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Demos
George Gissing

Page 1 of 1174


Demos 

CHAPTER I 

Stanbury Hill, remote but two hours' walk from a region blasted with
mine and factory and furnace, shelters with its western slope a fair
green valley, a land of meadows and orchard, untouched by poisonous
breath.  At its foot lies the village of Wanley.  The opposite side of
the hollow is clad with native wood, skirting for more than a mile
the bank of a shallow stream, a tributary of the Severn.  Wanley
consists in the main of one long street; the houses are stone-built,
with mullioned windows, here and there showing a picturesque gable
or a quaint old chimney.  The oldest buildings are four cottages
which stand at the end of the street; once upon a time they formed
the country residence of the abbots of Belwick.  The abbey of that
name still claims for its ruined self a portion of earth's surface;
but, as it had the misfortune to be erected above the thickest
coal-seam in England, its walls are blackened with the fume of
collieries and shaken by the strain of mighty engines.  Climb

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