who took their women to the battlefields to encourage the
brave and shame the cowardly—these were the primitive Germans
who made Roman emperors tremble.
Read from Tacitus' ON GERMANY ............... Vol. 33, pp. 106-120
Apr 26: Hume ON MIRACLES
Do Miracles Still Happen
Just what constitutes a miracle? Does Science indorse miracles?
One wonders why such marvelous things do not happen often
nowadays. Hume tells why.
Read from Hume ON MIRACLES .............. Vol. 37, pp. 375-385
Apr 27: Emerson's BEAUTY
He Dared to See Forbidden Beauty
The Puritan world feared Beauty. Emerson, great American
essayist and philosopher, declared that the world was made for
beauty, and openly worshiped at beauty's shrine.
Read: Emerson's BEAUTY ....................... Vol. 5, pp. 297-310
Apr 28: THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES
"Vanity of Vanities," Saith the Preacher
Three hundred years before Christ, a preacher in Jerusalem complained
that there was no new thing under the sun. Everything
considered new had really existed in the time of the fathers.
Sophisticated and modern is this writer of 2,300 years ago.
Read from THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES .............. Vol. 44, pp. 335-341
Apr 29: THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS
How I Got Rich — by Sindbad the Sailor
Sindbad, a poor man, recited woeful verses before the magnificent
dwelling of Sindbad of the Sea. The great Sindbad, hearing him,
invited the poor Sindbad to a feast and told the wonderful story
of his fabulous fortune.
Read from THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS ..... Vol. 16, pp. 231-242
Apr 30: Washington's FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESSWashington's Dictum on Private Life
Washington declared that the strength of the new nation lay in
the "pure and immutable principles of private morality." A free
government, fortified by the virtues and affection of its citizens,
can command the respect of the world.
Read: Washington's FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS .... Vol. 43, pp. 225-228
May 1: PERSONS ONE WOULD WISH TO HAVE SEENWhat Would You Ask Judas Iscariot?
Once Hazlitt and his friends took to discussing the famous people
they would like to meet—Guy Fawkes, Sir Isaac Newton,
Chaucer, Boccaccio, Cromwell, Garrick, and Judas.
Read: PERSONS ONE WOULD WISH TO HAVE SEEN ..... Vol. 27, pp. 270-283
May 2: Faraday's MAGNETISM—ELECTRICITYFirst Sparks of Electricity
Everything has to have a beginning, so too with the science of
electricity. Here we learn the very rudiments, the inceptions
of science that have revolutionized the world. Faraday explains
in a simple way the truths of electricity.
Read: Faraday's MAGNETISM—ELECTRICITY ...... Vol. 30, pp. 61-72
May 3: Machiavelli's THE PRINCEWhy "Machiavellian"?
Traveling from court to court in the stirring days of the Renaissance,
Machiavelli studied the intrigues of princes. His writings
have affected the destiny of mighty dynasties.
Read from Machiavelli's THE PRINCE ................. Vol. 36, pp. 7-17
May 4: SCIENCE AND CULTURE
A Champion of Science
When science was struggling for a place in popular education,
Huxley distinguished himself as its champion. While the arts
were to beautify life and increase pleasure, Huxley saw science
as a means of benefiting man's prosperity.
Read from SCIENCE AND CULTURE .......... Vol. 28, pp. 209-319
May 5: Calderon's LIFE IS A DREAMStrange Adventures in Man's Clothes
Disguised as a man, a Russian noblewoman exploring the mountains
of Poland came upon a secret prison. Fate linked the
lives of this woman and the unknown prisoner.
Read from Calderon's LIFE IS A DREAM ............. Vol. 26, pp. 7-21
May 6: CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY
A Poor Artist Defies a Rich Duke
"Benvenuto, the figure cannot succeed in bronze," so spoke the
patron Duke. Cellini, stung to fury, passionately burst out:
"You do not understand art." Feverishly he began the casting
of the statue—but read his own account of the tilt with the Duke.
Read from CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY ........ Vol. 31, pp. 373-384
May 7: BROWNING'S POEMSA Bishop Bargains
A haughty aristocrat, who murdered his wife for enjoying life
more than he, now bargaining for a new bride; a crafty bishop
begging and bullying his heirs for a tomb richer than that of
his rival; these are subjects of Browning's pen.
Read from BROWNING'S POEMS ......... Vol. 42, pp. 1074-1078
May 8: Sheridan's SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL
Behind the Screen in t h e School for Scandal
Lady Teazle hides in haste when her husband is unexpectedly
announced. Situations which set many tongues wagging and
fed the fire of gossip in Scandal-land, startle the reader.
Read from Sheridan's SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL ..... Vol. 18, pp. 164-176
May 9: Schiller's ON AESTHETIC EDUCATIONRelation of Art to Freedom
Who has ever thought the arts had anything to do with freedom?
Schiller did. Forced by a German noble to enter a military
school, he escaped. Struggling to achieve freedom, he wrote
a series of letters on the relation of art to freedom.
Read: Schiller's ON AESTHETIC EDUCATION ..... Vol. 32, pp. 209-217
May 10: Raleigh's DISCOVERY OF GUIANA
A Knight Among Cannibals
Savages who drink the powdered bones of their dead mixed with
wine, Amazons who hold riotous festivals, the worship of golden
statues, all the primitive wonders of Guiana are described by
the famous Elizabethan gallant, Sir Walter Raleigh.
Read from Raleigh's DISCOVERY OF GUIANA .... Vol. 33, pp. 326-341
May 11: Webster's THE DUCHESS OF MALFILatest Gossip in Malfi
Latest news abroad in Malfi: The Duchess has run off with her
butler. But this happened before the days of newspapers or
radio, so Webster made from it an exciting play.
Read from Webster's THE DUCHESS OF MALFI .... Vol. 47, pp. 721-737
May 12: ROSSETTI'S POEMS
His Wife's Golden Hair Enshrined His Poems
The manuscripts of many of the best poems of Rossetti were
buried with his wife. Friends prevailed upon him to allow
them to be exhumed—and these poems, once buried with the
dead, are now a treasure of the living.
Read: ROSSETTI'S POEMS .... Vol. 42, pp. 1149-1153, 1178-1181
May 13: Burns' THE TWA DOGS
What Does Your Dog Think of You?
Two dogs fell a-gossiping about their masters and about a dog's
life among the humble Scotch folk. Each "rejoic'd they werena
men but dogs; an' each took aff his several way."
Read: Burns' THE TWA DOGS ................ Vol. 6, pp. 151-157
May 14: VACCINATION AGAINST SMALLPOX
Jenner's Amazing Smallpox Cure
Edward Jenner found that disease in the heel of a horse, transmitted
through a cow to the dairy attendants, was an agent in
making human beings immune from smallpox. His amazing
experiments inaugurated a new epoch.
Read: VACCINATION AGAINST SMALLPOX ......... Vol. 38, pp. 145-154
May 15: Dante's DIVINE COMEDY
Glimpses Into the Beyond
The best part of the Divine Comedy for a few minutes'
reading is the "Inferno." There the reader finds the most vivid
descriptions, the most startling and unforgettable pictures.
Read from Dante's DIVINE COMEDY ........ Vol. 20, pp. 102-114
May 16: THE POETRY OF THE CELTIC RACES
Favorite Superstitions of Celtic Imagination
Chessboards on which, of their own accord, black pieces played
against white; chariots that swiftly turned hither and yon without
a driver; pots in which a coward's meat would not cook—
all these are woven into bewitching stories.
Read from THE POETRY OF THE CELTIC RACES .... Vol. 32, pp. 145-155
May 17: Plato's APOLOGY OF SOCRATESAn Honest Life's Reward
Condemned for impiety, Socrates felt so justified in the virtue
of his past action that instead of receiving a death sentence, he
told the judges he should be maintained at public expense as a
Read: Plato's APOLOGY OF SOCRATES .......... Vol. 2, pp. 24-30
May 18: ANDERSEN'S TALES
The Night Life of Flowers
Flowers often tire of their stationary life and sometimes at night
frolic away to a ball in a beautiful castle. Thus a fanciful storyteller
accounts for their drooping condition in the morning.
Read: ANDERSEN'S TALES ........................ Vol. 17, pp. 334-341
May 19: Epictetus' GOLDEN SAYINGSGolden Advice on Manners
When a man is invited to a banquet he must be satisfied with
the dishes put before him. Epictetus reasoned that man should
be content with what life offers, and in serenity find happiness.
Read: Epictetus' GOLDEN SAYINGS ............ Vol. 2, pp. 128-138
May 20: Shakespeare's SONNETSShakespeare's Finest Work
The most concentrated beauty of Shakespeare's unbounded creative
genius is found in his sonnets. Written as personal messages
to friends and not intended for publication, they reveal the
inner Shakespeare more truly than do any of his great plays.
Read from Shakespeare's SONNETS ............... Vol. 40, pp. 270-276
May 21: Pope's ESSAY ON MANAn Honest Man Defined
The sharp tongue of Alexander Pope made him celebrated, yet
widely feared. In a representative product of his versatile pen,
he gracefully combines his flashing wit with sage advice.
Read from Pope's ESSAY ON MAN ........... Vol. 40, pp. 430-440
May 22: Manzoni's I PROMESSI SPOSITrue Love in Difficulty
Because of a fancy for a peasant girl, the tyrannical lord of an
Italian village sent desperadoes to threaten the priest if he married
the girl to her village lover.
Read from Manzoni's I PROMESSI SPOSI ............. Vol. 21, pp. 7-24
May 23: HOOD'S POEMS
A Plea for an Unfortunate
From the river her body was tenderly lifted—the girl who could
find no place in the vast city. Thomas Hood pleads for her—
eloquently and justly. Read this gem of pathos.
Read: HOOD'S POEMS ........................ Vol. 41, pp. 907-911
May 24: Adam Smith's WEALTH OF NATIONSThey Had No Money—Yet Bought and Sold
Debts were not always paid in money. Not so long ago the
butcher paid for his keg of beer with a slab of beef, and oxen
were exchanged for land and wives. Adam Smith tells the interesting
story of the origin and use of money.
Read from Adam Smith's WEALTH OF NATIONS ...... Vol. 10, pp. 22-33
May 25: Emerson's HEROISM
Do What You Fear
Emerson startled the world by fearlessly declaring his beliefs.
Such apparent paradoxes as we find in his inspirational essay,
"Heroism," makes him the most stimulating yet profound thinker
America has produced.
Read: Emerson's HEROISM .................... Vol. 5, pp. 121-131
May 26: Shakespeare's KING LEARDaughter Declares Her Love
Goneril and Regan falsely swore they loved their father, King
Lear, more than life itself. Cordelia could find no words to express
her sincere devotion. Then King Lear made the decision
that started a series of exciting events.
