Freedom and not servitude is the cure of anarchy; as religion, and not atheism, is the true remedy for superstition.
Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
‘Speech on Conciliation with America (1775)’
Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire
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Stories
Two-minute tales and grammar games
Puzzles
Games with words and numbers
Modern History
For December 16th
The Boston Tea Party
The Boston Tea Party
In the time of King George III, Parliament forgot that its job was not to regulate the people, but to represent them.

THE Tea Act of 1773 grudgingly allowed American companies to import tea, but deliberately weighed them down with burdensome regulation and taxes unless they dealt with the East India Company in London.

The colonists could do nothing about this, because they had no representatives in the English Parliament.

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No. 1
Muzio Clementi
Poets and Poetry
To Autumn
Poet John Keats speaks of the beauties of Autumn, her colours, her sounds and her rich harvest.
By John Keats
(1795-1821)

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
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
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel.

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No. 2
Sir John Blackwood McEwen
Extracts from Literature
Taken for a Ride
Richard Hannay sees for himself how political activists trick decent people into supporting their quest for power.
By John Buchan
(1875-1940)

“TELL me, Dick, what do you think of her?”

“I thought she was about two parts mad, but the third part was uncommon like inspiration.”

“That’s about right,” he said. “She runs the prophet just because she shares his belief. Only what in him is sane and fine, in her is mad and horrible.”

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No. 3
2 two-part story
Sir John Blackwood McEwen
Stuart Era
The Darien Scheme
The Parliament of Scotland tried to liberate itself from London’s strangling single market.

IN 1603, King James VI of Scotland became James I of England too, and he and his son Charles I held two crowns and summoned two Parliaments, Westminster and Edinburgh, until 1649 when Westminster had Charles summarily executed.

Two years later, the newly republican English Parliament then passed the first Navigation Act, shutting out Dutch competition in the belief that imports made the country poorer.

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No. 4
Anonymous (English)
Christmastide
His Bright Nativity
Northumbrian poet Cynewulf wonders at the mystery of the Bethlehem manger, where all the light of heaven was shining.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)

O EÄRENDEL! Brightest messenger sent to men of middle-earth, radiance of the Sun, steadfast and true, outshining the stars, ceaselessly lighting from thyself the ebb and flow of all things!

Shine thy bright Sun upon us, come thyself and light us, who have sat in darkness, in gloom of endless night, these long years, wrapped in sin, enduring the dark shadow of death.

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No. 5
2 two-part story
William Byrd and John Dowland
Modern History
The Voyage of ‘Mayflower’
A crackdown on dissent in England’s established Church drove a band of Nottinghamshire townspeople to seek new shores.

AT the Hampton Court Conference in 1604, King James I insisted that the English Church would never adopt the more extreme views of Swiss reformer John Calvin. Some hardliners dubbed ‘Puritans’ were bitterly disappointed, and resolved to leave the country.

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No. 6
Francesco Geminiani
Liberty and Prosperity
Folly and Freedom
Britain’s colonies were founded to supply her Government with gold, but instead they supplied her people with liberty.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

FOLLY and injustice seem to have been the principles which presided over and directed the first project of establishing those colonies; the folly of hunting after gold and silver mines, and the injustice of coveting the possession of a country whose harmless natives, far from having ever injured the people of Europe, had received the first adventurers with every mark of kindness and hospitality.

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No. 7
2 two-part story
Francesco Geminiani
Liberty and Prosperity
The Empire of Enterprise
Adam Smith credited the British Empire’s success not to the policy of her Government, but to the character of her people.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

THE policy of Europe has very little to boast of, either in the original establishment, or, so far as concerns their internal government, in the subsequent prosperity of the colonies of America.

The conquest of Mexico was the project, not of the council of Spain, but of a governor of Cuba; and it was effectuated by the spirit of the bold adventurer to whom it was entrusted.

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No. 8
John Garth
Georgian Era
Portrait of a Lady
Edmund Burke takes time off from campaigning for liberty to reflect on the delights of captivity.
By Edmund Burke MP
(1729-1797)

SHE has a face that just raises your attention at first sight; it grows on you every moment, and you wonder it did no more than raise your attention at first.

Her eyes have a mild light, but they awe you when she pleases; they command, like a good man out of office, not by authority, but by virtue.

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No. 9
Gustav Holst
Modern History
The Power of Balance
George Canning warned the Commons to be very careful about their plans for reform.
By George Canning MP
(1770-1827)

MY lot is cast under the British monarchy. Under that I have lived, — under that I have seen my country flourish, — under that I have seen it enjoy as great a share of prosperity, of happiness, and of glory as I believe any modification of human society to be capable of bestowing.

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No. 10
Polywords (182)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Path
Added on Monday December 11th, 2017
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
Latest: Stardust
Quickwords (46)
A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
Triplets (23)
Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
Latest: Triplet No. 23
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
Latest: Target Number
Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
Latest: Letters Game
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Today in History
1773 Residents of Boston in Massachusetts protest against British taxes by throwing tea into the harbour
From our Archive
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)
There is an art to making one’s compliments seem artless.
By Georges Sand
(1804-1876)
As the storm raged around him, raindrops fell like music on the pianist’s heart.
Stephen was the first person to lose his life because he was a follower of Jesus Christ.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
Driven out of Northumbria, Bishop Wilfrid goes to the south coast and saves a kingdom from starvation.
Eurystheus sends his cousin on another labour, this time hoping the task is too delicate for the big man.

A to Z Index

Top Topics
History (394)
Polywords (182)
Georgian Era (107)
Fiction (84)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Triplets (23)
Railways (23)
Stuart Era (16)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Tier’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

More Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘situation of a golf ball’ (3 letters), and ‘the capital of the State of New York’ (6 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with TOWN and finish with CITY.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.