Adam Bede by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

With a single drop of ink for a mirror, the Egyptian sorcerer undertakes to reveal to any chance comer far-reaching visions of the past. This is what I undertake to do for you, reader. With this drop of ink at the end of my pen, I will show you the roomy workshop of Mr. Jonathan Burge, carpenter and builder, in the village of Hayslope, as it appeared on the eighteenth of June, in the year of our Lord 1799.

The afternoon sun was warm on the five workmen there, busy upon doors and window-frames and wainscoting. A scent of pine-wood from a tentlike pile of planks outside the open door mingled itself with the scent of the elder-bushes which were spreading their summer snow close to the open window opposite; the slanting sunbeams shone through the transparent shavings that flew before the steady plane, and lit up the fine grain of the oak panelling which stood propped against the wall. On a heap of those soft shavings a rough, grey shepherd dog had made himself a pleasant bed, and was lying with his nose between his fore-paws, occasionally wrinkling his brows to cast a glance at the tallest of the five workmen, who was carving a shield in the centre of a wooden mantelpiece. It was to this workman that the strong barytone belonged which was heard above the sound of plane and hammer singing—

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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.

“My dear Mr. Bennet,” said his lady to him one day, “have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?”

Mr. Bennet replied that he had not.

“But it is,” returned she; “for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me all about it.”

Mr. Bennet made no answer.

“Do you not want to know who has taken it?” cried his wife impatiently.

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Tekla: A Romance of Love and War by Robert Barr (Chapter 3 and 4)

They entered a lower room, long and narrow, meagrely furnished, containing a rough table thrust against the wall next the river, with two benches, on one of which the Emperor seated himself. The trap-door by which the man had ascended was still open and the gurgling sound of flowing water came up. The hound crouched in a corner, and eyed the visitors with lips drawn back from his teeth, uttering a low growl, as if he did not like the situation so suddenly presented to him. The man who was the cause of it all, liked it even less, and stood dumb, as one paralysed with fright.

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Tekla: A Romance of Love and War by Robert Barr (Chapter 1 and 2)

The Romans had long since departed, but their handiwork remained—a thin line laid like a whiplash across the broad country—a road. It extended north-westward from Frankfort and passed, as straight as might be, through the almost trackless forest that lay to the south of Moselle; for the great highway-builders had little patience with time-consuming curves; thus the road ranged over hill and down dale without shirking whatever came before it. Nearing the western terminus, it passed along high lands, through a level unbroken forest. A wayfarer, after travelling many monotonous leagues, came suddenly to an opening in the timber, and found himself on the brow of a hill, confronted with a scene amazing in extent, well calculated to arrest his progress and cause him to regard with admiration, the wide spread landscape beneath and beyond. The scene was the more startling that it burst unexpectedly on the view, after miles of trees that seemed innumerable, hemming in, with their unvarying cloak of green, the outlook of the traveller.

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