Read from Shakespeare's KING LEAR ........... Vol. 46, pp. 215-225
May 27: THE EDUCATION OF THE HUMAN RACE
Lessing's Courageous Stand for Toleration
To advance freedom of thought, Lessing published an essay of
one hundred paragraphs outlining the history of religion. The
wrath of orthodox churchmen was hurled at his head, and Lessing
was left alone to defend his daring theories.
Read from THE EDUCATION OF THE HUMAN RACE ..... Vol. 32, pp. 185-195
May 28: MOORE'S POEMS
Master of Melodious Lyrics
Any one of these poems, " The Harp That Once Through Tara's
Halls," "The Last Rose of Summer," "The Light of Other
Days," would alone have made Moore immortal.
Read: MOORE'S POEMS ..................... Vol. 41, pp. 816-822
May 29: THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS
Adventures in Bagdad
A Bagdad merchant dreamed of the money he would make from
the sale of a tray of glassware, and of marrying the king's daughter.
But, daydreaming, he kicked over the tray.
Read from THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS ..... Vol. 16, pp. 177-184
May 30: Longfellow's THE BUILDING OF THE SHIP
When the Throb of the War Drum Is Stifl'd
At the close of the war, a torn and bleeding nation set about to
rebuild its shattered frame. The result was a stronger nation
rising from an almost disrupted union.
Read: Longfellow's THE BUILDING OF THE SHIP .... Vol. 42, pp. 1280-1290
May 31: Whitman's PREFACE TO LEAVES OF GRASS
America's Most Surprising Poet
Walt Whitman is the most original and startling of modern poets.
An irony of his life is that while he wrote for the contemporary
masses, only a limited number of followers appreciated his
genius, now universally recognized.
Read: Whitman's PREFACE TO LEAVES OF GRASS .... Vol. 39, pp. 388-398
Jun 1: Marlowe's DR. FAUSTUSThrilling Play by Tutor of Shakespeare
For the best blank verse in English, read "Dr. Faustus," the masterpiece
of Marlowe, who gave Shakespeare lessons in playwriting.
This genius knew the secret of gripping drama.
Read from Marlowe's DR. FAUSTUS ................... Vol. 19, pp. 241-250
Jun 2: Rousseau's A SAVOYARD VICAR
"Back to Nature" in the Seventeenth Century
A "Back to Nature" movement in the seventeenth century was
headed by Rousseau, who believed that civilization was degrading.
To save money for his work, he entrusted each of his children
to the tender mercies of a foundling house.
Read from Rousseau's A SAVOYARD VICAR ..... Vol. 34, pp. 239-249
Jun 3: MOTION OF THE HEART AND BLOODPulse Aids Epochal Discoveries
Galileo, by holding his pulse while watching a swinging cathedral
lamp, evolved a theory that made clocks possible. Harvey,
by feeling his pulse, educed that arteries carry blood.
Read from MOTION OF THE HEART AND BLOOD .... Vol. 38, pp. 75-86
Jun 4: Goethe's EGMONT
'Neath the Iron Hand of Spain
Spain sent the Duke of Alva to subdue the Netherlands. In
quelling disorder he killed the people's hero, Count Egmont.
From this story Goethe made a famous play.
Read from Goethe's EGMONT ............ Vol. 19, pp. 253-259
Jun 5: Adam Smith's WEALTH OF NATIONS
The Rent of Land from Human Food
Even to-day rent is paid in terms of human food. It sounds
primitive, but it happens right at your door—here in the United
States, in compliance with a law as old as man.
Read from Adam Smith's WEALTH OF NATIONS .... Vol. 10, pp. 149-157
Jun 6: Dana's TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST
A Shrill Cry in the Night!
A crew faced the hazardous prospect of rounding the bleak Cape
Horn in midwinter. Imagine the terror when a sudden scream
pierced the misery-laden air. What was it? A man overboard
or a lost soul?
Read from Dana's Two YEARS BEFORE THE MAST .... Vol. 23, pp. 285-295
Jun 7: HAMLET
"There's Rosemary—that's for Remembrance!"
Do you know the rest of Ophelia's famous line? "Hamlet" is
the most popular play in the entire world. It has been quoted
so often that reading it is like meeting an old friend.
Read from HAMLET ........................ Vol. 46, pp. 176-183
Jun 8: WOOLMAN'S JOURNAL
Eloquence Wins Over Prejudice
The plain, homely appearance of Woolman impressed unfavorably
the orthodox Quakers in London whom he was sent to
meet. They told him his coming was not necessary. But
Woolman spoke with such simplicity and sincerity that even
those most opposed became his friends.
Read from WOOLMAN'S JOURNAL ............. Vol. 1, pp. 302-312
Jun 9: THE PSALMS
Enchanting Songs of David
The songs of David pleased King Saul, but when David became
too popular with the people, the king feared for his throne and
Read from THE PSALMS ..................... Vol. 44, pp. 168-179
Jun 10: Sophocles' OEDIPUS, KING OF THEBES
Horrible Prophecy Fulfilled
King OEdipus of Thebes as a babe was abandoned on Mount
Cithaeron to die. Years after he was thought dead he returns
to Thebes and unknowingly slays his father, marries his mother—
and thus fulfills the word of the oracle.
Read from Sophocles' OEDIPUS, KING OF THEBES ... Vol. 8, pp. 209-223
Jun 11: Spenser's THE EPITHALAMIUM
He Sang of His Beautiful Elizabeth
To commemorate his marriage to the beautiful Elizabeth, Spenser
wrote one of the most enchanting nuptial hymns.
Read: Spenser's THE EPITHALAMIUM ........... Vol. 40, pp. 234-245
Jun 12: THE BHAGAVAD-GITA
Vishnu Holds Up a Battle
"Two armies of ancient India were about to engage in a momentous
battle. Arjuna, heroic leader of the Pandu hosts, foreseeing
great slaughter, hesitates. He implores the divine Vishnu to
intervene. The conversation of the warrior and the god is a
gem of Hindu literature.
Read from THE BHAGAVAD-GITA ................ Vol. 45, pp. 785-798
Jun 13: Plutarch's ARISTIDESAthens Flouts Aristides
Athenians gave Aristides the title of "The Just." Later they
wanted to banish him. One voter wanted Aristides banished
merely because he was weary of hearing him called " The Just."
Read from Plutarch's ARISTIDES ............... Vol. 12, pp. 85-94
Jun 14: Plato's CRITO
A Philosopher Prefers Prison Cell
"Socrates unceasingly strove for beauty, truth, and perfection.
Sentenced to death on a false charge, he refused to escape from
the death cell, even when opportunity was offered.
Read: Plato's CRITO ............................... Vol. 2, pp. 31-43
Jun 15: Froissart's WAT TYLER'S REBELLION
Strikers Storm the Tower of London
Led by Wat Tyler in 1381, great troops of villagers and rustics
marched on London—laid siege to the Tower—sacked the apartments
of the King and murdered his ministers. Froissart gives
first-hand information of this rebellion.
Read from Froissart's WAT TYLER'S REBELLION ....... Vol. 35, pp. 60-72
Jun 16: Byron's MANFRED
Spirits at the Top of the World
The inaccessible mountain tops were ever venerated as the haunts
of all mysteries. Manfred, hero of Byron's play, seeks upon the
high Alps the aid of spirits, specters, and goblins. What unearthly
adventures await him!
Read from Byron's MANFRED .................... Vol. 18, pp. 415-428
Jun 17: Eliot's BRIEF NARRATIVERisked His Scalp in Prayer
John Eliot put his life at the mercy of the redmen to get them
to listen to his preachings. He wrote vividly about his settlements
of Christian Indians. Now villages and Indians have disappeared.
Only his story remains.
Read: Eliot's BRIEF NARRATIVE ................ Vol. 43, pp. 138-146
Jun 18: GRIMM'S TALES
Cinderella Lives To-day
Cinderella inspires all alike—the artist's brush, the author's pen,
the child's fancy. To-day she is a living, vital character to be seen
on stage and screen. No one ever forgets her lightning change.
Read from GRIMM'S TALES ....................... Vol. 17, pp. 98-104
Jun 19: Holinshed's OUR ENGLISH DOGSFreaks of the Dog Fad in England
A writer of Elizabethan times said that no other country had as
many dogs as England. Once Henry VII ordered all mastiffs
to be hung because they "durst presume to fight against the
lion," England's regal beast.
Read: Holinshed's OUR ENGLISH DOGS ....... Vol. 35, pp. 350-356
Jun 20: Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE
No Salt for These Birds
Galapagos Islands are the home of fearless birds, to which horses,
cows, and men are only roosting places. Darwin saw the South
Pacific when few travelers knew that wonderland.
Read from Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE .... Vol. 29, pp. 403-413
Jun 21: Ruskin's SESAME
Would You Converse with Royalty?
Why gossip with lesser persons when you might be talking to
queens and kings? Just how we may get to talk to queens
and kings, Ruskin delightfully points out and escorts us to the
very doors of the audience chamber.
Read from Ruskin's SESAME .................. Vol. 28, pp. 99-110
Jun 22: Pliny's LETTERS
Pliny Tells Ghost Stories
Pliny, who lived in the first century after Christ, tells of a ghost
who dragged his jangling chains through a house in Athens and
so terrified the inmates that they fled panic-stricken. But the
ghost met his equal.
Read from Pliny's LETTERS .................... Vol. 9, pp. 311-314
Jun 23: Mill's AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Greek Scholar at Three
John Stuart Mill—one of the greatest intellects in England—tells
how his father educated him. At the early age of three years
he began the study of Greek, and at twelve started writing a
book of his own .
Read from Mill's AUTOBIOGRAPHY ............. Vol. 25, pp. 9-20
Jun 24: THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS
Had No Right Hand
A handsome young man was seen to eat only with his left hand,
which was contrary to the customs of Arabia. The youth, when
urged, told why he used only his left hand, and revealed a
story of love and adventure and the lover's need for gold—all
happening in ancient Cairo.
Read from THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS .... Vol. 16, pp. 120-133
Jun 25: HERRICK'S POEMSAdvice to Virgins from a Wise Man
"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today, to-morrow will be
dying? "Herrick was only a humble country minister with a
wealth of wisdom and a keen appreciation of life, which he
expressed in lyrics of wonderful beauty and melody.
Read: HERRICK'S POEMS .................. Vol. 40, pp. 334-340
Jun 26: BEOWULFIn the Lair of the Green-Eyed Monster
At the bottom of the ocean was the home of the monster who
had desolated the king's halls. Beowulf, bravest of warriors,
descended beneath the waves to fight the beast. The king's
men, waiting above, saw the waves become colored with blood.
Hero or monster—who had won?
