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The Writings of Thomas Hardy in Prose and Verse, with Prefaces and Notes

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Pages: 312

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Thomas Hardy

Excerpt from book: ACT FIRST SCENE I ENGLAND. A RIDGE IN WESSEX The time is a fine day in March, 1805. A highway crosses the ridge, which is near the sea, and the south coast is seen bounding the landscape below, the open Channel extending beyond. Spirit Of The Years Hark now, and gather how the martial mood Stirs England's humblest hearts. Anon we'll trace Its heavings in the upper coteries there. Spirit Sinister Ay: begin small, and so lead up to the greater. It is a sound dramatic principle. I always aim to follow it in my pestilences, fires, famines, and other comedies. And though, to be sure, I did not in my Lisbon earthquake, I did in my French Terror, and my St. Domingo burlesque. Spirit Of The Years Thy Lisbon earthquake, Thy French Terror. Wait. Thinking thou will'st, thou dost but indicate. A stage-coach enters, with passengers outside. Their voices after the foregoing sound small and commonplace, as from another medium. First Passenger There seems to be a deal of traffic over Ridge way, even at this time o' year. Second Passenger Yes. It is because the King and Court are coming down here later on. They wake up this part rarely! . . . See, now, how the Channel and coast open out like a chart. That patch of mist below us is the town we are bound for. There's the Isle of Slingers beyond, like a floating snail. That wide bay on the right is where the "Abergavenny," Captain John Wordsworth, was wrecked last month. One can see half across to France up here. First Passenger Half across. And then another little half, and then all that's behind — the Corsican mischief! Second Passenger Yes. People who live hereabout — I am a native of these parts — feel the nearness of France more than they do inland. First Passenger That's why we have see...  


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