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Showing: 1-10 results of 14

Mr Bommaney was a British merchant of the highest rectitude and the most spotless reputation. He traded still under the name of Bommaney, Waite, and Co., though Waite had been long since dead, and the Company had gone out of existence in his father's time. The old offices, cramped and inconvenient, in which the firm had begun life eighty years before, were still good enough for Mr. Bommaney, and they had an air of solid respectability which newer... more...

CHAPTER I The people of Castle Barfield boast that the middle of their High Street is on a level with the cross of St. Paul's Cathedral. The whole country-side is open, and affords a welcome to storm from whatever corner of the compass it may blow. You have to get right away into the Peak district before you can find anything like an eminence of distinction, though the mild slopes of Quarry-moor and Cline, a few miles to the westward, save the... more...

CHAPTER I.—IN THE ATTIC. I live in an attic. I am in the immediate neighbourhood of a great tavern and a famous place of amusement. The thoroughfare on which I can look whilst I sit at my window is noisy with perpetual traffic. In the midst of London I am more of a hermit than is that pretentious humbug who waves his flag at passing steamers from his rock in the Ægean. I am not a hermit from any choice of mine, or from any dislike of... more...

I was expatriated by a man with an axe. The man and the axe were alike visionary and unreal, though it needed a very considerable effort of the will to hold them at mental arm's length. I had work on hand which imperatively demanded to be finished, and I was so broken down by a long course of labour that it was a matter of actual difficulty with me when I sat down at my desk of a morning to lay hold of the thread of last night's work, and to... more...

I.—FIRST, THE CRITICS, AND THEN A WORD ON DICKENS The critics of to-day are suffering from a sort of epidemic of kindness. They have accustomed themselves to the administration of praise in unmeasured doses. They are not, taking them in the mass, critics any longer, but merely professional admirers. They have ceased to be useful to the public, and are becoming dangerous to the interests of letters. In their over-friendly eyes every... more...


In the year eighteen hundred and twenty, and for many years before and after, Abel Reddy farmed his own land at Perry Hall End, on the western boundaries of Castle Barfield. He lived at Perry Hall, a ripe-coloured old tenement of Elizabethan design, which crowned a gentle eminence and looked out picturesquely on all sides from amongst its neighbouring trees. It had a sturdier aspect in its age than it could have worn when younger, for its... more...

I have told my wife quite plainly that in my opinion I am as little fitted by nature for the task she has laid upon my shoulders as any man alive. I have spent a great part of my life in action; and though the later part of it has been quieter and more peaceful than the earlier, and though I have enjoyed opportunities of study which I never had before, I am still anything but a bookish man, and I am not at all confident about such essential... more...

A solitary passenger alighted from the train, and many people looked curiously after him. The mulatto porter handed to the platform a well-battered portmanteau, which was plastered thickly over with luggage-labels and the advertising tickets of hotels in every quarter of the globe. A great canvas bag followed, ornamented in like fashion. Then from the baggage-van an invisible person tumbled, a canvas bale. The coffee-coloured mulatto held out a... more...

CHAPTER I. Christopher was a fiddler and a man of genius. Educated people do not deny the possibility of such a combination; but it was Christopher's misfortune to live amongst a dull and bovine-seeming race, who had little sympathy with art and no knowledge of an artist's longings. They contented themselves, for the most part, with the belief that Christopher was queer. Perhaps he was. My experience of men of genius, limited as it may be,... more...

Castle Barfield, Heydon Hey, and Beacon Hargate form the three points of a triangle. Barfield is a parish of some pretensions; Heydon Hey is a village; Beacon Hargate is no more than a hamlet. There is not much that is picturesque in Beacon Hargate, or its neighbourhood. The Beacon Hill itself is as little like a hill as it well can be, and acquires what prominence it has by virtue of the extreme flatness of the surrounding country. A tuft of... more...