Read from BEOWULF ............................ Vol. 49, pp. 45-50
Jun 27: BACON'S ESSAYS
Do You Take Poison Daily?
There is a human trait most poisonous to a man's blood. Man
seeks to avoid it because he knows that it lies like a curse upon
him. Just what is the poisonous human failing? Who are most
subject to it? Bacon tells you in one of his best essays.
Read from BACON'S ESSAYS ..................... Vol. 3, pp. 22-26
Jun 28: Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE
Pages from the Pampas Book of Etiquette
A very definite etiquette is followed by a stranger on the vast
plains of South America. "Ave Maria" is the common salutation.
If the stranger is on horseback, he does not alight until
invited to do so by his host. Once in the house, the stranger must
converse a while before asking shelter for the night.
Read from Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE ...... Vol. 29, pp. 51-60
Jun 29: Shakespeare's MACBETH
"Is That a Dagger I See Before Me?"
Macbeth, spurred on by the ambitious and crafty Lady Macbeth,
committed murder to secure the crown of Scotland. But he
paid dearly for his gain. Ghostly guests appeared at his banquet
and threatened him with dire threats.
Read from Shakespeare's MACBETH .......... Vol. 46, pp. 357-365
Jun 30: Mill's ON LIBERTY
Rather King Than Majority
"Democracy" has not always been the choice of oppressed people.
The tyranny of the majority is a recognized evil as harmful as the
misrule of a king. And rather than exchange a lesser evil for a
greater, a rule by king has often been preferred to a republic.
Read: Mill's ON LIBERTY ..................... Vol. 25, pp. 195-203
Jul 1: Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIESDarwin Not First Evolutionist
While Darwin was working on his theory of evolution, another
scientist independently arrived at the same conclusions. Darwin,
then, was not the first to study evolution.
Read from Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES ......... Vol. 11, pp. 5-17
Jul 2: Plutarch's CESAR"Julius" Becomes "July"
So that the date for certain festivals would not fall one year in
midwinter and in the heat of summer another year, Cesar reformed
the calendar. July was named for him.
Read from Plutarch's CESAR ...................... Vol. 12, pp. 310-315
Jul 3: Haskell's BATTLE OF GETTYSBURGGettysburg by an Eyewitness
An officer in that momentous battle narrates every major action
of both armies. Thus we see the swarming lines of Confederates
advance—the hand-to-hand struggle.
Read from Haskell's BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG .... Vol. 43, pp. 326-335
Jul 4: DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCESome Chose to Remain British Subjects
Some Americans preferred to be loyal to England and did not
want independent government. Their hesitation is better understood
when the finality of the Declaration is realized.
Read: DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE ........... Vol. 43, pp. 150-155
Jul 5: THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTSA Tailor Entertains a King
Here is another of those fanciful Oriental stories that proclaims
the democracy of Eastern despotism. A tailor might talk with a
king and receive either a death sentence or the office of Grand
Vizier as a reward.
Read from THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS .... Vol. 16, pp. 149-162
Jul 6: More's UTOPIAThe Origin of "Utopia"
When Europe was suffering from evil rulers, heavy taxes, and
despair, Sir Thomas More dreamed of a happy land where an
intelligently managed state perfected happiness.
Read from More's UTOPIA ................. Vol. 36, pp. 135-142
Jul 7: Sheridan's SCHOOL FOR SCANDALScandal That Lurked Behind Lace and Powder
The painted lips of the eighteenth century ladies and gallants
vied with one another in whispering scathing gossip, in gleefully
furthering the destruction of a good name. Sheridan depicts
this gay world with a brilliant spicy pen.
Read from Sheridan's SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL ...... Vol. 18, pp. 115-128
Jul 8: Shelley's CENCIItaly's Fair Assassin
When the monstrous Cenci forced his daughter Beatrice into a
horrible situation, she revolted and boldly struck for freedom.
Shelley tells her pitiful story in one of his best works.
Read from Shelley's CENCI .................. Vol. 18, pp. 288-300
Jul 9: BACON'S ESSAYSA Little Lying Now and Then
"What is Truth?" asked Pilate. For an answer Bacon discourses
not on human nature as it should be, but as it is. These shrewd
observations on making a life and a living admit occasional departures
Read from BACON'S ESSAYS ............................... Vol. 3, pp. 7-19
Jul 10: THE VOYAGES TO VINLANDAmerica's First Immigrants
The shadow of a phantom cast upon the cradle of Snorri, the
first white child born in America, was a warning of an Indian
attack on the settlement of courageous Norsemen who had
risked the terrors of unknown seas to visit "Wineland."
Read from THE VOYAGES TO VINLAND ..... Vol. 43. pp. 14-20
Jul 11: Newcomb's THE EXTENT OF THE UNIVERSEStar Gazing—A Cure for Tired Minds
The greatest spectacle offered man is a view of the magnificent
vault of heaven. Under the stupendous arch of the Milky Way
the cares of the world roll off.
Read: Newcomb's THE EXTENT OF THE UNIVERSE ..... Vol. 30, pp. 311-321
Jul 12: Thoreau's WALKINGBut He Walked!
Thoreau's individuality was unique and original. He had no
profession; he never married; he never went to church; he never
voted or paid taxes; he never smoked; he never drank wine. His
amusement was walking, to observe and meditate.
Read from Thoreau's WALKING .................. Vol. 28, pp. 395-405
Jul 13: Plutarch's PERICLESAthenians Also Complained of Taxes
Pericles used public money to beautify Athens. The citizens
protested against the expense, as citizens in all ages do. By a
clever stroke Pericles w o n their support to his ambitious plans.
Read from Plutarch's PERICLES ................. Vol. 12, pp. 47-57
Jul 14: Burke's THE REVOLUTION IN FRANCEThe French People Triumph
What the Fourth of July is to Americans, the Fourteenth of July
is to Frenchmen. It commemorates an oppressive tyranny overthrown
by a freedom-loving people.
Read from Burke's THE REVOLUTION IN FRANCE ..... Vol. 24, pp. 268-273
Jul 15: HOLINSHED'S CHRONICLESWhen Elizabeth Dined
Meals in the houses of the gentry and noblemen in Elizabethan
England were taken most seriously. No one spoke. Holinshed
records the strange table etiquette of our ancestors.
Read from HOLINSHED'S CHRONICLES ........ Vol. 35, pp. 271-288
Jul 16: THE KORANThe Mohammedan Jesus
The sacred book of the Moslems, the Koran, gives an account of
the birth of Christ. The Koran gives Jesus a high position among
the prophets but holds the first place for Mohammed.
Read from THE KORAN ......................... Vol. 45, pp. 908-913
Jul 17: Racine's PHAEDREA Throne for Son or Stepson?
Phaedre first persecuted Hippolytus, her handsome stepson, then
loved him. Suddenly he and her own son became rivals for the
throne. Should she push her son's claims or let Hippolytus take
Read from Racine's PHAEDRE ................... Vol. 26, pp. 133-148
Jul 18: Browning's BLOT IN THE 'SCUTCHEONThey Loved in Vain
"Browning's play has thrown me into a perfect passion of sorrow,"
wrote Charles Dickens of "The Blot in the 'Scutcheon."
Like Shakespeare's Juliet, Browning's Mildred plays the role of
a youthful lover in a tragic drama.
Read from Browning's BLOT IN THE 'SCUTCHEON ....... Vol. 18, pp. 359-368
Jul 19: Raleigh's DISCOVERY OF GUIANAShe Wanted Heroes All to Herself
The famous gallant who spread his gorgeous cloak so the dainty
slipper of his queen would be unspotted, soon lost the high favor
this action won for him. In spite of his glorious voyages, Raleigh
condemned himself when he fell in love with another woman.
Read from Raleigh's DISCOVERY OF GUIANA ..... Vol. 33, pp. 311-320
Jul 20: Bunyan's PILGRIM'S PROGRESSA Cobbler in Jail
John Bunyan, imprisoned for preaching without a license, gave
to the world "Pilgrim's Progress," the greatest allegory in any
language, second only to the Bible.
Read from Bunyan's PILGRIM'S PROGRESS ....... Vol. 15, pp. 59-69
Jul 21: BURNS' POEMSScotland's Own Poet
The songs of Burns are the links, the watchwords, the symbols
of the Scots. He is the last of the ballad singers. In his works
are preserved the best songs of his people.
Read from BURNS' POEMS ....................... Vol. 6, pp. 70-79
Jul 22: Homer's ODYSSEYTrapped in a Cave with a Frenzied Giant
Odysseus was wrecked with his men on an island inhabited
by one-eyed giants. Trapped in the cave of a giant who gobbled
up some of the crew for supper, the cunning Odysseus blinded
the giant and rescued the survivors of his crew.
Read from Homer's ODYSSEY ................... Vol. 22, pp. 120-129
Jul 23: BACON'S ESSAYSFriendship Above Love?
There are styles in friendship as well as in clothes. The mode
of friendship of Bacon's time went out with plumed hats and
long hose. But Bacon knew the true test of a friend.
Read from BACON'S ESSAYS ................... Vol. 3, pp. 65-72
Jul 24: Darwin's THE VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLEIndian Sorcery Blamed for an Earthquake
Darwin visited a South American city ruined by an earthquake.
There he heard the superstitious account of the phenomenon.
The ignorant people accused Indian women of bewitching the
volcano. But Darwin has another explanation.
Read from Darwin's THE VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE ...... Vol. 29, pp. 306-316
Jul 25: LAY OF BRYNHILDA Goddess and Her Mortal Lover
Brynhild, Woden's daughter, carried the dead heroes to Valhalla
where they could feast and fight without dying; until a sin divested
her of divinity, and she fell in love with Sigurd.
Read: LAY OF BRYNHILD .......................... Vol. 49, pp. 391-395
Jul 26: Thomas a KempisPeace Amid Strife
While Europe was shaken with wars, Thomas a Kempis lived
in happy seclusion in his convent. His writings convincingly
reflect the serenity and happiness of a man who has found peace—
a peace that surpasses all understanding.
Read from Thomas a Kempis ....................... Vol. 7, pp. 205-211
Jul 27: ON THE ANTISEPTIC PRINCIPLESOnce Surgeons Operated in Frock Coats
The use of antiseptics in surgery is new. Hardly more than a
half century ago surgeons operated in frock coats. Lord Lister,
surgeon to Queen Victoria, was among the first to advocate
scrupulous cleanliness in dressing wounds.
Read: ON THE ANTISEPTIC PRINCIPLES .......... Vol. 38, pp. 257-267
Jul 28: Cowley's OF AGRICULTUREAn Idyl of Agriculture
Cowley portrays the ideal life—that of a farmer, and blazons it
forth in heraldry. "A plow in a field arable"—to him, the most
honorable of all emblems.
