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THE HARVARD CLASSICS 



The Five-Foot Shelf of Books 




Statue of John Harvard before University Hall, 
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 





THE HARVARD CLASSICS 
EDITED BY CHARLES W. ELIOT, LL.D. 



Fifteen Minutes 
a Day 

The Reading Guide 




P. F. Collier & Son Corporation 



NEW YORK 



Copyright 1930 
By p. F. Colukk & Son Company 

Manufacturid in U. & A. 



The Purpose of 
This Book 

THIS book was prepared and is sent to you with one purpose 
in view, to enable you to profit in full measure from the 
writings of the immortals whom you have at your beck and 
call in the Harvard Classics. 

This great company of the wisest, the wittiest, the most interesting 
minds of all ages and every land will afford you entertainment in 
endless variety, inspiration and stimulation of mind. They will carry 
you forward upon that road to the high goal toward which all of 
us are making our way. It is then to the countless hours in which 
you will walk in step with these great thinkers of all time that this 
book is dedicated. 

The Harvard Classics are "all things to all men." They are 
universal in their appeal and universal in their power to bestow 
pleasure, self satisfaction and the joy of mental growth to each man, 
woman and child with impartiality and in infinite variety. 



What Shall I Read Tonight? 

How often does that question come to all of us? Magazines, 
newspapers, the books of the day — all pall upon us with their 
deadly monotony of the commonplace. We want something to carry 
us out of ourselves, to take us a million miles from our humdrum 
existence, to stimulate our minds to fresh endeavor, to give us a new 
viewpoint upon our problems, to enable us to get a fresh hold upon 
ourselves. 

Then it is, that the Harvard Classics find their place. They meet 
every need, they entertain when no other book can, they exhilarate 
and they satisfy. They bring to you the rare pleasure of commingling 
with great minds, they feed your mind with stimulating thoughts, 
they turn your mind into fresh channels. For the Harvard Classics 
touch every facet of human interest. Here beckoning to you are 
romance, adventure, drama and mystery. Read to your heart's 
content in these full blooded books — full of thrill, stimulus and 
delight. 

The Never-Ceasing Fascination of These Boo]{s 

You can turn to the Arabian Nights, to the explorations of Drake 
and Raleigh, to the adventures of Ulysses, to the homely philosophy 
of Franklin, to Froissart's entrancing Chronicles, to the breathless 
poems of Browning, to the writings of the prophets of the mystic 
east, to the glorious moving prose of Burke and Macaulay, and so on 
through the great classics of the ages. 

We want to urge you to keep at all times several volumes of the 
Harvard Classics easily at hand on your desk or table to read and 
to browse through. Don't put your set away in a distant bookcase 
where you must go to get them. These are friendly books to have 
near you, they are the best of companions at all times. To be able to 
reach for your favorite volume and take a few moments out of a busy 
day, in which you are transported to other worlds and other times is 
a privilege that cannot be held lightly. The Harvard Classics will 
repay you manyfold in dividends of delight and satisfaction for the 
hours you have spent in the company of the immortal writers. 

6 



How Dr. Eliot Solved Your Reading Problem 

DR. CHARLES W. ELIOT for forty years President of Harvard 
University, acclaimed without question America's greatest 
scholar and educator, was eminently fitted to select out of the world's 
literature, a well-rounded library of liberal education — depicting the 
progress of man observing, recording, inventing, and imagining from 
the earliest historical times to the present day. 

Never before had a task of this magnitude been undertaken by an 
educator of the standing of Dr. Eliot. Never before had a question 
of such unusual public importance received the time and attention 
that has been applied to the selection of the contents of the Harvard 
Classics. 

Dr. Eliot's Own Story of the Five-Foot Shelf 

"Before the reading plan represented by The Harvard Classics had 
taken definite form, I had more than once stated in public that in my 
opinion a five-foot — at first a three-foot — shelf would hold books 
enough to afford a good substitute for a liberal education to anyone 
who would read them with devotion, even if he could spare but 
fifteen minutes a day for reading. 

"P. F. Collier & Son Company proposed that I undertake to make 
a selection of fifty volumes, which would approximately fill a five-foot 
shelf, and be well adapted to accomplish the educational object I had 
in mind. 

"I accepted the proposal. The work of selection extended inter- 
mittently over nearly twelve months; for the question of exclusion 
or inclusion of each item had to be carefully considered from every 
possible angle. 

Harvard University Sanctions the Title 

"It was further proposed that the set be called the Harvard 
Classics. In view of this proposed name, and of the fact that I had 
been president of Harvard University for nearly forty years, I asked 
the President and Fellows of Harvard College if they saw any objec- 
tion, from the point of view of the University, to my accepting the 



8 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

proposal of P. F. Collier & Son Company. The Board replied unani- 
mously that they saw no objection, and that, in their judgment, the 
undertaking, if well carried out, would prove a useful one from the 
educational point of view. 

Dr. Eliot's Aim 

"My aim was not to select the best fifty, or best hundred, books in 
the world, but to give, in twenty-three thousand pages or thereabouts, 
a picture of the progress of the human race within historical times, so 
far as that progress can be depicted in books. The purpose of The 
Harvard Classics is, therefore, one different from that of collections 
in which the editor's aim has been to select a number of best books; 
it is nothing less than the purpose to present so ample and character- 
istic a record of the stream of the world's thought that the observant 
reader's mind shall be enriched, refined and fertilized. 

"Within the limits of fifty volumes, containing about twenty-three 
thousand pages, my task was to provide the means of obtaining such 
knowledge of ancient and modern literature as seemed essential to 
the twentieth-century idea of a cultivated man. The best acquisition 
of a cultivated man is a liberal frame of mind or way of thinking; 
but there must be added to that possession acquaintance with the 
prodigious store of recorded discoveries, experiences, and reflections 
which humanity in its intermittent and irregular progress from 
barbarism to civilization has acquired and laid up. 

Liberal Education Defined 

"Liberal education accomplishes two objects. It produces a liberal 
frame of mind, and it makes the studious and reflective recipient 
acquainted with the stream of the world's thought and feeling, and 
with the infinitely varied products of the human imagination. It was 
my hope and belief that fifty volumes might accomplish this result 
for any intelligent, ambitious, and persistent reader, whether his early 
opportunities for education has been large or small. Such was the 
educational purpose with which I undertook to edit The Harvard 
Classics. 

"All the main divisions of literature are represented. Chronologi- 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 9 

cally considered, the series begins with portions o£ the sacred books 
of the oldest reHgions, proceeds with specimens of the Hterature of 
Greece and Rome, then makes selections from the literature of the 
Middle Ages in the Orient, Italy, France, Scandinavia, Ireland, Eng- 
land, Germany and the Latin Church, includes a considerable repre- 
sentation of the literature of the Renaissance in Italy, France, Ger- 
many, England, Scotland and Spain, and arriving at modern times 
comprehends selections derived from Italy, three centuries of France, 
two centuries of Germany, three centuries of England and something 
more than a century of the United States. 

"In order to make the best use of The Harvard Classics it will be 
desirable for the reader to reread those volumes or passages which he 
finds most interesting, and commit to memory many of the pieces of 
poetry which stir and uplift him. It is a source of exquisite and 
enduring delight to have one's mind stored with many melodious 
expressions of high thoughts and beautiful imagery. 

"The elaborate alphabetical index is intended to give any person 
immediate access to any author or any subject mentioned in the entire 
collection, and indeed to any passage in the fifty volumes to which 
the inquirer has a good clue. This full index makes The Harvard 
Classics convenient books of reference. 

Cooperation of Harvard University 

"It would have been impossible to perform the task satisfactorily 
if the treasures of the general library and of the department libraries 
of Harvard University had not been at disposal. The range of the 
topics in the series was so wide, and the number of languages in 
which the desired books were originally written so great, that the 
advice of specialists, each in some portion of the field, had frequently 
to be sought. I obtained much valuable advice of this sort from 
scholarly friends and neighbors. 

* # « * 

The Harvard Classics have demonstrated their fitness for the 
special work they were intended to do. The publishers have advised 
me that nearly a half miUion sets have been placed in the homes of 
enthusiastic purchasers, and that a stream of unsolicited letters of 



10 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

approval comes from these owners. I have myself been surprised to 
see how often I turn to the collection to enjoy pieces of permanent 
literature, in contrast with the mass of ephemeral reading matter 
which I am obliged to go through. 

"One may hope that the collection will endure for decades to come, 
not only as a monument and milestone, but also as an active force 
toward the sound mental equipment of American reading people." 



Qidih-.iL 



The Harvard Classics Embrace the Sum- 
Total of Literature and Life 

DR. ELIOT'S Five-Foot Shelf of Books free you from the 
limitations of your age, of your country, of your personal 
experiences; they give you access to all ages, to all countries, 
to all experience. They take you out of the rut of life in the town 
you live in and make you a citizen of the world. They offer you the 
companionship of the most interesting and influential men and 
women who have ever lived; they make it possible for you to travel 
without leaving home, and to have vacations without taking time 
from your work. They offer you — if you will only accept their gifts — 
friends, travel, the knowledge of life; they offer you education, the 
means of making your life what you want it to be. 

Emerson said : "There are 850,000 volumes in the Imperial Library 
at Paris. If a man were to read industriously from dawn to dark for 
sixty years, he would die in the first alcove. Would that some chari- 
table soul, after losing a great deal of time among the false books and 
alighting upon a few true ones, which made him happy and wise, 
would name those which have been bridges or ships to carry him 
safely over dark morasses and barren oceans, into the heart of sacred 
cities, into palaces and temples." 

Emerson's wish, which is the great need and wish of thousands 
of earnest, ambitious people, has been fulfilled. The fulfillment is 
Dr. Eliot's Five-Foot Shelf of Books. 



what The Five-Foot Shelf Brings To You 

"VTOW you have the Harvard Classics, stop for a moment and 
-*- ^ think just what they mean to you! Dr. Eliot's Five-Foot Shelf 
of Books bring to your side, in the comfort of your own home, a 
liberal education, entertainment and counsel of the greatest men the 
world has ever seen. 

These men are the makers of civilization, the shapers of history. 
You live with them through past ages; you know their achievements; 
you travel with them, discover with them, hear their immortal 
sayings, listen to their profound logic, thrill to their beautiful poems 
and stories. 

The world's immortals stand ready to take you into their con- 
fidence. You can live with them day by day. You can watch Cellini — 
wonderful combination of artist and knave — in his deaUngs with 
princes and pontiffs, his love affairs and his duels. You can read the 
letters of Pliny the Younger, in which he asks whether he shall 
destroy the "sect called Christians," and those describing the destruc- 
tion of Pompeii. You can stand with Cicero in the Roman Senate 
while he denounces Catiline. You revel in the delightful humor of 
the eccentric Don Quixote, who gaily set forth to battle windmills, 
believing that they were giants. 

Here Are Romance, Humor and Adventure 

You will thrill again to the adventures of the Boy Dana, standing 
on the windswept deck of his sailing ship as she encountered the 
hazardous passage around Cape Horn. You will respond to the lilt 
of Herrick's poem, as he writes, "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, 
Old Time is still a-flying." You will read the fascinating oriental 
adventures to be found in The Thousand and One Nights. You can 
see Franklin hanging out the lantern in front of his house, the first 
street light in America. You can live with the greatest men in the 
intimate personal concerns of their daily existence. There is in all 
literature no greater pleasure than this. 

By opening the pages of a book, to transport oneself in a second 
into the age of Pericles or the Gardens of the Medici at Florence, is 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY I3 

the modern version of Aladdin's lamp and makes one master of 
treasures more rare and lustrous than those which adorned the 
palaces of Bagdad. 

Dr. Eliot'^ selections cover every field of human knowledge. On 
the authority of this great educator and scholar, you have at your 
elbow the most interesting and important books. 

So vast is the range of The Harvard Classics, that they touch every 
phase of human interest. They tell of the great discoveries and 
inventions of the ages, the epoch-making progress of our world in 
science and medicine, and they relate the history and development 
of our laws, our educational systems, and our humanitarian reforms. 
They present the supreme works of 302 of the world's immortal, 
creative minds; essays, biography, fiction, history, philosophy, the 
supreme writings which express man's ambitions, hope and develop- 
ment throughout the centuries. 

