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FIFTEEN

M I N U T E S

DAY

JANUARY
ST. AGNES' Eve!Ah, bitter chill it was!
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 A d v i c e for the N e w Year


" R e s o l u t i o n : R e s o l v e to perform w h a t y o u o u g h t ; perform w i t h
out fail w h a t y o u r e s o l v e " w a s o n e of the rules for success
f r a m e d by A m e r i c a ' s first "self-made" m a n .
Read from FRANKLIN'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Vol. i, pp. 79-85
School-Day Poems of John Milton
A t t h e a g e of sixteen, M i l t o n first appeared before the public
eye as a p r o m i s i n g y o u n g poet. T h e s e early verses, written w h i l e
he w a s a b o y 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 o n Friendship
" F i r e a n d w a t e r are not of m o r e universal use than friendship"
such is the h i g h v a l u e p u t u p o n this great h u m a n relationship
by the m o s t f a m o u s orator of R o m e .
(Cicero born fan. 3, 106 B. C.)
Read from Cicero O N FRIENDSHIP
Vol. 9, pp. 16-26
A F l o u n d e r Fish S t o r y
A fisherman, so the story goes, once c a u g h t a flounder that spoke,
b e g g i n g t o be released. T h i s w a s granted, w h e r e u p o n the fisher
m a n ' s w i f e d e m a n d e d that it g r a n t h e r o n e miracle after another,
until e v e n the flounder w a s disgusted.
(Jacob Grimm, elder of the famous Grimm brothers, born Jan. 4, 178;.)
Read from GRIMM'S FAIRY T A L E S
Vol. 17, pp. 83-90
The Soaring Eagle and Contented

Stork

M a z z i n i labored for the freedom of Italy, b u t w a s exiled. B y r o n


a n d G o e t h e also battled for liberty. M a z z i n i w r o t e a n essay
in w h i c h he c o m p a r e d B y r o n to a soaring eagle a n d G o e t h e 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

FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY


JANUARY
^

Reading

25

Guide

Warned b y Hector's Ghost


I n t h e dead o f n i g h t H e c t o r ' s g h o s t appeared t o w a r n j E n e a s
of the i m p e n d i n g d o o m t o c o m e u p o n t h e w a l l e d city o f T r o y .
.<Eneas lifted his a g e d father o n his b a c k and, t a k i n g his son b y
the h a n d , sought safety i n flight. Off t o L a t i u m !
(H. Schliemann, discoverer of ancient Troy, born Jan. 6, 1822.)
Read from Virgil's JENEID
Vol. 13, pp. 109-127

I f H e Y a w n e d , She L o s t H e r H e a d !
T h e Sultan h a d a habit o f b e h e a d i n g each d a w n h i s beautiful
bride o f t h e n i g h t before, until h e encountered S c h e h e r a z a d e .
C l e v e r l y she saved her life a thousand and one m o r n i n g s .
Read from T H E

THOUSAND

AND O N E NIGHTS

Vol. 16, pp. 5-13

Trying the Patience of Job


G o d w a s pleased w i t h the piety o f Job, b u t Satan accredited t h e
piety t o Job's prosperity a n d happiness. S o a trial w a s m a d e .
See h o w each succeeding affliction visited o n Job s h o o k t h e
depths of his nature, and h o w h e s u r v i v e d .
Read from THE BOOK OF JOB
Vol. 44, pp. 71-87
A Treasure H u n t i n N o m b r e de Dios
W i t h only fifty-two m e n , Sir F r a n c i s D r a k e conceives t h e idea
of attacking his a r c h e n e m y , Spain, at her m o s t vulnerable point
the treasure at N o m b r e d e D i o s .
(Drake died at Nombre de Dios, ]an. 9, 7596.)
Read from Nichol's SIR FRANCIS DRAKE REVIVED
Vol. 33, pp. 135-145

10

W h e r e L o v e Lies

Waiting

11

Hamilton-Father o f Wall Street

K i n g Pantheus o f T h e b e s contended against D i o n y s u s , the G o d ,


for the adoration o f the T h e b a n w o m e n . T h e g o d w a s w i n n i n g
by b e w i t c h i n g the w o m e n w h e n the k i n g interceded. E u r i p i d e s
tells the story i n a masterpiece o f G r e e k d r a m a .
Read from Euripides' T H E BACCHAE
Vol. 8, pp. 368-372

Hamilton organized the Treasury Department.


H e penned
most o f t h e Federalist papers, w h i c h w e r e greatly influential
i n b r i n g i n g N e w Y o r k into the U n i o n t h e first step t o w a r d its
eminent position i n national and w o r l d finance.
(Alexander Hamilton born Jan, 1 1 , iysy.)
Read: T H E FEDERALIST
Vol. 43, pp. 199-207

26

FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY

JANUARY
12

Reading

Guide

W h a t Is Good Taste?
A T u r k i s h sultan, relates B u r k e , w h e n s h o w n a picture o f t h e
beheaded John t h e Baptist, praised m a n y things, b u t pointed
o u t one g r u e s o m e defect. D i d this observation s h o w t h e sultan
to be a n inferior j u d g e of art?
(Edmund Burke born Jan. 12, 1729.)
Read: Burke O N TASTE

J^

JzJ.

Vol. 24, pp. 11-26

R o u s s e a u Seeks S a n c t u a r y in E n g l a n d
R o u s s e a u t a u g h t that m e n w e r e n o t created free a n d equal.
T o substantiate h i s d a r i n g beliefs h e traced m a n ' s history b a c k
to h i s p r i m i t i v e b e g i n n i n g s . F o r h i s teachings, Rousseau w a s
forced t o seek refuge i n E n g l a n d .
(Jean Jacques Rousseau arrived in England, Jan. 13, 1766.)
Read from Rousseau's INQUIRY ON INEQUALITY
Vol. 34, pp. 215-228
T h e First Step T o w a r d Independence
(Fundamental Orders of Connecticut adopted Jan. 14, 1639.)
T h e F u n d a m e n t a l O r d e r s of C o n n e c t i c u t is " t h e first written
constitution as a p e r m a n e n t limitation o n g o v e r n m e n t a l p o w e r ,
k n o w n i n history." It is the w o r k of the C o n n e c t i c u t Y a n k e e .
Read: T H E FUNDAMENTAL ORDERS OF CONNECTICUT
Vol. 43, pp. 60-65
"The Moving Finger Writes"
("Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" first published Jan. 1$, /S59.)
O m a r K h a y y a m l a u g h e d a n d enjoyed t h e g o o d things of life.
H i s " R u b a i y a t , " the most popular philosophic p o e m , is t h e best
of all b o o k s t o d i p into for a n a l l u r i n g t h o u g h t .
Read from T H E RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KHAYYAM
Vol. 41, pp. 943-953
T h e Old W o m a n and the W i n e Jar
A n old w o m a n once f o u n d a w i n e jar, b u t it w a s empty. S h e
sniffed at the m o u t h o f the jar a n d said: " W h a t memories c l i n g
' r o u n d the instruments of our pleasure."
Read from JESOP'S FABLES
Vol. 17, pp. 43-44; also pp. 31-43

J J

Franklin's Family Tree


(Benjamin Franklin born Jan. 17, 1706.)
G o o d middle-class people, F r a n k l i n boasts, w e r e his ancestors.
S o m e h a v e attributed h i s g e n i u s t o his b e i n g t h e y o u n g e s t son
of t h e y o u n g e s t son for five generations. I n his f a m o u s auto
b i o g r a p h y , h e reveals q u a i n t f a m i l y history.
Read from FRANKLIN'S

AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Vol. 1 , pp. 5-15

FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY


JANUARY

Reading

T]

Guide

1 Q

Origin of Yale "Brekekekex-Ko-ax"


"Shall I crack any of those old j o k e s , master, at w h i c h the a u d i
ence never fails to l a u g h ? " L i k e a n up-to-date v a u d e v i l l e
t e a m , X a n t h i a s a n d D i o n y s u s start off a d i a l o g u e that m i n g l e s
w i t and poetry w i t h h u m o r a n d k e e n satire.
Read from Aristophanes' T H E FROGS
Vol. 8, pp. 439-449
Poe on Poetry
R e g a r d e d in E u r o p e as one o f A m e r i c a ' s greatest w r i t e r s , P o e
originated the detective story, perfected the m y s t e r y short story,
and p r o d u c e d A m e r i c a ' s first great p o e m s . H e r e h e u n r a v e l s
the fabric of w h i c h all poetry is w o v e n .
(Edgar Allan Poe born fan. ig, i8og.)
Read from Poe's T H E POETIC PRINCIPLE
Vol. 28, pp. 371-380

20

"

2 J

22

1 4

I s

St. A g n e s ' E v e "


(St. Agnes' Eve, Jan. 20.)
A t m i d n i g h t o n the eve of S t . A g n e s there w e r e certain s o l e m n
ceremonies w h i c h all v i r g i n s m u s t p e r f o r m to h a v e " v i s i o n s of
d e l i g h t a n d soft a d o r i n g s f r o m their l o v e s . " P o r p h y r o t o o k ad
v a n t a g e o f this custom to w i n his bride.
Read: Keats' EVE OF ST. AGNES
Vol. 41, pp. 883-893
The Nightingale's Healing Melody
T h e E m p e r o r of C h i n a lies on his deathbed g r i e v i n g for t h e
s o n g of his favorite bird. H a r k , the s o n g ! It c h a r m s , c o a x e s ,
a n d bribes D e a t h to depart. It b r i n g s n e w life to the master.
Read from ANDERSEN'S T A L E S
Vol. 17, pp. 301-310
A King's Pleasure N o w Yours
T h e classic plays of F r e n c h literature are p r o d u c e d to-day pre
cisely as w h e n they w e r e g i v e n for the resplendent k i n g s they
w e r e w r i t t e n to please. W e are fortunate to h a v e in E n g l i s h ,
excellent translations of these noble p l a y s .
(Corneille elected to French Academy, Jan. 22, 1647.)
Read from Corneille's POLYEUCTE
Vol. 26, pp. 77-87
Pascal K n e w Men and Triangles
(Pascal publishes "Provincial Letters," Jan. 23, 1656.)
Pascal, the k e e n - m i n d e d philosopher a n d m a t h e m a t i c i a n , fath
o m e d the h u m a n traits of m a n ' s nature w i t h the same accurate
measurements w h i c h m a d e h i m f a m o u s in the r e a l m of g e o m
etry. Read his searching analysis o f m a n ' s conceit.
Read: Pascal's T H E A R T OF PERSUASION
Vol. 48, pp. 400-411

28

FIFTEEN

JANUARY

Reading

MINUTES

A DAY

Guide

O d y s s e u s S i l e n c e d t h e Sirens
W h e n his ship a p p r o a c h e d the siren's rock, O d y s s e u s stuffed
the ears of his c r e w w i t h w a x and had himself b o u n d to the mast
that he m i g h t hear the a l l u r i n g voice of the siren a n d yet not
w r e c k his ship o n the enchanted rock.
Read from Homer's ODYSSEY
Vol. 22, pp. 165-173

25

A Field Mouse Made Famous


A h u m b l e S c o t c h m a n , p l o w i n g his fields, turns over the nest of
a frightened m o u s e . H e a p o l o g i z e s w i t h the deepest sincerity
a n d explains h o w " t h e best-laid schemes o' m i c e a n ' m e n g a n g
aft a g l e y . "
(Robert Burns born Jan. 25, 1759.)
Read: T o A MOUSE and Burns' other poems... .Vol. 6, pp. 119-120, 388-394

26

I n t h e C r a d l e of

27

D a n t e and Beatrice in Paradise

28

Man's W i n g s

29

Visits the Land of

Civilization

A k i n g w h o e n t o m b e d his d a u g h t e r in a g o l d e n c o w t h e w o r
ship of the bull and the catscandal of the court and the gossip
of the temples is g i v e n by H e r o d o t u s in his delightful story of
old E g y p t .
Read from Herodotus' A N A C C O U N T OF E C Y P T
Vol. 33, pp. 65-75

D a n t e fell m a d l y in love w i t h Beatrice at first sight; but it is


d o u b t e d if he e v e r spoke to her in this w o r l d . H e tells of his
h a p p y m e e t i n g w i t h Beatrice in Paradise.
(Dante victim of political persecution in Florence, Jan. 27, /302.)
Read from Dante's D I V I N E COMEDY
Vol. 20, pp. 267-279
A p u r e heart, says T h o m a s a K e m p i s , c o m p r e h e n d s the very
depths of H e a v e n a n d H e l l . A n d it is by the w i n g s of simplicity
a n d purity that m a n is lifted a b o v e all earthly things.
Read from Thomas a Kempis
Vol. 7, pp. 242-249
Fire

S o u t h of P a t a g o n i a is T i e r r a del F u e g o " T h e L a n d of F i r e . "


T h e natives of that p r i m i t i v e country are to-day almost extinct.
D a r w i n m a d e a careful a n d vitally interesting study of that land
a n d its ill-fated inhabitants.
(Darwin married Emma Wedgewood, Jan. 29, 1839.)
Read from Darwin's VOYAGE OF T H E BEAGLE
Vol. 29, 209-221

FIFTEEN

JANUARY

Reading

MINUTES

DAY

29

Guide

First P r o b l e m P l a y P o p u l a r
A n t i g o n e , an orphan princess, defies a k i n g ' s m a n d a t e a n d risks
her life to d o her d u t y t o her brother. W h a t is this d u t y w h i c h
her brother calls her to perform a n d the k i n g forbids?
(Sophocles died at Athens, Jan. 30, 405 B. C.)
Read from Sophocles' ANTIGONE
Vol. 8, pp. 255-266
^ J

What " D o n Quixote" Really Slew


Slayer of w i n d m i l l s , rescuer of fair damsels i n distress, eccentric
D o n Q u i x o t e , scores of years behind his time, set o u t o n a m a d
quest of knight-errantry. W o r l d s of f u n a n d k i l l i n g satire are
in this absorbing story of C e r v a n t e s .
Read from D O N QUIXOTE
Vol. 14, pp. 60-67

Don Quixote, the ambitious amateur \night, was well ridiculed for
his pains. (See Reading Assignment for January 31st.)

A FEW BOOKS ARE BETTER T H A N MANY, A N DA LITTLE


TIME GIVEN T O A FAITHFUL STUDY O F T H EF E W WILL
BE E N O U G H T O Q U I C K E N T H O U G H T A N D E N R I C H T H E
MIND.CHANNING.

30

FIFTEEN

MINUTES

ADAY

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)

K i n g Arthur's Knights Find H o l y Grail


T h e intrepid K n i g h t s of the R o u n d T a b l e w e r e startled b y
" c r a c k l i n g a n d c r y i n g of t h u n d e r " w h i c h r a n g t h r o u g h the great
hall of the castle. T h e n there entered " T h e H o l y G r a i l covered
w i t h w h i t e samite."
Read from Malory's T H E HOLY GRAIL
Vol. 35, pp. 112-123.

"Apparel O f t Proclaims the M a n "


Before his son, L a e r t e s , departs for a foreign country, Polonius
advises h i m as t o his c o n d u c t a n d dress, w h i l e H a m l e t , the k i n g ' s
son, h a s to learn by experience.
(Shakespeare's twinsHamnet and Judithbaptized Feb. 2, 1585.)
Read from Shakespeare's H A M L E T
Vol. 46, pp. 107-120

A House of Mirth and Revelry


W h i l e the cat's a w a y the m i c e w i l l play. Boisterous a n d ludi
crous h a p p e n i n g s occur in a house left in c h a r g e of a servant.
B u t in m i d s t of m e r r i m e n t the master returns.
(Ben Jonson receives life pension from James I, Feb. j , 1619.)
Read from Jonson's T H E ALCHEMIST
Vol. 47, pp. 543-558

^J,

"Genius, a Secret t o Itself"


T h u s w r o t e C a r l y l e , w h o affirms that great m i n d s are uncon
scious of their stupendous strength. A n d each of us h a s his
o w n peculiar mental attributes.
(Thomas Carlyle died Feb. 4, 1881.)
Read from Carlyle's CHARACTERISTICS
Vol. 25, pp. 319-327

Diamonds, Diamonds

Everywhere!

T r a p p e d in a valley filled w i t h h u g e d i a m o n d s g u a r d e d b y
v e n o m o u s serpents, S i n d i b a d devised a clever m e a n s of escaping
w i t h m a n y o f the g l i t t e r i n g j e w e l s .
Read from T H E THOUSAND AND O N E NICHTS
Vol. 16, pp. 243-250

FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY


FEBRUARY
^

Reading

31

Guide

Charles Lamb Suggests To-day's

Reading

"The
reluctant p a n g s of a b d i c a t i n g royalty in ' E d w a r d ' fur
nished hints w h i c h Shakespeare scarcely i m p r o v e d in his ' R i c h a r d
the Second,' a n d the death scene of M a r l o w e ' s K i n g m o v e s to pity
and terror."CHARLES LAMB.
(Christopher Marlowe born Feb. 6, 1564.)
Read from Marlowe's EDWARD THE SECOND
Vol. 46, pp. 73-89
J

A Letter from a Lion


Johnson w a s not a l w a y s a conventional guest. G r a c i o u s l y treated,
he responded in l i k e m a n n e r , but offended, Johnson c o u l d w i e l d
a pen d r i p p i n g w i t h vitriol.
(Samuel Johnson writes to Lord Chesterfield, Feb. 7, 1755.)
Read: LETTER TO LORD CHESTERFIELD
Vol. 39, pp. 206-207

Tragic D e a t h of a World-Famous

Beauty

"But I, the Q u e e n o f a' Scotland, m a u n lie in prison Strang."


B u r n s sings of poor M a r y b o u n d by chains, y e a r n i n g for the d a y
w h e n flowers w o u l d " b l o o m o n her peaceful g r a v e . "
(Mary, Queen oj Scots, beheaded Feb. 8, 1587.)
Read from BURNS' POEMS
Vol. 6, pp. 396-406
P

Rest Between

Wars

T a c i t u s , the historian, visited the virile G e r m a n tribes in their


primitive h o m e s on the b a n k s of the R h i n e . H e w a s surprised
to learn that the m e n so active and eager in w a r lolled in indo
lence d u r i n g the intervals b e t w e e n .
Read from Tacitus O N GERMANY
Vol. 33, pp. 93-102
J Q

N o Fancy for a Plain Gentleman


V o l t a i r e once visited C o n g r e v e . T h i s f a m o u s dramatist re
quested to be regarded only as a plain g e n t l e m a n . " H a d y o u
been that I should never h a v e c o m e to see y o u , " V o l t a i r e cynically
replies.
(William Congreve baptized Feb. 10, 1670.)
Read from Voltaire's LETTERS ON T H E ENGLISH
Vol. 34, pp. 130-140

J J

T h e Q u e e n Freezes H e r

Philosophy

Descartes w a s slain t h r o u g h the eccentric w h i m of a q u e e n w h o


d e m a n d e d that he tutor her in the f r e e z i n g d a w n in the d e a d
of winter. H i s philosophy lives in this essay.
(Rene Descartes died at Stockholm, Feb. 1 1 , 1650.)
Read from Descartes' DISCOURSE ON METHOD
Vol. 34, pp. 5-20

32

FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY

FEBRUARY

Reading

Guide

J 2

O x f o r d Corrects Lincoln's Mistake


L i n c o l n h i m s e l f t h o u g h t his f a m o u s G e t t y s b u r g A d d r e s s w a s a
failure. T o - d a y the w h o l e w o r l d acclaims its greatness. Cast
i n b r o n z e , it h a n g s o n the w a l l of Balliol C o l l e g e , O x f o r d , re
g a r d e d as the perfection of E n g l i s h prose.
(Abraham Lincoln born Feb. 12, 1809.)
Read: LINCOLN'S WRITINGS
Vol. 43, pp. 415-420

J ^

T h e Frank Story of a n A m a z i n g

J^J.