Read: Cowley's OF AGRICULTURE ............. Vol. 27, pp. 61-69
Jul 29: Emerson's STONEHENGE
Stonehenge—England's Unsolved Mystery
Stonehenge, that group of huge, rudely architectural stones on a
vast plain in England, was erected no man knows when, nor
why, nor how. Emerson, America's greatest thinker, visited this
monument and was amazed at the "uncanny stones."
Read: Emerson's STONEHENGE ................. Vol. 5, pp. 453-462
Jul 30: Gilbert's VOYAGE TO NEWFOUNDLANDThe First English Colony in North America
When the whole coast of America north of Florida was free to
the first comer, Sir Humphrey Gilbert naively chose to settle
on the rugged shores of Newfoundland. Read the glowing account
of his great adventure "to plant Christian inhabitants in
Read: Gilbert's VOYAGE TO NEWFOUNDLAND ....... Vol. 33, pp. 263-273
Jul 31: Defoe's EDUCATION OF WOMENCharm School for Women
Lack of education, writes Defoe, makes a woman "turbulent,
clamorous, noisy—" Defoe defied his generation and preached
equal education for women. To-day we have co-education, but
have we the benefits Defoe predicted?
Read: Defoe's EDUCATION OF WOMEN ......... Vol. 27, pp. 148-150
Aug 1: Calvin's DEDICATIONHis Influence Still Lives
Steadfast allegiance to duty, simple living and adherence to plain,
honest, homely doctrines are Calvin's principles. Are not these
same old-fashioned truths followed to-day?
Read from Calvin's DEDICATION ................... Vol. 39, pp. 27-33
Aug 2: DRUMMOND'S POEMSPoems from a Heart of Love
"Here is the pleasant place—and nothing wanting is, save She,
alas!" How often we too are faced with like adversity. So
sings Drummond—a master songster and composer.
Read from DRUMMOND'S POEMS ........... Vol. 40, pp. 326-330
Aug 3: Virgil's AENEIDWhen the Greeks Sacked Troy
They battered down the palace gates and ravaged with fire and
sword the chambers of King Priam's hundred wives. Through
halls resounding with shrieks of terror, Priam and his household
fled to sanctuary.
Read from Virgil's AENEID ..................... Vol. 13, pp. 110-117
Aug 4: ANDERSEN'S TALESWorld's Greatest Bedtime Stories
Hans Christian Andersen had an extraordinary capacity for amusing
children. Were he living to-day he might be in great demand
as a radio bedtime story man.
Read: ANDERSEN'S TALES .......................... Vol. 17, pp. 221-230
Aug 5: Burns' COTTERS' SATURDAY NIGHTJoys of the Simple Life
"Cotter's Saturday Night" for generations to come will remain
the choicest picture of Scotch home life. Into this poem Burns
instills the sense of all-pervading peace and happiness that comes
at the end of a well-spent day.
Read: Burns' COTTERS' SATURDAY NIGHT ........... Vol. 6, pp. 134-140
Aug 6: Tennyson's LOCKSLEY HALLA Prophet of Aerial Warfare
"For I dipt into the future—saw the nation's airy navies grappling
in the central blue." We are amazed at the accuracy of
Tennyson's prediction. But he also foretells "the federation of
the world"—yet to be fulfilled.
Read: Tennyson's LOCKSLEY HALL ............. Vol. 42, pp. 979-986
Aug 7: Plato's PHAEDOThe Last Golden Words of Socrates
The death sentence of Socrates could not be executed until the
return of the sacred ship from Delos. One day his friends learned
that the ship had returned. They hastened to the prison to listen
to the last words of Athens' sage.
Read from Plato's PHAEDO .......................... Vol. 2, pp. 45-54
Aug 8: Homer's ODYSSEYMen Transformed by Circe's Wand
Unfavorable winds sent by angry gods blew the ships of Odysseus
far off their course. The sailors were cast upon a remote island,
governed by an enchantress where, for their coarse manners, they
were put under a magic spell.
Read from Homer's ODYSSEY ....................... Vol. 22, pp. 133-144
Aug 9: Walton's LIFE OF DR. DONNEEnglish Bridal Party Jailed
Minister and witness, bride and groom were arrested by an enraged
father when John Donne married his employer's niece.
Donne was soon released, but he found himself without money,
position or bride.
Read from Walton's LIFE OF DR. DONNE .......... Vol. 15, pp. 326-334
Aug 10: Burke's THE REVOLUTION IN FRANCE"Give Them Cake," said the Queen
When the people of Paris howled because they had no bread to
eat, Queen Marie Antoinette exclaimed: "Well, then, let them
eat cake!" Such an attitude hastened the revolution.
Read from Burke's THE REVOLUTION IN FRANCE ...... Vol. 24, pp. 143-157
Aug 11: Epictetus' GOLDEN SAYINGSClever Repartee of Epictetus
Epictetus advises that if a person speaks ill of you, make no defense,
but answer: "He surely knew not of my other faults, else
he would not have mentioned these only."
Read from Epictetus' GOLDEN SAYINGS .............. Vol. 2, pp. 176-182
Aug 12: LOWELL'S POEMSZekle's Courtin'
Huldy, the rustic belle, sat alone peeling apples. She was bashful
in her consciousness that Zekle would come soon. When he did,
she merely blushed and timidly said: "Ma's sprinklin' clo'es," and
Read: LOWELL'S POEMS ..................... Vol. 42, pp. 1376-1379
Aug 13: Southey's AFTER BLENHEIM and Other PoemsToo Close to See the Battle
England and France came to battle near Blenheim. Years later
the people of Blenheim called it a "famous victory," but could
not tell whose victory it was.
Read: Southey's AFTER BLENHEIM and other poems ...... Vol. 41, pp. 732-735
Aug 14: Dana's TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MASTA College Boy Goes to Sea
Leaving Harvard on account of ill health, Dana sought adventure
and thrilling experience aboard a sailing vessel that rounded
Cape Horn. He turned the dangers, hardships, and keen joys
of a sailor's life into a fascinating story.
Read from Dana's Two YEARS BEFORE THE MAST ..... Vol. 23, pp. 30-37
Aug 15: THE SONG OF ROLANDInto Death's Face He Flung This Song
Charlemagne's rear guard was attacked by the Basques in the
valley of Roncesvaux. Roland, its leader, fought a courageous
fight, and, though conquered, became immortal.
Read from THE SONG OF ROLAND ............ Vol. 49, pp. 166-173
Aug 16: THE PSALMSInspiring Ritual of Temple Worship
David—the psalm singer—knew the wondrous ways of the Lord
and praised H im in his psalms. Burdened souls in all ages have
found comfort in these songs that once were used in the gorgeous
ritual of Jerusalem's temple.
Read from THE PSALMS ......................... Vol. 44, pp. 286-295
Aug 17: Luther's ADDRESS TO THE NOBILITYThree Walls Luther Saw
Luther declared that the unreformed church had drawn its doctrines
like three walls so closely about the people that they served
not as protection but were the cause of untold misery and distress.
This he hoped to relieve by the Reformation.
Read: Luther's ADDRESS TO THE NOBILITY .......... Vol. 36, pp. 263-275
Aug 18: CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY"I Took Her by the Hair and Dragged Her Up and Down"
In Cellini's day the model's life was a hazardous one. Cellini's
Autobiography reveals how some models were treated. You
will find it more thrilling than the most modern novel.
Read from CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY ....... Vol. 31, pp. 312-323
Aug 19: Pare's JOURNEYS IN DIVERSE PLACESRoses Boiled in Wine
Astonishing treatments and cures are related by Ambroise Pare,
famed surgeon of the fifteenth century. One remedy, for instance,
used to cure a distinguished nobleman, was red roses
boiled in white wine,—and it was effective.
Read from Pare's JOURNEYS IN DIVERSE PLACES ...... Vol. 38, pp. 50-58
Aug 20: Milton's PARADISE LOSTPlot Against Eve
Driven from Heaven, Satan meditated revenge. He decided
his greatest opportunity to injure God was to bring sin to mankind.
Satan's plot against Eve is told by Milton.
Read from Milton's PARADISE LOST ................ Vol. 4, pp. 154-164
Aug 21: CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTINEHidden Treasures in an Old Book
A certain man was willed a Bible. He scorned the legacy until
one day, penniless and downcast, he turned to the book for consolation.
Imagine his amazement on finding hundred dollar
bills between the pages. St. Augustine explains how he found
even greater treasures in the Bible.
Read from CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTINE ............ Vol. 7, pp. 118-126
Aug 22: Dana's TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MASTAboard the Old Sailing Ships
In the days when sailing ships plied the seven seas, common
sailors were often subject to a brutal captain whose whim was
law. Dana, a Boston college boy, makes an exciting story of his
Read from Dana's Two YEARS BEFORE THE MAST ...... Vol. 23, pp. 99-111
Aug 23: Burke's ON THE SUBLIME AND BEAUTIFULWhich Is a Beautiful Woman?
The Hottentot thinks his wife beautiful. Every American believes
his wife also to be beautiful. But the American and the
Hottentot are quite different. What, after all, is Beauty?
Read from Burke's ON THE SUBLIME AND BEAUTIFUL ....... Vol. 24, pp. 78-88
Aug 24: Pliny's LETTERSSurvivor's Story of Vesuvius
The eruption of Vesuvius that demolished Pompeii and buried
thousands of people was witnessed by Pliny. He describes his
panic-stricken flight with his mother from the doomed villa
through falling ashes and sulphurous fumes. His famous uncle,
the elder Pliny, lost his life while investigating the eruption and
Read from Pliny's LETTERS ...................... Vol. 9, pp. 284-291
Aug 25: Kelvin's TIDESBritain Saved by a Full Moon
We to-day know that there is a direct relation between the moon
and tides. When Julius Caesar went to conquer Britain his transports
were wrecked because he did not know the tides on the
English coast; a knowledge of which might have changed the
whole course of history.
Read from Kelvin's TIDES ........................... Vol. 30, pp. 274-285
Aug 26: FROISSART'S CHRONICLESThe Prince of Wales Wins His Spurs
A brilliant victory for the English king was gained in this battle,
a fight in which vast numbers of French nobility, many princes,
and the aged King John of Bohemia were slain. Froissart describes
all in detail.
Read from FROISSART'S CHRONICLES ............... Vol. 35, pp. 27-33
Aug 27: Burns' POEMS AND SONGSPriceless Treasures of Memory
"A man's a man for a' that." "Should auld acquaintance be forgot."
"To see her is to love her and love but her forever." "Flow
gently, sweet Afton." Every stanza of Burns is treasured. How
many have you stored up?