"My first reading of the Harvard Classics," writes a woman pur- 
chaser, "gave me a pleasure likened unto finding small particles of 
gold, and the more I read, the more nuggets of golden literature are 
obtained through a few minutes of pleasant reading each day." 
Nearly a half million busy men and women are finding the joy of 
mental relaxation and stimulus in a few moments a day spent with 
these books. 



The Magnificent Special Features in 
The Harvard Classics 

WHAT makes the Harvard Classics the greatest library of 
literature ever conceived? What has brought these mar- 
velous works into the homes of nearly a half million 
people? The Harvard Classics most assuredly have supreme quaUties 
that entitle them to greatness. Dr. Eliot has given in this peerless 
library two incomparable boons to the world. 

The first has been to present a brilliant selection of the priceless 
writings of all time so that, as he said, "Their faithful and considerate 
reading will give any man the essentials of a liberal education, even 
if he devote but fifteen minutes a day." The second is found in the 
magnificent group of editorial features. These are : 

The Introductory Lectures 

The Footnotes 

The General Index 

The Index to the First Lines 

The Chronological Index 

The Readers' Guide 

The Selections for Boys and Girls 

The Lecture Volume 

The Daily Reading Guide 

These make the Harvard Classics live to the reader, they indis- 
pensably aid him to obtain the utmost in enjoyment from his set. 
They transform these imperishable books into a living, constructive 
force to entertain, stimulate and inspire him. They enable the 
Harvard Classics to render an educational service unsurpassed by 
any other set of books. 

In brief, these great exclusive features combined with the priceless 
selections give to every man and woman the privilege of a university 
training at home. These invaluable features are described in detail 
in the following pages. 



14 



Introductory Lectures 



IN leafing through the volumes of Dr. Eliot's Five-Foot Shelf you 
will perceive that all selections are preceded by an introductory 
critical essay. These you will find of the greatest interest for they 
call to your attention in a most fascinating and illuminating manner 
the chief facts in the life of the author and how he came to write that 
particular book. You are told of the writer's personal traits, his 
struggles and his triumphs which helped to mold his life and the 
contribution he has made to world literature. 

This skilfully-written essay is a "critique" of the particular selection 
that follows, establishing its place in literature and estimating it in 
comparison with other works by the same author. Lastly it suggests 
why you — as a cultivated man or woman — should read it. You are 
told how much to believe of Cellini's famous, bragging Autobiog- 
raphy, why Sir Walter Scott was forced to write from morning to 
midnight, and, to give still another instance, the circumstances sur- 
rounding Samuel Johnson's bitterly ironic letter to one of the greatest 
nobles of England, Lord Chesterfield. 

A Series of Skilfully-written Essays 

In selections, such as the books of the Bible, you are told what is 
most important to look for in these classics. Full explanation is made 
of the contents of a piece and an appreciation of the beauty and power 
of the selection is generally given so that you may more readily per- 
ceive its merits. Comparisons are frequently made between one work 
and another. These are of untold assistance in giving you a broad 
view of a certain period or of allied forms of literature and science. 

If you are making a study of any given subject, you will often find 
that the Introductory Lectures furnish you with information which 
you can obtain nowhere else. By their variety, their simplicity of 
statement, and their fullness of detail, these critical essays are amply 
fitted to supplement the selections, adding greatly to your interest, 
and will help you extract the greatest benefit from them. This is 
really having university instruction at home, and more than that, by 
the greatest teacher of one of the greatest universities. 

IS 



The Footnotes 

AN extraordinarily helpful feature to the reader are the voluminous 
•^^ footnotes which appear throughout the entire set. Every one 
of the 22,462 pages has been carefully edited so that reader and student 
may obtain the most from their reading and extract the full meaning 
from the text. 

These footnotes include explanations of involved passages, cross 
references, interesting sidelights and criticisms. They contain titles 
of books for supplementary reading, phrases and passages translated 
from their original foreign languages, definitions of words and terms, 
brief accounts of the lives of famous people mentioned in the text, 
pronunciations of strange words, and many other invaluable helps to 
the reader. 

Comprehensive and Highly Explanatory 

They indicate differences of opinion, they review trends of thought 
related to those in the subject matter, they point out errors of judg- 
ment in the light of present day thinking, they mention important 
events which influenced contemporary writing, they show the bearing 
one scientific or geographic discovery had on another, they reveal the 
relations existing among different countries, schools, and religions. 
They clear up obscure meanings in the works of the older writers not 
readily intelligible in the present day. 

These exhaustive footnotes throughout the entire fifty volumes, 
enable the reader to gain a full and comprehensive knowledge of the 
selection which he is reading. Thus, the great pieces of literature 
which go to make up the Harvard Classics are rendered completely 
enjoyable and understandable to everyone. In every respect the foot- 
notes correspond to the detailed explanations and comments given 
by university lecturers in their college courses. 

In no other work will you find such diversified and useful informa- 
tion on so many subjects. These footnotes, complete in every detail, 
were prepared by scholars who have made their life work the study 
of this immortal literature. They are but another splendid feature 
of the Harvard Classics. 

16 



The General Index 

THIS main Index to the Five-Foot Shelf is as complete as the 
human mind can make it. It is the only volume of its kind 
in existence; over $50,000 and a year of expert work were spent upon 
it. It contains 76,000 references and gives instant access to the worth 
while books of every age that have been written on every subject. 
Here, in fact, is the exhaustive key to this vast storehouse o£ 
knowledge. 

The Index is extremely easy to use. Page 116 of the fiftieth volume 
fully and clearly explains the way in which contents have been com- 
piled. But even the perusal of this explanatory note is almost un- 
necessary, for the Index is arranged so simply that the reader will find 
no difficulty in finding what he wants. 

To the busy man who wants information for a speech, an article, 
an advertisement, or an editorial, this Index renders a service that 
cannot be computed in terms of dollars and cents. Long days of 
search would not bring to hand the wealth of material that can be 
obtained in a few minutes through this source. 

Cross-indexed as thoroughly as it is, there are few items that can 
possibly escape you. Certainly the sub-divisions of each topic will 
enable you to find instantly what you are looking for. 

Realizing the worth of this great work of reference, Dean Evans, 
of the Chattanooga Law School, said, "The Index Volume is a marvel 
of excellence. By it one may easily trace the best thoughts of the 
wisest men on all topics of vital human interest running through 
the ages." 

The Index to the First Lines 

Particularly valuable is the Index to the First Lines of poems, songs, 
hymns and psalms appearing in all the volumes of the Harvard 
Classics. Very often you hear or remember the first line of a poem 
quoted and are unable to establish the title or the author. This Index 
gives you the means by which you can "place" the verse in your 
own mind. 

If you yourself are hunting for an apt quotation, a line of poetry, 

17 



1 8 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

or even the author, his dates of birth and death, or the title of his 
poem, you have only to look up the first line of poetry and be re- 
ferred to the place where the author and his work are mentioned. 
By using this convenient list of first lines, you often save yourself 
hours of fruitless search and, in some cases, mental embarrassment 
at not being able to locate a well known poem. In this fashion does 
the Index to First Lines take the place of a private secretary. 

The Chronological Index 

Volume fifty contains a complete chronological index starting with 
the earliest known dates, centuries before Christ, and coming down 
to our present day. This index lists the years of birth and death of 
the world's famous men, with explanatory comments on each. It 
gives dates of industrial, social, and religious revolutions, of decisive 
battles, and when epoch-making speeches were delivered, on what 
dates classic dramas were written, acted, and published, and when 
notable scientific discoveries were made. 

This Index may be used with Dr. Eliot's prescribed courses of 
reading, and will be invaluable for reference. It is difficult to estimate 
the importance of this specialized index to the student of history, civi- 
hzation, Hterature and allied subjects. The entire story of mankind 
may be read from this table of dates. 



The Readers' Guide 

THE Readers' Guide offers you courses of reading and study of 
a broad educational nature. By following the suggested outline 
of any course which you will find in volume fifty, you will obtain a 
splendid working knowledge of that subject comparable in every 
way to that which you would receive in a university. These courses 
as laid out by Dr. Eliot are designed to afford a liberal, general 
training. 

More than any other American educator, Dr. Eliot is responsible 
for our modern methods of university teaching. He inspired and 
formulated the educational system not only at Harvard, of which he 
was president for forty years, but he influenced the curriculums in 
schools and colleges throughout the country. These courses therefore 
in which he took so great an interest and care in outlining for reading 
in the Harvard Classics bear the stamp of the highest authority. 

The Value of Selected Reading 

Dr. Eliot was a staunch believer in systematized reading. He held 
that reading so done, would lead to a liberal education. Reading not 
so organized was of negative value. He felt that directed reading 
leading progressively through a subject from its simpler to its more 
complicated aspects was the best possible training. The reading 
courses in the Harvard Classics represent his idea of orderly, worth 
while reading for every man and woman. 

Their value to the ambitious, serious student cannot be easily 
estimated. A faithful carrying out of the assignments in the outlines 
will give a very remarkable knowledge of the subjects studied. 

Out of his wide experience, Dr. Eliot prescribes here eleven reading 
courses. These are all on cultural subjects which form the backbone 
of a liberal college education and they embrace such interesting and 
instructive topics as The History of Civilization, Religion and Phi- 
losophy, Education, Science, Politics, Voyages and Travels, Criticism 
of Literature and the Fine Arts, Drama, Biography and Letters, 
Essays, Narrative Poetry and Prose Fiction. In each of these widely 
diversified subjects. Dr. Eliot has arranged a broad, comprehensive 

19 



20 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

reading list from the writings appearing in the Five-Foot Shelf and 
arranged them according to subject and the order in which they 
should be read. Logically, Dr. Eliot chooses the simpler selections 
first, which give the elemental or general survey of the subject and 
gradually proceeds to the more difficult aspects as the reader 
progresses. 

A Comprehensive Study Course 

But so wisely has the great educator selected his lists, that the 
topics for reading are also generally in chronological order. In this 
way you start at the beginning of man's thought on a subject and 
follow it down through the centuries. Dr. Eliot has also written a 
short description of each reading course, explaining its plan and 
purpose and telling you what is most important to get from your 
reading. He comments briefly on the classic selections and often 
mentions the chief facts in the lives of the famous authors. The 
short prefaces in fact, serve the same highly useful purpose as a 
professor's introductory remarks in a classroom. 

In arranging these courses Dr. Eliot has mingled with the serious, 
in pleasant proportion, lighter pieces in order to give variety and 
entertainment, as well as instruction. These include novels reflecting 
the life of the times, witty poems, stirring ballads, and essays deaHng 
appropriately with the subjects. Dr. Eliot's simple but thorough plan 
of study enables you to master his courses with the greatest benefit 
to yourself. This Readers' Guide is a valuable key which unlocks the 
knowledge, the wit and wisdom in the Harvard Classics. It is but 
another of the many precious contributions Dr. Eliot makes to the 
cause of real education. 

It is not at all out of the way to suggest that he had a very definite 
reference to the reading courses when he made that famous statement 
about the Harvard Classics, that, "the faithful and considerate read- 
ing of these books will give any man the essentials of a liberal educa- 
tion even if he devote to them but fifteen minutes a day." 



Selections for Boys and Girls 
From Twelve to Eighteen Years of Age 

PRESIDENT ELIOT in consultation with President Neilson of 
Smith College prepared a list of selections from the Harvard 
Classics suitable for the use of children ranging in age from twelve 
to eighteen years. There is no place where the Harvard Classics finds 
greater usefulness than to children. If you have children in your 
family — growing boys and girls — let them have free access to the 
Harvard Classics. 

