"This is a wonderful collection of authors from America and around the world. Centuries are covered, making this a great resource for English teachers and any lover of literature." — Life Community Church
This treasury of one hundred tales offers students and other readers of short fiction a splendid selection of stories by masters of the form. Contributors from around the world include Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Guy de Maupassant, Charles Dickens, Anton Chekhov, Mark Twain, Saki, Luigi Pirandello, Kate Chopin, and Ring Lardner.
The stories, which are arranged chronologically, begin with tales by Daniel Defoe ("The Apparition of Mrs. Veal," 1705), Benjamin Franklin ("Alice Addertongue," 1732), and Washington Irving ("The Devil and Tom Walker," 1824). Highlights from the nineteenth century include Ivan Turgenev's "The District Doctor" (1852), Sarah Orne Jewett's "A White Heron" (1886), Thomas Hardy's "Squire Petrick's Lady" (1891), and Rudyard Kipling's "Wee Willie Winkie" (1899). From the twentieth century come James Joyce's "Araby" (1914), Franz Kafka's "The Judgment" (1916), Virginia Woolf's "The Mark on the Wall" (1921), "The Broken Boot" (1923) by John Galsworthy, and many others.
"A fabulous collections of stories sure to please any reader! The chronological layout is perfect for those looking to explore the development of stories over time and their relation to society." — Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library
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100 Great Short Stories
By James Daley
Dover Publications, Inc.Copyright © 2015 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
THE APPARITION OF MRS. VEAL
This thing is so rare in all its circumstances, and on so good authority, that my reading and conversation have not given me anything like it. It is fit to gratify the most ingenious and serious inquirer. Mrs. Bargrave is the person to whom Mrs. Veal appeared after her death; she is my intimate friend, and I can avouch for her reputation for these fifteen or sixteen years, on my own knowledge; and I can confirm the good character she had from her youth to the time of my acquaintance. Though, since this relation, she is calumniated by some people that are friends to the brother of Mrs. Veal who appeared, who think the relation of this appearance to be a reflection, and endeavor what they can to blast Mrs. Bargrave's reputation and to laugh the story out of countenance. But by the circumstances thereof, and the cheerful disposition of Mrs. Bargrave, notwithstanding the ill usage of a very wicked husband, there is not yet the least sign of dejection in her face; nor did I ever hear her let fall a desponding or murmuring expression; nay, not when actually under her husband's barbarity, which I have been witness to, and several other persons of undoubted reputation.
Now you must know Mrs. Veal was a maiden gentlewoman of about thirty years of age, and for some years past had been troubled with fits, which were perceived coming on her by her going off from her discourse very abruptly to some impertinence. She was maintained by an only brother, and kept his house in Dover. She was a very pious woman, and her brother a very sober man to all appearance; but now he does all he can to null or quash the story. Mrs. Veal was intimately acquainted with Mrs. Bargrave from her childhood. Mrs. Veal's circumstances were then mean; her father did not take care of his children as he ought, so that they were exposed to hardships. And Mrs. Bargrave in those days had as unkind a father, though she wanted neither for food nor clothing; while Mrs. Veal wanted for both, insomuch that she would often say, "Mrs. Bargrave, you are not only the best, but the only friend I have in the world; and no circumstance of life shall ever dissolve my friendship." They would often condole each other's adverse fortunes, and read together Drelincourt upon Death, and other good books; and so, like two Christian friends, they comforted each other under their sorrow.
Some time after, Mr. Veal's friends got him a place in the custom-house at Dover, which occasioned Mrs. Veal, by little and little, to fall off from her intimacy with Mrs. Bargrave, though there was never any such thing as a quarrel; but an indifferency came on by degrees, till at last Mrs. Bargrave had not seen her in two years and a half, though above a twelve-month of the time Mrs. Bargrave hath been absent from Dover, and this last half-year has been in Canterbury about two months of the time, dwelling in a house of her own.
In this house, on the eighth of September, one thousand seven hundred and five, she was sitting alone in the forenoon, thinking over her unfortunate life, and arguing herself into a due resignation to Providence, though her condition seemed hard: "And," said she, "I have been provided for hitherto, and doubt not but I shall be still, and am well satisfied that my afflictions shall end when it is most fit for me." And then took up her sewing work, which she had no sooner done but she hears a knocking at the door; she went to see who was there, and this proved to be Mrs. Veal, her old friend, who was in a riding-habit. At that moment of time the clock struck twelve at noon.