15

16

Life

A t the a g e of fifty-eight B e n v e n u t o C e l l i n i shaved his head


a n d retired to a monastery to w r i t e his o w n story of murder, pas
sion, a n d great deeds of the Renaissance. H i s life is a vivid pic
t u r e of the m o s t colorful period in history, a period w h e n state
craft a n d religion a n d b l a c k m a g i c a n d assassination w e r e naively
m i n g l e d in m e n ' s lives.
(Benvenuto Cellini died Feb. 13, 1570.)
Read from CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Vol. 31, pp. 68-80
Love Always Young
(5/. Valentine's Day.)
P a s c a l a n o r i g i n a l g e n i u s p u r p o s e d to master e v e r y t h i n g that
w a s n e w in art and science. H e w a s a m a t h e m a t i c i a n and scientist
as w e l l as a religious enthusiast a n d moralist, and he shows a
decidedly h u m a n side of his nature in this superb essay on L o v e .
Read: Pascal's. DISCOURSE ON THE PASSION OF L O V E . . . .Vol. 48, pp. 411-421
T h e W o r l d W e l l Lost?
T h e romantic and heedless loves of A n t o n y and Cleopatra figure
p r o m i n e n t l y in history, literature, and d r a m a . D r y d e n m a d e a
fascinating play f r o m the story of A n t o n y , w h o sacrificed the
leadership o f R o m e , reputation, and life itself for love of the
E g y p t i a n q u e e n , w h o f o l l o w e d h i m in death.
(Mark. Antony offers Casar crown at Rome, Feb. 15, 44 B. C.)
Read from Dryden's A L L FOR LOVE
Vol. 18, pp. 53-69
Social Circles A m o n g

Ants

A n t s h a v e slaves w h o w o r k for t h e m . T h e s e slaves m a k e the


nests, feed the master ants, tend the e g g s , and d o the m o v i n g
w h e n a colony of ants m i g r a t e . D a r w i n m i n u t e l y describes the
habits and lives of the industrious ants and their m a r v e l o u s social
o r g a n i z a t i o n a w o n d e r to m a n k i n d .
Read from Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES
Vol. 11, pp. 264-268

FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY


BRUARY

Reading

33

Guide

Death H i s Curtain Call


W h i l e acting i n o n e of h i s o w n plays, M o l i e r e w a s s u d d e n l y
stricken a n d died shortly after t h e final curtain. H e took a n i m
portant role in " T a r t u f f e " w h i c h introduces to literature a char
acter as famous as Shakespeare's Falstaff.
(Moliere died Feb. 17, 1673.)
Read from Moliere's T A R T U F F E
Vol. 26, pp. 199-217
Lasting Peace w i t h Great Britain
A l l A m e r i c a n s should k n o w this treaty w h i c h finally i n a u g u
rated a n era o f peace a n d g o o d u n d e r s t a n d i n g w i t h E n g l a n d .
F o r over a h u n d r e d years this peace h a s b e e n u n b r o k e n .
(Treaty with Great Britain proclaimed Feb. 18, 1815.)
Read: TREATY WITH GREAT BRITAIN (1814)
Vol. 43, pp. 255-264
Earthly Experience of a Chinese

Goddess

T h e thousandth celestial w i f e o f t h e G a r l a n d G o d slipped a n d


fell t o earth, w h e r e she t o o k m e r t a l f o r m a n d served as a n at
tendant i n a t e m p l e . D e a t h finally released h e r a n d she w e n t
back to heaven to tell h e r lord o f t h e w a y s o f m e n .
Read from the BUDDHIST WRITINGS
Vol. 45, pp. 693-701
Voltaire Observes t h e Quakers
Because the early Q u a k e r s shook, t r e m b l e d , a n d q u a k e d w h e n
they became inspiredthey received t h e title o f " Q u a k e r s . " T h i s
sect attracted the k e e n - m i n d e d V o l t a i r e , w h o m a d e interesting
notes o n t h e m d u r i n g h i s visit to E n g l a n d .
Read from Voltaire's LETTERS ON T H E ENGLISH
Vol. 34, pp. 65-78
Does Football Make a College?
Just w h a t m a k e s a university? A g r o u p o f fine b u i l d i n g s ? A
library? A staff o f well-trained teachers? A b o d y o f eager stu
dents? A w i n n i n g football t e a m ? C a r d i n a l N e w m a n defines
the p r i m e functions o f a university.
(Cardinal Newman born Feb. 21, 1801.)
Read from Newman's T H E IDEA OF A UNIVERSITY

Vol. 28, pp. 31-39

A n Ode for Washington's Birthday


(George Washington born Feb. 22, 1732.)
B u r n s asks for C o l u m b i a ' s harp, a n d then sings of liberty. H e
bewails the sad state o f the land o f A l f r e d a n d W a l l a c e w h i c h
once c h a m p i o n e d liberty, a n d n o w fights for tyranny.
Read from BURNS' POEMS
Vol. 6, pp. 492-494

34

FIFTEEN

FEBRUARY

Reading

MINUTES

A DAY

Guide

2^

Pepys' Nose for N e w s


G o s s i p y , w i t t y P e p y s h a d a curiosity that m a d e h i m famous. H e
k n e w all the n e w s of court and street. Stevenson, w h o never
p u t his pen to a dull subject, writes of P e p y s .
(Samuel Pepys born Feb. 23, 1632.)
Read from Stevenson's SAMUEL PEPYS
Vol. 28, pp. 285-292

24

Lights and S h a d o w s of Milton

25

Punished for T o o Sharp a W i t


T h e brilliant w i t and c u t t i n g satire of D e f o e m a d e for h i m
friends and e n e m i e s b u t mostly enemies. So piercing and t w o e d g e d w a s " T h e Shortest-Way w i t h Dissenters" that he w a s
fined, imprisoned and pilloried.
("The Shortest-Way with Dissenters" censored, Feb. 25, 1703.)
Read: T H E SHORTEST-WAY WITH DISSENTERS
Vol. 27, pp. 133-147

26

A D a v i d W h o Side-stepped

27

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 b e g i n p o e m s that h a v e c h a r m e d and cheered thousands.
Read from LONGFELLOW'S POEMS
Vol. 42, pp. 1264-1280

28

Spoke Latin First


(Michel de Montaigne born Feb. 28, 1533.)
Proficient in L a t i n e v e n before he k n e w his o w n t o n g u e , M o n
taigne received an unusual education. H i s w h o l e life w a s spent
i n storing u p his choice t h o u g h t s for our profit and pleasure.
Read from Montaigne's ESSAYS
Vol. 32, pp. 29-40

In a
some
faith
(John
Read:

superb p o e m , M i l t o n bids L o a t h e d M e l a n c h o l y begone to


d a r k cell. H e calls for the joys of y o u t h and v o w s eternal
with them.
Milton marries his third wife, Elisabeth Marshall, Feb. 24, 1662.)
MILTON'S POEMS
Vol. 4, pp. 30-38

Goliath

H u g o w a s insulted by the most powerful critics in F r a n c e . H e


p u t into the preface of a play "his sling and his stone" by w h i c h
others m i g h t slay "the classical G o l i a t h . "
(Victor Hugo born Feb. 26, 1802.)
Read: HUGO'S PREFACE TO CROMWELL
Vol. 39, pp. 337-349

FIFTEEN MINUTES A DAY


FEBRUARY

Reading

35

Guide
LEAP

YEAR

Goethe's Tale of a Maiden i n Love


T o either Saint Patrick or the Scottish P a r l i a m e n t of 1228 g o
the honorsor dishonorsof o r i g i n a t i n g the traditions a t t e n d i n g
this d a y ; says the latter, "il\a maiden ladee, of baith high and
lowe estait, shall hae libeitie to spea\ ye man she li\es." T h e
course of true love runs smooth i n G o e t h e ' s narrative p o e m , en
d u r i n g today for its characterization a n d swift-flowing lines.
Begin H E R M A N N 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 3rd.)

A B L E S S E D C O M P A N I O N IS A B O O K , A B O O K T H A T F I T L Y
C H O S E N I S A L I F E - L O N G F R I E N D . D O U G L A S JERROULD.

FIFTEEN

M I N U T E S

DAY

MARCH
Old Winter bac\ to the savage hills
Withdraweth his force, decrepid now.
GOETHE (Vol.

19, p.

43)

Invented Sir Roger de Coverly


W o r d pictures are often m o r e v i v i d t h a n photographs.
Steele
had a gift for o r i g i n a t i n g characters that are r e m e m b e r e d longer
t h a n flesh a n d blood people. S i r R o g e r d e C o v e r l y a n d W i l l
H o n e y c o m b are n o w bold figures in literature.
(First issue of the "Spectator," published March 1 , 1711.)
Read: T H E SPECTATOR C L U B
Vol. 27, pp. 83-87
W h a t Sailors D o o n S u n d a y
" A sailor's liberty is b u t for a d a y , " as D a n a explains. Dressed
i n his S u n d a y best, t h e sailor feels l i k e a d a s h i n g B e a u B r u m m e l ;
a n d sets o u t t o enjoy his f r e e d o m . " W h i l e it lasts it is perfect.
H e is u n d e r n o one's eye a n d c a n d o w h a t e v e r he pleases."
Read from Dana's T w o YEARS BEFORE T H E MAST
Vol. 23, pp. 112-119
For Poets and Fishermen
Isaak W a l t o n , f a m e d patron of fishermen, appreciated other
arts a n d hobbies. H e writes of G e o r g e Herbert, a preacher
w h o s e h o b b y w a s poetry.
(George Herbert died March 3, 1633.)
Read from Walton's L I F E OF GEORGE HERBERT
Vol. 15, pp. 373-382
PennPioneer, Thinker, and Builder
(King Charles grants Penn charter of Pennsylvania, March 4, 1681.)
P e n n , true to Q u a k e r beliefs, c a m e before the k i n g w i t h his
hat o n . T h e k i n g o v e r l o o k e d this a n d later m a d e h i m g o v e r n o r
of P e n n s y l v a n i a . A sagacious P e n n is revealed i n his w r i t i n g s .
Read from Penn's SOME FRUITS OF SOLITUDE
Vol. 1, pp. 321-330
Laughed

at

Locks

P r i s o n w a l l s w e r e t h e least of C e l l i n i ' s troubles. " L o c k m e w e l l


u p a n d w a t c h m e , for I shall certainly contrive t o escape." I n
spite of this w a r n i n g , t h e utmost care o f the jailers only furnished
a m u s e m e n t for the dauntless C e l l i n i .
Read from CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Vol. 31, pp. 214-224

FIFTEEN

RCH Reading

MINUTES

A DAY

37

Guide

W e s t Point's O u t c a s t , America's First Great Poet


(Poe expelled from West Point, March 6, 1831.)
E d g a r A l l a n Poe w a s expelled f r o m W e s t P o i n t a n d disinherited.
So poor w a s he that w h e n his y o u n g w i f e lay d y i n g , he c o u l d
not afford a fire to w a r m her. T h e w e i r d n e s s a n d despair o f
" T h e R a v e n " is particularly s y m b o l i c of his life.
Read: Poe's T H E R A V E N
Vol. 42, pp. 1227-1230
-

Bacon Warns

Judges

B a c o n pointed o u t that a j u d g e ' s d u t y w a s to interpret l a w s a n d


not to m a k e l a w s . T h i s single essay of B a c o n ' s is a richly con
densed s u m m a r y of the ethics of l a w .
(Bacon made Keeper of the Great Seal of England, March 7, 1616.)
Read: Bacon O F JUDICATURE
Vol. 3, pp. 130-134
Dangerous Experiment

with a

Wife

A n s e l m o and L o t h a r i o w e r e close friends. A n s e l m o , a n x i o u s to


learn if his w i f e w e r e perfect, as he believed her to be, m a k e s
a n unusual proposal to his old friend.
Read from Cervantes' DON QUIXOTE
Vol. 14, pp. 307-319
C o m m o n Sense a n d G o o d M a n n e r s
Swift regretted the l a w s against d u e l i n g because d u e l i n g at least
was a g o o d m e a n s of r i d d i n g the country of bores and fools.
H i s k e e n eye penetrated social customs a n d saw the c o m m o n
sense that g o v e r n e d g o o d m a n n e r s .
(Passage of laws against dueling in England, March 9, ^679.)
Read: TREATISE ON GOOD MANNERS
Vol. 27, pp. 99-103
B e a u m o n t T h e Adonis of Elizabethan P l a y w r i g h t s
In the days w h e n contact w i t h the theatre m e a n t exile f r o m the
best society, B e a u m o n t and Fletcher, m e n f r o m g o o d families,
dared to ally themselves w i t h the stage as p l a y w r i g h t s . " P h i l aster" w o n t h e m i m m o r t a l praise.
Read from PHILASTER
Vol. 47, pp. 667-677
Gain Gleaned from

Suffering

W e are paid for our suffering and w e pay for our happiness.
E v e r y ache, every sorrow receives its recompense here on earth.
E m e r s o n gives the basis for this c o n v i c t i o n .
(Emerson ordained Unitarian minister, March 1 1 , 1829.)
Read from Emerson's COMPENSATION
Vol. 5, pp. 85-92

38

FIFTEEN

Reading

MARCH
J 2

MINUTES

A DAY

Guide

Bishop's W i t
B e r k e l e y believed in a great religious future for A m e r i c a . H e
l i v e d three years in R h o d e Island, and m a d e plans for a college
in B e r m u d a .
(Bishop Berkeley bom March 12, 1685.)
Read from Berkeley's T H R E E DIALOGUES
Vol. 37, pp. 228-238

13

Before N o b i l i t y R a n Tea Rooms

14

A Maiden's Forfeit
" T h i s g e n t l e w o m a n that y e lead w i t h y o u is a m a i d ? " d e m a n d e d
the k n i g h t . " S i r , " said she, "a m a i d I a m . " " T h e n she m u s t
yield us the c u s t o m of this castle."
(Malory, recorder of King Arthur stories, died March 14, 1470.)
Read from T H E HOLY GRAIL
Vol. 35, pp. 194-200

15

B e w a r e t h e Ides of M a r c h !
(Ides of March, March 1;.)
T w i c e w a r n e d of the d a n g e r that threatened
of M a r c h , a l t h o u g h "the earth rocked and
headless m e n w a l k e d in the F o r u m , " Caesar
a w a i t i n g h i m in the Senate C h a m b e r .
Read from Plutarch's CESAR

M a n z o n i has pictured in this thrilling romance of the seventeenth


century nobility, the p o m p o u s a n d sporting life of those g o o d old
d a y s w h e n nobles lived s u m p t u o u s l y in spacious castles sur
r o u n d e d by vast estates.
Read from Manzoni's I PROMESSI SPOSI
Vol. 21, pp. 318-332

h i m o n the Ides
the stars fell and
goes to the d o o m
Vol. 12, pp. 315-321

16

Crabs Climb

Trees?

17

A n O l d Irish Legend
(St. Patrick's Day.)
A n old Irish l e g e n d tells h o w , w h i l e St. P a t r i c k w a s preaching
a b o u t Paradise and H e l l , several of his audience b e g g e d to be
a l l o w e d to investigate the reality of these places. St. Patrick
actually satisfied their curiosity.
Read from T H E POETRY OF THE C E L T I C RACES
Vol. 32, pp. 174-182

M a n y a m a z i n g t h i n g s h a p p e n in the M a l a y j u n g l e s . F o r ex
a m p l e , D a r w i n tells about a crab that climbs trees and w a l k s
d o w n the t r u n k s for a n occasional bath in a pool.
Read from Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE
Vol. 29, pp. 466-475

FIFTEEN

RCH Reading

MINUTES

A DAY

39

Guide

N e w W a y to Pay Old Debts


A c u n n i n g uncle cheats h i s worthless n e p h e w o u t o f h i s fortune.
T h e n e p h e w , l a u g h i n g stock o f h i s f o r m e r servants, sets o u t to
retrieve his old position a n d riches.
(Massinger buried March 18, 1640.)
Read from A N E W WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS
Vol. 47, pp. 859-870
Seeing O l d E g y p t
T h e mysterious E g y p t i a n temples, t h e floating islands, t h e h u g e
p y r a m i d s a n d the m a n y w o n d e r s of ancient E g y p t are pictured
for y o u b y H e r o d o t u s .
(Last recorded event in Herodotus' history dated March 19, 478 B. C.)
Read from Herodotus' A N A C C O U N T OF E G Y P T
Vol. 33, pp. 72-84
Apples, Feathers, a n d Coals
Sir Isaac N e w t o n w a s aided in h i s m o m e n t o u s discoveries b y t h e
most insignificant objectseven apples, feathers, a n d coal. V o l
taire discusses the w o n d r o u s discoveries o f N e w t o n .
(Sir Isaac Newton died March 20, 1727.)
Read from Voltaire's LETTERS ON THE ENGLISH
Vol. 34, pp. 113-124
1,000 Years of H i s t o r y o n t h e S u r f a c e o f a Shield
V e n u s , m o t h e r o f ^Eneas a n d w i f e o f V u l c a n , obtained f r o m
her husband, by seductive w i t c h e r y , a m a r v e l o u s shield w h o s e
surface reflected a thousand years of future events. V e n u s d e
scribes the w o n d e r s of t h e m a g i c a r m o r .
Read from Virgil's .IENEID
Vol. 13, pp. 280-292
From Puppet Show t o Majestic

Drama

T h e Faust l e g e n d , w h i c h c a n be traced to p u p p e t s h o w s o f earlier


days, portrays a philosopher w h o , t h r o u g h Satan's a i d a n d i n re
turn for the price of his soul, w o r k s m a g i c at w i l l . F r o m this
rude f r a m e w o r k G o e t h e has reared a d r a m a o f sublime g r a n d e u r .
(Goethe died March 22, i8j2.)
Read from Goethe's FAUST
Vol. 19, pp. 23-36
First o f a T h o u s a n d H a r e m Stories
S h a h r a z a d , favorite o f the treacherous Sultan's h a r e m , selected
a most thrilling story for h e r bridal n i g h t . B y l e a v i n g it unfin
ished she w a s privileged to live to continue it t h e next n i g h t a n d
so o n for a thousand a n d o n e nights.
Read from T H E THOUSAND AND O N E NIGHTS

Vol. 16, pp. 15-24

40

FIFTEEN

Reading

MARCH
24

25

MINUTES

DAY

Guide

Pkads

G u e n e v e r e , K i n g A r t h u r ' s q u e e n , justly accused b u t harshly


treated, m a k e s a noble a n d brave attempt to convince her court
that G a w a i n e lied and that L a u n c e l o t w a s true.
{William Morris born March 24, 1834.)
Read: Morris' D E F E N S E OF GUENEVERE
Vol. 42, pp. 1183-1193
H o w Conscience Makes C o w a r d s of U s A l l
H a m l e t pondered over w h i c h course contained the least unhapp i n e s s w h e t h e r to suffer here and not incur n e w dangers, or
w h e t h e r to end it all and chance the u n k n o w n terrors of the
n e x t w o r l d . See h o w H a m l e t reasoned.
(Shakespeare ma\es his will, March 25, 1616.)
Read from Shakespeare's H A M L E T
Vol. 46, pp. 144-158

26

" 2 , 5 0 0 Y e a r s A g o -<Esop Said . . . "

27

W h e n Is a Lie N o t a Lie?
Is l y i n g or q u i b b l i n g ever permissible? M a y one j u g g l e w o r d s
so a truth is c o n v e y e d t h r o u g h a lie and a lie told by a truth?
Stevenson unravels this p u z z l e .
Read: Stevenson's T R U T H OF INTERCOURSE
Vol. 28, pp. 277-284

28

Pins and Other Points


T h e m a k i n g of a simple pin is one of the most c o m p l e x affairs
of m o d e r n industry. A d a m S m i t h regards the process from the
w o r k e r ' s point of v i e w , and s h o w s the m a n y and varied economic
principles that are i n v o l v e d in pin m a k i n g .
Read from Adam Smith's WEALTH OF NATIONS
Vol. io, pp. 9-17

29

H e r o and Goddess Break

M e n in all ages h a v e r e c o g n i z e d the i n g e n u i t y of the practical


philosophy and freshness of j E s o p ' s allegories. Spend a f e w
delightful m o m e n t s w i t h the w i t and w i s d o m of Msop.
(Caxton prints Msop's Fables, March 26, 1484.)
Read from yEsop's FABLES
Vol. 17, pp. 21-30

Engagement

B r y n h i l d , favorite goddess of N o r s e m y t h o l o g y , plighted troth


w i t h S i g u r d , fearless w a r r i o r . B u t S i g u r d forgot B r y n h i l d and
m a r r i e d G u d r u n , w h o s e brother, G u n n e r , then set out to w i n
the beautiful B r y n h i l d . C o m p l i c a t i o n s very like a m o d e r n tri
a n g l e arose.
Read from EPIC AND SAGA
Vol. 49, pp. 307-317

FIFTEEN

MARCH

Reading

MINUTES

ADAY

41

Guide

30

T h e Plague of Milan
"I Promessi Sposi," a seventeenth century n o v e l , v i v i d l y describes
the devastating p l a g u e of M i l a n . T h e n w h o l e families sickened
in a f e w hours a n d died i n less than a d a y ' s t i m e of strange a n d
violent complaints w h o s e s y m p t o m s w e r e u n k n o w n to physicians.
(Capuchin monkjs given charge of the plague hospital in Milan,
March 30, 1630.)
Read from Manzoni's I PROMESSI SPOSI
Vol. 21, pp. 500-512

3 J

T h e Ghastly W h i m of John Donne


M o n u m e n t s are usually m a d e from death m a s k s , b u t John D o n n e
took pleasure in posing for his, w r a p p e d from head t o foot in a
shroud. Isaak W a l t o n tells of this in his fascinating b i o g r a p h y
of the eccentric poet.
(John Donne died March 31, 1631.)
Read from Walton's L I F E OF D R . D O N N E
Vol. 15, pp. 364-369

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

IT

WAS TRULY

SAID,

OPTIMl

CONSILIARU

MORTUI

. . .

