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CHAPTER THE FIRST - THE DREAM (1) IT was a scene of bitter disputation. A hawk-nosed young man with a pointing finger was prominent. His face worked violently, his lips moved very rapidly, but what he said was inaudible. Behind him the little rufous man with the big eyes twitched at his robe and offered suggestions. And behind these two clustered a great multitude of heated, excited, swarthy faces.... The emperor sat on his golden throne in... more...

CHAPTER I The Dressmaker's Apprentice at Work  There is an assize-town in one of the eastern counties which was much distinguished by the Tudor sovereigns, and, in consequence of their favour and protection, attained a degree of importance that surprises the modern traveller. A hundred years ago its appearance was that of picturesque grandeur. The old houses, which were the temporary residences of such of the county-families as contented... more...

INTRODUCTION 'LA FAUTE DE L'ABBE MOURET' was, with respect to the date of publication, the fourth volume of M. Zola's 'Rougon-Macquart' series; but in the amended and final scheme of that great literary undertaking, it occupies the ninth place. It proceeds from the sixth volume of the series, 'The Conquest of Plassans;' which is followed by the two works that deal with the career of Octave Mouret, Abbe Serge Mouret's elder brother. In 'The... more...

PREFACE This story of the Mellstock Quire and its old established west-gallery musicians, with some supplementary descriptions of similar officials in Two on a Tower, A Few Crusted Characters, and other places, is intended to be a fairly true picture, at first hand, of the personages, ways, and customs which were common among such orchestral bodies in the villages of fifty or sixty years ago. One is inclined to regret the displacement of these... more...

CHAPTER I Like a sudden cloudburst the dormitory had gone into a frenzy of sound. Doors slammed, feet trampled, hoarse voices reverberated, heavy bodies flung themselves along the corridor, the very electrics trembled with the cataclysm. One moment all was quiet with a contented after-dinner-peace-before-study hours; the next it was as if all the forces of the earth had broken forth. Paul Courtland stepped to his door and threw it back. "Come... more...


Chapter One. The Squatter’s Clearing. The white-headed eagle, soaring above the spray of a Tennessean forest, looks down upon the clearing of the squatter. To the eye of the bird it is alone visible; and though but a spot in the midst of that immense green sea, it is conspicuous by the colour of the trees that stand over it. They stand, but grow not: the girdling ring around their stems has deprived them of their sap; the ivory bill of... more...

Chapter IHiram's Hospital   The Rev. Septimus Harding was, a few years since, a beneficed clergyman residing in the cathedral town of ––––; let us call it Barchester. Were we to name Wells or Salisbury, Exeter, Hereford, or Gloucester, it might be presumed that something personal was intended; and as this tale will refer mainly to the cathedral dignitaries of the town in question, we are anxious that no personality... more...

CHAPTER 1 The description of the family of Wakefield; in which a kindred likeness prevails as well of minds as of persons I was ever of opinion, that the honest man who married and brought up a large family, did more service than he who continued single, and only talked of population. From this motive, I had scarce taken orders a year before I began to think seriously of matrimony, and chose my wife as she did her wedding gown, not for a fine... more...

PREFACE. The writing of prefaces is, for the most part, work thrown away; and the writing of a preface to a novel is almost always a vain thing. Nevertheless, I am tempted to prefix a few words to this novel on its completion, not expecting that many people will read them, but desirous, in doing so, of defending myself against a charge which may possibly be made against me by the critics,—as to which I shall be unwilling to revert after it... more...

CHAPTER I "Woe on you, mothers of nothing! May the scourge of Allah flay you as you go!" The mother of Iskender held the doorway of her little house in a posture of spitting defiance. Rancour, deep-rooted and boundless, ranged in her guttural snarl. Her black eyes burned to kill, their thick brows quite united by the energy of her frown as she gazed across a sand-dell, chary of vegetation but profuse in potsherds, towards the white walls and... more...