"Madam," says Mrs. Bargrave, "I am surprised to see you, you have been so long a stranger"; but told her she was glad to see her, and offered to salute her, which Mrs. Veal complied with, till their lips almost touched, and then Mrs. Veal drew her hand across her own eyes, and said, "I am not very well," and so waived it. She told Mrs. Bargrave she was going a journey, and had a great mind to see her first. "But," says Mrs. Bargrave, "how can you to take a journey alone? I am amazed at it, because I know you have a fond brother." "Oh!" says Mrs. Veal, "I gave my brother the slip, and came away, because I had so great a desire to see you before I took my journey." So Mrs. Bargrave went in with her into another room within the first, and Mrs. Veal sat her down in an elbow-chair, in which Mrs. Bargrave was sitting when she heard Mrs. Veal knock. "Then," says Mrs. Veal, "my dear friend, I am come to renew our old friendship again, and beg your pardon for my breach of it; and if you can forgive me, you are the best of women." "Oh," says Mrs. Bargrave, "do not mention such a thing; I have not had an uneasy thought about it." "What did you think of me?" says Mrs. Veal. Says Mrs. Bargrave, "I thought you were like the rest of the world, and that prosperity had made you forget yourself and me." Then Mrs. Veal reminded Mrs. Bargrave of the many friendly offices she did her in former days, and much of the conversation they had with each other in the times of their adversity; what books they read, and what comfort in particular they received from Drelincourt's Book of Death, which was the best, she said, on the subject ever wrote. She also mentioned Doctor Sherlock, the two Dutch books, which were translated, wrote upon death, and several others. But Drelincourt, she said, had the clearest notions of death and of the future state of any who had handled that subject. Then she asked Mrs. Bargrave whether she had Drelincourt. She said, "Yes." Says Mrs. Veal, "Fetch it." And so Mrs. Bargrave goes up-stairs and brings it down. Says Mrs. Veal, "Dear Mrs. Bargrave, if the eyes of our faith were as open as the eyes of our body, we should see numbers of angels about us for our guard. The notions we have of Heaven now are nothing like what it is, as Drelincourt says; therefore be comforted under your afflictions, and believe that the Almighty has a particular regard to you, and that your afflictions are marks of God's favor; and when they have done the business they are sent for, they shall be removed from you. And believe me, my dear friend, believe what I say to you, one minute of future happiness will infinitely reward you for all your sufferings. For I can never believe" (and claps her hand upon her knee with great earnestness, which, indeed, ran through most of her discourse) "that ever God will suffer you to spend all your days in this afflicted state. But be assured that your afflictions shall leave you, or you them, in a short time." She spake in that pathetical and heavenly manner that Mrs. Bargrave wept several times, she was so deeply affected with it.
Then Mrs. Veal mentioned Dr. Kenrick's Ascetic, at the end of which he gives an account of the lives of the primitive Christians. Their pattern she recommended to our imitation, and said, "Their conversation was not like this of our age. For now," says she, "there is nothing but vain, frothy discourse, which is far different from theirs. Theirs was to edification, and to build one another up in faith, so that they were not as we are, nor are we as they were. But," said she, "we ought to do as they did; there was a hearty friendship among them; but where is it now to be found?" Says Mrs. Bargrave, "It is hard indeed to find a true friend in these days." Says Mrs. Veal, "Mr. Norris has a fine copy of verses, called Friendship in Perfection, which I wonderfully admire. Have you seen the book?" says Mrs. Veal. "No," says Mrs. Bargrave, "but I have the verses of my own writing out." "Have you?" says Mrs. Veal; "then fetch them"; which she did from above stairs, and offered them to Mrs. Veal to read, who refused, and waived the thing, saying, "holding down her head would make it ache"; and then desiring Mrs. Bargrave to read them to her, which she did. As they were admiring Friendship, Mrs. Veal said, "Dear Mrs. Bargrave, I shall love you forever." In these verses there is twice used the word "Elysian." "Ah!" says Mrs. Veal, "these poets have such names for Heaven." She would often draw her hand across her own eyes, and say, "Mrs. Bargrave, do not you think I am mightily impaired by my fits?" "No," says Mrs. Bargrave; "I think you look as well as ever I knew you."