Read from Burns' POEMS AND SONGS ......... Vol. 6, pp. 317, 417, 442, 511
Aug 28: Goethe's FAUSTThe World's Love Tragedy
"Almighty God, I am undone." With this cry of despair, Margaret
witnessed the fiendish work of Faust, her lover, who bartered
his immortal soul for worldly pleasure. A thrilling drama, based
on a famous medieval legend.
Read from Goethe's FAUST ................... Vol. 19, pp. 158-167
Aug 29: Plutarch's ANTONYCleopatra Bewitches Mark Antony
Cleopatra rode to meet Antony in a gilded barge with sails of
purple; oars of silver beat time to the music of flutes and fifes
and harps. She went as Venus, and her attendants were dressed
as Cupids and Nymphs.
Read from Plutarch's ANTONY .................. Vol. 12, pp. 339-349
Aug 30: Marcus Aurelius' MEDITATIONSSimple Life in a Palace
Every luxury, all the wealth in the world at his command—yet
Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of haughty Rome, led a simple life
even in a palace. He left his secret in his "Meditations."
Read from Marcus Aurelius' MEDITATIONS ...... Vol. 2, pp. 222-228
Aug 31: Emerson's AMERICAN SCHOLARAmerica's Greatest Thinker
Emerson was included in Dr. Eliot's recent selection of the
world's ten greatest educators of all time. Here the great thinker
discusses this force within man that makes him a scholar.
Read: Emerson's AMERICAN SCHOLAR ................ Vol. 3, pp. 5-15
Sep 1: Penn's SOME FRUITS OF SOLITUDEExpelled from College, Founded a City
While at Oxford, Penn rejected the student's gown and thereby
created a furore. Later he founded a city where he sought to
put his new ideas into practice.
Read from Penn's SOME FRUITS OF SOLITUDE ........ Vol. 1, pp. 321-331
Sep 2: Dryden's ALL FOR LOVEToo Great a Price for Love
While his soldiers fought the battle of Actium, Antony fled to
the arms of Cleopatra. By his flight he forfeited his right to an
empire. Dryden's story of Antony's love makes us realize the
folly of his infatuation for the Nile siren.
Read from Dryden's ALL FOR LOVE ........... Vol. 18, pp. 88-100
Sep 3: TREATY WITH GREAT BRITAINSeven Years to Reach England
Until 1783 the British refused to believe that the Liberty Bell
had rung. Then they signed a treaty formally recognizing the
Colonies as free and independent states.
Read: TREATY WITH GREAT BRITAIN (1783) ....... Vol. 43, pp. 174-179
Sep 4: Voltaire's LETTERS ON THE ENGLISH
Voltaire's daring courage led him to publish a series of letters
which contained unfavorable comparisons of French customs
with the English. For this he was threatened with the Bastille.
Read: Voltaire's LETTERS ON THE ENGLISH ...... Vol. 34, pp. 85-93
Sep 5: Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIESSurvival of the Fittest
Just as the individual has a definite length of life, so have species
a limited duration. The progress and transition of the world,
Darwin declares, will see the extinction of certain variants of
Read from Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES .......... Vol. 11 , pp. 353-357
Sep 6: Carlyle's SIR WALTER SCOTTThe Pride of All Scotchmen
Many sons of Scotland have striven eagerly for the great place
held by Sir Walter Scott. Carlyle describes the qualities that combined
to make him the idol of his people and the master of historical
Read Carlyle's SIR WALTER SCOTT ..................... Vol. 25, pp. 393-403
Sep 7: DESTRUCTION OF DA DERGA'S HOSTELThe King's Love
There she was undoing her hair—the loveliest woman the eyes of
men ever beheld, the light of wooing in her regal eyes. A longing
for her overwhelmed the warrior-king.
Read from DESTRUCTION OF DA DERGA'S HOSTEL ..... Vol. 49, pp. 199-209
Sep 8: Helmholtz's ICE AND GLACIERSWhen Europe Lay Under Ice
There was a time when the snow fell and did not melt in summer.
Then from the frozen north there descended huge masses
of ice that covered northern Europe and most of North America.
Glaciers reveal a new world to us.
Read from Helmholtz's ICE AND GLACIERS ...... Vol. 30, pp. 211-223
Sep 9: Emerson's NATUREWhen Nature Beckons
"There are days during the year," says Emerson, "when the
world of nature reaches perfection." Can anyone escape this call,
especially in the glorious Indian Summer?
Read: Emerson's NATURE ........................ Vol. 5, pp. 223-230
Sep 10: Holmes' POEMSFamous Poet-Physician
One of America's famous New Englanders, Oliver Wendell
Holmes, devoted his life principally to medicine. His name,
however, was made famous through his poem, "Old Ironsides,"
by which he saved America's most famous battleship from destruction
when her fighting days were ended.
Read: Holmes' POEMS ............................. Vol. 42, pp. 1365-1370
Sep 11: Adam Smith's WEALTH OF NATIONSWages—Why and How Much?
What regulates wages, on what do they depend? Adam Smith,
world's authority on economic problems, advances his theories
on these matters.
Read from Adam Smith's WEALTH OF NATIONS ...... Vol. 10, pp. 66-74
Sep 12: SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESELove Letters of Elizabeth Browning
In all literary history there is no happier love story than that of
Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning. During their secret
courtship Miss Barrett sent Browning many beautiful love letters
written in verse.
Read: SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESE ...... Vol. 41, pp. 923-932
Sep 13: Bunyan's PILGRIM'S PROGRESSGood That Came from a Game Pit
From cockfighting, bear baiting, and like sports, the wife of John
Bunyan converted him to a life of humility and reverence. While
imprisoned for preaching, he used his idle time in writing a fantastic
story of a soul's salvation—probably the most famous allegory
Read from Bunyan's PILGRIM'S PROGRESS ........... Vol. 15, pp. 13-23
Sep 14: Dante's DIVINE COMEDYDante and St. Peter
Dante, having journeyed through Hell and Purgatory, comes at
last to St. Peter on his throne. St. Peter calls for the aid of St.
James and St. John before passing final judgment on Dante's
Read from Dante's DIVINE COMEDY ............ Vol. 20, pp. 387-395
Sep 15: Washington's FAREWELL ADDRESSRefused to Serve Three Terms
George Washington retired to private life in 1796, entrusting
"the preservation of the Union" to the "love of liberty." His
last appeal is a vital message to American citizens, as pertinent
today as when he penned it.
Read: Washington's FAREWELL ADDRESS ......... Vol. 43, pp. 233-249
Sep 16: HOLINSHED'S CHRONICLESPenalty for Silence
"Such felons as stand mute [do not confess] are pressed to death
by huge weights laid upon a board that lieth over their breast
and a sharp stone under their backs." Old English punishments,
recorded by Holinshed, make startling reading.
Read from HOLINSHED'S CHRONICLES .............. Vol. 35, pp. 363-370
Sep 17: WHITTIER'S POEMSRomance on a New England Farm
"For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: 'It
might have been.' " On this theme Whittier based the story of
a fair farmer girl and a rich judge.
Read: WHITTIER'S POEMS .................... Vol. 42, pp. 1351-1364
Sep 18: Dana's TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MASTHome After Storms and Adventures
"Every sight was full of beauty. We were coming back to our
homes, and the signs of civilization from which we had been so
long banished—" wrote Dana, as his ship entered Boston Harbor.
Read from Dana's Two YEARS BEFORE THE MAST ....... Vol. 23, pp. 348-356
Sep 19: Cervantes' DON QUIXOTEHumor That Survived Slavery
Held as a Moorish slave for five years, Cervantes was submitted
to almost daily tortures. But even the horrors of slavery could
not dull his sense of humor, as evinced by his most witty and
Read from Cervantes' DON QUIXOTE .......... Vol. 14, pp. 48-54
Sep 20: THE KORANWomen's Rights in the Harem
The Koran defines the powers of a husband over his wives. Thus
a woman unfaithful to her lord may be walled up alive.
Read from THE KORAN ........................ Vol. 45, pp. 967-974
Sep 21: Virgil's AENEIDAeneas and the Old Witch
The Sybil, an old witch, personally conducts Aeneas through the
gate and into the jaws of hell, where terrors abound on every
hand and frightful mysterious forms rule. There he is told of
the greatness and glory that was to come.
Read from Virgil's AENEID ................... Vol. 13, pp. 207-218
Sep 22: FROISSART'S CHRONICLESA King for a Souvenir
In the days when kings rode to battle leading their troops it was
possible to make good the boast of the doughboy: "I'll bring you
a king for a souvenir."
Read from FROISSART'S CHRONICLES .............. Vol. 35, pp. 42-53
Sep 23: Montaigne's TO LEARN HOW TO DIEDying Concerns Every Man
The Romans made an art of dying. The Egyptians looked on
death with complacency. Moderns fear it. Montaigne argues
that the purpose of philosophy is to teach men how to die.
Read from Montaigne's To LEARN HOW TO DIE ...... Vol. 32, pp. 9-22
Sep 24: Plutarch's THEMISTOCLESCitizens Lured from Their Homes
When the serpent of Minerva disappeared from her temple, the
priests said that the goddess had left Athens for the sea. Moreover,
the oracles urged the Athenians to seek safety in their ships.
Themistocles prompted these deceits. Why?
Read from Plutarch's THEMISTOCLES ................ Vol. 12, pp. 13-23
Sep 25: Mill's AUTOBIOGRAPHYA Courtship of Twenty Years
John Stuart Mill in his autobiography boldly tells of his love for
his friend's wife. After twenty years, she was freed from her first
husband and was happily married to John Stuart Mill. Read the
account of Mill's courtship.
Read from Mill's AUTOBIOGRAPHY ......... Vol. 25, pp. 116-120, 149
Sep 26: Cervantes' DON QUIXOTEAnd the World Rocked with Laughter
The gaunt lunatic, Don Quixote, saw the world through glasses
colored with romanticism that had gone out of style hundreds of
years before he was born. Cervantes made the world laugh at
the exaggerated stories it had been devouring.
Read from Cervantes' DON QUIXOTE ............... Vol. 14, pp. 29-35
Sep 27: PASCAL'S THOUGHTSPascal's Fundamentals of Religion
To-day we have Fundamentalists and Modernists, each striving
for the same goal. Pascal, two hundred and fifty years ago, gave
his precepts of the fundamentals of religious thought.
Read from PASCAL'S THOUGHTS ................ Vol. 48, pp. 181-192
Sep 28: Pasteur's THE GERM THEORYHe Introduced the Germ
Proof that germs cause many contagious diseases was established
by Louis Pasteur. His discoveries revolutionized modern science
and lessened the ravages of every type of disease.
Read: Pasteur's THE GERM THEORY ................ Vol. 38, pp. 364-370
Sep 29: SAYINGS OF CONFUCIUSProphet of 400 Million People
Confucius was a Chinese magistrate in 500 B.C. He lost the favor
of the Emperor and wandered from city to city, teaching and giving
counsel. After his death, Emperor and people alike bowed
before his shrine.
