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One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about... more...

CHAPTER I THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR What’s behind this wall? As I write, here in my surgeon’s study, I ask myself that question. What’s behind it? My neighbors? Then what do I know—really know—of them? After all, this wall which rises beyond my desk, the wall against which my glass case of instruments rests, symbolizes the boundary of knowledge—seemingly an opaque barrier. I am called a man of science, a man... more...

CHAPTER IDescription of Farmer Oak—An Incident When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears, his eyes were reduced to chinks, and diverging wrinkles appeared round them, extending upon his countenance like the rays in a rudimentary sketch of the rising sun. His Christian name was Gabriel, and on working days he was a young man of sound judgment, easy motions, proper... more...

Chapter I 'A fair vestal, throned in the west' Elfride Swancourt was a girl whose emotions lay very near the surface. Their nature more precisely, and as modified by the creeping hours of time, was known only to those who watched the circumstances of her history. Personally, she was the combination of very interesting particulars, whose rarity, however, lay in the combination itself rather than in the individual elements combined. As a matter... more...

CHAPTER I 1801.—I have just returned from a visit to my landlord—the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with.  This is certainly a beautiful country!  In all England, I do not believe that I could have fixed on a situation so completely removed from the stir of society.  A perfect misanthropist’s heaven: and Mr. Heathcliff and I are such a suitable pair to divide the desolation between us.  A... more...


CHAPTER ONE Gissing lived alone (except for his Japanese butler) in a little house in the country, in that woodland suburb region called the Canine Estates. He lived comfortably and thoughtfully, as bachelors often do. He came of a respectable family, who had always conducted themselves calmly and without too much argument. They had bequeathed him just enough income to live on cheerfully, without display but without having to do addition and... more...

CHAPTER I UNCLE TOM AND LITTLE HARRY ARE SOLD   ERY many years ago, instead of having servants to wait upon them and work for them, people used to have slaves. These slaves were paid no wages. Their masters gave them only food and clothes in return for their work. When any one wanted servants he went to market to buy them, just as nowadays we buy horses and cows, or even tables and chairs. If the poor slaves were bought by kind people... more...

I Professor Joslin, who, as our readers are doubtless aware, is engaged in writing the life of Mrs. Aubyn, asks us to state that he will be greatly indebted to any of the famous novelist's friends who will furnish him with information concerning the period previous to her coming to England. Mrs. Aubyn had so few intimate friends, and consequently so few regular correspondents, that letters will be of special value. Professor Joslin's address is... more...

THE EDITOR'S NARRATIVE It appears from tradition, as well as some parish registers still extant, that the lands of Dalcastle (or Dalchastel, as it is often spelled) were possessed by a family of the name of Colwan, about one hundred and fifty years ago, and for at least a century previous to that period. That family was supposed to have been a branch of the ancient family of Colquhoun, and it is certain that from it spring the Cowans that spread... more...

[65] For years, Dorian Gray could not free himself from the memory of this book. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he never sought to free himself from it. He procured from Paris no less than five large-paper copies of the first edition, and had them bound in different colors, so that they might suit his various moods and the changing fancies of a nature over which he seemed, at times, to have almost entirely lost control. The... more...