BOOKS WILL SPEAK PLAIN W H E N COUNSELLORS BLANCH.


FRANCIS BACON.

FIFTEEN

M I N U T E S

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)

" O h ! t o Be i n England N o w T h a t April's T h e r e "


E v e r y o n e k n o w s the p a n g s of homesickness in the spring. E v e n
bright, s p a r k l i n g Italy c o u l d n o t w e a n B r o w n i n g ' s affection from
the g r e e n h e d g e r o w s of misty E n g l a n d .
Read: BROWNING'S POEMS
Vol. 42, pp. 1068-1074
A Spoon D a n c e s i n t h e Moonlight
A h u g e spoon dressed in h u m a n finery, placed o n a g r a v e , ap
pears to b e c o m e convulsed w h e n the m o o n ' s rays fall o n it a n d
dances t o the t u n e of c h a n t i n g natives. W e i r d sights, according
to D a r w i n , a b o u n d in t h e S o u t h Seas.
Read from Darwin's VOYAGE OF T H E BEAGLE
Vol. 29, pp. 462-471
Romance with a Happy

Ending

" A s a c o n q u e r o r enters a surprised city; love m a d e such resolu


tions as neither party w a s able to resist. S h e c h a n g e d her n a m e
into H e r b e r t the third d a y after this first i n t e r v i e w . "
(George Herbert born April 3, 1593.)
Read from Walton's L I F E OF GEORGE HERBERT
.Vol. 15, pp. 392-404
T h e Mistakes of a N i g h t
G e n i a l a n d r o l l i c k i n g fun are p r o v i d e d in this h i g h l y entertain
i n g story of a m a n w h o mistakes a private house for an i n n ,
a n d w h o treats his host's d a u g h t e r l i k e a serving m a i d .
(Oliver Goldsmith born April 4, 1774.)
Read from SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER
Vol. 18, pp. 205-215
You and Your

Dreams

D r e a m s a n d their causes interested H o b b e s . W i t h o u t supersti


tion, the philosopher w e i g h e d the evidence of ghosts, goblins,
and witches.
(Hobbes born April 5, 1588.)
Read from Hobbes' LEVIATHAN
Vol. 34, pp. 313-322

FIFTEEN

APRIL
^

Reading

M I N U T E S

DAY

43

Guide

W h o I s Bad?
Badness has m a n y interpretations, a different definition has been
the dictate o f each n e w g e n e r a t i o n . T h e solution o f t h e eternal
riddle w a s earnesdy s o u g h t b y M a r c u s A u r e l i u s .
(Marcus Aurelius born April 6, 121 A. D.)
Read: MARCUS AURELIUS' MEDITATIONS
Vol. 2, pp. 243-253

Nature Guided His P e n


W o r d s w o r t h w a s so closely i n t o u c h w i t h N a t u r e that t h e simple
beauty o f flowers, w o o d s , a n d fields is reflected i n h i s p o e m s as
if N a t u r e herself took u p t h e p e n a n d w r o t e .
(Wordsworth born April 7, 1770.)
Read: WORDSWORTH'S POEMS
Vol. 41, pp. 639-651
Beware the Vengeful

Hounds!

Orestes, h o l d i n g a n a v e n g i n g s w o r d o v e r h i s m o t h e r , is t o l d :
" B e w a r e t h y mother's v e n g e f u l h o u n d s . " H o w h e p a y s f o r dis
r e g a r d i n g h i s mother's w a r n i n g is told i n this d r a m a w h e r e a
m o t h e r is slain t o a v e n g e a father's g h o s t .
Read from jEschylus' T H E LIBATION BEARERS

Vol. 8, pp.

m-121

A Perfect Land i n a Wilderness o f Waters


W e s t o f P e r u there w a s reported t o b e a land w h e r e T r u t h a n d
Science w e r e used t o p r o m o t e the happiness a n d f r e e d o m o f m a n .
H e r e is B a c o n ' s description o f this ideal c o m m o n w e a l t h .
(Francis Bacon died April 9, 1629.)
Read from Bacon's N E W A T L A N T I S
Vol. 3, pp. 145-155

J0

Americansby Will of the King


Before E n g l i s h adventurers could a t t e m p t settlement i n A m e r i c a
it w a s necessary first t o g e t permission f r o m t h e K i n g . T h e
charter of K i n g James t o t h e oldest A m e r i c a n c o l o n y is a n e x
tremely important historical d o c u m e n t .
(King lames grants charter to Virginia, April 10, 1606.)
Read: FIRST CHARTER OF VIRGINIA
Vol. 43, pp. 49-58

J J

D a n g e r in Being Y o u n g a n d Fair
T h e v i r g i n beauty of M a r g a r e t enchanted F a u s t , w h o d a z z l e d
her w i t h the brilliance o f m a n y g e m s . M a r g a r e t innocently t o o k
his gifts, b e l i e v i n g that beauty should n o t " b l u s h u n s e e n " b u t
u n m i n d f u l o f consequences t o f o l l o w .
Read from Goethe's FAUST
Vol. 19, pp. 115-131

FIFTEEN

IL Reading
The Perfect

MINUTES

DAY

Guide
Argument

Y o u w o u l d d o u b d e s s l i k e to k n o w h o w to hold y o u r o w n i n a n y
a r g u m e n t . R e a d w h a t Leslie Stephen declares the finest speci
m e n i n o u r l a n g u a g e of the c o n d u c t of a r g u m e n t .
Read from Berkeley's T H R E E DIALOGUES
Vol. 37, pp. 230-240
Michelangelo H i s Boon

Companion

K i n g s , emperors, the greatest artists a n d sculptors of the Renais


sance at its m o s t m a g n i f i c e n t period, w a l k t h r o u g h the pages of
his a u t o b i o g r a p h y n o t as cold, austere, historical character,
b u t as t h e intimate friends o f C e l l i n i .
Read from CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Vol. 31, pp. 23-35
A Raid o n Spanish Treasure i n America
Spanish t o w n s i n the N e w W o r l d w e r e rich in treasure a n d tempt
i n g booty for E n g l i s h soldiers of fortune, w h o w e r e venturesome
a n d merciless. " H o ! for the S p a n i s h M a i n ! " w a s the rallying
cry for all freebooters a n d buccaneers.
Read from Biggs' DRAKE'S GREAT ARMADA
Vol. 33, pp. 229-242
O Captain! My Captain!
{Lincoln died April 15, 1865.)
T h e r u g g e d , g e n u i n e L i n c o l n w a s idealized by W a l t W h i t m a n
the f o u n d e r of the n e w school of A m e r i c a n poetry. T w o of
W h i t m a n ' s finest p o e m s w e r e inspired b y L i n c o l n .
Read: WHITMAN'S POEMS
Vol. 42, pp. 1412-1420
Inside t h e Gates of Hell
T h e city of D i s , w i t h i n t h e gates of H e l l , w a s g u a r d e d by mon
sters a n d surrounded b y a m o a t filled w i t h the tormented. D a n t e ,
protected b y V i r g i l , entered the forbidden city, and v i e w e d
sights n e v e r before seen b y l i v i n g m a n .
(Dante urges attack, on the city of Florence, April 16, 1311.)
Read from Dante's D I V I N E COMEDY
Vol. 20, pp. 32-39
Benjamin FranklinBook Salesman
I n 1 7 3 1 there w e r e not m a n y b o o k s i n A m e r i c a . F r a n k l i n s a w
t h e need for m o r e b o o k s a n d b y house-to-house canvassing per
suaded P h i l a d e l p h i a n s t o aid h i m in f o u n d i n g a public library
w h i c h to-day stands as a lasting m e m o r i a l to F r a n k l i n .
(Benjamin Franklin died April 17, 1790.)
Read from FRANKLIN'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Vol. 1, pp. 66-77

FIFTEEN

APRIL

Reading

MINUTES

DAY

45

Guide

J g

Ready for Adventures and Conquests


R e a d i n g too m a n y romances of k n i g h t s a n d valorous deeds caused
a poor Spanish g e n t l e m a n t o polish u p his great-grandfather's
a r m o r , rechristen his old n a g , a n d sally forth. " D o n Q u i x o t e , "
besides h o l d i n g a secure n i c h e in literature as the w o r k t h a t
quashed the romantic school of knight-errantry, is at t h e s a m e
time one of the m o s t widely-read stories i n t h e w o r l d .
(Cervantes receives the last sacraments April 18, 1616.)
Read from Cervantes' DON QUIXOTE
Vol. 14, pp. 17-28

J 9

Battle of Concord
(Fought April 19, 1775.)
D r . E l i o t says of the o p e n i n g stanza o f t h e " C o n c o r d H y m n " :
" I n twenty-eight w o r d s here are the w h o l e scene a n d all t h e
essential circumstances . . . w h a t a n accurate, m o v i n g , i m m o r t a l
description is this!"
Read: Emerson's CONCORD H Y M N
Vol. 42, pp. 1245-1246
B y r o n G a v e H i s Life f o r F r e e d o m
E n g l a n d ' s romantic poet died w h i l e f i g h t i n g against t h e T u r k s o n
the side of the G r e e k s . H i s p o e m s , " T h e Isles of G r e e c e " a n d
" T h e Prisoner of C h i l l o n , " p r o c l a i m f r e e d o m .
(At Missolonghi, Greece, 37 guns honor Byron, April 20, 1824.)
Read: BYRON'S POEMS
Vol. 41, pp. 801-815

20

21

B o o k s as W i n d o w s t o t h e P a s t

22

H a p p i n e s s as a D u t y
I m m a n u e l K a n t , the most influential of G e r m a n philosophers,
t a u g h t that it w a s m a n ' s d u t y t o be h a p p y , for a n u n h a p p y m a n
is tempted to sin. Seekers after happiness find aid a n d inspiration
in K a n t ' s w r i t i n g s .
(Immanuel Kant born April 22, 1724.)
Read from FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF MORALS. .. .Vol. 32, pp. 310-317

T h r o u g h the pages of a b o o k the reader sees t h e life o f past d a y s .


C a r n i v a l s , processions, battles, coronations, v o y a g e s t h e w h o l e
history of the w o r l d a n d its people is revealed i n a s t u p e n d o u s
pageant. T a i n e w a s a F r e n c h m a n w h o w r o t e a n unsurpassed
history of E n g l i s h literature; its introduction reveals the u n u s u a l
c o m b i n a t i o n of a n i m a g i n a t i v e a n d a n analytical style.
(H. A. Taine born April 21, 1828.)
Read from

INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH L I T E R A T U R E .

. . .Vol. 39, pp. 410-418

46

FIFTEEN

APRIL

Reading

MINUTES

DAY

Guide

23

" I f Y o u H a v e Poison for Me, I W i l l D r i n k I t "

24

N i n e t e e n Million

25

M i g h t y Rome Feared These Men

26

D o Miracles Still

27

H e D a r e d t o See F o r b i d d e n

S h a k e n and disillusioned by the treachery of his elder daughter,


K i n g L e a r suspected e v e n the faithful C o r d e l i a of evil designs.
H e r m o s t tender efforts to comfort h i m failed to drive a w a y the
insistent specter of his m a d n e s s .
(Shakespeare died April 23, 1616.)
Read from Shakespeare's KING LEAR
Vol. 46, pp. 293-303
Elephants

A t the rate at w h i c h elephants naturally increase, D a r w i n esti


m a t e d that in 750 years there could be nearly 19,000,000 elephants.
B u t d i d D a r w i n consider the ravages of civilization and circuses?
Read from Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES
Vol. 11, pp. 74-86

M e n w h o d a n c e d a m o n g sharp s w o r d s w h o g a m b l e d w i t h their
l i v e s w h o took their w o m e n to the battlefields to encourage the
brave a n d sh am e t h e c o w a r d l y t h e s e w e r e the primitive G e r
m a n s w h o m a d e R o m a n emperors tremble.
Read from Tacitus' O N GERMANY
Vol. 33, pp. 106-120
Happen

Just w h a t constitutes a m i r a c l e ? D o e s Science indorse miracles?


O n e w o n d e r s w h y such m a r v e l o u s t h i n g s d o not happen often
n o w a d a y s . H u m e tells w h y .
(David Hume born April 26, 1711.)
Read from Hume O N MIRACLES
Vol. 37, pp. 375-385
Beauty

T h e P u r i t a n w o r l d feared B e a u t y . E m e r s o n , great A m e r i c a n
essayist and philosopher, declared that the w o r l d w a s m a d e for
beauty, a n d o pen ly w o r s h i p e d at beauty's shrine.
(Emerson died April 27, 1882.)
Read: Emerson's BEAUTY
Vol. 5, pp. 297-310
2g

" V a n i t y of Vanities," Saith the

Preacher

T h r e e h u n d r e d years before C h r i s t , a preacher in Jerusalem c o m


plained that there w a s n o n e w t h i n g under the sun. E v e r y t h i n g
considered n e w h a d really existed in the time of the fathers.
Sophisticated a n d m o d e r n is this w r i t e r of 2,300 years a g o .
Read from T H E BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES
Vol. 44, pp. 335-341

FIFTEEN

APRIL

Reading

MINUTES

DAY

47

Guide

29

H o w I G o t R i c h b y Sindbad t h e Sailor

OA

S i n d b a d , a poor m a n , recited w o e f u l verses before the m a g n i f i c e n t


d w e l l i n g of S i n d b a d of the Sea. T h e great S i n d b a d , h e a r i n g h i m ,
invited the poor S i n d b a d to a feast a n d told the w o n d e r f u l story
of his fabulous fortune.
Read from T H E THOUSAND AND O N E NIGHTS
Vol. 16, pp. 231-242
Washington's D i c t u m o n Private Life
W a s h i n g t o n declared that the strength of the n e w nation l a y in
the " p u r e a n d i m m u t a b l e principles of private m o r a l i t y . " A free
g o v e r n m e n t , fortified by the virtues a n d affection of its citizens,
can c o m m a n d the respect of the w o r l d .
(Washington inaugurated April _jo, 1789.)
Read: Washington's FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS

Vol.

43, pp. 225-228

"No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle," wrote 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

A V E N U E S O F SCIENCE A N D LEARNING.HUME.

48

FIFTEEN

M I N U T E S

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)

|^ W h a t W o u l d You A s k J u d a s

Iscariot?

O n c e H a z l i t t a n d his friends took to discussing t h e famous peo


ple they w o u l d l i k e t o m e e t G u y F a w k e s , S i r Isaac N e w t o n ,
C h a u c e r , Boccaccio, C r o m w e l l , G a r r i c k , a n d Judas.
Read: PERSONS O N E WOULD WISH TO HAVE SEEN
Vol. 27, pp. 270-283
2

First Sparks o f Electricity


E v e r y t h i n g h a s t o h a v e a b e g i n n i n g , so t o o w i t h t h e science o f
electricity. H e r e w e learn the very rudiments, the inceptions
of science that h a v e r e v o l u t i o n i z e d t h e w o r l d . F a r a d a y explains
in a simple w a y t h e truths o f electricity.
Read: Faraday's M A G N E T I S M E L E C T R I C I T Y

Vol. 30, pp. 61-72

W h y "Machiavellian"?
T r a v e l i n g f r o m court t o court i n t h e stirring d a y s o f the Renais
sance, M a c h i a v e l l i studied the intrigues o f princes. H i s writ
i n g s h a v e affected the destiny o f m i g h t y dynasties.
(Machiavelli horn May 3, 1469.)
Read from Machiavelli's THE PRINCE
Vol. 36, pp. 7-17

^j. A C h a m p i o n o f S c i e n c e
W h e n science w a s s t r u g g l i n g f o r a place in popular education,
H u x l e y distinguished himself as its c h a m p i o n . W h i l e the arts
w e r e t o beautify life a n d increase pleasure, H u x l e y saw science
as a m e a n s of benefiting m a n ' s prosperity.
(Huxley born May 4, /S25.)
Read from SCIENCE AND CULTURE

Vol. 28, pp. 209-319

Strange A d v e n t u r e s i n Man's Clothes


D i s g u i s e d as a m a n , a Russian n o b l e w o m a n e x p l o r i n g the m o u n
tains o f P o l a n d c a m e u p o n a secret prison. F a t e l i n k e d t h e
lives o f this w o m a n a n d t h e u n k n o w n prisoner.
(Calderon, after a life of adventure, died May 5, 1681.)
Read from Calderon's L I F E IS A DREAM

Vol. 26, pp. 7-21

FIFTEEN

MAY Reading
^

MINUTES

DAY

49

Guide

A P o o r A r t i s t Defies a R i c h

Duke

" B e n v e n u t o , the figure cannot succeed i n b r o n z e , " so spoke the


patron D u k e . C e l l i n i , s t u n g to fury, passionately burst o u t :
" Y o u d o not understand art." F e v e r i s h l y he b e g a n the casting
of t h e statuebut read his o w n account of the tilt w i t h t h e D u k e .
Read from CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Vol. 31, pp. 373-384
y

A Bishop

Bargains

A h a u g h t y aristocrat, w h o m u r d e r e d his w i f e for e n j o y i n g life


m o r e t h a n h e , n o w b a r g a i n i n g for a n e w bride; a crafty bishop
b e g g i n g a n d b u l l y i n g his heirs for a t o m b richer t h a n that of
his rival; these are subjects of B r o w n i n g ' s p e n .
(Robert Browning born May 7, 1812.)
Read from BROWNING'S POEMS
Vol. 42, pp. 1074-1078
g

Behind t h e Screen in t h e School f o r Scandal


L a d y T e a z l e hides in haste w h e n her h u s b a n d is u n e x p e c t e d l y
a n n o u n c e d . Situations w h i c h set m a n y tongues w a g g i n g a n d
fed the fire of gossip in Scandal-land, startle t h e reader.
("School for Scandal" produced at Drury Lane, May 8, 1777.)
Read from Sheridan's SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL
Vol. 18, pp. 164-176
Relation of A r t t o Freedom
W h o has ever t h o u g h t the arts h a d a n y t h i n g to d o w i t h free
d o m ? Schiller d i d . F o r c e d b y a G e r m a n noble t o enter a m i l i
tary school, he escaped. S t r u g g l i n g t o achieve freedom, h e w r o t e
a series of letters o n the relation of art t o f r e e d o m .
(Friedrich von Schiller died May 9, 180;.)
Read: Schiller's O N E S T H E T I C EDUCATION
Vol. 32, pp. 209-217

|fj

A Knight A m o n g Cannibals
Savages w h o drink the p o w d e r e d bones of their d e a d m i x e d w i t h
w i n e , A m a z o n s w h o hold riotous festivals, the w o r s h i p of g o l d e n
statues, all the primitive w o n d e r s of G u i a n a are described b y
the famous E l i z a b e t h a n gallant, Sir W a l t e r R a l e i g h .
Read from Raleigh's DISCOVERY OF GUIANA
Vol. 33, pp. 326-341

J J

L a t e s t Gossip i n Malfi
Latest n e w s abroad in M a l f i : T h e D u c h e s s has r u n off w i t h h e r
butler. B u t this happened before t h e days o f n e w s p a p e r s or
radio, so W e b s t e r m a d e from it an e x c i t i n g p l a y .
Read from Webster's T H E DUCHESS OF M A L F I
Vol. 47, pp. 721-737

50

FIFTEEN

MAY Reading

MINUTES

DAY

Guide

12

His Wife's Golden H a i r Enshrined H i s Poems

13

W h a t Does Your D o g Think of You?


