BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


Vanity Fair

William Thackery


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A. Conan Doyle


Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)


The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde


Man and superman

by Bernard Shaw

Excerpt:

Straker. What d'y'mean?

Tanner. That record to Biskra.

Straker [eagerly] Yes?

Tanner. Break it.

Straker [rising to the height of his destiny] D'y'mean it?

Tanner. I do.

Straker. When?

Tanner. Now. Is that machine ready to start?

Straker [quailing] But you can't —

Tanner [cutting him short by getting into the car] Off we go. First to the bank for money; then to my rooms for my kit; then to your rooms for your kit; then break the record from London to Dover or Folkestone; then across the channel and away like mad to Marseilles, Gibraltar, Genoa, any port from which we can sail to a Mahometan country where men are protected from women.

Straker. Garn! you're kiddin.

Tanner [resolutely] Stay behind then. If you won't come I'll do it alone. [He starts the motor].

Straker [running after him] Here! Mister! arfamo! steady on! [he scrambles in as the car plunges forward].

ACT III

Evening in the Sierra Nevada. Rolling slopes of brown, with olive trees instead of apple trees in the cultivated patches, and occasional prickly pears instead of gorse and bracken in the wilds. Higher up, tall stone peaks and precipices, all handsome and distinguished. No wild nature here: rather a most aristo-" cratic mountain landscape made by a fastidious artist-creator. No vulgar profusion of vegetation: even a touch of aridity in the frequent patches of stones: Spanish magnificence and Spanish economy everywhere.

Not very far north of a spot at which the high road over one of the passes crosses a tunnel on the railway from Malaga to Granada, is one of the mountain amphitheatres of the Sierra. Looking at it from the wide end of the horse-shoe, one sees, a little to the right, in the face of the cliff, a romantic cave which is really an abandoned quarry, and towards the left a little hill, commanding a view of the road, which skirts the amphitheatre on the left, maintaining its higher level on embankments and an occasional stone arch. On the hill, watching the road, is a man who is either a Spaniard or a Scotchman. Probably a Spaniard, since he wears the dress of a Spanish goatherd and seems at home in the Sierra Nevada, but very like a Scotchman for all that. In the hollow, on the slope leading to the quarry-cave, are about a dozen men who, as they recline at their ease round a heap of smouldering white ashes of dead leaf and brushwood, have an air of being conscious of themselves as picturesque scoundrels honoring the Sierra by using it as an effective pictorial background. As a matter of artistic fact they are not picturesque; and the mountains tolerate them as lions tolerate lice. An English policeman or Poor Law Guardian would recognize them as a selected band of tramps and ablebodied paupers.

This description of them is not wholly contemptuous. Whoever has intelligently observed the tramp, or visited the ablebodied ward of a workhouse, will admit that our social failures are not all drunkards and weaklings. Some of them are men who do not fit the class they were born into. Precisely the same qualities that make the educated gentleman an artist may make an uneducated manual laborer an ablebodied pauper. There are men who fall helplessly into the workhouse because they are good for nothing; but there are also men who are there because they are strongminded enough to disregard the social convention (obviously not a disinterested one on the part of the ratepayer) which bids a man live by heavy and badly paid drudgery when he has the alternative of walking into the workhouse, announcing himself as a destitute person, and legally compelling the Guardians to feed, clothe and house him better than he could feed, clothe and house himself without great exertion. When a man who is born a poet refuses a stool in a stockbroker's office, and starves in a garret, spunging on a poor landlady or on his friends and relatives sooner than work against his grain; or when a lady, because she is a lady, will face any extremity of parasitic dependence rather than take a situation as cook or parlormaid, we make large allowances for them. To such allowances the ablebodied pauper, and his nomadic variant the tramp, are equally entitled.


... from the RetroRead library, using Google Book Search, and download any of the books already converted to Kindle format.

Browse the 100 most recent additions to the RetroRead library

Browse the library alphabetically by title

Make books:

Login or register to convert Google epubs to Kindle ebooks

username:

password:

Lost your password?

Not a member yet? Register here, and convert any Google epub you wish


Powerd by Calibre powered by calibre