Вот сборник поучительных рассказов для детей, опубликованнуй в 1851-м году: "THE PEARL BOX. CONTAINING ONE HUNDRED BEAUTIFUL STORIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE." Первый же рассказ в нём заставляет задуматься. Он называется "Умирающий мальчик":
THE DYING BOY.
A little boy, by the name of Bertie, was taken very ill, and for sometime continued to grow weaker until he died. A few hours before his death he revived up, and his first request was to be bathed in the river; but his mother persuaded him to be sponged only, as the river water would be too cold for his weak frame. After his mother had sponged him with water, he desired to be dressed; when his mother dressed him in his green coat and white collar, and seated him at the table with all his books and worldly treasures around him. As he sat there, one would have thought that he was about to commence a course of study; and yet in the marble paleness of his features, and in the listless and languid eye, there was evidence that life in the boy was like an expiring taper, flickering in the socket. He soon asked to go out in his little carriage. His grandfather, whom he very much loved, placed him in it, and carefully avoiding every stone, drew him to a spot commanding the entire landscape. The tide was up and the sun was shining on the deep blue waters, and bathing the distant mountains and the green meadows in liquid gold. The gardens and orchards around were gay in the rich crimson blossoms of the apple tree; the air was filled with the sweet fragrance of flowers, and the birds were singing beautifully, when little Bertie looked for the last time on the scenes of earth. He could not remain long, and was soon taken back to the little parlor, where he sat on the sofa, resting his elbows on the table. It was not long before the little boy died. But he was very happy. Among his last words were these, addressed to his little sister three years old: "Well, Emmie, very ill—me going to Jesus."
"Oh, mamma, Emmie loves her Saviour."
Очень красивый рассказ, ага. Заставляет заново задуматься об истинности известного клише о том, что во всяких других культурах, в отличие от западной (особенно часто упоминают японскую), к смерти относятся нормально, её приветствуют, встречают с радостью итп.
Ещё одна интересная книга — Famous Reviews, 1914. Вот несколько забавных цитат "против" литературных критиков, которые мне раньше не попадались (и в сети их Гугль не находит):
- The whole history of criticism has been a triumph of authors over critics.
- I care not one single curse for all the criticism that ever was canted or decanted, or recanted. Neither does the world. The world takes a poet as it finds him, and seats him above or below the salt. The world is as obstinate as a million mules, and will not turn its head on one side or another for all the shouting of the critical population that ever was shouted. It is very possible that the world is a bad judge. Well, then--appeal to posterity, and be hanged to you--and posterity will affirm the judgment, with costs.
— Christopher North, from Noctes Ambrosianae, Sept., 1825
- There is a certain race of men, that either imagine it their duty, or make it their amusement, to hinder the reception of every work of learning or genius, who stand as sentinels in the avenues of fame, and value themselves upon giving ignorance and envy the first notice of a prey.
To these men, who distinguish themselves by the appellation of Critics, it is necessary for a new author to find some means of recommendation. It is probable, that the most malignant of these persecutors might be somewhat softened, and prevailed on, for a short time, to remit their fury. Having for this purpose considered many expedients, I find in the records of ancient times, that Argus was lulled by music, and Cerberus quieted with a sop; and am, therefore, inclined to believe that modern critics, who, if they have not the eyes, have the watchfulness of Argus, and can bark as loud as Cerberus, though, perhaps, they cannot bite with equal force, might be subdued by methods of the same kind. I have heard that some have been pacified with claret and a supper, and others laid asleep with the soft notes of flattery.
— Dr. Johnson, from The Rambler.