Read from SAYINGS OF CONFUCIUS .................. Vol. 44, pp. 5-14
Sep 30: Emerson's MANNERSA Gentleman According to Emerson
An etiquette book and a good tailor do not always produce a
gentleman—neither does the Social Register include only gentlemen.
Emerson by quaint stories tells how fashion and manners
combine to make that rare product—a gentleman.
Read from Emerson's MANNERS ...................... Vol. 5, pp. 199-208
Oct 1: Machiavelli's THE PRINCEPrinces To-day and Yesterday
To-day the chief duty of a prince is to be the nation's friend
maker. Years ago princes desired supreme power and, by fair
means or foul, strove for control. Machiavelli was a guide for
such ambitious princes.
Read from Machiavelli's THE PRINCE ........ Vol. 36, pp. 36-44
Oct 2: Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLEVeteran Tells of Indian War
Just before Darwin visited Bahia Blanca, an Indian insurrection
had been ruthlessly put down. A veteran of the Indian war told
Darwin how Indians had been treated.
Read from Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE ...... Vol. 29, pp. 107-111
Oct 3: CHAUCER'S POEMSGood Enough for Chaucer
When polite English society conversed in French—considering
English a vulgar tongue, fit only for servants and working people—
Chaucer, nevertheless, wrote poems in this "vulgar" English,
which charm us because of their quaint words.
Read: CHAUCER'S POEMS ........................ Vol. 40, pp. 11-20
Oct 4: Plutarch's DEMOSTHENESHis Mouth Full of Pebbles
The man who put pebbles in his mouth and orated to the sea,
shaved one-half of his head so that he would be obliged to stay
at home until he had perfected his oratory—a strange method of
attaining eminence, but a successful one.
Read from Plutarch's DEMOSTHENES ............. Vol. 12, pp. 196-205
Oct 5: Newman's UNIVERSITY LIFE AT ATHENSAmateur Athlete in Old Athens
A boxer in public games desired to study philosophy at Athens.
There were no furnaces to tend, no tables to wait on, no books
or magazines to peddle, yet this sturdy young Greek managed
to work his way through college.
Read from Newman's UNIVERSITY LIFE AT ATHENS ....... Vol. 28, pp. 51-61
Oct 6: Burke's REVOLUTION IN FRANCEThe Atrocious Spectacle of October 6th
Wakened by the death cries of her sentry, Marie Antoinette,
Queen of France, fled by a secret passage from the fury of a vile
mob. The royal family was arrested and taken to Paris to await
Read from Burke's REVOLUTION IN FRANCE ........ Vol. 24, pp. 208-217
Oct 7: THE JOURNAL OF JOHN WOOLMANAn Uncanonized American Saint
John Woolman was the foremost leader of the early Quakers
and contributed much to the spiritual life of the American Colonies.
He was a pioneer in the crusade against slavery.
Read from THE JOURNAL OF JOHN WOOLMAN .......... Vol. 1, pp. 283-288
Oct 8: Fielding's PREFACE TO JOSEPH ANDREWSFielding's Parody Becomes History
Fielding wrote a lengthy story to burlesque a novel of Richardson.
But the travesty overshot its mark. Instead of a mere parody,
it became a masterpiece.
Read: Fielding's PREFACE TO JOSEPH ANDREWS ...... Vol. 39, pp. 176-181
Oct 9: LATIN HYMNSSongs Shake the Walls of Jericho
Do you know that many of your favorite hymns have echoed
for hundreds of years through vast cathedrals, and resounded
from the walls of Jericho during the Crusades?
Read: LATIN HYMNS ........... Vol. 45, pp. 546-556; also pp. 567-568
Oct 10: Cervantes' DON QUIXOTEA Fugitive in Boy's Clothes
The romance-stricken Don Quixote sees a fair youth seated by the
side of a stream, "his feet like two crystals, his hands like snowflakes."
The youth was a charming girl!
Read from Cervantes' DON QUIXOTE ................ Vol. 14, pp. 252-266
Oct 11: Virgil's AENEIDAeneas Flees from an Inconsolable Love
Aeneas, mythological founder of the Roman race, leaving Carthage
and its lovely Queen Dido, was driven by a storm to the
coast of Sicily. There the hospitality of King Acestes helped
him to forget his relinquished love.
Read from Virgil's AENEID ....................... Vol. 13, pp. 178-188
Oct 12: LETTER OF COLUMBUS
Columbus' Letter Miraculously Found
Historical documents, now priceless, were often used as wrapping
paper. Rescued by chance was a letter of Columbus telling of
his voyages—of the amazing bargains made with timid natives—
of Amazon women who fought like men and made marriage
treaties with cannibals.
Read: LETTER OF COLUMBUS..................... Vol. 43, pp. 21-27
Oct 13: Marcus Aurelius' MEDITATIONS
Pagan Virtue Perpetuated
A man of virtue, although a pagan, Marcus Aurelius ruled with
benevolence and wisdom. Cruel in persecution of Christians as
lawbreakers, no trace of this sternness appears in his writings.
Read from Marcus Aurelius' MEDITATIONS .......... Vol. 2, pp. 193-199
Oct 14: Adam Smith's WEALTH OF NATIONS
No Spice and Little Gold
All colonies are founded to gain territory or treasure. Spain
expected spice and gold from Columbus's expedition, but got no
spice and little gold. Adam Smith tells the true motive of the
colonizing Greeks, Romans, English, and Spaniards.
Read from Adam Smith's WEALTH OF NATIONS ......... Vol. 10, pp. 395-404
Oct 15: VESPUCCI'S ACCOUNT OF HIS FIRST VOYAGE
First Families of America
"They are a people smooth and clean of body because of continually
washing themselves—they eat all their enemies whom
they kill or capture." Amerigo Vespucci thus writes of the New
Read: VESPUCCI'S ACCOUNT OF HIS FIRST VOYAGE ....... Vol. 43, pp. 28-44
Oct 16: HIPPOCRATES' OATH AND LAW
When Medicine Was a Mystery
Once physicians treated the sick with a mixture of medicine and
charms. In those days medicine was regarded as a dark art like
magic, and those practicing it formed guilds to protect themselves.
Read: HIPPOCRATES' OATH AND LAW ................ Vol. 38, pp. 3-5
Oct 17: Browne's RELIGIO MEDICI
Reason His Only Religion
The religion of Thomas Browne—a liberal man in a most intolerant
time—was not taken from either Rome or Geneva, but
from his own reason.
Read from Browne's RELIGIO MEDICI ................ Vol. 3, pp. 253-265
Oct 18: SHELLEY'S POEMS
"If Winter Comes"
From the title of a recently popular novel, we know that one
prominent fiction writer of to-day was inspired by the verses of
Shelley. Many others have also felt the stirring vigor of his poetry.
What is your reaction?
Read: SHELLEY'S POEMS .......................... Vol. 41, pp. 829-835
Oct 19: Hunt's ESSAYS
Virtue in Smiles
Weep if you must. It is far better than to repress your tears.
But Leigh Hunt finds greater virtue in cheerfulness. Fanciful
and graceful—his writings exerted a wholesome influence on all
nineteenth century journalism.
Read: Hunt's ESSAYS ........................... Vol. 27, pp. 285-295
Oct 20: Homer's ODYSSEUS
Odysseus Adrift on a Raft
The gods met in council and decreed that Odysseus be set adrift.
Poseidon, God of the Sea, shattered the raft and Odysseus was cast
ashore to encounter further adventures.
Read from Homer's ODYSSEUS .......................... Vol. 22, pp. 68-80
Oct 21: Cicero's ON OLD AGE
No Fault to Find with Old Age
Cicero agrees with Browning that old age is the golden time of
life, when the fruits of a well-spent life are harvested. Cicero,
the wise Roman, welcomed old age for its gifts: wisdom, sound
judgment, and contentment.
Read from Cicero's ON OLD AGE ................ Vol. 9, pp. 45-56
Oct 22: Thackeray's JONATHAN SWIFT
Swift's Love Problems
Swift was embarrassed by two women; Stella, whom he really
loved, and Vanessa, with whom he had flirted and who had
taken him seriously. Marriage to either one would break the
heart of the other.
Read from Thackeray's JONATHAN SWIFT ........... Vol. 28, pp. 23-28
Oct 23: Plutarch's CAESAR
When Caesar Turned the Tables
When only a boy, Caesar was captured by pirates. While awaiting
ransom he entered into every sport and game with them. Once
freed, he quickly returned with forces that captured the outlaws.
Then he took deliberate revenge.
Read from Plutarch's CESAR .................... Vol. 12, pp. 264-273
Oct 24: Aeschylus' AGAMEMNONClytemnestra Meets Her Rival
Cassandra knew through a prophetic vision that a sword would
pierce her heart. Agamemnon, her captor, took her to his home
where an avenging wife, Clytemnestra, awaited. The tragedies
of the doom that requited the sins of the House of Atreus are
among the most powerful ever written.
Read from Aeschylus' AGAMEMNON .............. Vol. 8, pp. 52-64
Oct 25: Macaulay's MACHIAVELLI
Greatly Encouraged Intrigue
After the publication of Machiavelli's " The Prince," the Sultans
became more addicted to strangling their brothers, tyrants became
more merciless, and murderous plots increased. The
influence of that book, as Macaulay points out, spread over Europe
Read from Macaulay's MACHIAVELLI ................ Vol. 27, pp. 363-372
Oct 26: Franklin's AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Franklin Learned the Secret
Poor at twenty, rich at forty, internationally famous at fifty. Benjamin
Franklin once walked the streets of Philadelphia alone,
poor, and with no education. Yet he rose to be a leader because
he learned the secret of careful reading.
Read from Franklin's AUTOBIOGRAPHY ................... Vol. 1, pp. 14-21
Oct 27: BUDDHIST WRITINGS
Fruit of Seven Years' Silence
Siddhartha Gautama, who became the god Buddha, renounced
the world and spent seven years in meditation. Then one day,
while sitting under a fig tree, he became inspired with exalted
and sublime conceptions of life and death. The rest of his life
was spent in teaching and converting mankind.
Read from BUDDHIST WRITINGS ............... Vol. 45, pp. 661-674
Oct 28: SOME THOUGHTS CONCERNING EDUCATION
How Dice Taught Spelling
Locke taught children by means of games. He tells of a game
whereby children were taught to spell with dice on which the
letters of the alphabet were pasted. This was more than 200 years
before modern kindergarten methods. Today's children would
respond to such wise direction as Locke recommends.