After this discourse, which the apparition put in much finer words than Mrs. Bargrave said she could pretend to, and as much more than she can remember—for it cannot be thought that an hour and three quarters' conversation could all be retained, though the main of it she thinks she does—she said to Mrs. Bargrave she would have her write a letter to her brother, and tell him she would have him give rings to such and such; and that there was a purse of gold in her cabinet, and that she would have two broad pieces given to her cousin Watson.
Talking at this rate, Mrs. Bargrave thought that a fit was coming upon her, and so placed herself on a chair just before her knees, to keep her from falling to the ground, if her fits should occasion it; for the elbow-chair, she thought, would keep her from falling on either side. And to divert Mrs. Veal, as she thought, took hold of her gown-sleeve several times, and commended it. Mrs. Veal told her it was a scoured silk, and newly made up. But, for all this, Mrs. Veal persisted in her request, and told Mrs. Bargrave she must not deny her. And she would have her tell her brother all their conversation when she had the opportunity. "Dear Mrs. Veal," says Mrs. Bargrave, "this seems so impertinent that I cannot tell how to comply with it; and what a mortifying story will our conversation be to a young gentleman. "Why," says Mrs. Bargrave, "it is much better, methinks, to do it yourself." "No," says Mrs. Veal; "though it seems impertinent to you now, you will see more reasons for it hereafter." Mrs. Bargrave, then, to satisfy her importunity, was going to fetch a pen and ink, but Mrs. Veal said, "Let it alone now, but do it when I am gone; but you must be sure to do it"; which was one of the last things she enjoined her at parting, and so she promised her.
Then Mrs. Veal asked for Mrs. Bargrave's daughter. She said she was not at home. "But if you have a mind to see her," says Mrs. Bargrave, "I'll send for her." "Do," says Mrs. Veal; on which she left her, and went to a neighbor's to see her; and by the time Mrs. Bargrave was returning, Mrs. Veal was got without the door in the street, in the face of the beast-market, on a Saturday (which is market-day), and stood ready to part as soon as Mrs. Bargrave came to her. She asked her why she was in such haste. She said she must be going, though perhaps she might not go her journey till Monday; and told Mrs. Bargrave she hoped she should see her again at her cousin Watson's before she went whither she was going. Then she said she would take her leave of her, and walked from Mrs. Bargrave, in her view, till a turning interrupted the sight of her, which was three-quarters after one in the afternoon.
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Table of Contents
ContentsDaniel Defoe: The Apparition of Mrs. Veal (1705), 1,
Benjamin Franklin: Alice Addertongue (1732), 9,
Washington Irving: The Devil and Tom Walker (1824), 14,
Prosper Mérimée: Mateo Falcone (1829), 25,
Charlotte Brontë: Napoleon and the Spectre (1833), 37,
Mary Shelley: The Mortal Immortal: A Tale (1834), 41,
Nathaniel Hawthorne: Young Goodman Brown (1835), 54,
Nathaniel Hawthorne: Dr. Heidegger's Experiment (1837), 67,
Edgar Allan Poe: The Masque of the Red Death (1841), 77,
Edgar Allan Poe: The Tell-Tale Heart (1843), 83,
Edgar Allan Poe: The Cask of Amontillado (1846), 88,
Mary Anne Hoare: The Knitted Collar (1851), 95,
Ivan S. Turgenev: The District Doctor (1852), 102,
Charles Dickens: Nobody's Story (1853), 111,
Herman Melville: The Fiddler (1854), 117,
Herman Melville: The Lightning-Rod Man (1854), 123,
Robert Carlton: Selecting the Faculty (1855), 130,
Mary E. Braddon: The Cold Embrace (1861), 136,
Alphonse Daudet: The Pope's Mule (1868), 145,
Mark Twain: Journalism in Tennessee (1869), 155,
Bret Harte: The Luck of Roaring Camp (1870), 162,
Bill Arp: Bill Nations (1873), 172,
Bret Harte: A Jersey Centenarian (1875), 175,
Mark Twain: The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (1875), 181,