In order that the child may have a pleasant introduction to this 
monumental work, there are here given those pieces which the boy 
or girl can read and enjoy. Dr. Eliot has chosen more than sixty 
stories, poems and articles with the numbers of volumes and pages 
where they appear in the Five-Foot Shelf. Here will be found the 
world's best tales, plays and verses arranged in the order in which 
they are likely to appeal to growing children. The easier, simpler 
tales come first and give the younger members of the family a solid 
foundation of interesting, easily understood literature. As the children 
develop, they can follow down the list and read the more advanced 
selections. Thus, they have secured a grasp on worth while books 
and have developed a taste for reading which will ever be a constant 
source of pleasure and satisfaction. 

They Create a Sound Cultural Background 

The Harvard Classics bring the growing mind of the boy and girl 
in contact with the greatest reading of all time. These books will 
serve to whet their healthy and eager curiosity, for they are the finest 
writings of the greatest creative minds of the world. The Harvard 
Classics will bring to the growing boy and girl a familiarity with the 
supreme literature, at the impressionable age when cultural habits 
are formed for a lifetime. 

These selections will train your children to turn to the Harvard 
Classics for their entertainment, stimulation and recreation, and they 
will use this great library throughout their school years. 



The Lecture Volume 

THE additional volume to the fifty volume set is entitled, "Lec- 
tures on the Harvard Classics." This extraordinary series falls 
into twelve main divisions of knowledge such as, History, Poetry, 
Natural Science, Philosophy, Biography, Prose Fiction, Criticism and 
the Essay, Education, Political Science, Drama, Voyages and Travel 
and Religion, with each division containing five lectures on those 
subjects. Thus there are sixty lectures in all. If you will turn to Dr. 
Eliot's short introduction, you will sense the importance he puts on 
this series of lectures in promoting the educational object he had in 
mind when he made the collection. Also turn to President Neilson's 
preface in which he says, the lectures open the door to the Harvard 
Classics "the great storehouse of standard works in all the main 
departments of intellectual activity." 

By an Array of Famous Professors 

Through these lectures, as Dr. Neilson further writes, the student 
is introduced to a vast range of topics under the guidance of dis- 
tinguished professors. Among these are George Pierce Baker, prob- 
ably the best known teacher today of the drama in America; Thomas 
Nixon Carver, the most noted authority on political science and 
economics in this country; Bliss Perry, famous professor at Harvard, 
editor and lecturer; Ralph Barton Perry, one of America's outstand- 
ing philosophers and many others equally prominent. 

To have the privilege to hear this group of men speak or read their 
great lectures is an opportunity which cannot be measured in terms 
of dollars and cents. These lectures will do much to broaden your 
outlook and extend your interests to diversified, vital branches of 
thought. The footnotes, too, in this volume furnish splendid supple- 
mentary material for reading. They make the author's meaning 
perfectly clear to you and offer interesting information on the matter 
in the text. The value of this volume with the other features such as 
the Introduction, Notes, Guides to Reading and Indexes as Professor 
Neilson states, "may thus claim to constitute a reading course 
unparalleled in comprehensiveness and authority." 



The Daily Reading Guide 

PRESIDENT ELIOT wrote in his introduction to the Harvard 
Classics, "In my opinion, a five-foot shelf would hold books 
enough to give a liberal education to any one who would read them 
with devotion, even if he could spare but fifteen minutes a day for 
reading." With this very definitely in mind, we have prepared a 
daily reading guide in which the assignments chosen appropriately 
enough, will take the usual person about fifteen minutes to read with 
leisurely enjoyment. These selections assigned for each day in the 
year as you will see, are introduced by comments on the author, the 
subjects or the chief characters. They will serve to introduce you in 
the most pleasant manner possible to the Harvard Classics. They will 
enable you to browse enjoyably among the world's immortal writings 
with entertainment and stimulation in endless variety. 

Form this Pleasant and Exhilarating Habit 

To take a few minutes out of your busy day to commune with these 
great writers of all time is one of the finest habits possible. That 
fifteen minutes will carry you on wings of romance and adventure 
to other lands, to the scenes of other days and will break the monotony 
of your days, will change the course of your thinking, will give you 
the privilege of contact with the great minds whose writings have 
stimulated and inspired mankind over the centuries. 

As comprehensive as it is, the Daily Reading Guide does not 
presume to exhaust the wealth of interest and profit that lies between 
the pages of this great library. We believe that once you have been 
afforded a taste of the delights of the imperishable writings you will 
straightway turn back to read the larger works to which you have 
been so pleasantly introduced. In addition to the Reading Guide, 
you have Dr. Eliot's Reading Courses as outlined in volume fifty — 
the remarkable course of sixty lectures and the index with its seventy- 
six thousand references, all of which will provide you with fascinating 
topics in an unfailing diversity. Thus the Harvard Classics afford 
you in generous measure entertainment and enchantment and 
intellectual stimulus. 

23 



1 



24 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

JANUARY 

St. Agnes' Evel — Ah, bitter chill it wasl 

The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold; 

The hare limp'd trembling through the frozen grass. 

And silent wds the floc\ in woolly fold. . . 

Keats (Vol. 41, p. 883) 

Franklin's Advice for the Ne'w Year 
"Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform with- 
out 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 

School-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. 
(First edition of Milton's collected poems published Jan. 2, 164;.) 
Read: Milton's Poems Vol. 4, pp. 7-18 

Cicero 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. 

(Cicero Born Jan. j, 106 B. C.) 

Read from Cicero On Friendship Vol. 9, pp. 16-26 

A Flounder Fish Story 

A fisherman, so the story goes, once caught a flounder that spoke, 
begging to be released. This was granted, whereupon the fisher- 
man's wife demanded that it grant her one miracle after another, 
until even the flounder was disgusted. 

(Jacob Grimm, elder of the famous Grimm brothers, born Jan. 4, 178;.) 
Read from Grimm's Fairy Tales Vol. 17, pp. 83-90 

The 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. 

(Byron arrived in Greece to fight for Greek, freedom, Jan. 5, 1824.) 

Read: Mazzini's Byron and Goethe Vol. 32, pp. 377-396 



8 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 25 

January Reading Guide 

iC Warned by Hector's Ghost 

In the dead of night Hector's ghost appeared to warn yEneas 

of the impending doom to come upon the walled city of Troy. 

^neas lifted his aged father on his back and, taking his son by 

the hand, sought safety in flight. Off to Latium! 

{H. Schliemann, discoverer of ancient Troy, born Jan. 6, 1822.) 

Read from Virgil's jEneid Vol. 13, pp. 109-127 

7 If He Yawned, She Lost Her Head! 

The Sultan had a habit of beheading each dawn his beautiful 
bride of the night before, until he encountered Scheherazade. 
Cleverly she saved her life a thousand and one mornings. 
Read from The Thousand and One Nights Vol. 16, pp. 5-13 

Trying the Patience of Job 

God was pleased with the piety of Job, but Satan accredited the 
piety to Job's prosperity and happiness. So a trial was made. 
See how each succeeding affliction visited on Job shook the 
depths of his nature, and how he survived. 
Read from The Book of Job Vol. 44, pp. 71-87 

A Treasure Hunt in Nombre de Dies 

With only fifty-two men. Sir Francis Drake conceives the idea 

of attacking his archenemy, Spain, at her most vulnerable point 

the treasure at Nombre de Dios. 

{Drake died at Nombre de Dios, ]an. 9, is<)6.^ 

Read from Nichol's Sir Francis Drake Revived Vol. 33, pp. 135-145 

Where Love Lies Waiting 

King Pantheus of Thebes contended against Dionysus, the God, 
for the adoration of the Theban women. The god was winning 
by bewitching the women when the king interceded. Euripides 
tells the story in a masterpiece of Greek drama. 
Read from Euripides' The Bacchae Vol. 8, pp. 368-372 

Hamilton — -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. 

{Alexander Hamilton bom Jan, 11, iyS7-) 

Read; The Federaust Vol. 43, pp. 199-207 



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26 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

January Reading Guide 

1 2 What 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? 

{Edmund Burke born Jan. 12, I72g.) 

Read : Burke On Taste Vol. 24, pp. 11-26 

1 Q Rousseau 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. 

(Jean Jacques Rousseau arrived in England, Jan. ij, ty66.) 

Read from Rousseau's Inquiry on iNEQUALrrv Vol. 34, pp. 215-228 

1 ZL The First Step Toward Independence 

(Fundamental Orders of Connecticut adopted Jan. 14, i6jg.) 
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 

1 C "The Moving Finger Writes" 

("Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" first published Jan. 75, i8$g.) 

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 

1 /C The 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 jEsop's Fables Vol. 17, pp. 43-44; also pp. 31-43 

1 n Franklin's Family Tree 

{Benjamin Franklin born Jan. ly, iyo6.) 

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 auto- 
biography, he reveals quaint family history. 
Read from Franklin's Autobiography Vol. i, pp. 5-15 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY T] 

January Reading Guide 

10 Origin of Yale "Brekekekex-Ko-ax" 

"Shall I crack any of those old jokes, master, at which the audi- 
ence 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 

1 Q Poe 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. 

(Edgar Allan Poe horn fan. ig, i8og.) 

Read from Poe's The Poetic Principle Vol. 28, pp. 371-380 

20 "Ah! It Is St. Agnes' Eve—" 

(St. Agnes' Eve, Jan. 20.) 

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 ad- 
vantage of this custom to win his bride. 
Read: Keats' Eve of St. Agnes Vol. 41, pp. 883-893 

^ 1 The 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 

22 A King's Pleasure Now Yours 

The classic plays of French literature are produced to-day pre- 
cisely 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. 
(Corneille elected to French Academy, Jan. 22, 1647.) 
Read from Corneille's Polyeucte Vol. 26, pp. 77-87 

0'2 Pascal Knew Men and Triangles 

*-^ (Pascal ptMishes "Provincial Letters," Jan. 23, i6;6.) 

Pascal, the keen-minded philosopher and mathematician, fath- 
omed the human traits of man's nature with the same accurate 
measurements which made him famous in the realm of geom- 
etry. Read his searching analysis of man's conceit. 
Read: Pascal's The Art of Persuasion Vol. 48, pp. 400-411 



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28 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

January Reading Guide 

'^A, Odysseus 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 

A 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 

aft agley." 

(Robert Burns born Jan. 25, ^759.) 

Read: To a Mouse and Burns' other poems. . . .Vol. 6, pp. 119-120, 388-394 

In the Cradle of Civilization 

A king who entombed his daughter in a golden cow — the wor- 
ship 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 
old Egypt. 
Read from Herodotus' An Account of Egypt Vol. 33, pp. 65-75 

Dante 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. 

(Dante victim of political persecution in Florence, Jan. 27, /J02.) 

Read from Dante's Divine Comedy Vol. 20, pp. 267-279 

Man'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 

Visits 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. 

(Darwin married Emma Wedgewood, Jan. 29, i8jg.) 

Read from Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle Vol. 29, 209-221 



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29 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 



29 



January Reading Guide 

30 



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? 
(Sophocles died at Athens, Jan. jo, 40s B. C.) 
Read from Sophocles' Antigone Vol. 8, pp. 255-266 

"2 1 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 




Don Quixote, the ambitious amateur \night, ivas well ridiculed jor 
his pains. (See Reading Assignment for January jist.) 



A FEW BOOKS ARE BETTER THAN MANY, AND A LITTLE 
TIME GIVEN TO A FAITHFUL STUDY OF THE FEW WILL 
BE ENOUGH TO QUICKEN THOUGHT AND ENRICH THE 
MIND. — Channing. 



30 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

FEBRUARY 

. . . howling Winter fled ajar 
To hills that prop the polar star; 
And loves on deer-borne car to ride 
With barren darkness at his side . . . 
. . . sullen Winterl hear my prayer, 
And gently rule the ruin'd year . . . 

Campbell (Vol. 41, p. 772) 

1 King 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. 11 2-1 23 , 

^ "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. 

(Shakespeare's twins — Hamnet and Judith — baptized Feb. 2, 1585.) 

