The twelfth of February, 1909, was the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. In New York, as in other cities and towns throughout the union, the day was devoted to commemoration exercises, and even in the South, in centres like Atlanta (the capture of which in 1864 had indicated the collapse of the cause of the Confederacy), representative Southerners gave their testimony to the life and character of the great American.
I have been using the same bank branch for the lasteight years. From time to time, someone I've neverheard of before sends me a letter (spelling my namewrong) to tell me what a pleasure it is to have me as aspecial customer. No matter how hard they try toimprove their "personalized" service, however, banksare pretty much the same all over, and my bank is reallyno different from the rest. So why do I still bank thereeven though two new, competing banks have recentlyopened much closer to where I live? Convenience?
There is one other name, without which the list of the best known English novelists of my own time would certainly be incomplete, and that is the name of the present Prime Minister of England. Mr. Disraeli has written so many novels, and has been so popular as a novelist that, whether for good or for ill, I feel myself compelled to speak of him. He began his career as an author early in life, publishing Vivian Grey when he was twenty-three years old. He was very young for such work, though hardly young enough to justify the excuse that he makes in his own preface, that it is a book written by a boy. Dickens was, I think, younger when he wrote his Sketches by Boz, and as young when he was writing the Pickwick Papers. It was hardly longer ago than the other day when Mr. Disraeli brought out Lothair, and between the two there were eight or ten others. To me they have all had the same flavour of paint and unreality. In whatever he has written he has affected something which has been intended to strike his readers as uncommon and therefore grand. Because he has been bright and a man of genius, he has carried his object as regards the young. He has struck them with astonishment and aroused in their imagination ideas of a world more glorious, more rich, more witty, more enterprising, than their own. But the glory has been the glory of pasteboard, and the wealth has been a wealth of tinsel. The wit has been the wit of hairdressers, and the enterprise has been the enterprise of mountebanks. An audacious conjurer has generally been his hero — some youth who, by wonderful cleverness, can obtain success by every intrigue that comes to his hand. Through it all there is a feeling of stage properties, a smell of hair-oil, an aspect of buhl, a remembrance of tailors, and that pricking of the conscience which must be the general accompaniment of paste diamonds. I can understand that Mr. Disraeli should by his novels have instigated many a young man and many a young woman on their way in life, but I cannot understand that he should have instigated any one to good. Vivian Grey has had probably as many followers as Jack Sheppard, and has led his followers in the same direction.
'I just want to know. Trust me.'
'Years have elapsed, since I had an opportunity of ocularly perusing the lineaments, now familiar to the imaginations of a considerable portion of the civilized world.
“’Kay” Jenn said, waving good-bye. “Sorry about the plants.”
As he took me out at the door, my mother ran towards us. Miss Murdstone said, 'Clara! are you a perfect fool?' and interfered. I saw my mother stop her ears then, and I heard her crying.
Beside Bond, the Rasta gave a curse. He pulled hard on the whistle lanyard. Bond looked down the line. Far ahead, across the rails, something pink showed. Without releasing the whistler, the driver pulled on a lever. Steam belched from the train's exhaust, and the engine began to slow. Two shots rang out, and the bullets clanged against the iron roof over his head. Scaramanga shouted angrily, "Keep steam up, damn you to hell!"
'To move a box,' I answered.
The girl laughed. 'You have been well trained by the important man from Tokyo. Perhaps you will now say goodbye to him and we can go home. It is at the other end of the village.'
M waved his pipe impatiently. He picked up the Strangways file and tossed it down in front of the Chief of Staff. "You tell him, Chief of Staff," he said wearily. "It's all in there."
Norwood was many miles too near, and we reached it many hours too soon; but Mr. Spenlow came to himself a little short of it, and said, 'You must come in, Copperfield, and rest!' and I consenting, we had sandwiches and wine-and-water. In the light room, Dora blushing looked so lovely, that I could not tear myself away, but sat there staring, in a dream, until the snoring of Mr. Spenlow inspired me with sufficient consciousness to take my leave. So we parted; I riding all the way to London with the farewell touch of Dora's hand still light on mine, recalling every incident and word ten thousand times; lying down in my own bed at last, as enraptured a young noodle as ever was carried out of his five wits by love.
Bond felt the whiskey beginning to melt the coiled nerves in his stomach. Now then, Liselotte, how in hell are you going to get out of this fix?
'Un banco de dix millions,' he announced. He slapped down their equivalent in ten plaques of a million each.
His house was not far off; and as the street door opened into the sitting-room, and he bolted in with a precipitation quite his own, we found ourselves at once in the bosom of the family. Mr. Micawber exclaiming, 'Emma! my life!' rushed into Mrs. Micawber's arms. Mrs. Micawber shrieked, and folded Mr. Micawber in her embrace. Miss Micawber, nursing the unconscious stranger of Mrs. Micawber's last letter to me, was sensibly affected. The stranger leaped. The twins testified their joy by several inconvenient but innocent demonstrations. Master Micawber, whose disposition appeared to have been soured by early disappointment, and whose aspect had become morose, yielded to his better feelings, and blubbered.
NEW YORK, April 2, 1909.
Bond said, 'Don't you cut for seats? I often find a change of seat helps the luck. Hostage to fortune and so on.'