Mark Twain: A Literary Nightmare (1876), 187,
Stephen Crane: The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky (1898), 192,
Lucretia P. Hale: The Peterkins Decide to Learn the Languages (1878), 203,
Harriet Beecher Stowe: The Parson's Horse Race (1878), 210,
Charles Dudley Warner: How I Killed a Bear (1878), 218,
Joel Chandler Harris: Uncle Remus and the Wonderful Tar-Baby Story (1881), 225,
George W. Peck: His Pa Gets Mad! (1883), 231,
Guy de Maupassant: The Necklace (1884), 234,
Sarah Orne Jewett: A White Heron (1886), 243,
Leo Tolstoy: How Much Land Does a Man Need? (1886), 253,
Charles Waddell Chesnutt: The Goophered Grapevine (1887), 268,
Bill Nye: John Adams' Diary (1887), 281,
Oscar Wilde: The Sphinx Without a Secret (1887), 286,
Oscar Wilde: The Happy Prince (1888), 291,
Oscar Wilde: The Selfish Giant (1888), 300,
Ambrose Bierce: A Horseman in the Sky (1889), 304,
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman: A New England Nun (1891), 311,
Thomas Hardy: Squire Petrick's Lady (1891), 323,
Jerome K. Jerome: A Ghost Story (1892), 332,
Kate Chopin: Désirée's Baby (1893), 339,
Jules Renard: The Dark Lantern (1893), 345,
John Kendrick Bangs: The Idiot's Journalism Scheme (1895), 351,
Hayden Carruth: Active Colorado Real Estate (1895), 355,
H. G. Wells: The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes (1895), 358,
Stephen Crane: The Veteran (1896), 368,
Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis: The Fortune-Teller (1896), 373,
Robert J. Burdette: Rollo Learning to Read (1897), 383,
Kate Chopin: A Pair of Silk Stockings (1897), 387,
W. B. Yeats: The Tables of the Law (1897), 392,
Anton Chekhov: Gooseberries (1898), 402,
Kate Chopin: The Storm (1898), 411,
Rudyard Kipling: Wee Willie Winkie (1899), 417,
Jack London: The White Silence (1900), 427,
Rainer Maria Rilke: How Old Timofei Died with a Song (1900), 436,
Thomas Mann: The Path to the Cemetery (1901), 442,
Luigi Pirandello: With Other Eyes (1901), 451,
Isabella Augusta, Lady Gregory: The Only Son of Aoife (1902), 459,
Jack London: The Leopard Man's Story (1903), 465,
Guy de Maupassant: A Piece of String (trans. 1903), 469,
George Moore: Home Sickness (1903), 476,
H. H. Munro, or Saki: The Open Window (1903), 488,
Willa Cather: A Wagner Matinée (1905), 492,
George Ade: The Set of Poe (1906), 499,
O. Henry: The Furnished Room (1906), 504,
O. Henry: The Gift of the Magi (1906), 511,
O. Henry: The Last Leaf (1907), 517,
Ambrose Bierce: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1891), 523,
Willa Cather: The Enchanted Bluff (1909), 532,
Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Cottagette (1910), 541,
Katherine Mansfield: Germans at Meat (1911), 550,
H. H. Munro, or Saki: Tobermory (1911), 554,
Katherine Mansfield: How Pearl Button Was Kidnapped (1912), 562,
Djuna Barnes: Smoke (1913), 566,
James Stephens: The Blind Man (1913), 574,
Charlotte Perkins Gilman: If I Were a Man (1914), 580,
James Joyce: Araby (1914), 587,
James Joyce: Eveline (1914), 593,
D. H. Lawrence: Second Best (1914), 598,
Vsevolod M. Garshin: The Signal (trans. 1915), 607,
Theodor Sologub: The White Mother (trans. 1915), 616,
Daniel Corkery: The Ploughing of Leaca-na-Naomh (1916), 625,
Franz Kafka: The Judgment (1916), 636,
Alexander Pushkin: The Coffin-Maker (trans. 1916), 647,
Luigi Pirandello: Mrs. Frola and Mr. Ponza, Her Son-in-Law (1917), 655,
Isaak Babel: The Blind Ones (1918), 664,
Anton Chekhov: A Malefactor (trans. 1918), 668,
Fyodor Dostoyevsky: A Christmas Tree and a Wedding (trans. 1918), 672,
Fyodor Dostoyevsky: The Peasant Marey (trans. 1918), 680,
Ford Madox Ford: Pink Flannel (1919), 685,
Franz Kafka: A Country Doctor (1919), 690,
Sherwood Anderson: The Egg (1921), 696,
Virginia Woolf: The Mark on the Wall (1921), 706,
Franz Kafka: A Hunger Artist (1922), 713,
Ring Lardner: The Golden Honeymoon (1922), 723,
H. M. Tomlinson: A Raid Night (1922), 739,
John Galsworthy: The Broken Boot (1923), 745,