T w o d o g s fell a-gossiping about their masters and about a dog's
life a m o n g the h u m b l e Scotch folk. E a c h "rejoic'd they w e r e n a
m e n b u t d o g s ; a n ' each took aff his several w a y . "
Read: Burns' T H E T W A DOGS
Vol. 6, pp. 151-157

14

Jenner's A m a z i n g Smallpox C u r e
E d w a r d Jenner f o u n d that disease in the heel of a horse, trans
m i t t e d t h r o u g h a c o w t o t h e dairy attendants, w a s an agent in
m a k i n g h u m a n b e i n g s i m m u n e f r o m smallpox. H i s a m a z i n g
experiments inaugurated a n e w epoch.
(Edward Jenner maizes his first vaccination May 14, 1796.)
Read: VACCINATION AGAINST SMALLPOX
Vol. 38, pp. 145-154

15

Glimpses Into t h e Beyond


T h e best part of the D i v i n e C o m e d y for a f e w m i n u t e s ' read
i n g is the " I n f e r n o . " T h e r e the reader finds the most v i v i d
descriptions, the m o s t startling a n d unforgettable pictures.
(Dante born May 1$, 1265.)
Read from Dante's DIVINE COMEDY
Vol. 20, pp. 102-114

16

Favorite Superstitions of Celtic Imagination


Chessboards o n w h i c h , of their o w n accord, black pieces played
a g a i n s t w h i t e ; chariots that swiftly turned hither a n d y o n w i t h
o u t a driver; pots in w h i c h a c o w a r d ' s meat w o u l d not c o o k
all these are w o v e n into b e w i t c h i n g stories.
Read from T H E POETRY OF THE C E L T I C RACES
Vol. 32, pp. 145-155

17

A n H o n e s t Life's R e w a r d
C o n d e m n e d for impiety, Socrates felt so justified i n t h e virtue
of his past action that instead of r e c e i v i n g a death sentence, he
told t h e j u d g e s he should be m a i n t a i n e d at public expense as a
public benefactor.
Read: Plato's APOLOGY OF SOCRATES
Vol. 2, pp. 24-30

T h e manuscripts o f m a n y of t h e best p o e m s of Rossetti w e r e


buried w i t h his w i f e . F r i e n d s prevailed u p o n h i m to allow
t h e m to be e x h u m e d a n d these p o e m s , once buried w i t h the
d e a d , are n o w a treasure of t h e l i v i n g .
(Rossetti born May 12, 1828.)
Read: ROSSETTI'S POEMS
Vol. 42, pp. 1149-1153, 1178-1181

FIFTEEN

MAY Reading
Jg

MINUTES

A DAY

51

Guide

T h e N i g h t Life of

Flowers

F l o w e r s often tire of their stationary life and s o m e t i m e s at n i g h t


frolic a w a y to a ball in a beautiful castle. T h u s a fanciful story
teller accounts for their d r o o p i n g c o n d i t i o n i n t h e m o r n i n g .
Read: ANDERSEN'S T A L E S
Vol. 17, pp. 334-341

19

Golden Advice on Manners

20

Shakespeare's Finest W o r k

21

A n Honest Man Defined

22

T r u e Love in

23

A Plea for an

W h e n a m a n is invited to a b a n q u e t he m u s t
the dishes put before h i m . E p i c t e t u s reasoned
be content w i t h w h a t life offers, and in serenity
Read: Epictetus' GOLDEN SAYINGS

be satisfied w i t h
that m a n should
find happiness.
Vol. 2, pp. 128-138

T h e most concentrated beauty of Shakespeare's u n b o u n d e d crea


tive g e n i u s is found in his sonnets. W r i t t e n as personal messages
to friends and not intended for publication, they reveal t h e
inner Shakespeare m o r e truly than d o any of his great p l a y s .
(Sonnets entered in the London Stationers' Register, May 20. /609.)
Read from Shakespeare's SONNETS
Vol. 40, pp. 270-276

T h e sharp t o n g u e of A l e x a n d e r P o p e m a d e h i m celebrated, y e t
w i d e l y feared. In a representative p r o d u c t of his versatile p e n ,
he gracefully c o m b i n e s his flashing w i t w i t h sage a d v i c e .
(Alexander Pope born May 21, 1688.)
Read from Pope's ESSAY ON MAN
Vol. 40, pp. 430-440
Difficulty

Because of a fancy for a peasant g i r l , the tyrannical lord o f a n


Italian village sent desperadoes to threaten the priest if he mar
ried the girl to her village lover.
(Manzoni died May 22, 1873.)
Read from Manzoni's I PROMESSI SPOSI
Vol. 21, pp. 7-24
Unfortunate

F r o m the river her body w a s tenderly liftedthe g i r l w h o c o u l d


find no place in the vast city. T h o m a s H o o d pleads for h e r
eloquently and justly. R e a d this g e m o f pathos.
(Thomas Hood born May 23, 1709.)
Read: HOOD'S POEMS
Vol. 41, pp. 907-911

52

FIFTEEN

MAY Reading
2^J.

MINUTES

DAY

Guide

T h e y H a d N o M o n e y Y e t B o u g h t a n d Sold
D e b t s w e r e not a l w a y s paid in m o n e y . N o t so l o n g a g o the
butcher paid for his k e g of beer w i t h a slab of beef, and oxen
w e r e e x c h a n g e d for land and w i v e s . A d a m S m i t h tells the inter
esting story of the o r i g i n and use of m o n e y .
Read from Adam Smith's W E A L T H OF NATIONS
Vol. 10, pp. 22-33
D o W h a t Y o u Fear
E m e r s o n startled the w o r l d by fearlessly d e c l a r i n g his beliefs.
S u c h apparent paradoxes as w e find in his inspirational essay,
" H e r o i s m , " m a k e s h i m the m o s t stimulating yet profound thinker
A m e r i c a has p r o d u c e d .
(Emerson born May 25, 1803.)
Read: Emerson's HEROISM
Vol. 5, pp. 121-13,1

2^

D a u g h t e r Declares H e r Love
G o n e r i l and R e g a n falsely s w o r e they loved their father, K i n g
L e a r , m o r e t h a n life itself. C o r d e l i a could find no w o r d s to ex
press her sincere d e v o t i o n . T h e n K i n g L e a r m a d e the decision
that started a series of e x c i t i n g events.
(Shakespeare's first daughter, Susanna, baptized May 26, 1583.)
Read from Shakespeare's KING LEAR
Vol. 46, pp. 215-225

27

Lessing's C o u r a g e o u s S t a n d f o r

Toleration

T o a d v a n c e freedom of t h o u g h t , L e s s i n g published an essay of


one h u n d r e d paragraphs o u t l i n i n g the history of religion. T h e
w r a t h of o r t h o d o x c h u r c h m e n w a s hurled at his head, and L e s s i n g
w a s left alone to defend his d a r i n g theories.
Read from T H E EDUCATION OF THE H U M A N RACE
Vol. 32, pp. 185-195
2^

Master of Melodious

Lyrics

A n y one of these poems, " T h e H a r p T h a t O n c e T h r o u g h T a r a ' s


H a l l s , " " T h e L a s t Rose of S u m m e r , " " T h e L i g h t of O t h e r
D a y s , " w o u l d alone have m a d e M o o r e i m m o r t a l .
(Thomas Moore born May 28, 1779.)
Read: MOORE'S POEMS
Vol. 41, pp. 816-822
2^

Adventures in Bagdad
A B a g d a d m e r c h a n t d r e a m e d of .the m o n e y he w o u l d m a k e from
the sale of a tray of glassware, and of m a r r y i n g the k i n g ' s d a u g h
ter. B u t , d a y d r e a m i n g , he k i c k e d over the tray.
Read from T H E THOUSAND AND O N E NIGHTS
Vol. 16, pp. 177-184

FIFTEEN

MAY Reading

MINUTES

A DAY

53

Guide

30

W h e n t h e T h r o b o f t h e W a r D r u m Is Stifl'd
(Memorial Day.)
A t the close of the w a r , a torn a n d b l e e d i n g nation set about t o
rebuild its shattered frame. T h e result w a s a stronger nation
rising f r o m a n almost disrupted u n i o n .
Read: Longfellow's T H E BUILDING OF T H E SHIP. . . Vol. 42, pp. 1280-1290

31

America's Most Surprising Poet


W a l t W h i t m a n is the most original a n d startling of m o d e r n poets.
A n irony of his life is that w h i l e h e w r o t e for the c o n t e m p o r a r y
masses, only a limited n u m b e r of followers appreciated his
g e n i u s , n o w universally r e c o g n i z e d .
(Walt Whitman born May 31, 1819.)
Read: Whitman's PREFACE 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 1796 by inoculating
a boy of eight. (See Reading Assignment for May 14th.)

THE

GENERAL

PRINCIPLES

OF A N Y STUDY

L E A R N B Y B O O K S A T HOME.NEWMAN.

YOU MAY

FIFTEEN

MINUTES

ADAY

JUNE
When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
And merry lark\s are ploughmen s clocks,
When turtles tread, and roo\s, and daws,
And maidens bleach their summer smock\s.
SHAKESPEARE

(Vol.

40,

p.

265)

Thrilling P l a y b y T u t o r of Shakespeare
F o r the best b l a n k verse i n E n g l i s h , read " D r . F a u s t u s , " the mas
terpiece of M a r l o w e , w h o g a v e Shakespeare lessons i n playwriting. T h i s g e n i u s k n e w the secret of g r i p p i n g d r a m a .
(Marlowe died ]une 1, 1593.)
Read from Marlowe's DR. FAUSTUS
Vol. 19, pp. 241-250
"Back to N a t u r e " in the Seventeenth

Century

A " B a c k to N a t u r e " m o v e m e n t in the seventeenth century w a s


headed by Rousseau, w h o believed that civilization w a s degrad
ing. T o save m o n e y for his w o r k , he entrusted each of his chil
dren to the tender mercies of a f o u n d l i n g house.
(Jean Jacques Rousseau born June 2, 1712.)
Read from Rousseau's A SAVOYARD VICAR
Vol. 34, pp. 239-249
Pulse Aids Epochal

Discoveries

G a l i l e o , b y h o l d i n g his pulse w h i l e w a t c h i n g a s w i n g i n g cathe


dral l a m p , e v o l v e d a theory that m a d e clocks possible. H a r v e y ,
by feeling his pulse, educed that arteries carry blood.
(Dr. William Harvey died June 3, 1657.)
Read from MOTION OF T H E HEART AND BLOOD
Vol. 38, pp. 75-86
' N e a t h t h e Iron H a n d of Spain
S p a i n sent the D u k e of A l v a t o subdue the N e t h e r l a n d s . I n
q u e l l i n g disorder he killed the people's hero, C o u n t E g m o n t .
F r o m this story G o e t h e m a d e a famous play.
(Egmont sentenced to death June 4, 1658.)
Read from Goethe's EGMONT
Vol. 19, pp. 253-259
T h e R e n t o f Land f r o m H u m a n Food
E v e n to-day rent is paid in terms of h u m a n food. It sounds
p r i m i t i v e , b u t it happens right at y o u r doorhere i n the U n i t e d
States, i n c o m p l i a n c e w i t h a l a w as old as m a n .
(Adam Smith born June 5, 1723.)
Read from Adam Smith's W E A L T H OF NATIONS
Vol. 10, pp. 149-157

FIFTEEN

JUNE
^

Reading

MINUTES

A DAY

55

Guide

A Shrill C r y i n t h e N i g h t !
A c r e w faced the h a z a r d o u s prospect of r o u n d i n g the b l e a k C a p e
H o r n in m i d w i n t e r . I m a g i n e the terror w h e n a s u d d e n scream
pierced the misery-laden air. W h a t w a s it? A m a n overboard
or a lost soul?
(R. H. Dana on watch, night of June 6, 1836.)
Read from Dana's Two YEARS BEFORE THE MAST
Vol. 23, pp. 285-295

"There's Rosemarythat's for

Remembrance!"

D o y o u k n o w the rest o f O p h e l i a ' s f a m o u s line? " H a m l e t " is


the most popular play in the entire w o r l d . It has been q u o t e d
so often that reading it is l i k e m e e t i n g an old friend.
(Edwin Booth, famed Shakespearian actor, died June 7, 1893.)
Read from H A M L E T
Vol. 46, pp. 176-183
g

Eloquence Wins Over

Prejudice

T h e plain, h o m e l y appearance of W o o l m a n impressed unfav


orably the orthodox Q u a k e r s in L o n d o n w h o m he w a s sent to
meet. T h e y told h i m his c o m i n g w a s not necessary.
But
W o o l m a n spoke w i t h such simplicity a n d sincerity that e v e n
those most opposed b e c a m e his friends.
(John Woolman arrives in London for Friends' meeting, June 8, 1772.)
Read from WOOLMAN'S JOURNAL
Vol. 1, pp. 302-312
p

Enchanting Songs of

David

T h e songs of D a v i d pleased K i n g Saul, b u t w h e n D a v i d b e c a m e


too popular w i t h the people, the k i n g feared for his throne and
banished h i m .
Read from T H E PSALMS
Vol. 44, pp. 168-179
J Q

Horrible Prophecy

Fulfilled

K i n g CEdipus of T h e b e s as a babe w a s a b a n d o n e d o n M o u n t
Cithaeron to die. Y e a r s after he w a s t h o u g h t d e a d he returns
to T h e b e s and u n k n o w i n g l y slays his father, marries his m o t h e r
and thus fulfills the w o r d of the oracle.
Read from Sophocles' CEDIPUS, KING OF THEBES
Vol. 8, pp. 209-223
J ^

H e Sang of His B e a u t i f u l Elizabeth


T o c o m m e m o r a t e his m a r r i a g e to the beautiful E l i z a b e t h , Spen
ser w r o t e one of the most e n c h a n t i n g nuptial h y m n s .
(Edmund Spenser married Elizabeth Boyle, June 1 1 , 1594.)
Read: Spenser's T H E EPITHALAMIUM
Vol. 40, pp. 234-245

56

FIFTEEN

JUNE

Reading

MINUTES

A DAY

Guide

1 2

Vishnu Holds U p a Battle

*"

T w o armies of ancient I n d i a w e r e about to e n g a g e in a m o m e n


tous battle. A r j u n a , heroic leader of the P a n d u hosts, foreseeing
g r e a t slaughter, hesitates. H e implores the divine V i s h n u to
intervene. T h e conversation of the w a r r i o r and the g o d is a
g e m of H i n d u literature.
Read from T H E BHAGAVAD-GITA
Vol. 45, pp. 785-798
Athens Flouts Aristides
A t h e n i a n s g a v e A r i s t i d e s the title of " T h e Just." L a t e r they
w a n t e d to banish h i m . O n e voter w a n t e d Aristides banished
m e r e l y because h e w a s w e a r y of h e a r i n g h i m called " T h e Just."
Read from Plutarch's ARISTIDES
Vol. 12, pp. 85-94

^ .
J.T"

A Philosopher Prefers Prison Cell


Socrates unceasingly strove for beauty, truth, and perfection.
Sentenced to death o n a false c h a r g e , he refused to escape from
the death cell, e v e n w h e n opportunity w a s offered.
Read: Plato's CRITO
Vol. 2, pp. 31-43

_,

Strikers Storm the T o w e r of London


L e d by W a t T y l e r in 1 3 8 1 , great troops of villagers and rustics
m a r c h e d o n L o n d o n l a i d siege to the T o w e r s a c k e d the apart
ments of the K i n g a n d m u r d e r e d his ministers. Froissart gives
first-hand information of this rebellion.
(Wat Tyler's Rebellion suppressed June 75, 1381.)
Read from Froissart's W A T TYLER'S REBELLION
Vol. 35, pp. 60-72

1 /T S p i r i t s a t t h e T o p o f t h e W o r l d
T h e inaccessible m o u n t a i n tops w e r e ever venerated as the haunts
of all mysteries. M a n f r e d , h e r o of B y r o n ' s play, seeks u p o n the
h i g h A l p s the aid of spirits, specters, and goblins. W h a t un
earthly adventures a w a i t h i m !
(Byron publishes "Manfred," June 16, 1817.)
Read from Byron's MANFRED
Vol. 18, pp. 415-428
J J

Risked His Scalp in Prayer


John E l i o t p u t his life at the m e r c y of the r e d m e n to g e t t h e m
t o listen to his p r e a c h i n g s . H e w r o t e vividly about his settle
m e n t s of C h r i s t i a n Indians. N o w villages and Indians have dis
appeared. O n l y his story remains.
(John Eliot holds Indian prayer meeting June 17, 1670.)
Read: Eliot's BRIEF NARRATIVE
Vol. 43, pp. 138-146

FIFTEEN

JUNE
J g

Reading

MINUTES

57

DAY

Guide

Cinderella Lives T o - d a y
Cinderella inspires all alikethe artist's brush, the author's p e n ,
the child's fancy. T o - d a y she is a l i v i n g , vital character to be seen
on stage a n d screen. N o o n e e v e r forgets h e r l i g h t n i n g c h a n g e .
Read from GRIMM'S T A L E S
Vol. 17, pp. 98-104

19

Freaks of t h e D o g Fad in England

20

N o Salt for These

21

W o u l d Y o u Converse w i t h Royalty?
W h y gossip w i t h lesser persons w h e n y o u m i g h t b e t a l k i n g t o
queens and k i n g s ? Just h o w w e m a y g e t to t a l k t o q u e e n s
and k i n g s , R u s k i n delightfully points out a n d escorts us to the
very doors of the audience c h a m b e r .
Read from Ruskin's SESAME
Vol. 28, pp. 99-110

22

Pliny Tells Ghost Stories


P l i n y , w h o lived in the first century after C h r i s t , tells o f a g h o s t
w h o d r a g g e d his j a n g l i n g chains t h r o u g h a house in A t h e n s a n d
so terrified the inmates that t h e y fled panic-stricken. B u t t h e
ghost m e t his e q u a l .
Read from Pliny's LETTERS
Vol. 9, pp. 311-314

23

Greek Scholar at Three

A w r i t e r of E l i z a b e t h a n times said that n o other c o u n t r y h a d as


m a n y d o g s as E n g l a n d . O n c e H e n r y V I I ordered all mastiffs
to be h u n g because they "durst presume to fight against the
l i o n , " E n g l a n d ' s regal beast.
Read: Holinshed's OUR ENGLISH DOGS
Vol. 35, pp. 350-356
Birds

G a l a p a g o s Islands are the h o m e of fearless birds, t o w h i c h horses,


c o w s , and m e n are only roosting places. D a r w i n s a w t h e S o u t h
Pacific w h e n f e w travelers k n e w that w o n d e r l a n d .
Read from Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE
Vol. 29, pp. 403-413

John Stuart M i l l o n e of the greatest intellects i n E n g l a n d t e l l s


h o w his father educated h i m . A t t h e early a g e of three years
he b e g a n the study of G r e e k , a n d at t w e l v e started w r i t i n g a
book of his o w n .
(James Mill, lather of John Stuart Mill, died June 23, 1836.)
Read from Mill's AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Vol. 25, pp.

9-20

FIFTEEN

E Reading

MINUTES

DAY

Guide

Had N o Right Hand


A h a n d s o m e y o u n g m a n w a s seen t o eat only w i t h his left hand,
w h i c h w a s contrary t o the customs o f A r a b i a . T h e y o u t h , w h e n
u r g e d , told w h y he used only h i s left h a n d , a n d revealed a
story o f love a n d a d v e n t u r e a n d t h e lover's need for g o l d a l l
h a p p e n i n g i n ancient C a i r o .
Read from T H E THOUSAND AND O N E NIGHTS
Vol. 16, pp. 120-133
Advice t o Virgins from a Wise Man
" G a t h e r y e rosebuds w h i l e y e m a y , O l d T i m e is still a-flying;
A n d this same flower that smiles today, to-morrow w i l l be
d y i n g ? " H e r r i c k w a s only a h u m b l e country minister w i t h a
w e a l t h o f w i s d o m a n d a k e e n appreciation of life, w h i c h h e
expressed i n lyrics o f w o n d e r f u l beauty a n d m e l o d y .
Read: HERRICK'S POEMS
Vol. 40, pp. 334-340
In t h e Lair o f t h e Green-Eyed Monster
A t t h e b o t t o m o f t h e ocean w a s the h o m e o f t h e monster w h o
h a d desolated t h e k i n g ' s halls. B e o w u l f , bravest o f warriors,
descended beneath t h e w a v e s t o fight t h e beast. T h e k i n g ' s
m e n , w a i t i n g a b o v e , s a w t h e w a v e s b e c o m e colored w i t h blood.
H e r o or monsterwho had w o n ?
Read from BEOWULF
Vol. 49, pp. 45-50
D o Y o u T a k e Poison Daily?
T h e r e is a h u m a n trait most poisonous t o a m a n ' s blood. M a n
seeks t o a v o i d it because h e k n o w s that it lies like a curse upon
h i m . Just w h a t is the poisonous h u m a n failing? W h o are most
subject to it? B a c o n tells y o u i n one o f his best essays.
(Francis Bacon enrolled at Cambridge University, June 27, 1576.)
Read from BACON'S ESSAYS
Vol. 3, pp.

