Felix Holt: The Radical: Large Print
Amazon Digital Services LLC - KDP Print US, Jan 23, 2021 - 358 pages
On the first of September, in the memorable year 1832, some one was expected at Transome Court.As early as two o'clock in the afternoon the aged lodge-keeper had opened the heavy gate, green asthe tree trunks were green with nature's powdery paint, deposited year after year. Already in the village of Little Treby, which lay on the side of a steep hill not far off the lodge-gates, the eldermatrons sat in their best gowns at the few cottage doors bordering the road, that they might beready to get up and make their courtesy when a travelling carriage should come in sight; and beyondthe village several small boys were stationed on the look-out, intending to run a race to the barn-likeold church, where the sexton waited in the belfry ready to set the one bell in joyful agitation just atthe right moment.The old lodge-keeper had opened the gate and left it in the charge of his lame wife, because he waswanted at the Court to sweep away the leaves, and perhaps to help in the stables. For thoughTransome Court was a large mansion, built in the fashion of Queen Anne's time, with a park andgrounds as fine as any to be seen in Loamshire, there were very few servants about it. Especially, itseemed, there must be a lack of gardeners; for, except on the terrace surrounded with a stoneparapet in front of the house, where there was a parterre, kept with some neatness, grass had spreaditself over the gravel walks, and over all the low mounds once carefully cut as black beds for theshrubs and larger plants. Many of the windows had the shutters closed, and under the grand Scotchfir that stooped toward one corner, the brown fir-needles of many years lay in a small stone balconyin front of two such darkened windows. All round, both near and far, there were grand trees, motionless in the still sunshine, and, like all large motionless things, seemed to add to the stillness.Here and there a leaf fluttered down; petals fell in a silent shower; a heavy moth fluttered by, and, when it settled, seemed to fall wearily; the tiny birds alighted on the walks, and hopped about inperfect tranquillity; even a stray rabbit sat nibbling a leaf that was to its liking, in the middle of agrassy space, with an air that seemed quite impudent in so timid a creature. No sound was to beheard louder than a sleepy hum, and the soft monotony of running water hurrying on to the riverthat divided the park. Standing on the south or east side of the house, you would never have guessedthat an arrival was expecte
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