Read from Shakespeare's Hamlet Vol. 46, pp. 107-120 

S A House of Mirth and Revelry- 
While the cat's away the mice will play. Boisterous and ludi- 
crous happenings occur in a house left in charge of a servant. 
But in midst of merriment the master returns. 
{Ben Jonson receives life pension from James I, Feb. j, i6ig.) 
Read from Jonson's The Alchemist Vol. 47, pp. 543-558 

A "Genius, a Secret to Itself" 

Thus wrote Carlyle, who affirms that great minds are uncon- 
scious of their stupendous strength. And each of us has his 
own peculiar mental attributes. 
(Thomas Carlyle died Feb. 4, 1881.) 
Read from Carlyle's Characteristics Vol. 25, pp. 319-327 

C Diamonds, 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 Niohts Vol. 16, pp. 243-250 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 3 1 

February Reading Guide 

Charles Lamb Suggests To-day's Reading 



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8 



9 



10 



11 



"The reluctant pangs o£ abdicating royalty in 'Edward' fur- 
nished 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. 
(Christopher Marlowe born Feb. 6, 1564.) 
Read from Marlowe's Edward the Second Vol. 46, pp. 73-89 

A 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. 

(Samuel Johnson writes to Lord Chesterfield, Feb. 7, 1755.) 

Read: Letter to Lord Chesterfield Vol. 39, pp. 206-207 

Tragic 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." 

(Mary, Queen 0/ Scots, beheaded Feb. 8, 1587.) 

Read from Burns' Poems Vol. 6, pp. 396-406 

Rest 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 indo- 
lence during the intervals between. 
Read from Tacitus On Germany Vol. 33, pp. 93-102 

No Fancy for a Plain Gentleman 

Voltaire once visited Congreve. This famous dramatist re- 
quested to be regarded only as a plain gentleman. "Had you 
been that I should never have come to see you," Voltaire cynically 
replies. 

(William Congreve baptized Feb. 10, 1670.) 
Read from Voltaire's Letters on the English Vol. 34, pp. 130-140 

The 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. 

(Rene Descartes died at Stock,holm , Feb. 11, i6;o,) 

Read from Descartes' Discourse on Method Vol. 34, pp. 5-20 



32 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

February Reading Guide 

1 ^ Oxford 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, re- 
garded as the perfection of English prose. 

{^Abraham Lincoln born Feb. 12, i8og.) 

Read: Lincoln's Writings Vol. 43, pp. 415-420 

1 "3 The 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, pas- 
sion, and great deeds of the Renaissance. His life is a vivid pic- 
ture of the most colorful period in history, a period when state- 
craft and religion and black magic and assassination were naively 
mingled in men's lives. 
{Benvenuto Cellini died Feb. ij, 1570.) 
Read from Cellini's Autobiography Vol. 31, pp. 68-80 

1 A Love Always Young 

(5/. Valentine's Day.) 

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 

The 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 him in death. 

{Mark. Antony offers Casar crown at Rome, Feb, 15, 44 B. C.) 

Read from Dryden's All for Love Vol. 18, pp. 53-69 

1 /^ Social 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 



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17 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 33 

February Reading Guide 

Death 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 im- 
portant role in "Tartuffe" which introduces to literature a char- 
acter as famous as Shakespeare's Falstaff . 
(Moliere died Feb. 77, 1673.) 
Read from Moliere's Tartuffe Vol. 26, pp. 199-217 

1 Q Lasting Peace with Great Britain 

All Americans should know this treaty which finally inaugu- 
rated an era of peace and good understanding with England. 
For over a hundred years this peace has been unbroken. 
(Treaty with Great Britain proclaimed Feb. 18, 1815.) 
Read: Treaty with Great Britain (1814) Vol. 43, pp. 255-264 

1 Q Earthly 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 at- 
tendant 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 

Of) Voltaire 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 

21 Does 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 stu- 
dents.? A winning football team? Cardinal Newman defines 
the prime functions of a university. 
(Cardinal Newman born Feb. 21, 1801.) 
Read from Newman's The Idea of a University Vol. 28, pp. 31-39 

22 -^^ O^^ ^^'^ Washington's Birthday 

(George Washington born Feb. 22, 1732.) 

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 



34 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

February Reading Guide 

^ '2 Pepys' 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. 

(Samuel Pepys born Feb. 2j, i6j2.) 

Read from Stevenson's Samuel Pepys Vol. 28, pp. 285-292 



24 



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26 



27 



28 



Lights 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. 

(John Milton matries his third wife, Elisabeth Marshall, Feb. 24, 1662.) 
Read: Milton's Poems Vol. 4, pp. 30-38 

Punished 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 two- 
edged was "The Shortest-Way with Dissenters" that he was 
fined, imprisoned and pilloried. 

{"The Shortest-Way with Dissenters" censored, Feb. 25, 1703.) 
Read: The Shortest -Way with Dissenters Vol. 27, pp. 133-147 

A 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." 

(Victor Hugo born Feb. 26, 1802.) 

Read: Hugo's Preface to Cromwell Vol. 39, pp. 337-349 

Poet Apostle of Good Cheer 

(Longfellow born Feb. 27, 1807.) 

"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 

Spoke Latin First 

(Michel de Montaigne born Feb. 28, 1533.) 

Proficient in Latin even before he knew his own tongue, Mon- 
taigne 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 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

February Reading Guide 



35 



29 



LEAP YEAR 

Goethe'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, "il\a maiden ladee, of baith high and 
lowe estait, shall hue libeitie to spea\ ye man she li\es." The 
course of true love runs smooth in Goethe's narrative poem, en- 
during today for its characterization and swift-flowing lines. 
Begin Hermann and Dorothea Vol. 19, p. 337; also pp. 395-410 




Dr. William Harvey established the fact that the arteries carry 
blood by feeling his own pulse while in a hot bath. {See Reading 
Assignment for June ^d.) 



A BLESSED COMPANION IS A BOOK,— A BOOK THAT FITLY 
CHOSEN IS A LIFE-LONG FRIEND.— Douglas Jerrould. 



36 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

MARCH 

Old Winter bac\ to the savage hills 
Withdraweth his force, decrepid now. 

Goethe (Vol. 19, p. 43) 

1 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. 

(First issue of the "Spectator," published March i, ijti.) 

Read: The Spectator Club Vol. 27, pp. 83-87 

2 what 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 

"2 For 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. 

(George Herbert died March j, 16 jj.) 

Read from Walton's Life of George Herbert Vol. 15, pp. 373-382 

A Penn — ^Pioneer, Thinker, and Builder 

(King Charles grants Penn charter of Pennsylvania, March 4, 1681.) 
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. i, pp. 321-330 

f Laughed 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 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 37 

March Reading Guide 

fi 'West Point's Outcast, America's First Great Poet 

i^Voe expelled from West Point, March 6, iSji.) 

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 

n Bacon 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 con- 
densed summary of the ethics of law. 

(Bacon made Keeper of the Great Seal of England, March 7, 1616.) 
Read: Bacon Of Judicature Vol. 3, pp. 130-134 

O Dangerous 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 

Q Common 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. 

(Passage of laws against dueling in England, March 9, iSyg.) 

Read: Treatise on Good Manners Vol. 27, pp. 99-103 

1 A Beaumont — 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. "Phil- 
aster" won them immortal praise. 
Read from Philaster Vol. 47, pp. 667-677 

1 1 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. 

(Emerson ordained Unitarian minister, March 11, /S29.) 

Read from Emerson's Compensation Vol. 5, pp. 85-92 



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38 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

March Reading Guide 

1 2 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 

in Bermuda. 

(Bishop Berkeley born March 12, 168;.) 

Read from Berkeley's Three Dialogues Vol. 37, pp. 228-238 

Before Nobility 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 sur- 
rounded by vast estates. 
Read from Manzoni's I Promessi Sposi Vol. 21, pp. 318-332 

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." 

(Malory, recorder of King Arthur stories, died March 14, 1470.) 

Read from The Holy Grail Vol. 35, pp. 194-200 

Beware the Ides of March! 

(Ides of March, March 1;.) 

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," Cxsar goes to the doom 

awaiting him in the Senate Chamber. 

Read from Plutarch's Cesar Vol. 12, pp. 315-321 

Crabs Climb Trees? 

Many amazing things happen in the Malay jungles. For ex- 
ample, 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 

An Old Irish Legend 

(St. Patrick's Day.) 

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 



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FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 39 

March Reading Guide 

1 O 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. 

(Massinger buried March i8, 1640.) 

Read from A New Way to Pay Old Debts Vol. 47, pp. 859-870 

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. 

(Last recorded event in Herodotus' history dated March ig, 4y8 B. C.) 
Read from Herodotus' An Account of Egypt Vol. 33, pp. 72-84 

Apples, Feathers, and Coals 

Sir Isaac Newton was aided in his momentous discoveries by the 
most insignificant objects — even apples, feathers, and coal. Vol- 
taire discusses the wondrous discoveries of Newton. 

(Sir Isaac Netvton died March 20, 1727.) 

Read from Voltaire's Letters on the English Vol. 34, pp. 1 13-124 

1,000 Years of History on the Surface of a Shield 

Venus, mother of .(Eneas and wife of Vulcan, obtained from 
her husband, by seductive witchery, a marvelous shield whose 
surface reflected a thousand years of future events. Venus de- 
scribes the wonders of the magic armor. 
Read from Virgil's iENEiD Vol. 13, pp. 280-292 

From 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 re- 
turn for the price of his soul, works magic at will. From this 
rude framework Goethe has reared a drama of sublime grandeur. 
(Goethe died March 22, i8j2.) 
Read from Goethe's Faust Vol. 19, pp. 23-36 

First 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 unfin- 
ished 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 



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4© FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

March Reading Guide 

OA 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. 

(William Morris born March 24, 1834.) 

Read: Morris' Defense of Guenevere Vol. 42, pp. 1183-1193 

How Conscience Makes Cowards of Us All 

Hamlet pondered over which course contained the least unhap- 

piness — 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. 

{Shakespeare ma\es his will, March 25, idib.) 

Read from Shakespeare's Hamlet Vol. 46, pp. 144-158 

"2,500 Years Ago ^sop Said . . ." 

Men in all ages have recognized the ingenuity of the practical 
philosophy and freshness of iEsop's allegories. Spend a few 
delightful moments with the wit and wisdom of .i^isop. 
(Caxton prints /Esop's Fables, March 26, 1484.) 
Read from yEsop's Fables Vol. 17, pp. 21-30 

When Is a Lie Not a Lie? 

Is lying or quibbling ever permissible? May one juggle v/ords 
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 

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 

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 tri- 
angle arose. 
Read from Epic and Saga Vol. 49, pp. 307-317 



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FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 



41 



March Reading Guide 

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31 



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. 
(Capuchin monk.s given charge of the plague hospital in Milan, 

March jo, i6jo.) 
Read from Manzoni's I Promessi Sposi Vol. 21, pp. 500-512 

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. 

{John Donne died March ji, i6ji.) 

Read from Walton's Life of Dr. Donne Vol. 15, pp. 364-369 




Sir Francis Bacon believed that "the supreme laii> of all is the weal 
of the people." (See Reading Assignment for March Jth.) 



IT WAS TRULY SAID, OPTIMl CONSILIARII MORTUI . . . 
BOOKS WILL SPEAK PLAIN WHEN COUNSELLORS BLANCH. 

— Francis Bacon. 



42 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

APRIL 

. . . proud-pied April, dress' d in all his trim. 
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything, 
That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him. 

Shakespeare (Vol. 40, p. 278) 

1 "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 

'^ A Spoon Dances in the Moonlight 

A huge spoon dressed in human finery, placed on a grave, ap- 
pears 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 

■3 Romance with a Happy Ending 

"As a conqueror enters a surprised city; love made such resolu- 
tions as neither party was able to resist. She changed her name 
into Herbert the third day after this first interview." 
{George Herbert born April j, 1 S93-) 
Read from Walton's Life of George Herbert .Vol. 15, pp. 392-404 

A The Mistakes of a Night 

Genial and rollicking fun are provided in this highly entertain- 
ing story of a man who mistakes a private house for an inn, 
and who treats his host's daughter like a serving maid. 
(Oliver Goldsmith born April 4, 1774.) 
Read from She Stoops to Conquer Vol. 18, pp. 205-215 

C You and Your Dreams 

Dreams and their causes interested Hobbes. Without supersti- 
tion, the philosopher weighed the evidence of ghosts, goblins, 
and witches. 
(Hobbes horn April 5, 1588.) 
Read from Hobbes' Leviathan Vol. 34, pp. 313-322 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 43 

April Reading Guide 

/C 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 earnestly sought by Marcus Aurelius. 

