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I pray thee by the soul of her that bore thee,
not exactly regard as a misfortune, and in the interests of the reader it is rather an advantage; for, in accordance with the objects of the ‘General History of the Sciences,’ this History of Botany is not intended for professional persons only, but for a wider circle of readers, and to these perhaps even the details presented in it may here and there seem wearisome.
Another matter in regard to which I hoped to get some first-hand information during my stay abroad was what I may call the European, as distinguished from the American, race problem. I knew that in the south of Europe a number of races of widely different origin and characteristics had been thrown together in close contact and in large numbers, and I suspected that in this whirlpool of contending races and classes I should find problems—race problems and educational problems—different, to be sure, but quite as complicated, difficult and interesting as in our own country.
"Other refuge have I none;
The Irish race were never much indebted to the written word. The learned class, the ollamhs, dwelt apart and kept their knowledge sacred. The people therefore lived entirely upon the traditions of their forefathers, blended with the new doctrines taught by Christianity; so that the popular belief became, in time, an amalgam of the pagan myths and the Christian legend, and these two elements remain indissolubly united to this day. The world, in fact, is a volume, a serial rather, going on for six thousand years, but of which the Irish peasant has scarcely yet turned the first page.
at every one the girl was born anew in her: she blushed, palpitated, “sat out” dances, plotted for tête-à-têtes, pressed flowers (I’ll wager) in her copy of “Omar Khayyám,” and was all white muslin and wild roses while it lasted. And the Byrne fever was then at its height.
I thought no one near, but the word "Quarter" was scarce spoken by me when I saw his pistol arm seized by a genteel young man, dressed only in his waistcoat, who cried, "You rascal, let the man die as he pleases; you see he has enough. Go and kill some one able to resist," and the fellow made off.
Frances could scarcely restrain a laugh, which was half hysterical. “That does not seem very tragic,” she said.
Here were suns that had been blazing with mature, steady light when Sol was a mere contracting mass of hydrogen—whose planets had cooled and spawned life before Earth's hollows cupped the first scalding droplets that were the beginnings of seas.
“Say!” he complained. “Better judges than you have said this pup of mine is the finest collie of his age in America. What do you mean by giving him a measly reserve? What’s the matter with him?”
Kill a black cock, and go to the meeting of three cross-roads where a murderer is buried. Throw the dead bird over your left shoulder then and there, after nightfall, in the name of the devil, holding a piece of money in your hand all the while. And ever after, no matter what you spend, you will always find the same piece of money undiminished in your pocket.
And all the air a solemn stillness holds....
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