22-26

Pages from t h e Pampas Book o f Etiquette


A very definite etiquette is f o l l o w e d b y a stranger o n t h e vast
plains o f S o u t h A m e r i c a . " A v e M a r i a " is the c o m m o n saluta
tion. I f the stranger is o n horseback, h e does not alight until
invited to d o so b y his host. O n c e i n the house, the stranger m u s t
converse a w h i l e before a s k i n g shelter f o r the n i g h t .
Read from Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE

Vol. 29, pp. 51-60

FIFTEEN

JUNE
29

Reading

MINUTES

59

DAY

Guide

" I s T h a t a D a g g e r I See B e f o r e M e ? "


M a c b e t h , spurred on by the ambitious a n d crafty L a d y M a c b e t h ,
c o m m i t t e d m u r d e r to secure the c r o w n of Scotland. B u t h e
paid dearly for his g a i n . G h o s t l y guests appeared at his b a n q u e t
and threatened h i m w i t h dire threats.
{Shakespeare's Globe Theatre burned June 29, 1613.)
Read from Shakespeare's MACBETH
Vol. 46, pp. 357-365
Rather King Than Majority
" D e m o c r a c y " has not a l w a y s been the choice of oppressed people.
T h e tyranny of the majority is a r e c o g n i z e d evil as h a r m f u l as the
misrule of a k i n g . A n d rather than e x c h a n g e a lesser evil for a
greater, a rule by k i n g h a s often been preferred to a republic.
Read: Mill's O N 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 June 14.)
IF Y O U R E A D T E N P A G E S O F A G O O D B O O K , L E T T E R B Y
L E T T E R T H A T IS T O S A Y , W I T H R E A L
ARE FOREVERMORE IN SOME
P E R S O N . J O H N RUSKIN.

MEASURE

ACCURACYYOU
AN

EDUCATED

FIFTEEN

MINUTES

ADAY

JULY
Rosy summer next advancing, . . .
On Calpe's olive-shaded steep
Or India's citron-cover'd isles. . . .
C A M P B E L L (Vol.

D a r w i n N o t First

41, p.

772)

Evolutionist

W h i l e D a r w i n w a s w o r k i n g o n his theory of evolution, another


scientist independently arrived at the same conclusions. D a r w i n ,
then, w a s not the first to study evolution.
(Darwin publishes outline of "Origin of Species," July 1 , 1858.)
Read from Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES
Vol. 11, pp. 5-17
" J u l i u s " Becomes " J u l y "
So that the date for certain festivals w o u l d not fall one year in
m i d w i n t e r a n d in t h e heat of s u m m e r another year, Caesar re
f o r m e d the calendar. July w a s n a m e d for h i m .
Read from Plutarch's C^SAR
Vol. 12, pp. 310-315
Gettysburg b y an Eyewitness
A n officer i n that m o m e n t o u s battle narrates every major action
of both armies. T h u s w e see the s w a r m i n g lines of Confeder
ates a d v a n c e t h e hand-to-hand struggle.
(Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863.)
Read from Haskell's BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG
Vol. 43, pp. 326-335
Some Chose t o Remain British Subjects
(Independence Day.)
S o m e A m e r i c a n s preferred to be loyal to E n g l a n d a n d d i d n o t
w a n t i n d e p e n d e n t g o v e r n m e n t . T h e i r hesitation is better under
stood w h e n the finality of the D e c l a r a t i o n is realized.
Read: DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
Vol. 43, pp. 150-155
A Tailor Entertains a King
H e r e is another of those fanciful Oriental stories that proclaims
the d e m o c r a c y of Eastern despotism. A tailor m i g h t talk w i t h a
k i n g a n d receive either a death sentence or the office of G r a n d
V i z i e r as a r e w a r d .
Read from T H E THOUSAND AND O N E NIGHTS
Vol. 16, pp. 149-162

FIFTEEN

JULY

Reading

MINUTES

ADAY

61

Guide

The Origin of "Utopia"


W h e n E u r o p e w a s suffering f r o m evil rulers, h e a v y taxes, a n d
despair, Sir T h o m a s M o r e d r e a m e d of a h a p p y land w h e r e a n
intelligently m a n a g e d state perfected happiness.
(Sir Thomas More executed, July 6, 1535.)
Read from More's UTOPIA
Vol. 36, pp. 135-142
"J S c a n d a l T h a t L u r k e d B e h i n d L a c e a n d P o w d e r
T h e painted lips o f the e i g h t e e n t h century ladies a n d gallants
vied w i t h o n e another i n w h i s p e r i n g scathing gossip, in gleefully
furthering the destruction of a g o o d n a m e . S h e r i d a n depicts
this g a y w o r l d w i t h a brilliant spicy p e n .
(Sheridan buried in Westminster Abbey, July 7, 1816.)
Read from Sheridan's SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL
Vol. 18, pp. 115-128
g

Italy's Fair Assassin

W h e n the monstrous C e n c i forced h i s d a u g h t e r Beatrice into a


horrible situation, she revolted a n d boldly struck for f r e e d o m .
Shelley tells h e r pitiful story in o n e o f h i s best w o r k s .
(Percy Bysshe Shelley drowned, July 8, 1822.)
Read from Shelley's C E N C I
Vol. 18, pp. 288-300
A Little Lying N o w and T h e n
" W h a t is T r u t h ? " asked Pilate. F o r a n a n s w e r B a c o n discourses
not o n h u m a n nature as it should be, b u t as it is. T h e s e s h r e w d
observations o n m a k i n g a life a n d a l i v i n g a d m i t occasional d e
partures from truth.
(Bacon becomes Privy Councilor, July 9, 1616.)
Read from BACON'S ESSAYS

10

Read from T H E VOYAGES TO VINLAND

J J

Vol. 3, pp. 7-19

America's First I m m i g r a n t s
T h e s h a d o w of a p h a n t o m cast u p o n t h e cradle o f Snorri, t h e
first w h i t e child born in A m e r i c a , w a s a w a r n i n g o f a n I n d i a n
attack o n t h e settlement o f c o u r a g e o u s N o r s e m e n w h o h a d
risked t h e terrors of u n k n o w n seas t o visit " W i n e l a n d . "
Vol. 43. pp. 14-20

Star G a z i n g A Cure f o r Tired Minds


T h e greatest spectacle offered m a n is a v i e w o f the m a g n i f i c e n t
vault of h e a v e n . U n d e r t h e stupendous arch of t h e M i l k y W a y
the cares o f t h e w o r l d roll off.
(Newcomb died July 1 1 , 1909.)
Read: Newcomb's T H E EXTENT OF THE UNIVERSE
Vol. 30, pp. 311-321

62

FIFTEEN

Reading

JULY
12

13

MINUTES

A DAY

Guide

Walked!
T h o r e a u ' s i n d i v i d u a l i t y w a s u n i q u e and original. H e had no
profession; he never m a r r i e d ; he never w e n t to c h u r c h ; he never
v o t e d o r paid taxes; he n e v e r s m o k e d ; he never d r a n k w i n e . H i s
a m u s e m e n t w a s w a l k i n g , to observe and meditate.
(Henry David Thoreau born July 12, 1817.)
Read from Thoreau's W A L K I N G
Vol. 28, pp. 395-405

Athenians Also Complained of Taxes


Pericles used public m o n e y to beautify A t h e n s . T h e citizens
protested against the expense, as citizens in all ages d o . B y a
clever stroke Pericles w o n their support to his ambitious plans.
Read from Plutarch's PERICLES
Vol. 12, pp. 47-57
T h e French People T r i u m p h
(The Bastille surrendered, July 14, 1789.)
W h a t the F o u r t h of July is to A m e r i c a n s , the Fourteenth of July
is to F r e n c h m e n . It c o m m e m o r a t e s an oppressive tyranny over
t h r o w n by a f r e e d o m - l o v i n g people.
Read from Burke's T H E REVOLUTION IN FRANCE
Vol. 24, pp. 268-273

15

W h e n Elizabeth

Dined

1^

T h e M o h a m m e d a n Jesus
T h e sacred b o o k of the M o s l e m s , t h e K o r a n , g i v e s a n account of
the birth of C h r i s t . T h e K o r a n g i v e s Jesus a h i g h position a m o n g
the prophets but holds the first place for M o h a m m e d .
(Beginning of Moslem era of time, July 16, 622 A. D.)
Read from T H E KORAN
Vol. 45, pp. 908-913

J H

A T h r o n e for Son or Stepson?


Phaedre first persecuted H i p p o l y t u s , her h a n d s o m e stepson, then
l o v e d h i m . S u d d e n l y he and her o w n son became rivals for the
throne. S h o u l d she push her son's claims or let H i p p o l y t u s take
the c r o w n ?
(Racine elected to French Academy, July 17, 1673.)
Read from Racine's PH.IDRE
Vol. 26, pp. 133-148

M e a l s in the houses of the gentry and n o b l e m e n in Elizabethan


E n g l a n d w e r e taken most seriously. N o one spoke. Holinshed
records the strange table etiquette of o u r ancestors.
(Queen Elizabeth entertained at Kenilworth, July 15, 157$.)
Read from HOLINSHED'S CHRONICLES
Vol. 35, pp. 271-288

FIFTEEN

JULY
J g

Reading

MINUTES

A DAY

63

Guide

They Loved in Vain


" B r o w n i n g ' s play has t h r o w n m e into a perfect passion of sor
r o w , " wrote C h a r l e s D i c k e n s of " T h e Blot in the ' S c u t c h e o n . "
L i k e Shakespeare's Juliet, B r o w n i n g ' s M i l d r e d plays the role of
a youthful lover in a tragic d r a m a .
Read from Browning's BLOT IN THE 'SCUTCHEON
Vol. 18, pp. 359-368

J 9

She W a n t e d H e r o e s A l l t o H e r s e l f
T h e famous gallant w h o spread his g o r g e o u s c l o a k so the dainty
slipper of his q u e e n w o u l d be unspotted, soon lost the h i g h favor
this action w o n for h i m . In spite of his glorious v o y a g e s , R a l e i g h
c o n d e m n e d himself w h e n he fell in l o v e w i t h another w o m a n .
(Sir Walter Raleigh imprisoned July 19, 1603.)
Read from Raleigh's DISCOVERY OF GUIANA
Vol. 33, pp. 311-320

20

A C o b b l e r i n Jail
John B u n y a n , imprisoned for p r e a c h i n g w i t h o u t a license, g a v e
to the w o r l d " P i l g r i m ' s P r o g r e s s , " the greatest allegory i n a n y
l a n g u a g e , second only to the B i b l e .
Read from Bunyan's PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
Vol. 15, pp. 59-69

2 \

Scotland's O w n

Poet

T h e songs of B u r n s are the l i n k s , the w a t c h w o r d s , the s y m b o l s


of the Scots. H e is the last of the ballad singers. I n his w o r k s
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 w i t h a Frenzied

Giant

O d y s s e u s w a s w r e c k e d w i t h his m e n o n a n island inhabited


by one-eyed giants. T r a p p e d in the cave of a g i a n t w h o g o b b l e d
u p some of the c r e w for supper, the c u n n i n g O d y s s e u s b l i n d e d
the giant and rescued the survivors of his c r e w .
Read from Homer's ODYSSEY
Vol. 22, pp. 120-129
23

Friendship A b o v e

Love?

T h e r e are styles in friendship as w e l l as in clothes. T h e m o d e


of friendship of Bacon's t i m e w e n t o u t w i t h p l u m e d hats a n d
l o n g hose. B u t B a c o n k n e w the true test of a friend.
(Francis Bacon \nighted, July 23, 1603.)
Read from BACON'S ESSAYS
Vol. 3, pp. 65-72

64

FIFTEEN

JULY
2^1

Reading

MINUTES

A DAY

Guide

Indian Sorcery Blamed for an

Earthquake

D a r w i n visited a S o u t h A m e r i c a n city ruined by a n e a r t h q u a k e .


T h e r e he heard the superstitious account of the p h e n o m e n o n .
T h e ignorant people accused Indian w o m e n of b e w i t c h i n g the
v o l c a n o . B u t D a r w i n has another explanation.
Read from Darwin's T H E VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE
Vol. 29, pp. 306-316

25

A Goddess and H e r Mortal Lover


B r y n h i l d , W o d e n ' s d a u g h t e r , carried the dead heroes to V a l h a l l a
w h e r e they could feast and fight w i t h o u t d y i n g ; until a sin di
vested her of d i v i n i t y , a n d she fell in love w i t h S i g u r d .
Read: LAY OF BRYNHILD
Vol. 49, pp. 391-395

26

Peace A m i d Strife
W h i l e E u r o p e w a s s h a k e n w i t h w a r s , T h o m a s a K e m p i s lived
in h a p p y seclusion i n his c o n v e n t . H i s w r i t i n g s c o n v i n c i n g l y
reflect the serenity and happiness of a m a n w h o has found peace
a peace that surpasses all u n d e r s t a n d i n g .
[Thomas a Kempis died July 26, 1471.)
Read from Thomas a Kempis
Vol. 7, pp. 205-211

27

O n c e Surgeons Operated in Frock Coats

28

A n Idyl of

29

StonehengeEngland's Unsolved Mystery


S t o n e h e n g e , that g r o u p of h u g e , rudely architectural stones on a
vast plain in E n g l a n d , w a s erected no m a n k n o w s w h e n , nor
w h y , nor h o w . E m e r s o n , A m e r i c a ' s greatest thinker, visited this
m o n u m e n t and w a s a m a z e d at the " u n c a n n y stones."
Read: Emerson's STONEHENGE
Vol. 5, pp. 453-462

T h e use of antiseptics in surgery is n e w . H a r d l y m o r e than a


half century a g o surgeons operated in frock coats. L o r d Lister,
s u r g e o n to Q u e e n V i c t o r i a , w a s a m o n g the first to advocate
scrupulous cleanliness in dressing w o u n d s .
(Lister publishes paper on antiseptic treatment, July 27, 1867.)
Read: O N THE ANTISEPTIC PRINCIPLES
Vol. 38, pp. 257-267
Agriculture

C o w l e y portrays the ideal lifethat of a farmer, and blazons it


forth in heraldry. " A p l o w in a field arable"to h i m , the most
honorable of all e m b l e m s .
(Abraham Cowley died July 28, 1667.)
Read: Cowley's O F AGRICULTURE
Vol. 27, pp. 61-69

FIFTEEN

ULY Reading

MINUTES

A DAY

65

Guide

T h e First E n g l i s h C o l o n y i n N o r t h

America

W h e n the w h o l e coast of A m e r i c a north of F l o r i d a w a s free t o


the first comer, Sir H u m p h r e y G i l b e r t naively chose t o settle
o n the r u g g e d shores of N e w f o u n d l a n d . R e a d the g l o w i n g ac
count of his great a d v e n t u r e " t o plant C h r i s t i a n inhabitants i n
places c o n v e n i e n t . "
(Gilbert lands at Newfoundland near St. John's, July 30, 1583.)
Read: Gilbert's VOYAGE TO NEWFOUNDLAND
Vol. 33, pp. 263-273

31

C h a r m School f o r W o m e n
L a c k of education, writes D e f o e , m a k e s a w o m a n "turbulent,
clamorous, n o i s y " D e f o e defied his generation a n d preached
e q u a l education for w o m e n . T o - d a y w e h a v e co-education, b u t
h a v e w e the benefits D e f o e predicted?
(Defoe pilloried for defiance of public opinion, July 31, 1703.)
Read: Defoe's EDUCATION OF W O M E N
Vol. 27, pp. 148-150

"Between the Devil and the Deep Sea" was originated by Homer,
who wrote it "Between Scylla and Charybdis." Sailing through
this narrow channel was one of the many exciting adventures of
Odysseus. (See Reading Assignment for July 22d.)

THE

T R U E U N I V E R S I T Y O F O U R D A Y S IS A C O L L E C T I O N

O F BOOKS.CARLYLE.

FIFTEEN

M I N U T E S

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)

H i s Influence Still Lives


Steadfast allegiance to duty, simple l i v i n g a n d adherence to plain,
honest, h o m e l y doctrines are C a l v i n ' s principles. A r e not these
same old-fashioned truths f o l l o w e d to-day?
(Calvin issues "Dedication," Aug. 1 , 1536.)
Read from Calvin's DEDICATION
Vol. 39, pp. 27-33
Poems from a H e a r t of Love
" H e r e is the pleasant placeand n o t h i n g w a n t i n g is, save S h e ,
a l a s ! " H o w often w e too are faced w i t h like adversity. S o
sings D r u m m o n d a master songster a n d composer.
Read from DRUMMOND'S POEMS
Vol. 40, pp. 326-330
W h e n the Greeks Sacked T r o y
T h e y battered d o w n the palace gates a n d r a v a g e d w i t h fire a n d
s w o r d t h e c h a m b e r s of K i n g P r i a m ' s h u n d r e d w i v e s . T h r o u g h
halls r e s o u n d i n g w i t h shrieks of terror, P r i a m a n d his household
fled to sanctuary.
Read from Virgil's JENEID
Vol. 13, pp. 110-117
W o r l d ' s G r e a t e s t B e d t i m e Stories
H a n s C h r i s t i a n A n d e r s e n h a d a n extraordinary capacity for amus
i n g c h i l d r e n . W e r e he l i v i n g to-day he m i g h t be in great de
m a n d as a radio b e d t i m e story m a n .
(H. C. Andersen died Aug. 4, 187;.)
Read: ANDERSEN'S T A L E S
Vol. 17, pp. 221-230
Joys o f t h e Simple Life
" C o t t e r ' s Saturday N i g h t " for generations to c o m e w i l l remain
the choicest picture of Scotch h o m e life. Into this p o e m B u r n s
instills the sense of all-pervading peace a n d happiness that comes
at the e n d of a well-spent d a y .
(Robert Burns married Jean Armour, Aug. 5, 1788.)
Read: Burns' COTTERS' SATURDAY NIGHT
Vol. 6, pp. 134-140

FIFTEEN

GUST

Reading

MINUTES

A DAY

67

Guide

A Prophet of Aerial W a r f a r e
" F o r I dipt into the futuresaw the nation's airy navies grap
p l i n g in the central b l u e . " W e are a m a z e d at the accuracy of
T e n n y s o n ' s prediction. B u t he also foretells "the federation of
the w o r l d " y e t to be fulfilled.
(Alfred Lord Tennyson born Aug. 6, 1809.)
Read: Tennyson's LOCKSLEY H A L L
Vol. 42, pp. 979-986
T h e Last Golden W o r d s of

Socrates

T h e death sentence of Socrates c o u l d not be executed until t h e


return of the sacred ship from D e l o s . O n e d a y his friends learned
that the ship had returned. T h e y hastened to the prison to lis
ten to the last w o r d s of A t h e n s ' sage.
Read from Plato's PFLEDO
Vol. 2, pp. 45-54
Men T r a n s f o r m e d b y Circe's W a n d
U n f a v o r a b l e w i n d s sent b y a n g r y g o d s b l e w the ships of O d y s s e u s
far off their course. T h e sailors w e r e cast u p o n a remote island,
g o v e r n e d by an enchantress w h e r e , for their coarse manners, they
w e r e put under a m a g i c spell.
Read from Homer's ODYSSEY
Vol. 22, pp. 133-144
English Bridal P a r t y Jailed
Minister and witness, bride a n d g r o o m w e r e arrested by an en
raged father w h e n John D o n n e m a r r i e d his e m p l o y e r ' s niece.
D o n n e w a s soon released, but he f o u n d himself w i t h o u t m o n e y ,
position or bride.
(Isaak. Walton born Aug. 9, IS93-)
Read from Walton's L I F E OF DR. DONNE
Vol. 15, pp. 326-334
" G i v e T h e m C a k e , " said t h e Q u e e n
W h e n the people of Paris h o w l e d because they had n o bread to
eat, Q u e e n M a r i e A n t o i n e t t e e x c l a i m e d : " W e l l , then, let t h e m
eat c a k e ! " S u c h a n attitude hastened the revolution.
(French royal family imprisoned, Aug. 10, 1792.)
Read from Burke's T H E REVOLUTION IN FRANCE
Vol. 24, pp. 143-157
Clever Repartee of

Epictetus

Epictetus advises that if a person speaks ill o f y o u , m a k e n o de


fense, but a n s w e r : " H e surely k n e w not of m y other faults, else
he w o u l d not have m e n t i o n e d these o n l y . "
Read from Epictetus' GOLDEN SAYINGS
Vol. 2, pp. 176-182

68

FIFTEEN

AUGUST

Reading

MINUTES

DAY

Guide

12

Zekle's Courtin'
H u l d y , the rustic belle, sat alone p e e l i n g apples. S h e w a s bashful
i n her consciousness that Z e k l e w o u l d c o m e soon. W h e n he did,
she merely blushed and timidly said: " M a ' s sprinklin' d o e s , " and
then
Read: LOWELL'S POEMS
Vol. 42, pp. 1376-1379

13

T o o C l o s e t o See t h e B a t t l e
(Battle of Blenheim, Aug. 13, 1704.)
E n g l a n d a n d F r a n c e c a m e to battle near B l e n h e i m . Y e a r s later
the people of B l e n h e i m called it a " f a m o u s victory," but could
not tell w h o s e victory it w a s .
Read: Southey's A F T E R BLENHEIM and other poems. . . Vol. 41, pp. 732-735

14

A C o l l e g e B o y G o e s t o Sea
L e a v i n g H a r v a r d o n account of ill health, D a n a sought adventure
a n d thrilling experience aboard a sailing vessel that rounded
C a p e H o r n . H e 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 T w o YEARS BEFORE THE MAST
Vol. 23, pp. 30-37

15

I n t o Death's Face H e F l u n g This Song


(Roland died at Roncesvaux, Aug. 15, 778.)
C h a r l e m a g n e ' s rear g u a r d w a s attacked by the Basques in the
valley of R o n c e s v a u x . R o l a n d , its leader, f o u g h t a courageous
fight, and, t h o u g h c o n q u e r e d , became immortal.
Read from T H E SONG OF ROLAND
Vol. 49, pp. 166-173

16

Inspiring Ritual of Temple

17

T h r e e W a l l s L u t h e r SawL u t h e r declared that the unreformed church had d r a w n its doc


trines l i k e three w a l l s so closely about the people that they served
not as protection but w e r e the cause of untold misery and dis
tress. T h i s he hoped to relieve by the Reformation.
Read: Luther's ADDRESS TO THE NOBILITY
Vol. 36, pp. 263-275

Worship

D a v i d t h e p s a l m s i n g e r k n e w the w o n d r o u s w a y s of the L o r d
a n d praised H i m in his psalms. B u r d e n e d souls in all ages have
f o u n d comfort in these songs that once w e r e used in the gorgeous
ritual of Jerusalem's temple.
Read from T H E PSALMS
Vol. 44, pp. 286-295

FIFTEEN

AUGUST
J g

Reading

MINUTES

DAY

69

Guide

"I Took H e r b y the Hair and Dragged H e r U p and D o w n "


In C e l l i n i ' s d a y the m o d e l ' s life w a s a h a z a r d o u s o n e . C e l l i n i ' s
A u t o b i o g r a p h y reveals h o w some m o d e l s w e r e treated. Y o u
w i l l find it m o r e thrilling than the m o s t m o d e r n n o v e l .
Read from CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Vol. 31, pp. 312-323

19

Roses Boiled i n W i n e

20

Plot Against Eve

A s t o n i s h i n g treatments a n d cures are related b y A m b r o i s e Par,


famed surgeon of t h e fifteenth century. O n e r e m e d y , for in
stance, used to cure a distinguished n o b l e m a n , w a s red roses
boiled in w h i t e w i n e , a n d it w a s effective.
Read from Park's JOURNEYS IN DIVERSE PLACES
Vol. 38, pp. 50-58

D r i v e n from H e a v e n , Satan m e d i t a t e d r e v e n g e . H e d e c i d e d
his greatest opportunity t o injure G o d w a s to b r i n g sin to m a n
k i n d . Satan's plot against E v e is told by M i l t o n .
("Paradise Lost" published Aug. 20, 1667.)
Read from Milton's PARADISE LOST

21

H i d d e n Treasures i n an O l d Book

22

A b o a r d t h e O l d S a i l i n g Ships

Vol.

