All Posts (649)
Nos 431 to 440
Franz Joseph Haydn
Tales from the Bible
Noah’s Flood
God’s love proved to be bigger and stronger than all man’s wickedness.

IN the ninth generation of Adam’s descendants, creation had become so corrupt that God was ready to sweep everything from the face of the earth in a great flood.

However, Noah and his family found favour in God’s eyes.

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No. 431
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Lives of the Saints
St Wilfrid’s Debt
The Blessed Virgin Mary adds four years to the life of Bishop Wilfrid, and an angel suggests a suitable thank-you.
Based on an account by Stephen of Ripon
(early 8th century)

WHEN Wilfrid reached Meaux, he was so weak that his friends spent every moment in heartfelt prayer as his bedside. The bishop was breathing still, but unconscious, and he had taken no food or water for four days.

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No. 432
Camille Saint-Saens
Extracts from Literature
Silver Swan
Mark Twain’s attention was drawn off people-watching for a moment by an extraordinarily lifelike machine.
By Mark Twain
(1835-1910)

OF course we visited the renowned International Exposition. It was a wonderful show, but the moving masses of people of all nations we saw there were a still more wonderful show.

I discovered that if I were to stay there a month, I should still find myself looking at the people instead of the inanimate objects on exhibition.

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No. 433
3 three-part story
Richard Jones
Greek and Roman Myths
The Siege of Troy: the Abduction of Helen
Paris, prince of Troy, takes the not unwilling Queen of Sparta back home with him, and sparks twenty years of retribution.

WHEN Priam, King of Troy, sent his son Paris to Sparta on a diplomatic mission, the boy’s sister Cassandra warned him not to get involved with any of the Greek girls.

Far from taking her advice, however, Paris came home with the beautiful Queen of Sparta, Helen, on his arm.

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No. 434
2 two-part story
Ignace Pleyel
French History
Mathieu Martinel and the Drowning Soldier
A young French cavalry soldier took a tremendous risk to rescue a drowning man.
Based on an account by Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)

IN 1820, Mathieu Martinel was in Strasbourg when he saw a fellow cavalryman had fallen into the river, right beside the weir of a churning mill-wheel. Martinel leapt straight into the turbid waters, and grabbed onto the drowning man.

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No. 435
2 two-part story
Johann Baptist Cramer
Stories in Short
The Cat Who Walks by Himself
Part One. The sly cat hatches a plan to get all the benefits of domestic life without any of the responsibilities.
Based on a short story by Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)

AFTER he was tamed by Woman, Wild Man tamed Wild Cow and Wild Horse with food and shelter, but not Wild Cat. ‘I am the Cat who walks by himself’ he said haughtily, ‘and all places are alike to me’.

And Woman laughed, for though the wild woods were cold and wet, the Cat would not serve.

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No. 436
Ignaz Moscheles
American History
The Pig-and-Potato War
In 1859, peaceful co-existence on the Canadian border was severely tested by a marauding pig.

THE Oregon Treaty of 1846 failed to make clear whether America or Britain governed the small but strategically important San Juan Island in the Gulf of Georgia, near Vancouver.

The diplomatic stand-off did not prevent American and British islanders alike living there peacefully until June 15, 1859, when Lyman Cutlar, an American farmer, shot a pig helping itself to his potatoes.

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No. 437
Charles Villiers Stanford
Discovery and Invention
The Iron Horse and the Iron Cow
Railways not only brought fresh, healthy food to the urban poor, they improved the conditions of working animals.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

ONE of the most striking illustrations of the utility of railways in contributing to the supply of wholesome articles of food to the population of large cities, is to be found in the rapid growth of the traffic in Milk.

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No. 438
George Frideric Handel
Lives of the Saints
Macarius and the Hyena
A monk of the Egyptian desert helped a desperate mother, and was richly rewarded.
Based on ‘The Lives of the Desert Fathers’
(4th century)

THEY say that as Macarius was praying one day, a hyena crept into his desert cave and began to lick his feet.

Finding the monk slow to comprehend, the hyena gently tugged at his tunic and tried to draw him towards the door.

Still puzzled, Macarius followed her until they came to her own cave.

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No. 439
2 two-part story
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Stories in Short
Jane Eyre
Her enemies made Jane stronger, but her lover struck a blow from which she might never recover.

JANE EYRE acquired her rebellious spirit at the hands of her vindictive aunt, Mrs Reed, and at Mr Brocklehurst’s spartan boarding school. It gave her the strength not only to survive, but to win an enviable position as governess to Adèle, daughter of Edward Rochester of Thornfield Hall.

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No. 440
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
1878 The death of Alfred Bird, Birmingham pharmacist and confectioner
From our Archive
Thomas Lewis was rescued from slavery with only minutes to spare.
Nineteenth-century Britain had busy industrial cities and a prosperous middle class, but no MPs to represent them.
By Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar
(1872-1933)
Stylish batting in cricket is about variety, invention and frankly anything that works, and we have Dr W.G. Grace to thank for it.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
Benjamin Disraeli did not make a promising start to his Parliamentary career - but he did start with a promise.
By Mark Twain
(1835-1910)
Mark Twain covets the supreme sensation of being a trailblazer.

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 ‘Water’
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 ‘brainy fellow’ (7 letters), and ‘drink’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with WIND and finish with CASH.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.