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A Handful of Stars by Frank Boreham

A HANDFUL OF STARS

TEXTS THAT HAVE MOVED GREAT MINDS

BY

F. W. BOREHAM

THE ABINGDON PRESS NEW YORK CINCINNATI

Copyright, 1922, by F. W. BOREHAM

Printed in the United States of America

First Edition Printed March, 1922 Reprinted June, 1922

CONTENTS

I. William Penn's Text 9

II. Robinson Crusoe's Text 21

III. James Chalmers' Text 33

IV. Sydney Carton's Text 45

V. Ebenezer Erskine's Text 57

VI. Doctor Davidson's Text 69

VII. Henry Martyn's Text 78

VIII. Michael Trevanion's Text 90

IX. Hudson Taylor's Text 102

X. Rodney Steele's Text 113

XI. Thomas Huxley's Text 125

XII. Walter Petherick's Text 137

XIII. Doctor Blund's Text 149

XIV. Hedley Vicars' Text 160

XV. Silas Wright's Text 172

XVI. Michael Faraday's Text 182

XVII. Janet Dempster's Text 193

XVIII. Catherine Booth's Text 204

XIX. Uncle Tom's Text 216

XX. Andrew Bonar's Text 227

XXI. Francis d'Assisi's Text 237

XXII. Everybody's Text 250

BY WAY OF INTRODUCTION

It is not good that a book should be alone: this is a companion volume to _A Bunch of Everlastings_. 'O God,' cried Caliban from the abyss,

O God, if you wish for our love, Fling us _a handful of stars_!

The Height evidently accepted the challenge of the Depth. Heaven hungered for the love of Earth, and so the stars were thrown. I have gathered up a few, and, like children with their beads and berries, have threaded them upon this string. It will be seen that they do not all belong to the same constellation. Most of them shed their luster over the stern realities of life: a few glittered in the firmament of fiction. It matters little. A great romance is a portrait of humanity, painted by a master-hand. When the novelist employs the majestic words of revelation to transfigure the lives of his characters, he does so because, in actual experience, he finds those selfsame words indelibly engraven upon the souls of men. And, after all, _Sydney Carton's Text_ is really _Charles Dickens' Text_; _Robinson Crusoe's Text_ is _Daniel Defoe's Text_; the text that stands embedded in the pathos of _Uncle Tom's Cabin_ is the text that Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe had enthroned within her heart. Moreover, to whatever group these splendid orbs belong, their deathless radiance has been derived, in every case, from the perennial Fountain of all Beauty and Brightness.


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