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CHAPTER I. ANCIENT HEADS OF THE FAMILY. Not more than a mile from the brisk little town of Nyack, on the Hudson river, and near where the road makes a sharp turn and winds up into the mountain, there lived, in the year 1803, an honest old farmer of the name of Hanz Toodleburg. Hanz was held in high esteem by his neighbors, many of whom persisted in pronouncing his name Toodlebug, and also electing him hog-reef every year, an honor he would... more...

ESPERANCE, THE SON OF MONTE-CRISTO. Esperance, the son of Monte-Cristo, lay sleeping in the comfortable bed provided for him in the house of Fanfar, the French colonist, as related at the close of the preceding volume, "The Wife of Monte-Cristo." The prostration and exhaustion brought on by the excitement and fatigue of his terrible adventure with the remorseless Khouans rendered his sleep as leaden as the sleep of death; indeed, had it not been... more...

CHAPTER I The husband and wife were of a literary turn of mind, and as they had the money to cultivate their artistic tastes he wrote a little and she painted. They also played and sang duets together, at least they had done so when they were first married; now they went to concerts and the opera more frequently instead. They were liked wherever they went, they had friends, they were called "charming people," and still something was wanting to... more...

I. Mrs. Dewsbury's lawn was held by those who knew it the loveliest in Surrey. The smooth and springy sward that stretched in front of the house was all composed of a tiny yellow clover. It gave beneath the foot like the pile on velvet. One's gaze looked forth from it upon the endless middle distances of the oak-clad Weald, with the uncertain blue line of the South Downs in the background. Ridge behind ridge, the long, low hills of paludina... more...

CHAPTER 1 "You hear me, Saxon? Come on along. What if it is the Bricklayers? I'll have gentlemen friends there, and so'll you. The Al Vista band'll be along, an' you know it plays heavenly. An' you just love dancin'—-" Twenty feet away, a stout, elderly woman interrupted the girl's persuasions. The elderly woman's back was turned, and the back-loose, bulging, and misshapen—began a convulsive heaving. "Gawd!" she cried out. "O... more...


MR. NEVILL TYSON There were only two or three houses in Drayton Parva where Mr. and Mrs. Nevill Tyson were received. A thrill of guilty expectation used to go through the room when they were announced, and people watched them with a fearful interest, as if they were the actors in some enthralling but forbidden drama. Perhaps, if she had been tried by a jury of her peers—but Mrs. Nevill Tyson had no peers in Drayton Parva. She was tried by... more...

THE HAMILTONS Fiction has said so much in regret of the old days when there were plantations and overseers and masters and slaves, that it was good to come upon such a household as Berry Hamilton's, if for no other reason than that it afforded a relief from the monotony of tiresome iteration. The little cottage in which he lived with his wife, Fannie, who was housekeeper to the Oakleys, and his son and daughter, Joe and Kit, sat back in the... more...

CHAPTER I THE VERDICT The March wind swirled boisterously down Grellingham Place, catching up particles of grit and scraps of paper on his way and making them a torment to the passers-by, just as though the latter were not already amply occupied in trying to keep their hats on their heads. But the blustering fellow cared nothing at all about that as he drove rudely against them, slapping their faces and blinding their eyes with eddies of dust;... more...

THE CUSTOM-HOUSE INTRODUCTORY TO "THE SCARLET LETTER" It is a little remarkable, that—though disinclined to talk overmuch of myself and my affairs at the fireside, and to my personal friends—an autobiographical impulse should twice in my life have taken possession of me, in addressing the public. The first time was three or four years since, when I favoured the reader—inexcusably, and for no earthly reason that either the... more...

CHAPTER I “Well, all I’ve got to say, then, is, you’re a very foolish woman!” Ellen Robinson buttoned her long cloak forcefully, and arose with a haughty air from the rocking-chair where she had pointed her remarks for the last half-hour by swaying noisily back and forth and touching the toes of her new high-heeled shoes with a click each time to the floor. Julia Cloud said nothing. She stood at the front window,... more...