(Marcus Aurelius born April 6, 121 A. D.) 

Read: Marcus Aurelius' Meditations Vol. 2, pp. 243-253 

n Nature Gitlded 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. 

(Wordsworth born April 7, 1770.) 

Read: Wordsworth's Poems Vol. 41, pp. 639-651 

Q Beware the Vengeful Hounds! 

Orestes, holding an avenging sword over his mother, is told: 
"Beware thy mother's vengeful hounds." How he pays for dis- 
regarding his mother's warning is told in this drama where a 
mother is slain to avenge a father's ghost. 
Read from ^i^hylus' The Libation Bearers Vol. 8, pp. 111-121 

Q 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. 
(Francis Bacon died April 9, 162^.) 
Read from Bacon's New Atlantis Vol. 3, pp. 145-155 

1 f\ 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 ex- 
tremely important historical document. 
(King James grants charter to Virginia, April 10, 1606.) 
Read: First Charter of Virginia Vol. 43, pp. 49-58 

1 1 Danger 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 



44 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

April Reading Guide 

1 ^ The Perfect Argument 

You would doubtless like to know how to hold your own in any 
argument. Read what Leslie Stephen declares the finest speci- 
men in our language of the conduct of argument. 
Read from Berkeley's Three Dialogues Vol. 37, pp. 230-240 

1 '1 Afichelangelo His Boon Companion 

Kings, emperors, the greatest artists and sculptors of the Renais- 
sance 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 

1 ^ A Raid on Spanish Treasure in America 

Spanish towns in the New World were rich in treasure and tempt- 
ing 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 

ICO Captain! My Captain! 

'■'^ (Lincoln died April 1$, 186 j.) 

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 

Inside the Gates of Hell 

The city of Dis, within the gates of Hell, was guarded by mon- 
sters 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. 
(Dante urges attack, on the city of Florence, April 16, 1311.) 
Read from Dante's Divine Comedy Vol. 20, pp. 32-39 

"I n Benjamin Franklin — Book Salesman 

In 1 73 1 there were not many books in America. Franklin saw 
the need for more books and by house-to-house canvassing per- 
suaded Philadelphians to aid him in founding a public library 
which to-day stands as a lasting memorial to Franklin. 

(Benjamin Franklin died April 17, 1790.) 

Read from Franklin's Autobiography Vol. i , pp. 66-77 



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FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 45 

April Reading Guide 

1 O Ready 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. 
{Cervantes receives the last sacraments April i8, 1616.) 
Read from Cervantes' Don Quixote Vol. 14, pp. 17-28 

1 O Battle of Concord 

(Fought April ig, 1775.) 

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 

20 Byron Gave His Life for Freedom 

England's romantic poet died while fighting against the Turks on 

the side of the Greeks. His poems, "The Isles of Greece" and 

"The Prisoner of Chillon," proclaim freedom. 

{At Missolonghi, Greece, J7 guns honor Byron, April 20, 1824.) 

Read: Byron's Poems Vol. 41, pp. 801-815 

Books 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. 
(H. A. Taine born April 21, 1828.) 
Read from Introduction to English Literature. . . .Vol. 39, pp. 410-418 

'^'^ 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. 

(Immanuel Kant born April 22, 1724.) 

Read from Fundamental Principles of Morals. . . .Vol. 32, pp. 310-317 



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46 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

April Reading Guide 

"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. 

(Shakespeare died April 2S, 1616.) 

Read from Shakespeare's King Lear Vol. 46, pp. 293-303 

Nineteen Million Elephants 

At the rate at which elephants naturally increase, Darwin esti- 
mated 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 

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 Ger- 
mans who made Roman emperors tremble. 
Read from Tacitus' On Germany Vol. 33, pp. 106-120 

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. 

(David Hume born April 26, 1711.) 

Read from Hume On Miracles Vol. 37, pp. 375-385 

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. 

(Emerson died April 27, 1882.) 

Read: Emerson's Beauty Vol. 5, pp. 297-310 

'Vanity of Vanities," Saith the Preacher 

Three hundred years before Christ, a preacher in Jerusalem com- 
plained 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 



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47 



April Reading Guide 

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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. l6, pp. 231-242 

Washington'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. 

(Washington inaugurated April _jo, 178().) 

Read: Washington's First Inaugural Address Vol. 43, pp. 225-228 




"No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle," tvrote Hume, thus 
arousing bitter animosity in orthodox circles, Hume's searching 
treatment of miracles will stimulate to deeper thought upon this 
controversial subject, {See Reading Assignment for April 26th.) 



THE SWEETEST PATH OF LIFE LEADS THROUGH THE 
AVENUES OF SCIENCE AND LEARNING.— Hume. 



48 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

MAY 



When the hounds of spring are on winter's traces, 
The mother of months in meadow or plain 

Fills the shadows and windy places 

With lisp of leaves and ripple of rain. . . 

Swinburne (Vol. 42, p. 1199) 

What Would You Ask Judas Iscariot? 

Once Hazlitt and his friends took to discussing the famous peo- 
ple 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 

First 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 

Why "Machiavellian"? 

Traveling from court to court in the stirring days of the Renais- 
sance, Machiavelli studied the intrigues of princes. His writ- 
ings have affected the destiny of mighty dynasties. 
(Machiavelli horn May j, 1469.) 
Read from Machiavelli's The Prince Vol. 36, pp. 7-17 

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. 

(Huxley born May 4, /S25.) 

Read from Science and Culture Vol. 28, pp. 209-319 

Strange Adventures in Man's Clothes 

Disguised as a man, a Russian noblewoman exploring the moun- 
tains of Poland came upon a secret prison. Fate linked the 
lives of this woman and the unknown prisoner. 
(Calderon, after a life of adventure, died May 5, 1681.) 
Read from Calderon's Life Is a Dream Vol. 26, pp. 7-21 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 49 

May Reading Guide 

^ A Poor Artist Defies a Rich Duke 

"Benvenuto, the figure cannot succeed in bronze," so spoke the 
patron Duke. Celhni, 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 

n A 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. 

(Robert Browning born May 7, 1812.) 

Read from Browning's Poems Vol. 42, pp. 1074-1078 

O Behind the Screen in the 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. 
("School for Scandal" produced at Drury Lane, May 8, 1777.) 
Read from Sheridan's School for Scandal Vol. 18, pp. 164-176 

Q Relation of Art to Freedom 

Who has ever thought the arts had anything to do with free- 
dom.'' Schiller did. Forced by a German noble to enter a mili- 
tary school, he escaped. Struggling to achieve freedom, he wrote 
a series of letters on the relation of art to freedom. 

(Friedric/i von Schiller died May 9, 180;.) 

Read: Schiller's On TEsth^tic Education Vol. 32, pp. 209-217 

"I A 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 

1 1 Latest Gossip in Malfi 

Latest news abroad in Malfi: The Duchess has run ofl 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 



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50 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

May Reading Guide 

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. 

(Rossetti born May 12, 1828.) 

Read: Rossetti's Poems Vol. 42, pp. 1149-1153, 1178-1181 

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 afl his several way." 
Read: Burns' The Twa Dogs Vol. 6, pp. 151-157 

Jenner's Amazing Smallpox Cure 

Edward Jenner found that disease in the heel of a horse, trans- 
mitted through a cow to the dairy attendants, was an agent in 
making human beings immune from smallpox. His amazing 
experiments inaugurated a new epoch. 
(Edward Jenner maizes his first vaccination May 14, 1796.) 
Read: Vaccination Against Smallpox Vol. 38, pp. 145-154 

Glimpses Into the Beyond 

The best part of the Divine Comedy for a few minutes' read- 
ing is the "Inferno." There the reader finds the most vivid 
descriptions, the most startling and unforgettable pictures. 
(Dante born May i;, 1265.) 
Read from Dante's Divine Comedy Vol. 20, pp. 102-114 

Favorite Superstitions of Celtic Imagination 

Chessboards on which, of their own accord, black pieces played 
against white; chariots that swifdy turned hither and yon with- 
out 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 

An 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 
public benefactor. 
Read: Plato's Apology of Socrates Vol. 2, pp. 24-30 



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FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 5 1 

May Reading Guide 

1 O 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 story- 
teller accounts for their drooping condition in the morning. 
Read: Andersen's Tales Vol. 17, pp. 334-341 



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Golden 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 

Shakespeare's Finest Work 

The most concentrated beauty of Shakespeare's unbounded crea- 
tive 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. 
{Sonnets entered in the London Stationers' Register, May 20. i6og.) 
Read from Shakespeare's Sonnets Vol. 40, pp. 270-276 

An 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. 
(Alexander Pope born May 21, 1688.) 
Read from Pope's Essay on Man Vol. 40, pp. 430-440 

True 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 mar- 
ried the girl to her village lover. 
(Manzoni died May 22, 187s-) 
Read from Manzoni's I Promessi Sposi Vol. 21, pp. 7-24 

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. 

{Thomas Hood born May 2j, ijgg.) 

Read: Hood's Poems Vol. 41, pp. 907-9H 



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52 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

May Reading Guide 

"yA. They 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 inter- 
esting story of the origin and use of money. 
Read from Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations Vol. lo, pp. 22-33 

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. 

(Emerson horn May 25, j8oj.) 

Read: Emerson's Heroism Vol. 5, pp. 121-13,1 

Daughter Declares Her Love 

Goneril and Regan falsely swore they loved their father, King 
Lear, more than life itself. Cordelia could find no words to ex- 
press her sincere devotion. Then King Lear made the decision 
that started a series of exciting events. 

{Sha\espeare' s first daughter, Susanna, baptized May 26, is^j) 

Read from Shakespeare's King Lear Vol. 46, pp. 215-225 

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 

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. 

(Thomas Moore horn May 28, 1779.) 

Read: Moore's Poems Vol. 41, pp. 816-823 

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 daugh- 
ter. But, daydreaming, he kicked over the tray. 
Read from The Thousand and One Nights Vol. 16, pp. 177-184 



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FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 



53 



May Reading Guide 

30 



When the Throb of the War Drum Is Stifl'd 

(Memorial Day.) 

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 

"X 1 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. 

(Walt Whitman born May ji, i8ig.) 

Read: Whitman's Preiace to Leaves of Grass Vol. 39, pp. 388-398 




Edward Jenner laid the foundation for the making of modern small- 
pox vaccine. He made his first experiment in ijg6 by inoculating 
a boy of eight, {See Reading Assignment for May 14th.) 



THE GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF ANY STUDY YOU MAY 
LEARN BY BOOKS AT HOME.— Newman. 



54 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 



JUNE 



When shepherds pipe on oaten straws, 
And merry larl^s are ploughmen's cloc\s. 

When turtles tread, and roo\s, and daws. 
And maidens bleach their summer smocl{s. 

Shakespeare (Vol. 40, p. 265) 

1 Thrilling Play by Tutor of Shakespeare 

For the best blank verse in English, read "Dr. Faustus," the mas- 
terpiece of Marlowe, who gave Shakespeare lessons in playwrit- 
ing. This genius knew the secret of gripping drama. 
(Marlowe died June 1 , i sg^^.) 
Read from Marlowe's Dr. Faustus Vol. 19, pp. 241-250 

O "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 degrad- 
ing. To save money for his work, he entrusted each of his chil- 
dren to the tender mercies of a foundling house. 

Qean Jacques Rousseau horn June 2, 1712.) 

Read from Rousseau's A Savoyard Vicar Vol. 34, pp. 239-249 

*} Pulse Aids Epochal Discoveries 

Galileo, by holding his pulse while watching a swinging cathe- 
dral lamp, evolved a theory that made clocks possible. Harvey, 
by feeling his pulse, educed that arteries carry blood. 
(Dr. William Harvey died June 3, i6;y.) 
Read from Motion of the Heart and Blood Vol. 38, pp. 75-86 

A '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. 