4, pp. 154-164

A certain m a n w a s w i l l e d a Bible. H e scorned t h e l e g a c y until


one day, penniless a n d d o w n c a s t , he turned t o the b o o k for con
solation. I m a g i n e his a m a z e m e n t o n finding h u n d r e d dollar
bills b e t w e e n the pages. St. A u g u s t i n e explains h o w h e f o u n d
even greater treasures in the Bible.
Read from CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTINE
Vol. 7, pp. 118-126

In the days w h e n sailing ships plied the seven seas, c o m m o n


sailors w e r e often subject to a brutal captain w h o s e w h i m w a s
l a w . D a n a , a Boston college b o y , m a k e s a n e x c i t i n g story o f h i s
sea experiences.
Read from Dana's T w o YEARS BEFORE T H E MAST
Vol. 23, pp. 99-111
23

W h i c h Is a B e a u t i f u l

Woman?

T h e Hottentot thinks his w i f e beautiful. E v e r y A m e r i c a n be


lieves his w i f e also to be beautiful. B u t the A m e r i c a n a n d the
Hottentot are quite different. W h a t , after a l l , is B e a u t y ?
Read from Burke's O N THE SUBLIME AND B E A U T I F U L . . . .Vol. 24, pp. 78-88

70

FIFTEEN

AUGUST

Reading

MINUTES

A DAY

Guide

Survivor's Story of Vesuvius


(Pliny witnessed eruption oj Vesuvius, Aug. 24, 79 A. D.)
T h e eruption of V e s u v i u s that demolished P o m p e i i and buried
thousands of people w a s witnessed by P l i n y . H e describes his
panic-stricken flight w i t h his m o t h e r from the d o o m e d villa
t h r o u g h f a l l i n g ashes a n d sulphurous fumes. H i s famous uncle,
the elder P l i n y , lost his life w h i l e investigating the eruption and
a i d i n g refugees.
Read from Pliny's LETTERS
Vol. 9, pp. 284-291
2^

Britain Saved by a Full Moon


W e to-day k n o w that there is a direct relation b e t w e e n the m o o n
a n d tides. W h e n Julius Caesar w e n t to c o n q u e r Britain his trans
ports w e r e w r e c k e d because he d i d not k n o w the tides on the
E n g l i s h coast; a k n o w l e d g e of w h i c h m i g h t have c h a n g e d the
w h o l e course of history.
(Kelvin delivers lecture on "Tides," Aug. 2$, 1882.)
Read from Kelvin's TIDES
Vol. 30, pp. 274-285

^/C

T h e Prince of Wales Wins His Spurs


(Battle of Crecy, Aug. 26, 1346.)
A brilliant victory for the E n g l i s h k i n g w a s g a i n e d in this battle,
a fight in w h i c h vast n u m b e r s of F r e n c h nobility, m a n y princes,
a n d the a g e d K i n g John of B o h e m i a w e r e slain. Froissart de
scribes all in detail.
Read from FROISSART'S CHRONICLES
Vol. 35, pp. 27-33

27

Priceless Treasures of Memory


" A m a n ' s a m a n for a' that." " S h o u l d auld acquaintance be for
g o t . " " T o see her is to love her a n d love but her forever." " F l o w
gently, sweet A f t o n . " E v e r y stanza of B u r n s is treasured. H o w
m a n y h a v e y o u stored u p ?
Read from Burns' POEMS AND SONGS
Vol. 6, pp. 317, 417, 442, 511

23

The World's Love Tragedy


" A l m i g h t y G o d , I a m u n d o n e . " W i t h this cry of despair, Mar
garet witnessed the fiendish w o r k of Faust, her lover, w h o bartered
his i m m o r t a l soul for w o r l d l y pleasure. A thrilling d r a m a , based
on a famous medieval legend.
(fohann Wolfgang Goethe born Aug. 28, 1749.)
Read from Goethe's FAUST
Vol. 19, pp. 158-167

FIFTEEN

AUGUST

Reading

MINUTES

A DAY

71

Guide

29

Cleopatra Bewitches Mark

30

Simple Life i n a Palace

31

America's Greatest

Antony

Cleopatra rode to m e e t A n t o n y in a g i l d e d barge w i t h sails of


p u r p l e ; oars of silver beat time to the m u s i c of flutes a n d fifes
a n d harps. S h e w e n t as V e n u s , a n d her attendants w e r e dressed
as C u p i d s a n d N y m p h s .
(Cleopatra dies after Antony's suicide, Aug. 29, 30 B. C.)
Read from Plutarch's ANTONY
Vol. 12, pp. 339-349

E v e r y l u x u r y , all t h e w e a l t h i n the w o r l d at his c o m m a n d y e t


M a r c u s A u r e l i u s , E m p e r o r of h a u g h t y R o m e , led a simple life
even i n a palace. H e left his secret i n his " M e d i t a t i o n s . "
Read from Marcus Aurelius' MEDITATIONS
Vol. 2, pp. 222-228
Thinker

E m e r s o n w a s included i n D r . Eliot's recent selection of the


w o r l d ' s ten greatest educators of all t i m e . H e r e the great thinker
discusses this force w i t h i n m a n that m a k e s h i m a scholar.
(Emerson delivers "American Scholar" lecture, Aug. 31, 1837.)
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 G O O D , A L M O S T , K I L L A M A N A S K I L L A G O O D

BOOK.

JOHN MILTON.

72

FIFTEEN

M I N U T E S

DAY

SEPTEMBER
Season of mists and mellow fmitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run. . .
KEATS (Vol.

41, p.

879)

E x p e l l e d f r o m C o l l e g e , F o u n d e d a CityW h i l e at O x f o r d , P e n n rejected the student's g o w n a n d thereby


created a furore. L a t e r he f o u n d e d a city w h e r e he sought t o
p u t h i s n e w ideas into practice.
(Penn arrested for preaching in London, Sept. 1, 1670.)
Read from Perm's SOME FRUITS OF SOLITUDE
Vol. 1, pp. 321-331

T o o Great a Price for Love


W h i l e his soldiers f o u g h t the battle of A c t i u m , A n t o n y fled to
the a r m s o f C l e o p a t r a . B y his flight he forfeited his right to an
e m p i r e . D r y d e n ' s story of A n t o n y ' s love m a k e s u s realize the
folly of his infatuation for the N i l e siren.
(Battle of Actium, Sept. 2, 31 B. C.)
Read from Dryden's A L L FOR LOVE
Vol. 18, pp. 88-100

Seven Years to Reach

England

U n t i l 1783 the British refused to believe that the L i b e r t y Bell


h a d r u n g . T h e n they signed a treaty formally r e c o g n i z i n g the
C o l o n i e s as free a n d i n d e p e n d e n t states.
(Treaty between England and the United States signed Sept. 3, 1783.)
Read: T R E A T Y WITH GREAT BRITAIN (1783)
Vol. 43, pp. 174-179
4

Voltaire

Criticizes

V o l t a i r e ' s d a r i n g courage led h i m to publish a series of letters


w h i c h contained unfavorable comparisons of F r e n c h customs
w i t h the E n g l i s h . F o r this he w a s threatened w i t h the Bastille.
Read: Voltaire's LETTERS ON THE ENGLISH
Vol. 34, pp. 85-93
^

Survival of the Fittest


Just as t h e i n d i v i d u a l has a definite l e n g t h of life, so have species
a l i m i t e d d u r a t i o n . T h e progress a n d transition of the w o r l d ,
D a r w i n declares, w i l l see the extinction of certain variants of
h u m a n life.
(Darwin first outlines his theory of natural selection, Sept. 5, 1857.)
Read from Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES
Vol. n , pp. 353-357

PTEMBER
j

FIFTEEN

MINUTES

Reading

Guide

The Pride of All

DAY

73

Scotchmen

M a n y sons of Scotland have striven eagerly for the great place


held by Sir W a l t e r Scott. C a r l y l e describes the qualities that c o m
bined to m a k e h i m the idol of his people a n d the master of his
torical romance.
Read Carlyle's SIR WALTER SCOTT
Vol. 25, pp. 393-403
J T h e King's Love
T h e r e she w a s u n d o i n g her hairthe loveliest w o m a n the eyes of
m e n ever beheld, the l i g h t of w o o i n g in her regal eyes. A l o n g
i n g for her o v e r w h e l m e d the w a r r i o r - k i n g .
Read from DESTRUCTION OF D A DERGA'S HOSTEL
Vol. 49, pp. 199-209
J When Europe Lay Under Ice
T h e r e w a s a time w h e n the s n o w fell and did not m e l t in sum
mer. T h e n from the frozen north there descended h u g e masses
of ice that covered northern E u r o p e and most of N o r t h A m e r i c a .
Glaciers reveal a n e w w o r l d to us.
(Helmholtz died Sept. 8, 1894.)
Read from Helmholtz's ICE AND GLACIERS
Vol. 30, pp. 211-223
)

When Nature

Beckons

" T h e r e are days d u r i n g the y e a r , " says E m e r s o n , " w h e n the


w o r l d of nature reaches perfection." C a n a n y o n e escape this call,
especially in the glorious Indian S u m m e r ?
(Emerson retires from the ministry, Sept. 9, 1832.)
Read: Emerson's NATURE
Vol. 5, pp. 223-230
Famous

Poet-Physician

O n e of A m e r i c a ' s f a m o u s N e w E n g l a n d e r s , O l i v e r W e n d e l l
H o l m e s , devoted his life principally to m e d i c i n e . H i s n a m e ,
h o w e v e r , w a s m a d e famous t h r o u g h his p o e m , " O l d Ironsides,"
by w h i c h he saved A m e r i c a ' s most f a m o u s battleship from de
struction w h e n her fighting days w e r e e n d e d .
Read: Holmes' POEMS
Vol. 42, pp. 1365-1370
WagesWhy

and H o w

Much?

W h a t regulates w a g e s , on w h a t d o they d e p e n d ? A d a m S m i t h ,
w o r l d ' s authority on economic problems, advances his theories
on these matters.
Read from Adam Smith's W E A L T H OF NATIONS
Vol. io, pp. 66-74

PTEMBER

FIFTEEN

MINUTES

Reading

Guide

A DAY

Love Letters of Elizabeth Browning


I n all literary history there is n o happier l o v e story than that of
E l i z a b e t h Barrett and Robert B r o w n i n g . D u r i n g their secret
courtship M i s s Barrett sent B r o w n i n g m a n y beautiful love letters
w r i t t e n in verse.
(Browning married Elizabeth Barrett, Sept. 12, 1846.)
Read: SONNETS FROM T H E PORTUGUESE
Vol. 41, pp. 923-932
Good T h a t Came from a Game Pit
F r o m c o c k f i g h t i n g , bear baiting, and like sports, the w i f e of John
B u n y a n converted h i m to a life of humility and reverence. W h i l e
i m p r i s o n e d for p r e a c h i n g , he used his idle time in w r i t i n g a fan
tastic story of a soul's salvationprobably the most famous alle
gory ever written.
(fohn Bunyan liberated and pardoned, Sept. 13, 1672.)
Read from Bunyan's PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
Vol. 15, pp. 13-23
D a n t e and St. P e t e r
D a n t e , h a v i n g j o u r n e y e d t h r o u g h H e l l and P u r g a t o r y , comes at
last to St. Peter o n his throne. St. Peter calls for the aid of St.
James and St. John before passing final j u d g m e n t on D a n t e ' s
righteousness.
(Dante died Sept. 14, 1321.)
Read from Dante's DIVINE COMEDY
Vol. 20, pp. 387-395
Refused to Serve Three Terms
G e o r g e W a s h i n g t o n retired to private life in 1796, entrusting
"the preservation of the U n i o n " to the " l o v e of liberty." H i s
last appeal is a vital message to A m e r i c a n citizens, as pertinent
today as w h e n he penned it.
(George Washington published "Farewell Address," Sept. 75, 1796.)
Read: Washington's FAREWELL ADDRESS
Vol. 43, pp. 233-249
P e n a l t y for Silence
" S u c h felons as stand m u t e [ d o not confess] are pressed to death
by h u g e w e i g h t s laid u p o n a board that lieth over their breast
a n d a sharp stone u n d e r their b a c k s . " O l d E n g l i s h punishments,
recorded b y H o l i n s h e d , m a k e startling reading.
Read from HOLINSHED'S CHRONICLES
Vol. 35, pp. 363-370

SEPTEMBER
1 J

FIFTEEN

MINUTES

Reading

Guide

A DAY

75

Romance on a N e w England Farm


" F o r of all sad w o r d s of t o n g u e or pen, the saddest are these: 'It
m i g h t h a v e b e e n . ' " O n this t h e m e W h i t t i e r based the story o f
a fair farmer girl and a rich j u d g e .
(Whittier died Sept. 17, 1892.)
Read: WHITTIER'S POEMS
Vol. 42, pp. 1351-1364

18

H o m e A f t e r Storms and A d v e n t u r e s
" E v e r y sight w a s full of beauty. W e w e r e c o m i n g b a c k to our
h o m e s , and the signs of c i v i l i z a t i o n f r o m w h i c h w e h a d b e e n so
l o n g b a n i s h e d " w r o t e D a n a , as his ship entered B o s t o n H a r b o r .
(Dana returns from two-year voyage, Sept. 18, 1836.)
Read from Dana's Two YEARS BEFORE THE MAST
Vol. 23, pp. 348-356

19

H u m o r That Survived Slavery

20

Women's Rights in the H a r e m


T h e K o r a n defines the p o w e r s of a husband o v e r his w i v e s . T h u s
a w o m a n unfaithful to her lord m a y be w a l l e d u p alive.
(Mohammed arrives at Kuba after "The Flight," Sept. 20, 622.)
Read from T H E KORAN
Vol. 45, pp. 967-974

21

JEneas a n d t h e O l d W i t c h

22

A King for a Souvenir

H e l d as a M o o r i s h slave for five years, C e r v a n t e s w a s submitted


to almost daily tortures. B u t e v e n the horrors of slavery could
not dull his sense of h u m o r , as e v i n c e d by his m o s t w i t t y and
a m u s i n g novel.
(Cervantes ransomed from slavery, Sept. 19, 1580.)
Read from Cervantes' DON QUIXOTE
Vol. 14, pp. 48-54

T h e Sybil, an old w i t c h , personally conducts ^Eneas t h r o u g h the


gate and into the j a w s of hell, w h e r e terrors a b o u n d o n every
hand and frightful mysterious forms rule. T h e r e he is told o f
the greatness and glory that w a s to c o m e .
(Virgil died Sept. 21, 19 B. C.)
Read from Virgil's /ENEID
Vol. 13, pp. 207-218

In the d a y s w h e n k i n g s rode to battle l e a d i n g their troops it was


possible to m a k e g o o d the boast of the d o u g h b o y : "I'll b r i n g y o u
a k i n g for a souvenir."
(Froissart dates Battle of Poitiers, Sept. 22, 1 _j_s6.)
Read from FROISSART'S CHRONICLES
Vol. 35, pp. 42-53

y6

FIFTEEN

SEPTEMBER

Reading

MINUTES

A DAY

Guide

2^

D y i n g Concerns Every Man


T h e R o m a n s m a d e a n art of d y i n g . T h e E g y p t i a n s l o o k e d o n
death w i t h c o m p l a c e n c y . M o d e r n s fear it. M o n t a i g n e argues
that the purpose of philosophy is to teach m e n h o w to die.
Read from Montaigne's T o LEARN HOW TO DIE
Vol. 32, pp. 9-22

24

Citizens Lured from Their Homes


W h e n the serpent of M i n e r v a disappeared from her temple, the
priests said that the goddess had left A t h e n s for the sea. More
over, the oracles u r g e d the A t h e n i a n s to seek safety in their ships.
T h e m i s t o c l e s p r o m p t e d these deceits. W h y ?
Read from Plutarch's THEMISTOCLES
Vol. 12, pp. 13-23

25

A Courtship of T w e n t y Years
John Stuart M i l l in his a u t o b i o g r a p h y boldly tells of his love for
his friend's w i f e . A f t e r t w e n t y years, she w a s freed from her first
husband a n d w a s happily married to John Stuart M i l l . R e a d the
account of M i l l ' s courtship.
Read from Mill's AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Vol. 25, pp. 116-120, 149

2^

A n d the World Rocked w i t h

Laughter

T h e g a u n t lunatic, D o n Q u i x o t e , saw the w o r l d t h r o u g h glasses


colored w i t h r o m a n t i c i s m that had g o n e out of style hundreds of
years before he w a s born. C e r v a n t e s m a d e the w o r l d l a u g h at
the e x a g g e r a t e d stories it had been d e v o u r i n g .
(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

T o - d a y w e h a v e F u n d a m e n t a l i s t s and Modernists, each striving


for the same g o a l . Pascal, t w o h u n d r e d and fifty years a g o , g a v e
his precepts of the fundamentals of religious t h o u g h t .
(Pascal confers with Descartes, Sept. 27, 1647.)
Read from PASCAL'S THOUGHTS
Vol. 48, pp. 181-192
23

H e Introduced the Germ


P r o o f that g e r m s cause m a n y contagious diseases w a s established
by L o u i s Pasteur. H i s discoveries revolutionized m o d e r n science
a n d lessened the ravages of every type of disease.
(Louis Pasteur died Sept. 28, 1895.)
Read: Pasteur's T H E G E R M THEORY
Vol. 38, pp. 364-370

SEPTEMBER

29

FIFTEEN

MINUTES

Reading

Guide

DAY

77

Prophet of 4 0 0 Million People


C o n f u c i u s w a s a C h i n e s e magistrate i n 500 B. C. H e lost the favor
of the E m p e r o r a n d w a n d e r e d f r o m city to city, t e a c h i n g a n d g i v
i n g counsel. A f t e r his death, E m p e r o r a n d people a l i k e b o w e d
before his shrine.
Read from SAYINGS OF CONFUCIUS

30

Vol. 44, pp. 5-14

A Gentleman According to Emerson


A n etiquette b o o k a n d a g o o d tailor d o n o t a l w a y s p r o d u c e a
gentlemanneither does the Social Register include only gentle
m e n . E m e r s o n b y q u a i n t stories tells h o w fashion a n d m a n n e r s
c o m b i n e to m a k e that rare p r o d u c t a g e n t l e m a n .
(Emerson's first marriage, Sept. 30, 1829.)
Read from Emerson's MANNERS
Vol. 5, pp. 199-208

Confucius was a Chinese magistrate and minister of crime in 500


5. c . Though an ancient lawyer, he had modern ideas of prison
reform. (See Reading Assignment for September 29th.)