Read: SOME THOUGHTS CONCERNING EDUCATION ......... Vol. 37, pp. 128-136
Oct 29: KEATS' POEMSGenius Rises from a Stable
Though the son of a stable man, John Keats wrote the most exquisite
and sublime poetry in our language. He was the friend
of Shelley, Lord Byron, and the other literary leaders of the time—
his genius recognized by all.
Read: KEATS' POEMS ................................ Vol. 41, pp. 874-882
Oct 30: Lyell's THE PROGRESS OF GEOLOGY
Geology's Greatest Benefactor
Lyell has been called the founder of modern geology. Darwin,
the master scientist, called h im "Geology's Greatest Benefactor."
Lyell's research revolutionized ideas on that subject.
Read from Lyell's THE PROGRESS OF GEOLOGY ........... Vol. 38, pp. 385-391
Oct 31: BURNS' POEMSWitches Walk To-night
Beware of magic! Once a year uneasy spirits are released and
walk the earth from midnight until dawn. Spooks and goblins
invade the most secure homes and the canniest must watch out
for danger lurking in every dark corner.
Read from BURNS' POEMS ........................... Vol. 6, pp. 110-119
Nov 1: Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST
Last Strokes of Shakespeare's Pen
Monsters of the earth, weird creatures of the air, magic romance,
and shipwreck are mingled by a master hand in his thrilling
drama. The fanciful, enchanting "Tempest" is the last work
of the great bard of Stratford.
Read from Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST ........... Vol. 46, pp. 397-410
Nov 2: Dante's DIVINE COMEDY
Journey Through a Hot Country
Dante recorded the awful scenes of a journey through the pits
of the underworld, and wrote in such a vivid, realistic way that
men tremble at the terrors depicted.
Read from Dante's DIVINE COMEDY ............. Vol. 20, pp. 13-20
Nov 3: Pliny's LETTERS
Letters to an Emperor
Pliny sought the advice of the Emperor Trajan for dealing with
the Christians who were alarmingly on the increase. He casually
relates how he had tortured two Christians.
Read from Pliny's LETTERS .................... Vol. 9, pp. 404-406
Nov 4: Corneille's POLYEUCTE
Gold or Glory?
Polyeucte, an Armenian noble, wanted to become a Christian. If
he were baptized, he would have to give up his high position,
his wealth and his pagan wife. Was the heavenly crown worth
Read from Corneille's POLYEUCTE ............. Vol. 26, pp. 87-97
Nov 5: Roper's LIFE OF SIR THOMAS MORE
Costly Opinion on Divorce
A divorce always means trouble for some one. So with Sir
Thomas More when he refused to agree with King Henry over
the king's separation. More was made to pay one of the highest
prices ever paid for a difference of opinion.
Read from Roper's LIFE OF SIR THOMAS MORE ........ Vol. 36, pp. 89-99
Nov 6: Faraday's FORCE OF GRAVITATION
A Genius Needs Few Tools
Two sticks, a table, and a pail were the commonplace implements
used by Michael Faraday to demonstrate great scientific truths.
Read: Faraday's FORCE OF GRAVITATION .......... Vol. 30, pp. 13-21
Nov 7: THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS
The Voice from a Stone-Dead City
Suddenly all the sinful city's inhabitants were turned to stone.
When a beautiful woman from Bagdad came to the dead city,
night overtook her there. Sleeping in the palace, she was awakened
by a man's voice calling.
Read from THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS ........ Vol. 16, pp. 100-107
Nov 8: Milton's PARADISE REGAINED
Blind But Unconquered
Milton's indomitable courage kept him at his work even after he
lost his sight. Blind, he dictated a sequel to his "Paradise Lost,"
which he called "Paradise Regained."
Read from Milton's PARADISE REGAINED ........ Vol. 4, pp. 359-369
Nov 9: THE PSALMS
Once War Songs, Now Pious Prayers
The Psalms have been an inspiration to men in many ages. They
have become so associated with the peaceful spirit of Christianity
that we forget some of them were once war songs and songs of
Read from THE PSALMS .......................... Vol. 44, pp. 318-327
Nov 10: Goldsmith's THE DESERTED VILLAGE
A Poet Who Piped for His Supper
Goldsmith traveled through Belgium, France, and Italy, winning
his daily bread by playing at farmhouses. He wrote the
most brilliant comedy, the best novel, and the finest poem of
Read: Goldsmith's THE DESERTED VILLACE ......... Vol. 41, pp. 509-520
Nov 11: WHITMAN'S POEMS
America's Doughboy Glorified
The youth of America—typified in the doughboy of the past
war—was gloriously portrayed by Walt Whitman. He also sang
of the vast plains and the beauty of America.
Read: WHITMAN'S POEMS ................. Vol. 42, pp. 1402-1412
Nov 12: Milton's PARADISE LOST
Story of the First Dresses
Milton's version tells how the Serpent induced Eve to eat the
forbidden fruit. Eve offered it to Adam. Then they became
conscious for the first time that they were not clothed.
Read from Milton's PARADISE LOST ............ Vol. 4, pp. 278-290
Nov 13: CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTINE
When Carthage Was Monte Carlo
Carthage was the playground of the ancient world. In that city
of many sins, Augustine was a leader of the revels. His conversion
to Christianity amazed those who knew him.
Read from the CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTINE ...... Vol. 7, pp. 31-38
Nov 14: Lyell's UNIFORMITY OF CHANGE
He Worried About It
We wonder if the man who worried about the "scientifical" prediction
that "The sun's heat will give out in ten million years
more," had read Lyell on the gradual changes in the earth's
Read: Lyell's UNIFORMITY OF CHANGE ............... Vol. 38, pp. 398-405
Nov 15: Manzoni's I PROMESSI SPOSI
Food Profiteers 300 Years Ago
Food profiteering was as active in plague-stricken Milan 300 years
ago as in modern times. Shops were stormed for food. Read how
the Council strove heroically to fix fair rates.
Read from Manzoni's I PROMESSI SPOSI ............. Vol. 21, pp. 450-460
Nov 16: TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST
Just Before the Gold Rush
When the glorious Western coast was only partly settled, Dana
visited the Presidios. He saw frontier life at a time when Spanish
splendor still gilded California.
Read from Two YEARS BEFORE THE MAST .......... Vol. 23, pp. 164-168
Nov 17: Carlyle's SIR WALTER SCOTT
At Thirty Scott Began to Write
Are you curious about famous people, their lives, habits, personalities?
Carlyle discusses the intimate life of his illustrious countryman,
and reveals Scott, the man, and Scott, the genius who
entertained Christendom with his stories.
Read: Carlyle's SIR WALTER SCOTT ..................... Vol. 25, pp. 410-420
Nov 18: Schiller's WILHELM TELL
Apple or Son the Arrow's Mark
The arrow shot from his bow with a twang and whizzed through
the air. Tell covered his eyes, fearing to see where the arrow hit.
Then the shout of triumph, a shout of the people and not of the
tyrant—but the end was not yet.
Read from Schiller's WILHELM TELL ................. Vol. 26, pp. 441-449
Nov 19: Tennyson's MORTE D'ARTHUR
No Man Knows His Resting Place
A barge with black sails bearing three black robed queens with
crowns of gold carried away the dying King Arthur. Will they
bring him back and fulfill Merlin's prophecy?
Read: Tennyson's MORTE D'ARTHUR ............ Vol. 42, pp. 986-992
Nov 20: GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES
Old Stories Ever New
When the cold winds howled about the thatched huts of the
German peasant, the mother drew her children to her side and
told them stories. Collected and retold by the Grimm brothers,
these stories have perennial charm.
Read from GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES ................. Vol. 17, pp. 90-98
Nov 21: Voltaire's LETTERS
Bargains in Wives
The beautiful daughters of the Circassians were in demand for
the seraglios of the Turkish Sultan. Voltaire tells how these
beauties were protected from smallpox centuries before modern
Read from Voltaire's LETTERS .................... Vol. 34, pp. 93-97
Nov 22: Virgil's AENEID
How a Queen Died for Love
Deserted by her lover, Queen Dido applied to her heart the only
balm that could ease her pain.
Read from Virgil's AENEID .......................... Vol. 13, pp. 167-177
Nov 23: PASCAL'S THOUGHTS
Less Than Star Dust
According to Pascal, a man is not even as significant as a speck
of star dust in the universe. Pascal's thoughts on the subject are
startling to the modern reader, and they furnish rich food for
Read from PASCAL'S THOUGHTS .................... Vol. 48, pp. 26-36
Nov 24: Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES
The Book that Upset Tennessee
The signal for the beginning of a great controversy, still raging,
was the publication of Darwin's "Origin of Species." This was
the first complete statement of the evolution theory, which had
been privately advanced but never publicly taught. A new epoch
in science dates from this great work.
Read from Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES ............. Vol. 11, pp. 23-30
Nov 25: Dekker's THE SHOEMAKER'S HOLIDAY
Cupid as a Shoemaker
We are indebted to Thomas Dekker for one of the most humorous
characters in all Elizabethan literature; namely, Simon Eyre, an
old shoemaker whose affairs became hilariously involved with
those of the gentry.
Read from Dekker's THE SHOEMAKER'S HOLIDAY ......... Vol. 47, pp. 469-483
Nov 26: Lamb ON THE TRAGEDIES OF SHAKESPEARE
Shakespeare Should Be Heard
Charles Lamb, favorite essayist, thought that no stage could do
justice to Shakespeare's tragedies. He advocated reading the
plays, and with the imagination costuming the players and building
the gorgeous scenery in a way equaled by no scene painter
Read: Lamb ON THE TRAGEDIES OF SHAKESPEARE .............. Vol. 27, pp. 299-310
Nov 27: Sir Thomas More's UTOPIA
What Land is This?
In wondrous Utopia pearls and precious stones were used as
playthings for little children. Gold rings and bracelets were only
worn by outcasts, while great golden chains shackled criminals
and felons. When ambassadors from foreign lands came in fine
raiment, the Utopians treated the plainest dressed as the greatest;
the others seemed to them like children.
Read from Sir Thomas More's UTOPIA ............... Vol. 36, pp. 191-204
Nov 28: BLAKE'S POEMS
Poems Made from Visions
"To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower—"
Such was the exaltation of the mysticism of William Blake, who
reflected in his poetry the ecstasy of his visions. Simplicity is the
keynote of his genius.
Read: BLAKE'S POEMS .......................... Vol. 41, pp. 583-592
Nov 29: Hume's OF THE ORIGIN OF IDEAS
How Ideas Originate
Did you ever stop to think just how you thought? What inner
emotions, what outer influences make up the fathomless depths
of mind and intellect? Hume explains how we draw our
thoughts, then clumsily put them into tangible shape called ideas.