(Egmont sentenced to death June 4, i6jS.) 

Read from Goethe's Egmont Vol. 19, pp. 253-259 

C 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. 

(Adam Smith born June 5, /72.J.) 

Read from Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations Vol. 10, pp. 149-157 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 55 

June Reading Guide 

/: 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? 

{R. H. Dana on watch, night of June 6, 18^6.) 

Read from Dana's Two Years Before the Mast Vol. 23, pp. 285-295 

y "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. 

{Edwin Booth, famed Sha\espearian actor, died June 7, iSgj.) 

Read from Hamlet Vol. 46, pp. 176-183 

Q Eloquence Wins Over Prejudice 

The plain, homely appearance of Woolman impressed unfav- 
orably 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. 

(John Woolman arrives in London for Friends' meeting, June 8, 1772.) 
Read from Woolman's Journal Vol. i, pp. 302-312 

Q 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 
banished him. 
Read from The Psalms Vol. 44, pp. 168-179 

1 A Horrible Prophecy Fulfilled 

King CEdipus of Thebes as a babe was abandoned on Mount 
Cithzron 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' CEdipus, King of Thebes Vol. 8, pp. 209-223 

1 1 He Sang of His Beautiful Elizabeth 

To commemorate his marriage to the beautiful Elizabeth, Spen- 
ser wrote one of the most enchanting nuptial hymns. 
(Edmund Spenser married Elizabeth Boyle, June 11, 1 594.) 
Read: Spenser's The Epithalamium Vol. 40, pp. 234-245 



56 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

June Reading Guide 

1 '^ Vishnu Holds Up a Battle 

■*■ " Two armies of ancient India were about to engage in a momen- 
tous 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 

1 "X Athens 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 

.J . A Philosopher Prefers Prison Cell 

1^ 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 

.J _, Strikers Storm the Tower of London 

Ij Led by Wat Tyler in 1381, great troops of villagers and rustics 
marched on London — laid siege to the Tower — sacked the apart- 
ments of the King and murdered his ministers. Froissart gives 
first-hand information of this rebellion. 
{Wat Tyler's Rebellion suppressed June 75, 1381.) 
Read from Froissart's Wat Tyler's Rebellion Vol. 35, pp. 60-72 

1 /: 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 un- 
earthly adventures await him! 
(Byron publishes "Manfred," June 16, 1817.) 
Read from Byron's Manfred Vol. 18, pp. 415-428 

17 Risked 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 setde- 
ments of Christian Indians. Now villages and Indians have dis- 
appeared. Only his story remains. 
(John Eliot holds Indian prayer meeting June ly, 1670.) 
Read: Eliot's Brief Narrative Vol. 43, pp. 138-146 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 57 

June Reading Guide 

1 O 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 



19 



20 



21 



22 



23 



Freaks 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 

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 

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-no 

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 

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. 

(James Mill, jather of ]ohn Stuart Mill, died June 2^, i8j6.) 

Read from Mill's Autobiography Vol. 25, pp. 9-20 



58 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

June Reading Guide 

24 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 

TC Advice 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 

2^ In 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 

py 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. 

{Francis Bacon enrolled at Cambridge University, June 27, 1576.) 

Read from Bacon's Essays Vol. 3, pp. 22-26 

^Q 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 saluta- 
tion. 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 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 



59 



June Reading Guide 

29 



30 



"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. 

{Shakespeare's Globe Theatre burned June 29, 161 j.) 

Read from Shakespeare's Macbeth Vol. 46, pp. 357-365 

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 




Escape from prison is offered Socrates, but his conscientious princi- 
ples regarding man's relations to the laws caused him to refuse this 
opportunity and face the death decreed by his judges. (See Reading 
Assignment for fune 14.) 

IF YOU READ TEN PAGES OF A GOOD BOOK, LETTER BY 
LETTER— THAT IS TO SAY, WITH REAL ACCURACY— YOU 
ARE FOREVERMORE IN SOME MEASURE AN EDUCATED 
PERSON.— John Ruskin. 



60 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 



1 



JULY 



Rosy summer next advancing, . . . 
On Calpe's olive-shaded steep 
Or India's citron-cover' d isles. . . . 

Campbell (Vol. 41, p. 772) 

Darwin 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. 

(Darwin publishes outline of "Origin of Species," July i, 18^8.) 

Read from Darwin's Origin of Species Vol. 11, pp. 5-17 

"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, Caesar re- 
formed the calendar. July was named for him. 
Read from Plutarch's Cisar Vol. 12, pp. 310-315 

Gettysburg by an Eyewitness 

An officer in that momentous battle narrates every major action 
of both armies. Thus we see the swarming lines of Confeder- 
ates advance — the hand-to-hand struggle. 
{Battle of Gettysburg, fitly i-s, 1863.) 
Read from Haskell's Battle of Gettysburg Vol. 43, pp. 326-335 

Some Chose to Remain British Subjects 

(Independence Pay.) 

Some Americans preferred to be loyal to England and did not 
want independent government. Their hesitation is better under- 
stood when the finality of the Declaration is realized. 
Read: Declaration of Independence Vol. 43, pp. 150-155 

A 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. i6, pp. 149-162 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 6l 

July Reading Guide 

/: The 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. 

(Sir Thomas More executed, July 6, IS3S-) 

Read from More's Utopia Vol. 36, pp. 135-142 

"J Scandal 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. 

(Sheridan buried in Westminster Abbey, fuly y, 1816.) 

Read from Sheridan's School for Scandal Vol. 18, pp. 115-128 

O Italy'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. 

(Percy Bysshe Shelley drowned, July 8, 1822.) 

Read from Shelley's Cenci Vol. 18, pp. 288-300 

Q A 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 de- 
partures from truth. 

(Bacon becomes Privy Councilor, July 9, j6i6.) 
Read from Bacon's Essays Vol. 3, pp. 7-19 

America'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 

1 1 Star 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. 

(Newcomb died July 11, igog.) 

Read: Newcomb's The Extent of the Universe Vol. 30, pp. 311-321 



10 



62 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

July Reading Guide 

1 2 B«t 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. 

(Henry David Thoreati horn July I2, iSiy.) 

Read from Thoreau's Walking Vol. 28, pp. 395-405 

1 '2 Athenians 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 won their support to his ambitious plans. 
Read from Plutarch's Pericles Vol. 12, pp. 47-57 

1 4 Th^ French People Triumph 

(The Bastille surrendered , July 14, lySg.) 

What the Fourth of July is to Americans, the Fourteenth of July 
is to Frenchmen. It commemorates an oppressive tyranny over- 
thrown by a freedom-loving people. 
Read from Burke's The Revolution in France Vol. 24, pp. 268-273 

When 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. 

(Queen Elizabeth entertained at Kenilworth, July 15, 157$.) 

Read from Holinshed's Chronicles Vol. 35, pp. 271-288 

'I /C The 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. 
(Beginning of Moslem era of time, July 16, 622 A. D.) 
Read from The Koran Vol. 45, pp. 908-913 

1 "7 A Throne for Son or Stepson? 

Phacdre 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 
the crown.' 

(Racine elected to French Academy, July 17, 167 j.) 

Read from Racine's PHiiDRE Vol. 26, pp. 133-148 



15 



19 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 6^ 

July Reading Guide 

1 O They Loved in Vain 

"Browning's play has thrown me into a perfect passion of sor- 
row," 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. i8, pp. 359-368 

She 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. 
(Sir Walter Raleigh imprisoned July ig, 160 j.) 
Read from Raleigh's Discovery of Guiana Vol. 33, pp. 311-320 

20 A 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 

21 Scotland'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. 

(Robert Burns died July 21, 1796.) 

Read from Burns' Poems Vol. 6, pp. 70-79 

22 Trapped 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 

23 Friendship 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. 

(Francis Bacon l^nighted, July 2^, i6oj.) 

Read from Bacon's Essays Vol. 3, pp. 65-72 



25 



26 



64 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

July Reading Guide 

^A. Indian 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 

A 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 di- 
vested her of divinity, and she fell in love with Sigurd. 
Read: Lay of Brynhild Vol. 49, pp. 391-395 

Peace 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. 

(Thomas a Kempis died July 26, 1471.) 

Read from Thomas a Kempis Vol. 7, pp. 205-2H 

Once 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. 

(Lister publishes paper on antiseptic treatment, July 27, 1867.) 

Read: On the Antiseptic Principles Vol. 38, pp. 257-267 

An 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. 

(Abraham Cowley died July 28, 1667.) 

Read: Cowley's Of Agriculture Vol. 27, pp. 61-69 

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 



27 



28 



29 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 



65 



J 



ULY Reading Guide 

"2 A The 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 ac- 
count of his great adventure "to plant Christian inhabitants in 
places convenient." 

(Gilbert lands at Netvjoiwdland near St. John's, July jo, 1583.) 
Read: Gilbert's Voyage to Newfoundland Vol. 33, pp. 263-273 

Charm 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? 

(Defoe pilloried jor defiance of public opinion, July ji, 1703.) 

Read: Defoe's Education of Women Vol. 27, pp. 148-150 



31 




"Between the Devil and the Deep Sea" ivas originated by Homer, 
tuho tvrote it "Bettveen Scylla and Charybdis." Sailing through 
this narrotv channel was one of the many exciting adventures of 
Odysseus. (See Reading Assignment for fuly 22d.) 



THE TRUE UNIVERSITY OF OUR DAYS IS A COLLECTION 
OF BOOKS.— Carlyle. 



66 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

AUGUST 

Now westlin winds and slaught'ring guns 
Bring Autumn's pleasant weather, . . . 

Now waving grain, wide o'er the plain, 
Delights the weary farmer. . . . 

Burns (Vol. 6, p. 45) 

1 His 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? 

{Calvin issues "Dedication," Aug. i, /5i6.) 

Read from Calvin's Dedication Vol. 39, pp. 27-33 

^ Poems 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 

"X when 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 .iEneid Vol. 13, pp. 110-117 

A, World's Greatest Bedtime Stories 

Hans Christian Andersen had an extraordinary capacity for amus- 
ing children. Were he living to-day he might be in great de- 
mand as a radio bedtime story man. 
(H. C. Andersen died Aug. 4, iSys-) 
Read: Andersen's Tales Vol. 17, pp. 221-230 

C Joys 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. 

(Robert Burns married Jean Armour, Aug. 5, 1788.) 

Read: Burns' Cotters' Saturday Night Vol. 6, pp. 134-140 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 67 

August Reading Guide 

fi A Prophet of Aerial W^arfare 

"For I dipt into the future — saw the nation's airy navies grap- 

pHng 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. 

(Alfred Lord Tennyson born Aug. 6, iSog.) 

Read: Tennyson's Locksley Hall Vol. 42, pp. 979-986 

y The 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 lis- 
ten to the last words of Athens' sage. 
Read from Plato's PHiEDO Vol. 2, pp. 45-54 

Q Men 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 

Q English Bridal Party Jailed 

Minister and witness, bride and groom were arrested by an en- 
raged father when John Donne married his employer's niece. 
Donne was soon released, but he found himself without money, 
position or bride. 
(Isaali Walton born Aug. 9, /59i.) 
Read from Walton's Life of Dr. Donne Vol. 15, pp. 326-334 

1 Q "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. 

(French royal family imprisoned, Aug. 10, 1792.) 

Read from Burke's The Revolution in France Vol. 24, pp. 143-157 

I "I Clever Repartee of Epictetus 

Epictetus advises that if a person speaks ill of you, make no de- 
fense, 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 



68 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

August Reading Guide 

1 2 Zekle'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' does," and 
then — 
Read: Lowell's Poems Vol. 42, pp. 1376-1379 

1 ^ Too Close to See the Battle 

{Battle of Blenheim, Aug. ij, 1704.) 

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 

1 A A 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. 

{Dana begins famous two-year voyage, Aug. 14, 1834.) 

Read from Dana's Two Years Before the Mast Vol. 23, pp. 30-37 

1 C Into Death's Face He Flung This Song 

■'■*-' {Roland died at Roncesvaux, Aug. 15, 778.) 