T H E MASTER SAID: B Y B R E A D T H O F R E A D I N G A N D T H E
TIES O F COURTESY A G E N T L E M A N WILL A L S O KEEP F R O M
E R R O R ' S PATH.CONFUCIUS.

FIFTEEN

MINUTES

ADAY

OCTOBER
The s\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)
Princes T o - d a y and Yesterday
T o - d a y t h e chief d u t y o f a prince
m a k e r . Y e a r s a g o princes desired
m e a n s o r foul, strove f o r control.
such a m b i t i o u s princes.
(Machiavelli's model prince sent to France
Read from Machiavelli's T H E PRINCE

is to be t h e nation's friend
supreme p o w e r a n d , b y fair
M a c h i a v e l l i w a s a g u i d e for
as papal legate, Oct. 1 , 1498.)
Vol. 36, pp. 36-44

Veteran Tells o f Indian W a r


Just before D a r w i n visited B a h i a B l a n c a , a n Indian insurrection
h a d been ruthlessly p u t d o w n . A veteran of the Indian w a r told
D a r w i n h o w Indians h a d b e e n treated.
(Darwin returns from South America, Oct. 2, 1836.)
Read from Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE
Vol. 29, pp. 1 0 7 - m
Good Enough for Chaucer
W h e n polite E n g l i s h society conversed in F r e n c h c o n s i d e r i n g
E n g l i s h a v u l g a r t o n g u e , fit only for servants a n d w o r k i n g peo
p l e C h a u c e r , nevertheless, w r o t e p o e m s i n this " v u l g a r " E n g
lish, w h i c h c h a r m us because o f their q u a i n t w o r d s .
Read: CHAUCER'S POEMS

Vol. 40, pp. 11-20

His M o u t h Full o f Pebbles


T h e m a n w h o p u t pebbles i n h i s m o u t h a n d orated to t h e sea,
shaved one-half o f h i s head so that h e w o u l d be obliged to stay
at h o m e until h e h a d perfected h i s oratorya strange m e t h o d of
a t t a i n i n g e m i n e n c e , b u t a successful o n e .
Read from Plutarch's DEMOSTHENES
Vol. 12, pp. 196-205
Amateur Athlete in Old Athens
A b o x e r i n public g a m e s desired t o study philosophy at A t h e n s .
T h e r e w e r e n o furnaces to tend, n o tables to w a i t o n , n o b o o k s
o r m a g a z i n e s t o p e d d l e , y e t this sturdy y o u n g G r e e k m a n a g e d
to w o r k h i s w a y t h r o u g h college.
Read from Newman's UNIVERSITY L I F E AT ATHENS

Vol. 28, pp. 51-61

FIFTEEN

OBER

Reading

MINUTES

A DAY

79

Guide

The Atrocious Spectacle of October 6 t h


W a k e n e d by the death cries of her sentry, M a r i e A n t o i n e t t e ,
Queen of F r a n c e , fled by a secret passage from the fury of a vile
mob.
T h e royal family was arrested a n d t a k e n to Paris to a w a i t
their fate.
Read from Burke's REVOLUTION IN FRANCE
Vol. 24, pp. 208-217
A n Uncanonized American

Saint

John W o o l m a n was the foremost leader o f the early Q u a k e r s


a n d contributed m u c h to the spiritual life of the A m e r i c a n C o l o
nies. H e was a pioneer i n t h e crusade against slavery.
(John Woolman died Oct. 7, 1772.)
Read from T H E JOURNAL OF JOHN WOOLMAN
Vol. 1, pp. 283-288
Fielding's Parody Becomes

History

F i e l d i n g w r o t e a lengthy story t o b u r l e s q u e a n o v e l of R i c h a r d
son. B u t the travesty overshot its m a r k . 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
Songs Shake t h e Walls of Jericho
D o y o u k n o w that m a n y of y o u r favorite h y m n s h a v e e c h o e d
for hundreds of years t h r o u g h vast cathedrals, a n d resounded
from the w a l l s of Jericho d u r i n g the C r u s a d e s ?
(Newman, author of "Lead, Kindly Light," baptized Oct. 9, 184;.)
Read: LATIN HYMNS
Vol. 45, pp. 546-556; also pp. 567-568
A F u g i t i v e i n Boy's C l o t h e s
T h e romance-stricken D o n Q u i x o t e sees a fair youth seated by the
side of a stream, " h i s feet l i k e t w o crystals, his h a n d s l i k e snowflakes."
T h e y o u t h was a c h a r m i n g g i r l !
(Cervantes aided in the capture of Tunis, Oct. 10, 1573.)
Read from Cervantes' D O N QUIXOTE
Vol. 14, pp. 252-266
^Bneas Flees f r o m a n I n c o n s o l a b l e

Love

iEneas, m y t h o l o g i c a l f o u n d e r of t h e Roman race, l e a v i n g Car


thage a n d its lovely Queen D i d o , was d r i v e n b y a storm to t h e
coast of Sicily. T h e r e the hospitality of K i n g A c e s t e s helped
h i m to forget his relinquished love.
Read from Virgil's JENEID
Vol. 13, pp. 178-188

8o

FIFTEEN

OCTOBER
J2

Reading

MINUTES

ADAY

Guide

Columbus' Letter Miraculously Found


{Columbus Day.)
Historical d o c u m e n t s , n o w priceless, w e r e often used as w r a p p i n g
paper. Rescued b y chance w a s a letter o f C o l u m b u s telling of
his v o y a g e s o f the a m a z i n g bargains m a d e w i t h timid natives
of A m a z o n w o m e n w h o f o u g h t like m e n a n d m a d e marriage
treaties w i t h cannibals.
Read: L E T T E R OF COLUMBUS

Vol. 43, pp. 21-27

Pagan Virtue Perpetuated


A m a n o f virtue, a l t h o u g h a p a g a n , M a r c u s A u r e l i u s ruled w i t h
benevolence a n d w i s d o m . C r u e l in persecution of Christians as
l a w b r e a k e r s , n o trace o f this sternness appears in h i s w r i t i n g s .
Read from Marcus Aurelius' MEDITATIONS
Vol. 2, pp. 193-199
N o Spice a n d Little

Gold

A l l colonies are f o u n d e d t o g a i n territory or treasure. Spain


expected spice a n d g o l d from C o l u m b u s ' s expedition, b u t g o t n o
spice a n d little g o l d . A d a m S m i t h tells the true motive of the
c o l o n i z i n g G r e e k s , R o m a n s , E n g l i s h , a n d Spaniards.
Read from Adam Smith's W E A L T H OF NATIONS
Vol. 10, pp. 395-404

15

First Families o f A m e r i c a
" T h e y are a people s m o o t h a n d clean o f body because of con
tinually w a s h i n g themselvesthey eat all their enemies w h o m
they kill or capture." A m e r i g o V e s p u c c i thus writes o f the N e w
W o r l d inhabitants.
(Amerigo Vespucci returns from first American voyage, Oct. 15, 1498.)
Read: VESPUCCI'S A C C O U N T OF HIS FIRST VOYAGE
Vol. 43, pp. 28-44
W h e n Medicine W a s a Mystery
O n c e physicians treated the sick w i t h a mixture of medicine a n d
c h a r m s . In those days m e d i c i n e w a s regarded as a d a r k art like
m a g i c , a n d those practicing it formed g u i l d s t o protect themselves.
Read: HIPPOCRATES' O A T H AND LAW

^ 'J

Reason His Only

Vol. 38, pp. 3-5

Religion

T h e religion o f T h o m a s B r o w n e a liberal m a n i n a most intol


erant t i m e w a s n o t t a k e n from either R o m e o r G e n e v a , b u t
from h i s o w n reason.
(Browne visited by Evelyn of "Evelyn Diary," Oct. 17, 1671.)
Read from Browne's RELIGIO MEDICI
Vol. 3, pp. 253-265

FIFTEEN

OCTOBER
1g

Reading

MINUTES

8l

DAY

Guide

"If W i n t e r Comes"
F r o m the title of a recently p o p u l a r novel, w e k n o w that o n e
p r o m i n e n t fiction writer of to-day w a s inspired by the verses of
Shelley. M a n y others have also felt the stirring v i g o r of his po
etry. W h a t is y o u r reaction?
Read: SHELLEY'S POEMS
Vol. 41, pp. 829-835

19

V i r t u e i n Smiles
W e e p if y o u m u s t . It is far better than to repress y o u r tears.
B u t L e i g h H u n t finds greater virtue in cheerfulness. F a n c i f u l
and gracefulhis w r i t i n g s exerted a w h o l e s o m e influence o n all
nineteenth century journalism.
(James Henry Leigh Hunt born Oct. tg,
Read: Hunt's ESSAYS

2Q

1784.)
Vol.

27, pp. 285-295

Odysseus Adrift on a R a f t
T h e g o d s met in council and decreed that O d y s s e u s be set adrift.
Poseidon, G o d of the Sea, shattered the raft a n d O d y s s e u s w a s cast
ashore to encounter further adventures.
Read from Homer's ODYSSEUS
Vol. 22, pp. 68-80

2 J

N o Fault to Find w i t h O l d A g e
C i c e r o agrees w i t h B r o w n i n g that old a g e is the g o l d e n t i m e of
life, w h e n the fruits of a well-spent life are harvested. C i c e r o ,
the wise R o m a n , w e l c o m e d old a g e for its gifts: w i s d o m , sound
j u d g m e n t , and contentment.
Read from Cicero's O N OLD AGE

22

Swift's Love

Vol. 9, pp. 45-56

Problems

S w i f t w a s embarrassed by t w o w o m e n ; Stella, w h o m he really


loved, and Vanessa, w i t h w h o m he h a d flirted and w h o h a d
taken h i m seriously. M a r r i a g e to either one w o u l d break the
heart of the other.
Read from Thackeray's JONATHAN SWIFT
Vol. 28, pp. 23-28
23

W h e n Caesar T u r n e d t h e T a b l e s
W h e n only a boy, Caesar w a s captured by pirates. W h i l e a w a i t i n g
ransom he entered into every sport and g a m e w i t h t h e m . O n c e
freed, he q u i c k l y returned w i t h forces that captured the o u t l a w s .
T h e n he took deliberate r e v e n g e .
Read from Plutarch's CESAR
Vol. 12, pp. 264-273

82

FIFTEEN

OCTOBER

24

Reading

MINUTES

DAY

Guide

Clytemnestra Meets H e r

Rival

C a s s a n d r a k n e w t h r o u g h a prophetic vision that a s w o r d w o u l d


pierce her heart.

A g a m e m n o n , her captor, took her to his h o m e

where an avenging wife, Clytemnestra, awaited.

T h e tragedies

of the d o o m that requited the sins of the H o u s e of A t r e u s are


a m o n g the m o s t p o w e r f u l e v e r w r i t t e n .
Read from ^Eschylus' A G A M E M N O N
25

Greatly Encouraged

Vol. 8, pp. 52-64

Intrigue

A f t e r the publication of M a c h i a v e l l i ' s " T h e P r i n c e , " the Sultans


b e c a m e m o r e addicted to strangling their brothers, tyrants be
c a m e m o r e merciless, and m u r d e r o u s plots increased.
The
influence of that b o o k , as M a c a u l a y points out, spread over E u r o p e
and A s i a .
(^Thomas Babington Lord Macaulay born Oct. 25, 1800.)
Read from Macaulay's MACHIAVELLI
Vol. 27, pp. 363-372
2Q^

27

23

Franklin Learned the Secret


P o o r at t w e n t y , rich at forty, internationally famous at fifty. Ben
j a m i n F r a n k l i n once w a l k e d the streets of Philadelphia alone,
poor, and w i t h n o education. Y e t he rose to be a leader because
he learned the secret of careful r e a d i n g .
(Franklin made U. S. plenipotentiary in France, Aug. 26, 1778.)
Read from Franklin's AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Vol. 1, pp. 14-21
Fruit of Seven Y e a r s ' Silence
S i d d h a r t h a G a u t a m a , w h o b e c a m e the g o d B u d d h a , renounced
the w o r l d and spent seven years in meditation. T h e n one day,
w h i l e sitting u n d e r a fig tree, he became inspired w i t h exalted
a n d sublime conceptions of life and death. T h e rest of his life
was spent in t e a c h i n g and c o n v e r t i n g m a n k i n d .
Read from BUDDHIST WRITINGS
Vol. 45, pp. 661-674
H o w Dice Taught

Spelling

L o c k e t a u g h t children by m e a n s of g a m e s . H e tells of a g a m e
w h e r e b y children w e r e t a u g h t to spell w i t h dice on w h i c h the
letters of the alphabet w e r e pasted. T h i s w a s m o r e t h a n 200 years
before m o d e r n k i n d e r g a r t e n m e t h o d s . T o d a y ' s children w o u l d
respond to such w i s e direction as L o c k e r e c o m m e n d s .
(John Locke died Oct. 28, 1704.)
Read: SOME THOUGHTS CONCERNING EDUCATION
Vol. 37, pp. 128-136

FIFTEEN

OCTOBER

Reading

MINUTES

DAY

83

Guide

29

G e n i u s Rises f r o m a S t a b l e
(John Keats born Oct. 29, 1795.)
T h o u g h the son of a stable m a n , John K e a t s w r o t e the m o s t ex
quisite a n d sublime poetry i n o u r l a n g u a g e . H e w a s the friend
of Shelley, L o r d B y r o n , a n d the other literary leaders of the t i m e
his g e n i u s r e c o g n i z e d by a l l .
Read: KEATS' POEMS
Vol. 41, pp. 874-882

30

Geology's Greatest

Benefactor

L y e l l has been called the founder of m o d e r n g e o l o g y . D a r w i n ,


the master scientist, called h i m " G e o l o g y ' s Greatest Benefactor."
L y e l l ' s research revolutionized ideas o n that subject.
Read from Lyell's T H E PROGRESS OF GEOLOGY
Vol. 38, pp. 385-391
3 1

Witches Walk To-night


(All Hallows' Eve.)
B e w a r e of m a g i c ! O n c e a y e a r uneasy spirits are released a n d
w a l k the earth from m i d n i g h t until d a w n . S p o o k s a n d g o b l i n s
invade the most secure h o m e s a n d the canniest m u s t w a t c h o u t
for d a n g e r l u r k i n g in every d a r k 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.)
T H E F I R S T T I M E I R E A D A N E X C E L L E N T B O O K , I T IS T O
M E J U S T A S I F I H A D G A I N E D A N E W FRIEND.GOLDSMITH.

84

FIFTEEN

MINUTES

DAY

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

Far south the lift,


thro' the flafoi show'r,
Or whirling drift.
BURNS (Vol.

6, p.

248)

Last Strokes of Shakespeare's P e n


Monsters of the earth, w e i r d creatures of the air, m a g i c romance,
a n d s h i p w r e c k are m i n g l e d b y a master hand in his thrilling
d r a m a . T h e fanciful, e n c h a n t i n g " T e m p e s t " is the last w o r k
of the great bard of Stratford.
("The Tempest" performed at Queen Elizabeth's court, Nov. 1, 1611.)
Read from Shakespeare's T H E T E M P E S T
Vol. 46, pp. 397-410

Journey Through a H o t Country


D a n t e recorded the a w f u l scenes of a j o u r n e y t h r o u g h the pits
of the u n d e r w o r l d , a n d w r o t e i n such a v i v i d , realistic w a y that
m e n tremble at the terrors depicted.

Letters to an Emperor
P l i n y s o u g h t the a d v i c e of the E m p e r o r T r a j a n for d e a l i n g w i t h
the Christians w h o w e r e a l a r m i n g l y o n the increase. H e casu
ally relates h o w he h a d tortured t w o Christians.
Read from Pliny's LETTERS
Vol. 9, pp. 404-406

Gold or Glory?

Read from Dante's DIVINE COMEDY

Vol. 20, pp.

13-20

P o l y e u c t e , an A r m e n i a n noble, w a n t e d to b e c o m e a Christian. If
he w e r e b a p t i z e d , he w o u l d h a v e to g i v e u p his h i g h position,
his w e a l t h a n d his p a g a n w i f e . W a s the heavenly crown worth
this sacrifice?
Read from Corneille's POLYEUCTE
Vol. 26, pp. 87-97
5

Costly Opinion on Divorce


A d i v o r c e a l w a y s m e a n s trouble for some o n e . S o w i t h Sir
T h o m a s M o r e w h e n he refused to agree w i t h K i n g H e n r y over
the k i n g ' s separation. M o r e w a s m a d e to pay one of the highest
prices e v e r paid for a difference of o p i n i o n .
Read from Roper's L I F E OF SIR THOMAS MORE

Vol. 36, pp. 89-99

FIFTEEN

VEMBER

Reading

MINUTES

DAY

85

Guide

A Genius Needs F e w Tools


T w o sticks, a table, a n d a pail w e r e the c o m m o n p l a c e i m p l e m e n t s
used b y M i c h a e l F a r a d a y t o demonstrate great scientific truths.
(Faraday sends "Experimental Researches" to Royal Society, Nov. 6, 1845.)
Read: Faraday's FORCE OF GRAVITATION

The Voice from a Stone-Dead

Vol. 30, pp. 13-21

City

S u d d e n l y all the sinful city's inhabitants w e r e t u r n e d t o stone.