Read: Hume's OF THE ORIGIN OF IDEAS ............... Vol. 37, pp. 299-303
Nov 30: Swift's ESSAY ON CONVERSATION
"Don'ts" for Conversation
To harp on one's illnesses, giving all the symptoms and circumstances,
has been a blemish on conversation for ages. Two
hundred years ago Swift complained of persons who continually
talked about themselves.
Read: Swift's ESSAY ON CONVERSATION .............. Vol. 27, pp. 91-98
Dec 1: Berkeley's THREE DIALOGUES
Are Skeptics Faulty Thinkers?
Offhand we say a skeptic is one who doubts everything. But
does he? And are his doubts caused by too much learning, or too
little? Berkeley presents both sides of skepticism.
Read from Berkeley's THREE DIALOGUES ............. Vol. 37, pp. 189-199
Dec 2: THE HOLY GRAIL
Practical Jokes in King Arthur's Day
Attacked in fun by two masked knights, Sir Galahad smote one
so that both horse and rider went down. Turning on the other
jester, he slashed open his helmet.
Read from THE HOLY GRAIL ................ Vol. 35, pp. 128-134
Dec 3: THE BIRTH OF THE BUDDHA
Met the Gods of Ten Thousand Worlds
After three awesome messengers have issued three warnings, the
gods of ten thousand worlds decide who is to be the new Buddha.
Then the parents, the conception, the birth of the god-child demand
Read: THE BIRTH OF THE BUDDHA ................... Vol. 45, pp. 603-612
Dec 4: Virgil's AENEID
The Queen Weds a Poor Stranger
Aeneas and Dido, world-famous lovers, while hunting in the
forest, were trapped in a cave by a furious storm. There the
marriage between the proud African queen and the homeless
wanderer was completed.
Read from Virgil's AENEID ................... Vol. 13, pp. 152-162
Dec 5: CHRISTINA ROSSETTI'S POEMS
Poems by an Artist's Model
So beautiful that many painters sought her for a model—
Christina Rossetti, sister of the famous poet, Dante Rossetti, combined
with her unusual beauty a rare poetic sense.
Read: CHRISTINA ROSSETTI'S POEMS .................... Vol. 42, pp. 1181-1183
Dec 6: Addison's ESSAYS
Moralizing as a Seductive Art
"The Vision of Mirza" and "Westminster Abbey," first printed
in "The Spectator," are examples of Addison's wondrous gift
of expression. He leads us to higher realms.
Read: Addison's ESSAYS ...................... Vol. 27, pp. 73-80
Dec 7: Plutarch's CICERO
What Cicero Least Expected
After being governor of Sicily, Cicero returned to Rome expecting
a hero's welcome. When he asked what the Romans thought
of his recent achievements, he received an astounding answer.
Read from Plutarch's CICERO ...................... Vol. 12, pp. 222-231
Dec 8: LEVANA AND OUR LADIES OF SORROW
Dream Women Shaped His Destiny
De Quincy imagined that three women were sent to him so that
he might know the depths of his soul. Real women could not
have wielded greater influence. It is fortunate that everyone does
not meet these weird women.
Read: LEVANA AND OUR LADIES OF SORROW ................ Vol. 27, pp. 319-325
Dec 9: THE FUGITIVE SLAVE ACT
Slavery's Last Stand
By the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 stringent laws were made to
prevent assistance being given to any slaves attempting to escape.
The antislavery answer to these laws was a perfection of the
Read: THE FUGITIVE SLAVE ACT ..................... Vol. 43, pp. 306-312
Dec 10: CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Benvenuto Boasts of Gallantry
Taking offense at a soldier who made advances toward his
favorite lady, Cellini jumped from the window, knife in hand,
to avenge himself. This incident was recorded with characteristic
conceit by Cellini in his amazing diary.
Read from CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY ............... Vol. 31, pp. 62-72
Dec 11: Plutarch's ALCIBIADESThe Most Dashing Figure in Athens
The handsome Alcibiades, cunning in politics, bold in war, was
the lion of Athenian society until he violated the secrets of a
mysterious religious cult. Then all outraged Athens united to
dash their idol to the ground.
Read from Plutarch's ALCIBIADES ............... Vol. 12, pp. 106-117
Dec 12: BROWNING'S POEMS
How the Glorious News was Carried to Aix
Three brave men began the heroic ride from Ghent to Aix. Only
one man arrived to tell the thrilling story of the tempestuous
ride. In one of his most bewitching poems, in lines that haunt
the memory, Browning retells the story.
Read: BROWNING'S POEMS ................ Vol. 42, pp. 1066-1068
Dec 13: DRAKE'S VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD
To the South Seas with the Gallant Drake
A famous voyage was Sir Francis Drake's around the world.
Drake's crew, the first white men to visit many parts of the
world, received amazing receptions from the natives.
Read from DRAKE'S VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD ........ Vol. 33, pp. 199-208
Dec 14: MARVELL'S POEMS
Pastoral Poems and Politics
The many-sided Marvell, who wielded a pen that was both
feared and courted, is seen at his best in stirring verse. "A
Garden," "Prospect of Flowers," with the "Horatian Ode upon
Cromwell," show the power of his genius.
Read: MARVELL'S POEMS .................... Vol. 40, pp. 370-379
Dec 15: Homer's ODYSSEY
Odysseus Talks with Ghosts
This is another of those marvelous and unforgetable tales of the
wandering Odysseus. The fantasy takes him into regions where
he discourses with deceased heroes.
Read from Homer's ODYSSEY ................... Vol. 22, pp. 145-153
Dec 16: Burke's THE SUBLIME AND BEAUTIFUL
How Man's Courtship Differs from Animal's
Beauty is an important factor in the attraction between man and
woman. It is knowing beauty that differentiates man from the
animals, which only require that their mates be of the same
Read from Burke's THE SUBLIME AND BEAUTIFUL ............ Vol. 24, pp. 37-48
Dec 17: CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTINE
Dies on the Eve of Her Son's Conversion
The mother of St. Augustine prayed unceasingly for her son's
conversion. The most touching, most soul-revealing writing St.
Augustine did is in the description of his mother's death.
Read from CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTINE .......... Vol. 7, pp. 150-160
Dec 18: SOME THOUGHTS CONCERNING EDUCATION
For a Gentleman
Every schoolboy asks: "What's the use of learning Latin?"
John Locke, one of the greatest educators of all time, maintains
that Latin is absolutely essential to a well-bred gentleman, and
Read from SOME THOUGHTS CONCERNING EDUCATION ............ Vol. 37, pp. 136-145
Dec 19: Milton's SAMSON AGONISTES
Samson Finds a Champion
The mighty Samson was blinded while a captive of the
Philistines. He sought revenge—a revenge devastating and cosdy.
Milton, himself a giant of intellect, blind and imprisoned, wrote
of this sightless giant of other days.
Read: Milton's SAMSON AGONISTES ................ Vol. 4, pp. 444-459
Dec 20: Herodotus' AN ACCOUNT OF EGYPT
Egypt Visited by the First Reporter
All phases of life were pictured by Herodotus in his history.
Like a modern newspaper reporter, he combines weird stories,
scandals, and battle accounts with descriptions of places, persons,
and sights about town.
Read from Herodotus' AN ACCOUNT OF EGYPT ............ Vol. 33, pp. 7-17
Dec 21: Bunyan's PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
"Madam Bubble" Not to Be Discouraged
"Madam Bubble," or this vain world, presented both herself and
her purse to the wayfarer. Repulsed and scorned, yet she serenely
flaunts her bribes enticingly before his bewildered eyes.
Read from Bunyan's PILGRIM'S PROGRESS ............. Vol. 15, pp. 306-318
Dec 22: Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE
Rubbing Noses in New Zealand
Darwin, in exploring New Zealand, finds cannibalism, tattooing,
and many weird customs among the natives. Instead of shaking
hands, the salutation is by rubbing noses.
Read from Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE ........... Vol. 29, pp. 425-434
Dec 23: Sainte-Beuve's WHAT IS A CLASSIC?
Saved from a Bonfire of Books
If all the books in the world were on fire, some men would risk
their lives to save certain priceless writings: the world's classics.
Sainte-Beuve here tells why.
Read: Sainte-Beuve's WHAT IS A CLASSIC? ............ Vol. 32, pp. 121-133
Dec 24: HOLINSHED'S CHRONICLES
Christmas Made a Dull Day
Before the Reformation in England almost every third day was
a holy day. But the Puritans abolished all the holy days, even
Read from HOLINSHED'S CHRONICLES .......... Vol. 35, pp. 266-270
Dec 25: GOSPEL OF ST. LUKE
The Christmas Story
Luke was a Greek physician, a man of culture, trained in the
best universities of the ancient world. He became imbued with
the spirit of Christ, and wrote the most beautiful story of the
birth and life of Jesus.
Read from the GOSPEL OF ST. LUKE ........... Vol. 44, pp. 357-360
Dec 26: Shakespeare's KING LEAR
Silence Cost Her a Kingdom
Cordelia, daughter of old King Lear, could not convince her
father of her love for him. Afterward, when misfortunes made
him accept her aid, he learned too late of her real devotion.
Read from Shakespeare's KING LEAR .......... Vol. 46, pp. 288-300
Dec 27: Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE
It was the new-old lands that Darwin visited on his voyage of
the "Beagle." The strange specimens of prehistoric life he saw
there made the world gape and shudder.
Read from Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE ......... Vol. 29, pp. 376-389
Dec 28: DRAKE'S GREAT ARMADA
Ho! for the Spanish Main!
Drake with a fleet of twenty-five ships and twenty-three hundred
men sets sail to plunder and lay waste Spain's treasure hoards in
the New World. Gold and silver bar, nuggets and jewels awaited
the bold adventurers.
Read from DRAKE'S GREAT ARMADA ............. Vol. 33, pp. 229-240
Dec 29: Homer's ODYSSEY
These Guests Outstayed Their Welcome
After twenty years' absence, Odysseus returned home to find his
house filled with strangers rioting and wasting his treasure.
Crafty Odysseus, with the aid of his son and the gods, devised a
bold plan to rid his home of the unwelcome guests.
Read from Homer's ODYSSEY ...................... Vol. 22, pp. 296-309
Dec 30: Dana's TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST
Dana Meets a Tattooed Sailor
Dana's description of the picturesque, pre-gold-rush California
is unique. While he was on the Pacific coast he met a British
sailor who was elaborately tattooed and of an unforgetable appearance
Read from Dana's Two YEARS BEFORE THE MAST ............... Vol. 23, pp. 77-86
Dec 31: Carlyle's INAUGURAL ADDRESS
Curiosity and Interest as Guides to Reading
The most unhappy man, Carlyle says, is the man who has no
real work—no interest in life. To avoid this miserable state, he
advises faithful and diligent reading along the lines dictated by
curiosity and interest.
Read from Carlyle's INAUGURAL ADDRESS ............ Vol. 25, pp. 364-374