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 

1 /^ Inspiring Ritual of Temple Worship 

David — the psalm singer — knew the wondrous ways of the Lord 
and praised Him 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 

Three Walls Luther Saw 

Luther declared that the unreformed church had drawn its doc- 
trines like three walls so closely about the people that they served 
not as protection but were the cause of untold misery and dis- 
tress. This he hoped to relieve by the Reformation. 
Read: Luther's Address to the Nobility Vol. 36, pp. 263-275 



17 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 69 

August Reading Guide 

1 O "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 

Roses Boiled in Wine 

Astonishing treatments and cures are related by Ambroise Par^, 
famed surgeon of the fifteenth century. One remedy, for in- 
stance, used to cure a distinguished nobleman, was red roses 
boiled in white wine, — and it was effective. 
Read from Park's Journeys in Diverse Places Vol. 38, pp. 50-58 

20 Plot Against Eve 

Driven from Heaven, Satan meditated revenge. He decided 
his greatest opportunity to injure God was to bring sin to man- 
kind. Satan's plot against Eve is told by Milton. 
("Paradise Lost" published Aug. 20, 1667.) 
Read from Milton's Paradise Lost Vol. 4, pp. 154-164 



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21 



Piidden 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 con- 
solation. 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 

22 Aboard 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 
sea experiences. 
Read from Dana's Two Years Before the Mast Vol. 23, pp. 99-111 

23 Which Is a Beautiful Woman? 

The Hottentot thinks his wife beautiful. Every American be- 
lieves 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 



70 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

August Reading Guide 

'^A, Survivor's Story of Vesuvius 

{Pliny witnessed eruption of Vesuvius, Aug. 24, jg A. D.) 

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 

aiding refugees. 

Read from Pliny's Letters Vol. 9, pp. 284-291 

OC Britain 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 trans- 
ports 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. 

(Kelvin delivers lecture on "Tides." Aug. 25, 1882.) 
Read from Kelvin's Tides Vol. 30, pp. 274-285 

^/C The Prince of Wales Wins His Spurs 

"*-* (Battle of Crecy, Aug. 26, IJ46.) 

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 de- 
scribes all in detail. 
Read from Froissart's Chronicles Vol. 35, pp. 27-33 

'^n Priceless Treasures of Memory 

"A man's a man for a' that." "Should auld acquaintance be for- 
got." "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 

•^Q The World's Love Tragedy 

"Almighty God, I am undone." With this cry of despair, Mar- 
garet 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. 
(Johann Wolfgang Goethe horn Aug. 28, 1749.) 
Read from Goethe's Faust Vol. 19, pp. 158-167 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 



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August Reading Guide 

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Cleopatra 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. 

(Cleopatra dies ajter Antony's suicide, Aug. 29, jo B. C.) 

Read from Plutarch's Antony Vol. 12, pp. 339-349 

Simple 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 

America'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. 
(Emerson delivers "American Scholar" lecture, Aug. ^i, 18 J7.) 
Read: Emerson's American Scholar Vol. 3, pp. 5-15 




Ambroise Pare, a French army surgeon, devised in 7557 a method 
of treating battle wounds that superseded cautery. (See Reading 
Assignment for August igth.) 

AS GOOD, ALMOST, KILL A MAN AS KILL A GOOD BOOK. 

— John Milton. 



72 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

SEPTEMBER 

Season of mists and mellow jruhjulness. 

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; 

Conspiring tvith him how to load and bless 

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run. . . 

Keats (Vol. 41, p. 879) 

1 Expelled 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. 

{Penn arrested for preaching in London, Sept. i, 1670.) 

Read from Penn's Some Fruits of Solitude Vol. i, pp. 321-331 

2 Too 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. 

(Battle of Actium, Sept. 2, j' B. C.) 

Read from Dryden's All for Love Vol. 18, pp. 88-100 

"X Seven 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. 

(Treaty between England and the United States signed Sept. j, 1783.) 
Read: Treaty with Great Britain (1783) Vol. 43, pp. 174-179 

A Voltaire Criticizes 

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 

C Survival 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 

human life. 

(Darwin first outlines his theory of natural selection, Sept. 5, 1857.) 

Read from Darwin's Origin of Species Vol. 11, pp. 353-357 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 73 

September Reading Guide 

/I The 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 com- 
bined to make him the idol of his people and the master of his- 
torical romance. 
Read Carlyle's Sir Walter Scott Vol. 25, pp. 393-403 

n The 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 long- 
ing for her overwhelmed the warrior-king. 
Read from Destruction of Da Derga's Hostel Vol. 49, pp. 199-209 

O when Europe Lay Under Ice 

There was a time when the snow fell and did not melt in sum- 
mer. 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. 
{Helmholtz died Sept. 8, 1894.) 
Read from Helmholtz's Ice and Glaciers Vol. 30, pp. 211-223 

Q When 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.'' 

(Emerson retires from the ministry, Sept. g, 1832.) 

Read: Emerson's Nature Vol. 5, pp. 223-230 

1 Pi Famous 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 de- 
struction when her fighting days were ended. 
Read: Holmes' Poems Vol. 42, pp. 1365-1370 

1 1 Wages — 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 



74 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

September Reading Guide 

1 ^ Love 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. 

(Browning married Elizabeth Barrett, Sept. 12, 1846.) 

Read: Sonkets from the Portuguese Vol. 41, pp. 923-932 



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16 



Good 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 fan- 
tastic story of a soul's salvation — probably the most famous alle- 
gory ever written. 

(fohn Bunyan liberated and pardoned, Sept. ij, 1672.) 
Read from Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress Vol. 15, pp. 13-23 

Dante 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 

righteousness. 

(Dante died Sept. 14, 1321.') 

Read from Dante's Divine Comedy Vol. 20, pp. 387-395 

Refused 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. 

(George Washington published "Farewell Address," Sept. 75, 1796.) 
Read: Washington's Farewell Address Vol. 43, pp. 233-249 

Penalty 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 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 75 

September Reading Guide 

1 n Romance 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. 

{Whittier died Sept. 77, i8g2.) 

Read: Whittier's Poems Vol. 42, pp. 1351-1364 



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22 



Home 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. 
{Dana returns from two-year voyage, Sept. 18, 18 j6.) 
Read from Dana's Two Years Before the Mast Vol. 23, pp. 348-356 

Humor 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 
amusing novel. 

{Cervantes ransomed from slavery, Sept. ig, i;8o.) 
Read from Cervantes' Don Quixote Vol. 14, pp. 48-54 

Women'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. 
{Mohammed arrives at Kuba after "The Flight," Sept. 20, 622.) 
Read from The Koran Vol. 45, pp. 967-974 

^neas and the Old Witch 

The Sybil, an old witch, personally conducts ^Eneas 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. 

{Virgil died Sept. 21, ig B. C.) 

Read from Virgil's ^neid Vol. 13, pp. 207-218 

A 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." 

{Froissart dates Battle of Poitiers, Sept. 22, IJS^-) 

Read from Froissart's Chronicles Vol. 35, pp. 42-53 



76 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

September Reading Guide 

T '2 Dying 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 

24 Citizens 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. More- 
over, 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 

2 '^ A 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 

'yf\ And 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. 

{Printing of Cervantes' "Don Quixote" licensed, Sept. 26, 1604.) 

Read from Cervantes' Don Quixote Vol. 14, pp. 29-35 

27 Pascal'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. 

(Pascal confers with Descartes, Sept. 27, 1647.) 

Read from Pascal's Thoughts Vol. 48, pp. 181-192 

28 He 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. 

(Louis Pasteur died Sept. 28, iSgj.) 

Read: Pasteur's The Germ Theory Vol. 38, pp. 364-370 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 



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September Reading Guide 

29 



30 



Prophet 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 giv- 
ing counsel. After his death, Emperor and people alike bowed 
before his shrine. 
Read from Sayings of Confucios Vol. 44, pp. 5-14 

A Gentleman According to Emerson 

An etiquette book and a good tailor do not always produce a 
gendeman — neither does the Social Register include only gentle- 
men. Emerson by quaint stories tells how fashion and manners 
combine to make that rare product — a gentleman. 
(Emerson's first marriage, Sept. jo, i82g.) 
Read from Emerson's Manners Vol. 5, pp. 199-208 




Confucius was a Chinese magistrate and minister of crime in 500 
B. c. Though an ancient lawyer, he had modern ideas of prison 
reform. (See Reading Assignment for September 2^th.) 



THE MASTER SAID: BY BREADTH OF READING AND THE 
TIES OF COURTESY A GENTLEMAN WILL ALSO KEEP FROM 
ERROR'S PATH.— Confucius. 



yS FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

OCTOBER 

The s1{ies they were ashen and sober; 
The leaves they were crisped and sere — 
The leaves they were withering and sere. . , 

PoE (Vol. 42, p. 1230) 

1 Princes 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. 

(Machiavelli's model prince sent to France as papal legate, Oct. i, 1498.) 
Read from Machiavelli's The Prince Vol. 36, pp. 36-44 

^ Veteran 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. 

{Darwin returns from South America, Oct. 2, 18^6.) 

Read from Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle Vol. 29, pp. 107-111 

"3 Good Enough for Chaucer 

When polite English society conversed in French — considering 
English a vulgar tongue, fit only for servants and working peo- 
ple — Chaucer, nevertheless, wrote poems in this "vulgar" Eng- 
lish, which charm us because of their quaint words. 
Read: Chaucer's Poems Vol. 40, pp. 11-20 

4 His 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 

C Amateur 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 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 79 

October Reading Guide 

fi The 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 
their fate. 
Read from Burke's Revolution in France Vol. 24, pp. 208-217 

n An Uncanonized American Saint 

John Woolman was the foremost leader of the early Quakers 
and contributed much to the spiritual life of the American Colo- 
nies. He was a pioneer in the crusade against slavery. 
(John Woolman died Oct. 7, 1772.) 
Read from The Journal of John Woolman Vol. i, pp. 283-288 

Q Fielding's Parody Becomes History- 
Fielding wrote a lengthy story to burlesque a novel of Richard- 
son. But the travesty overshot its mark. Instead of a mere par- 
ody, it became a masterpiece. 
(Henry Fielding died Oct. 8, 1764.) 
Read: Fielding's Preface to Joseph Andrews Vol. 39, pp. 176-181 

Q Songs 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? 

(Newman, author of "Lead, Kindly Light," baptized Oct. 9, 184;.) 

Read; Latin Hymns Vol. 45, pp. 546-556; also pp. 567-568 

1 A A 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 snow- 
flakes." The youth was a charming girl ! 
(Cervantes aided in the capture of Tunis, Oct. 10, tS73.) 
Read from Cervantes' Don Quixote Vol. 14, pp. 252-266 

1 1 .^neas Flees from an Inconsolable Love 

JEneas, mythological founder of the Roman race, leaving Car- 
thage 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 ^Eneid Vol. 13, pp. 178-188 



8o FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

October Reading Guide 

1 'y Columbus' Letter Miraculously Found 

{Columbus Day.) 

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 

1 "J 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 

1 A 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 

1 C First Families of America 

"They are a people smooth and clean of body because of con- 
tinually washing themselves — they eat all their enemies whom 
they kill or capture." Amerigo Vespucci thus writes of the New 
World inhabitants. 

(Amerigo Vespucci retmns from first American voyage, Oct. i;, 1458.) 
Read: Vespucci's Account of His First Voyage Vol. 43, pp. 28-44 

1 ^ 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 

1 7 Reason His Only Religion 

The religion of Thomas Browne — a liberal man in a most intol- 
erant time — was not taken from either Rome or Geneva, but 
from his own reason. 

{Browne visited by Evelyn of "Evelyn Diary," Oct, ly, 1671.) 

Read from Browne's Religio Medici Vol. 3, pp. 253-265 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 8 1 

October Reading Guide 

10 "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 po- 
etry. What is your reaction.'' 
Read: Shelley's Poems Vol. 41, pp. 829-835 

1 O 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. 

{James Henry Leigh Hunt born Oct. ig, 1784.) 