W h e n a beautiful w o m a n f r o m B a g d a d c a m e t o t h e dead city,
n i g h t overtook her there. S l e e p i n g i n t h e palace, she w a s a w a k
ened by a m a n ' s voice calling.
Read from T H E THOUSAND AND O N E NIGHTS
Vol. 16, pp. 100-107
Blind B u t Unconquered
Milton's indomitable courage kept h i m at his w o r k e v e n after h e
lost his sight. B l i n d , he dictated a sequel t o his "Paradise L o s t , "
w h i c h he called "Paradise R e g a i n e d . "
(]ohn Milton died Nov. 8, 1674.)
Read from Milton's PARADISE REGAINED
Vol. 4, pp. 359-369
Once W a r Songs, N o w Pious

Prayers

T h e Psalms have been a n inspiration to m e n in m a n y ages. T h e y


have become so associated w i t h the peaceful spirit of Christianity
that w e forget some o f t h e m w e r e once w a r songs a n d songs o f
triumph.
Read from T H E PSALMS
Vol. 44, pp. 318-327
A Poet W h o Piped f o r H i s Supper
G o l d s m i t h traveled t h r o u g h B e l g i u m , F r a n c e , a n d Italy, w i n
n i n g his daily bread by p l a y i n g at farmhouses. H e w r o t e t h e
most brilliant c o m e d y , the best novel, a n d t h e finest p o e m o f
his a g e .
(Oliver Goldsmith born Nov. 10, 1728.)
Read: Goldsmith's T H E DESERTED V I L L A C E
Vol. 41, pp. 509-520
A m e r i c a ' s D o u g h b o y Glorified
(Armistice Day)
T h e y o u t h o f A m e r i c a t y p i f i e d in t h e d o u g h b o y o f t h e past
w a r w a s gloriously portrayed b y W a l t W h i t m a n . H e also sang
of the vast plains a n d the beauty o f A m e r i c a .
Read: WHITMAN'S POEMS
Vol. 42, pp. 1402-1412

86

FIFTEEN MINUTES

NOVEMBER

Reading

A DAY

Guide

J2

Story o f t h e First Dresses


M i l t o n ' s version tells h o w t h e Serpent induced E v e t o e a t t h e
forbidden fruit. E v e offered it t o A d a m . T h e n they became
conscious for the first time that they w e r e not clothed.
(John Milton married second wife, Nov. 12, 1656.)
Read from Milton's PARADISE LOST
Vol. 4, pp. 278-290

1 ^

W h e n Carthage Was Monte Carlo


C a r t h a g e w a s the p l a y g r o u n d of the ancient w o r l d . I n that city
of m a n y sins, A u g u s t i n e w a s a leader o f t h e revels. H i s con
version t o Christianity a m a z e d those w h o k n e w h i m .
(St. Augustine born Nov. 13, 354.)
Read from the CONFESSIONS

OF S T . AUGUSTINE

Vol. 7, pp. 31-38

14

He Worried About It
W e w o n d e r if the m a n w h o w o r r i e d about the "scientifical" pre
diction that " T h e sun's heat w i l l g i v e o u t i n ten million years
m o r e , " h a d read L y e l l o n t h e g r a d u a l changes i n t h e earth's
surface.
(Sir Charles Lyell born Nov. 14, 1797.)
Read: Lyell's UNIFORMITY OF CHANGE
Vol. 38, pp. 398-405

^5

Food Profiteers 3 0 0 Years A g o


F o o d profiteering w a s as active i n plague-stricken M i l a n 300 years
a g o as i n m o d e r n times. Shops w e r e stormed for food. Read h o w
the C o u n c i l 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. 2i, pp. 450-460

1^

Just Before the Gold Rush


W h e n t h e glorious W e s t e r n coast w a s only partly settled, D a n a
visited the Presidios. H e saw frontier life at a time w h e n Spanish
splendor still g i l d e d C a l i f o r n i a .
Read from T w o YEARS BEFORE T H E MAST
Vol. 23, pp. 164-168

17

A t Thirty Scott Began t o Write


A r e y o u curious about f a m o u s people, their lives, habits, person
alities? C a r l y l e discusses the intimate life of his illustrious coun
t r y m a n , a n d reveals Scott, t h e m a n , a n d Scott, t h e g e n i u s w h o
entertained C h r i s t e n d o m w i t h his stories.
(Scott writes dedication of "Ivanhoe," Nov. 17, 1817.)
Read: Carlyle's SIR W A L T E R SCOTT
Vol. 25, pp. 410-420

VEMBER

FIFTEEN

MINUTES

Reading

Guide

A DAY

Oj

A p p l e o r Son t h e A r r o w ' s M a r k
T h e a r r o w shot from his b o w w i t h a t w a n g and w h i z z e d t h r o u g h
the air. T e l l covered his eyes, fearing to see w h e r e the a r r o w hit.
T h e n the shout of t r i u m p h , a shout of the people a n d not of the
tyrantbut the end w a s not yet.
(William Tell incident, legendary date, Nov. 18, 1307.)
Read from Schiller's W I L H E L M T E L L
Vol. 26, pp. 441-449
N o Man Knows His Resting

Place

A barge w i t h black sails bearing three b l a c k robed q u e e n s w i t h


c r o w n s of g o l d carried a w a y the d y i n g K i n g A r t h u r . W i l l they
b r i n g h i m back and fulfill M e r l i n ' s p r o p h e c y ?
(Queen Victoria appointed Tennyson poet laureate, Nov. 19, 1850.)
Read: Tennyson's MORTE D'ARTHUR
Vol. 42, pp. 986-992
O l d Stories E v e r N e w
W h e n the cold w i n d s h o w l e d about the thatched huts o f the
G e r m a n peasant, the mother d r e w her children to her side a n d
told t h e m stories. Collected and retold by the G r i m m brothers,
these stories have perennial c h a r m .
Read from GRIMM'S FAIRY T A L E S
Vol. 17, pp. 90-98
Bargains in Wives
T h e beautiful daughters of the Circassians w e r e in d e m a n d for
the seraglios of the T u r k i s h Sultan. V o l t a i r e tells h o w these
beauties w e r e protected from s m a l l p o x centuries before m o d e r n
vaccination.
(Voltaire ill with smallpox, Nov., 1723.)
Read from Voltaire's LETTERS
Vol. 34, pp. 93-97
H o w a Queen Died for Love
Deserted by her lover, Q u e e n D i d o applied to her heart the o n l y
b a l m that could ease her pain.
Read from Virgil's JENEID
Vol. 13, pp. 167-177
Less T h a n S t a r

Dust

A c c o r d i n g to Pascal, a m a n is not e v e n as significant as a speck


of star dust in the universe. Pascal's t h o u g h t s o n the subject are
startling to the m o d e r n reader, a n d they furnish rich food for
the i m a g i n a t i o n .
(Pascal begins writing his "Thoughts," Nov. 23, 1654.)
Read from PASCAL'S THOUGHTS
Vol. 48, pp. 26-36

FIFTEEN

MINUTES

DAY

v E M B E R Reading Gu ide
T h e Book that Upset Tennessee
T h e signal for the b e g i n n i n g of a great controversy, still r a g i n g ,
w a s the publication of D a r w i n ' s " O r i g i n of Species." T h i s w a s
the first c o m p l e t e statement of the evolution theory, w h i c h had
been privately a d v a n c e d but never publicly taught. A n e w epoch
in science dates from this great w o r k .
("Origin of Species" published Nov. 24, 1859.)
Read from Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES
Vol. I I , pp. 23-30
C u p i d as a S h o e m a k e r
W e are indebted to T h o m a s D e k k e r for one of the most h u m o r o u s
characters in all E l i z a b e t h a n literature; n a m e l y , S i m o n E y r e , an
old s h o e m a k e r w h o s e affairs b e c a m e hilariously involved w i t h
those o f the g e n t r y .
Read from Dekker's T H E SHOEMAKER'S HOLIDAY
Vol. 47, pp. 469-483
S h a k e s p e a r e S h o u l d Be H e a r d
C h a r l e s L a m b , favorite essayist, t h o u g h t that no stage could d o
justice to Shakespeare's tragedies. H e advocated reading the
plays, and w i t h the i m a g i n a t i o n c o s t u m i n g the players and build
i n g the g o r g e o u s scenery in a w a y equaled by no scene painter
o r costumer.
Read: Lamb O N THE TRAGEDIES or SHAKSPF.RE
Vol. 27, pp. 299-310
W h a t L a n d is T h i s ?
I n w o n d r o u s U t o p i a pearls and precious stones w e r e used as
p l a y t h i n g s for little children. G o l d rings and bracelets w e r e only
w o r n by outcasts, w h i l e great g o l d e n chains shackled criminals
a n d felons. W h e n ambassadors f r o m foreign lands c a m e in fine
raiment, the U t o p i a n s treated the plainest dressed as the greatest;
the others seemed to t h e m like children.
Read from Sir Thomas More's UTOPIA
Vol. 36, pp. 191-204
Poems Made f r o m Visions
"To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower"
S u c h w a s the exaltation of the mysticism of W i l l i a m B l a k e , w h o
reflected in his poetry the ecstasy of his visions. Simplicity is the
k e y n o t e of his g e n i u s .
(William Bla\e born Nov. 28, 1757.)
Read: BLAKE'S POEMS
Vol. 41, pp. 583-592

FIFTEEN

MINUTES

NoVEMBER Reading

Guide

29

H o w Ideas

30

"Don'ts" for Conversation

DAY

Originate

D i d y o u ever stop to t h i n k just h o w y o u t h o u g h t ? W h a t inner


emotions, w h a t outer influences m a k e u p the fathomless depths
of m i n d a n d intellect? H u m e explains h o w w e d r a w o u r
t h o u g h t s , then clumsily p u t t h e m into tangible shape called ideas.
Read: Hume's Or THE ORIGIN OF IDEAS
Vol. 37, pp. 299-303

T o harp o n one's illnesses, g i v i n g all the s y m p t o m s a n d circum


stances, has been a blemish o n conversation for ages. T w o
h u n d r e d years a g o Swift c o m p l a i n e d of persons w h o continually
talked about themselves.
(Jonathan Swift horn Nov. 30, 1667.)
Read: Swift's ESSAY ON CONVERSATION

Vol. 27, pp.

91-98

Michael Faraday taught scientific truths by everyday methods.


By
the use of two sticks, a table and a pail he demonstrated that the
"center of gravity must remain within the base." (See Reading
Assignment for November 6th.)

N O M A N SHOULD T H I N K SO HIGHLY OF HIMSELF A ST O


T H I N K H E C A N RECEIVE B U T LITTLE L I G H T FROM BOOKS.
JOHNSON.

FIFTEEN

MINUTES

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.

Are Skeptics Faulty

40, p.

262)

Thinkers?

O f f h a n d w e say a skeptic is one w h o doubts e v e r y t h i n g . B u t


does h e ? A n d are his doubts caused by t o o m u c h learning, or too
little? B e r k e l e y presents both sides of skepticism.
Read from Berkeley's T H R E E DIALOGUES
Vol. 37, pp. 189-199
Practical Jokes in King Arthur's D a y
A t t a c k e d in f u n b y t w o m a s k e d k n i g h t s , Sir G a l a h a d smote one
so that both horse a n d rider w e n t d o w n . T u r n i n g o n the other
jester, he slashed open his helmet.
Read from T H E HOLY GRAIL
Vol. 35, pp. 128-134
Met the Gods of T e n Thousand

Worlds

A f t e r three a w e s o m e messengers h a v e issued three w a r n i n g s , the


g o d s of ten t h o u s a n d w o r l d s decide w h o is to be the n e w B u d d h a .
T h e n the parents, the conception, the birth of the god-child de
m a n d constant vigilance.
Read: T H E BIRTH OF THE BUDDHA
Vol. 45, pp. 603-612
The Q u e e n W e d s a Poor Stranger
.rEneas a n d D i d o , w o r l d - f a m o u s lovers, w h i l e h u n t i n g in the
forest, w e r e trapped i n a cave b y a furious storm. T h e r e the
m a r r i a g e b e t w e e n the p r o u d A f r i c a n q u e e n and the homeless
wanderer w a s completed.
Read from Virgil's ^ENEID
Vol. 13, pp. 152-162
Poems b y a n Artist's Model
S o beautiful that m a n y painters sought her for a m o d e l
C h r i s t i n a Rossetti, sister of the famous poet, D a n t e Rossetti, com
bined w i t h h e r unusual beauty a rare poetic sense.
(Christina Georgina Rossetti born Dec. 5, 1830.)
Read: CHRISTINA ROSSETTI'S POEMS

Vol.

42, pp. 1181-1183

FIFTEEN

DECEMBER
^

Reading

Moralizing

MINUTES

DAY

91

Guide

as a S e d u c t i v e

Art

" T h e V i s i o n of M i r z a " and " W e s t m i n s t e r A b b e y , " first printed


in " T h e Spectator," are e x a m p l e s of A d d i s o n ' s w o n d r o u s gift
of expression. H e leads us to h i g h e r realms.
(Last issue of "The Spectator" published Dec. 6, 1712.)
Read: Addison's ESSAYS
Vol. 27, pp. 73-80
y

W h a t C i c e r o Least

Expected

A f t e r b e i n g governor of Sicily, C i c e r o returned to R o m e expect


i n g a hero's w e l c o m e . W h e n he asked w h a t the R o m a n s t h o u g h t
of his recent achievements, he received a n a s t o u n d i n g a n s w e r .
(Cicero slain by Mark Antony's soldiers, Dec. 7, 43 B. C.)
Read from Plutarch's CICERO
Vol. 12, pp. 222-231
g

D r e a m W o m e n Shaped H i s D e s t i n y
D e Q u i n c y i m a g i n e d that three w o m e n w e r e sent to h i m so that
he m i g h t k n o w the depths of his soul. R e a l w o m e n c o u l d not
have w i e l d e d greater influence. It is fortunate that everyone does
not meet these w e i r d w o m e n .
(Thomas De Quincy died Dec. 8, /S59.)
Read: LEVANA AND OUR LADIES OF SORROW.
Vol. 27, pp. 319-325

S l a v e r y ' s Last

Stand

B y the F u g i t i v e Slave A c t of 1850 stringent l a w s w e r e m a d e to


prevent assistance b e i n g g i v e n to any slaves a t t e m p t i n g to escape.
T h e antislavery a n s w e r to these l a w s w a s a perfection of the
"Underground Railroad."
Read: T H E FUGITIVE SLAVE A C T
Vol. 43, pp. 306-312
J Q

B e n v e n u t o Boasts o f

Gallantry

T a k i n g offense at a soldier w h o m a d e advances t o w a r d his


favorite lady, C e l l i n i j u m p e d from the w i n d o w , k n i f e in h a n d ,
to a v e n g e himself. T h i s incident w a s recorded w i t h character
istic conceit by C e l l i n i in his a m a z i n g diary.
Read from CELLINI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Vol. 31, pp. 62-72
J J

T h e Most Dashing Figure in A t h e n s


T h e h a n d s o m e A l c i b i a d e s , c u n n i n g in politics, bold in w a r , w a s
the lion of A t h e n i a n society until he violated the secrets of a
mysterious religious cult. T h e n all o u t r a g e d A t h e n s united to
dash their idol to the g r o u n d .
Read from Plutarch's ALCIBIADES
Vol. 12, pp. 106-117

FIFTEEN

ECEMBER

Reading

MINUTES

DAY

Guide

H o w the Glorious N e w s w a s Carried to A i x

T o t h e S o u t h Seas w i t h t h e G a l l a n t

T h r e e brave m e n b e g a n the heroic ride from G h e n t to A i x . O n l y


one m a n arrived to tell the thrilling story of the tempestuous
ride. I n one of his m o s t b e w i t c h i n g p o e m s , i n lines that haunt
the m e m o r y , B r o w n i n g retells the story.
(Robert Browning died Dec. 12, 1889,)
Read: BROWNING'S POEMS
Vol. 42, pp. 1066-1068
Drake

A f a m o u s v o y a g e w a s Sir F r a n c i s D r a k e ' s around the w o r l d .


D r a k e ' s c r e w , t h e first w h i t e m e n to visit m a n y parts of the
w o r l d , received a m a z i n g receptions from the natives.
(Sir Francis Drake embarked for South Seas, Dec. 13, 1577.)
Read from DRAKE'S VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD
Vol. 33, pp. 199-208

Pastoral Poems and Politics

Odysseus Talks w i t h Ghosts


T h i s is another of those m a r v e l o u s a n d unforgetable tales of the
w a n d e r i n g O d y s s e u s . T h e fantasy takes h i m into regions w h e r e
he discourses w i t h deceased heroes.
Read from Homer's ODYSSEY
Vol. 22, pp. 145-153

H o w Man's Courtship Differs f r o m

T h e many-sided M a r v e l l , w h o w i e l d e d a pen that w a s both


feared a n d courted, is seen at his best in stirring verse. " A
G a r d e n , " "Prospect of F l o w e r s , " w i t h the " H o r a t i a n O d e upon
C r o m w e l l , " s h o w the p o w e r of his g e n i u s .
(Marvell entered Cambridge, Dec. 14, 1633.)
Read: MARVELL'S POEMS
Vol. 40, pp. 370-379

Animal's

B e a u t y is an important factor i n t h e attraction b e t w e e n m a n and


w o m a n . It is k n o w i n g beauty that differentiates m a n from the
animals, w h i c h only require that their mates be of the same
species.
Read from Burke's T H E SUBLIME AND BEAUTIFUL
Vol. 24, pp. 37-48
J

D i e s o n t h e E v e o f H e r Son's C o n v e r s i o n
T h e m o t h e r of S t . A u g u s t i n e prayed unceasingly for her son's
conversion. T h e most t o u c h i n g , most soul-revealing w r i t i n g St.
A u g u s t i n e d i d is in the description of his mother's death.
Read from CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTINE
Vol. 7, pp. 150-160

FIFTEEN

ECEMBER
^

MINUTES

Reading

A DAY

93

Guide

For a Gentleman
E v e r y schoolboy a s k s : " W h a t ' s the use of l e a r n i n g L a t i n ? "
John L o c k e , one of the greatest educators of all t i m e , m a i n t a i n s
that L a t i n is absolutely essential to a well-bred g e n t l e m a n , and
explains w h y .
Read from

SOME THOUGHTS CONCERNING EDUCATION.

.Vol. 37, pp. 136-145

Samson Finds a Champion


T h e m i g h t y S a m s o n w a s blinded w h i l e a captive of the
Philistines. H e sought r e v e n g e a r e v e n g e d e v a s t a t i n g a n d c o s d y .
M i l t o n , himself a giant of intellect, blind a n d i m p r i s o n e d , w r o t e
of this sightless giant of other d a y s .
(Milton released from prison, Dec. 19, 1660.)
Read: Milton's SAMSON AGONISTES
Vol. 4, pp. 444-459
E g y p t Visited b y the First Reporter
A l l phases of life w e r e pictured by H e r o d o t u s in his history.
L i k e a m o d e r n n e w s p a p e r reporter, he c o m b i n e s w e i r d stories,
scandals, and battle accounts w i t h descriptions of places, persons,
and sights about t o w n .
Read from Herodotus' AN ACCOUNT OF EGYPT
Vol. 33, pp. 7-17

"Madam B u b b l e " N o t to Be D i s c o u r a g e d
" M a d a m B u b b l e , " or this v a i n w o r l d , presented both herself a n d
her purse to the w a y f a r e r . Repulsed a n d scorned, yet she serenely
flaunts her bribes enticingly before his b e w i l d e r e d eyes.
(John Bunyan made leader of Non-Conformist congregation, Dec. 21, 1671.)
Read from Bunyan's PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
Vol. 15, pp. 306-318

Rubbing Noses in N e w

Zealand

D a r w i n , in e x p l o r i n g N e w Z e a l a n d , finds c a n n i b a l i s m , tattooing,
and m a n y w e i r d customs a m o n g the natives. Instead of s h a k i n g
hands, the salutation is by r u b b i n g noses.
(Darwin visits New Zealand natives, Dec. 22, 1835.)
Read from Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE
Vol. 29, pp. 425-434

S a v e d f r o m a Bonfire o f B o o k s
If all the b o o k s in the w o r l d w e r e o n fire, some m e n w o u l d risk
their lives to save certain priceless w r i t i n g s : the w o r l d ' s classics.
Sainte-Beuve here tells w h y .
(Sainte-Beuve born Dec. 23, 1804.)
Read: Sainte-Beuve's W H A T IS A CLASSIC?
Vol. 32, pp. 121-133

94

FIFTEEN MINUTES

DECEMBER

Reading

A DAY

Guide

24

Christmas Made a D u l l D a y

25

The Christmas Story


(Christmas Day.)
L u k e w a s a G r e e k physician, a m a n of culture, trained in the
best universities of the ancient w o r l d . H e became imbued w i t h
the spirit of C h r i s t , a n d w r o t e the most beautiful story of the
birth and life of Jesus.
Read from the GOSPEL OF ST. L U K E
Vol. 44, pp. 357-360

26

Silence Cost H e r a K i n g d o m

27

Million-Year-Old

28

H o ! for the Spanish Main!

29

These Guests Outstayed Their Welcome

Before the R e f o r m a t i o n in E n g l a n d almost every third day w a s


a holy d a y . B u t the Puritans abolished all the holy days, even
Christmas.
Read from HOLINSHED'S CHRONICLES
Vol. 35, pp. 266-270

C o r d e l i a , d a u g h t e r of old K i n g L e a r , could not convince her


father of her love for h i m . A f t e r w a r d , w h e n misfortunes m a d e
h i m 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
Islands

It w a s the n e w - o l d lands that D a r w i n visited o n his v o y a g e of


the " B e a g l e . " T h e strange specimens of prehistoric life he saw
there m a d e the w o r l d g a p e and shudder.
(Charles Darwin begins voyage in the "Beagle," Dec. 27, 1831.)
Read from Darwin's VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE
Vol. 29, pp. 376-389

D r a k e w i t h a fleet of twenty-five ships and twenty-three hundred


m e n sets sail to p l u n d e r a n d lay waste Spain's treasure hoards in
the N e w W o r l d . G o l d and silver bar, n u g g e t s and jewels awaited
the bold adventurers.
Read from DRAKE'S GREAT ARMADA
Vol. 33, pp. 229-240

A f t e r t w e n t y years' absence, O d y s s e u s returned h o m e to find his


house filled w i t h strangers rioting and w a s t i n g his treasure.
C r a f t y O d y s s e u s , w i t h the aid of his son and the g o d s , devised a
bold plan to rid his h o m e of the u n w e l c o m e guests.
Read from Homer's ODYSSEY
Vol. 22, pp. 296-309

FIFTEEN

DECEMBER
30

Reading

MINUTES

A DAY

95

Guide

D a n a M e e t s a T a t t o o e d Sailor
D a n a ' s description of the picturesque, pre-gold-rush California
is u n i q u e . W h i l e he w a s o n the Pacific coast he m e t a British
sailor w h o w a s elaborately tattooed a n d of a n unforgetable ap
pearance a n d personality.
Read from Dana's Two YEARS BEFORE THE M A S T
Vol. 23, pp. 77-86

31

C u r i o s i t y a n d I n t e r e s t as G u i d e s t o R e a d i n g
T h e most u n h a p p y m a n , C a r l y l e says, is t h e m a n w h o h a s n o
real w o r k n o interest in life. T o a v o i d this miserable state, he
advises faithful a n d diligent r e a d i n g a l o n g the lines dictated b y
curiosity a n d 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 3rd.)

THE

FOUNTAIN

O F WISDOM

FLOWS

THROUGH

BOOKS.

GREEK PROVERB.