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A Dark Night's Work
Elizabeth Gaskell

Page 1 of 342


A DARK NIGHT'S WORK 

CHAPTER I. 

In the county town of a certain shire there lived (about forty years
ago) one Mr.  Wilkins, a conveyancing attorney of considerable
standing. 

The certain shire was but a small county, and the principal town in
it contained only about four thousand inhabitants; so in saying that
Mr.  Wilkins was the principal lawyer in Hamley, I say very little,
unless I add that he transacted all the legal business of the gentry
for twenty miles round.  His grandfather had established the
connection; his father had consolidated and strengthened it, and,
indeed, by his wise and upright conduct, as well as by his
professional skill, had obtained for himself the position of
confidential friend to many of the surrounding families of
distinction.  He visited among them in a way which no mere lawyer had
ever done before; dined at their tables--he alone, not accompanied by

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