Read: Hunt's Essays Vol. 27, pp. 285-295 

2(3 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 

21 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 

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 

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 C^sar Vol. 12, pp. 264-273 



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82 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

October Reading Guide 

Clytemnestra 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 £rom ^schylus' Agamemnon Vol. 8, pp. 52-64 

It Greatly Encouraged Intrigue 

After the publication of Machiavelli's "The Prince," the Sultans 
became more addicted to strangling their brothers, tyrants be- 
came more merciless, and murderous plots increased. The 
influence of that book, as Macaulay points out, spread over Europe 
and Asia. 

(Thomas Bahington Lord Macaulay born Oct. 25, 1800.) 
Read from Macaulay's Machiavelli Vol. 27, pp. 363-372 

Franklin Learned the Secret 

Poor at twenty, rich at forty, internationally famous at fifty. Ben- 
jamin 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. 
(Franklin made U. S. plenipotentiary in France, Aug. 26, 1778.) 
Read from Franklin's Autobiography Vol. i, pp. 14-21 

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 

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. 

(]ohn Lock.e died Oct. 28, 1704.) 

Read: Some Thoughts Concerning Education Vol. 37, pp. 128-136 



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FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 



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October Reading Guide 



29 



30 



31 



Genius Rises from a Stable 

(]ohn Keats born Oct. 29, 1795.) 

Though the son of a stable man, John Keats wrote the most ex- 
quisite and subHme 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 

Geology's Greatest Benefactor 

Lyell has been called the founder of modern geology. Darwin, 
the master scientist, called him "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 

Witches Walk To-night 

(All Hallows' Eve.) 

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 




John Loc\e taught spelling by means of dice with letters of the alpha- 
bet pasted on them. (See Reading Assignment for October 28th.) 

THE FIRST TIME I READ AN EXCELLENT BOOK, IT IS TO 
ME JUST AS IF I HAD GAINED A NEW FRIEND.— Goldsmith. 



84 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

NOVEMBER 

When biting Boreas, fell and dour, 
Sharp shivers thro' the leafless bow'r; 
When Phcebus gies a short-liv'd glow'r. 

Far south the lift, 
Dim-dar\'ning thro' the fla^ show'r. 

Or whirling drift. 

Burns (Vol. 6, p. 248) 
1 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 thrilUng 
drama. The fanciful, enchanting "Tempest" is the last work 
of the great bard of Stratford. 

("The Tempest" performed at Queen Elizabeth's court, Nov. 1, 1611.) 
Read from Shakespeare's The Tempest Vol. 46, pp. 397-410 

O 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 

"2 Letters to an Emperor 

Pliny sought the advice of the Emperor Trajan for dealing with 
the Christians who were alarmingly on the increase. He casu- 
ally relates how he had tortured two Christians. 
Read from Pliny's Letters Vol. 9, pp. 404-406 

A. 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 
this sacrifice.? 
Read from Corneille's Polyeucte Vol. 26, pp. 87-97 

C 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 



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FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 85 

November Reading Guide 

fi 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. 
(Faraday sends "Experimental Researches" to Royal Society, Nov. 6, 1845.) 
Read: Faraday's Force of Gravitation Vol. 30, pp. 13-21 

n 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 awak- 
ened by a man's voice calling. 
Read from The Thousand and One Nights Vol. 16, pp. 100-107 

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." 

{]ohn Milton died Nov. 8, 1674.) 

Read from Milton's Paradise Regained Vol. 4, pp. 359-369 

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 

triumph. 

Read from The Psalms Vol. 44, pp. 318-327 

A Poet Who Piped for His Supper 

Goldsmith traveled through Belgium, France, and Italy, win- 
ning his daily bread by playing at farmhouses. He wrote the 
most brilliant comedy, the best novel, and the finest poem of 
his age. 

(Oliver Goldsmith born Nov. 10, 1728.) 

Read: Goldsmith's The Deserted Village Vol. 41, pp. 509-520 

America's Doughboy Glorified 

(Armistice Day) 

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 



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86 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

November Reading Guide 

1 ^ 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. 

(John Milton married second wile, Nov. I2, 1656.) 

Read from Milton's Paradise Lost Vol. 4, pp. 278-290 

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 con- 
version to Christianity amazed those who knew him. 
(St. Augustine born Nov. 13, 354.) 
Read from the Confessions of St. Augustine Vol. 7, pp. 31-38 

He Worried About It 

We wonder if the man who worried about the "scientifical" pre- 
diction that "The sun's heat will give out in ten million years 
more," had read Lyell on the gradual changes in the earth's 
surface. 

(Sir Charles Lyell born Nov. 14, 1797.) 

Read: Lyell's Uniformity of Change Vol. 38, pp. 398-405 

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. 

(Sale of corn and flour regulated in Milan, Nov. 75, 7629.) 

Read from Manzoni's I Promessi Sposi Vol. 21, pp. 450-460 

1 ^ 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 

17 At Thirty Scott Began to Write 

Are you curious about famous people, their lives, habits, person- 
alities? Carlyle discusses the intimate life of his illustrious coun- 
tryman, and reveals Scott, the man, and Scott, the genius who 
entertained Christendom with his stories. 
(Scott writes dedication of "Ivanhoe," Nov. 17, 1817.) 
Read: Carlyle's Sir Walter Scott Vol. 25, pp. 410-420 



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FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 87 

November Reading Guide 

1 O 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. 

(William Tell incident, legendary date, Nov. 18, i^oy.) 

Read from Schiller's Wilhelm Tell Vol. 26, pp. 441-449 

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.? 

(Queen Victoria appointed Tennyson poet laureate, Nov. ig, 1850.) 

Read: Tennyson's Morte d' Arthur Vol. 42, pp. 986-992 

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 

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 

vaccination. 

{Voltaire ill with smallpox, Nov., 172^.) 

Read from Voltaire's Letters Vol. 34, pp. 93-97 

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 jEneid Vol. 13, pp. 167-177 

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 

the imagination. 

{Pascal begins writing his "Thoughts," Nov. 2j, 1654.) 

Read from Pascal's Thoughts Vol. 48, pp. 26-36 



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88 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

November Reading Guide 

'^A 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. 

("Origin of Species" published Nov. 24, 1859.) 

Read from Darwin's Origin of Species Vol. 11, pp. 23-30 



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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 

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 build- 
ing the gorgeous scenery in a way equaled by no scene painter 
or costumer. 
Read: Lamb On the Tragedies or Shakspf.re Vol. 27, pp. 299-310 

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 

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. 

(William Bla\e born Nov. 28, 1757.) 

Read: Blake's Poems Vol. 41, pp. 583-592 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 



89 



November Reading Guide 

29 



30 



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 Oi- the Origin of Ideas Vol. 37, pp. 299-303 

"Don'ts" for Conversation 

To harp on one's illnesses, giving all the symptoms and circum- 
stances, has been a blemish on conversation for ages. Two 
hundred years ago Swift complained of persons who continually 
talked about themselves. 
(Jonathan Swift horn Nov. jo, i66y.) 
Read: Swift's Essay on Conversation Vol. 27, pp. 91-98 




Michael Faraday taught scientific truths by everyday methods. By 
the use of ttvo sticks, a table and a pail he demonstrated that the 
"center of gratuity must remain tvithin the base." {See Reading 
Assignment for November 6th.) 



NO MAN SHOULD THINK SO HIGHLY OF HIMSELF AS TO 
THINK HE CAN RECEIVE BUT LITTLE LIGHT FROM BOOKS. 

— Johnson. 



90 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

DECEMBER 

When icicles hang by the wall 

And Dic\ the shepherd blows his nail. 

And Tom bears logs into the hall, 

And mil\ comes frozen home in pail. . . 

Shakespeare (Vol. 40, p. 262) 

1 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 

2 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 

"3 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 de- 
mand constant vigilance. 
Read: The Birth of the Buddha Vol. 45, pp. 603-612 

A, The Queen Weds a Poor Stranger 

.(Eneas 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 iENEiD Vol. 13, pp. 152-162 

C 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, com- 
bined with her unusual beauty a rare poetic sense. 
(Christina Georgina Rossetti born Dec. 5, 1830.) 
Read: Christina Rossetti's Poems Vol. 42, pp. 1181-1183 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 9 1 

December Reading Guide 

/C 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. 

(Last issue of "The Spectator" published Dec. 6, 1712.) 

Read : Addison's Essays Vol. 27, pp. 73-80 

n What Cicero Least Expected 

After being governor of Sicily, Cicero returned to Rome expect- 
ing a hero's welcome. When he asked what the Romans thought 
of his recent achievements, he received an astounding answer. 
(Cicero slain by Marl{ Antony's soldiers, Dec. 7, 43 B. C.) 
Read from Plutarch's Cichro Vol. I2, pp. 222-231 

O 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. 

{Thomas De Quincy died Dec. 8, i8;q.) 

Read: Levana and Our Ladies of Sorrow. Vol. 27, pp. 319-325 

Q 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 
"Underground Railroad." 
Read: The Fugitive Slave Act Vol. 43, pp. 306-312 

1 A 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 character- 
istic conceit by Cellini in his amazing diary. 
Read from Cellini's Autobiography Vol. 31, pp. 62-72 

1 1 The 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 



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92 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

December Reading Guide 

1 ''y Ho'w 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. 

{Robert Browning died Dec. 12, i88g.) 

Read; Browning's Poems Vol. 42, pp. 1066-1068 

1 ^ 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. 

(Sir Francis Drake embarked for South Seas, Dec. ij, 1577.) 

Read from Drake's Voyage Round the World Vol. 33, pp. 199-208 

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. 

{Marvell entered Cambridge, Dec. 14, i6jj.) 

Read: Marvell's Poems Vol. 40, pp. 370-379 

1 C 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 

1 /C 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 

species. 

Read from Burke's The Sublime and Beautiful Vol. 24, pp. 37-48 

1 7 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 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 93 

December Reading Guide 

1 O 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 
explains why. 
Read from Some Thoughts Concerning Education. .Vol. 37, pp. 136-145 

1 Q Samson Finds a Champion 

The mighty Samson was blinded while a captive of the 

Philistines. He sought revenge — a revenge devastating and costly. 

Milton, himself a giant of intellect, blind and imprisoned, wrote 

of this sightless giant of other days. 

(Milton released from prison, Dec. ig, 1660.) 

Read: Milton's Samson Agonistes Vol. 4, pp. 444-459 

PO ^Syp' 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 

•^ I "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. 
(John Bunyan made leader of Non-Conformist congregation, Dec. 21, 1671.) 
Read from Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress Vol. 15, pp. 306-318 

^O 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. 

(Darwin visits New Zealand natives, Dec. 22, 18^5.) 

Read from Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle Vol. 29, pp. 425-434 

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. 

(Sainte-Beuve born Dec. 2j, 1804.) 

Read: Sainte-Beuve's What Is a Classic' Vol. 32, pp. 121-133 



23 



94 FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 

December Reading Guide 

Christmas Made a Dull Day 



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27 



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29 



Before the Reformation in England almost every third day was 

a holy day. But the Puritans abolished all the holy days, even 

Christmas. 

Read from Holinshed's Chronicles Vol. 35, pp. 266-270 

The Christinas Story 

(Christmas Day.) 

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 

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. 
("King Lear" presented at Queen Elizabeth's court, Dec. 26, 1606.) 
Read from Shakespeare's King Lear Vol. 46, pp. 288-300 

Million-Year-Old Islands 

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. 

(Charles Darwin begins voyage in the "Beagle!" Dec. 27, i8ji.) 

Read from Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle Vol. 29, pp. 376-389 

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 

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 



FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY 95 

December Reading Guide 

"XCX 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 ap- 
pearance and personality. 
Read from Dana's Two Years Before the Mast Vol. 23, pp. 77-86 

O-l 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 




Basic unity of religions is strikingly revealed in the similarity be- 
tween the Ten Commandments of Moses and the Precepts of Bud- 
dha. (See Reading Assignment for December ^rd.) 



THE FOUNTAIN OF WISDOM FLOWS THROUGH BOOKS. 

— Greek Proverb.