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The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves   By: (1721-1771)

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by Tobias Smollett

With the Author's Preface, and an Introduction by G. H. Maynadier, Ph.D. Department of English, Harvard University



CHAPTER I In which certain Personages of this delightful History are introduced to the Reader's Acquaintance II In which the Hero of these Adventures makes his First Appearance on the Stage of Action III Which the Reader, on perusal, may wish were Chapter the last IV In which it appears that the Knight, when heartily set in for sleeping, was not easily disturbed V In which this Recapitulation draws to a close VI In which the Reader will perceive that in some Cases Madness is catching VII In which the Knight resumes his Importance VIII Which is within a hair's breadth of proving highly interesting will interest the Curiosity of the Reader IX Which may serve to show, that true Patriotism is of no Party X Which showeth that he who plays at Bowls, will sometimes meet with Rubbers XI Description of a modern Magistrate XII Which shows there are more Ways to kill a Dog than Hanging XIII In which our Knight is tantalised with a transient Glimpse of Felicity XIV Which shows that a Man cannot always sip, when the Cup is at his Lip XV Exhibiting an Interview, which, it is to be hoped, will interest the Curiosity of the Reader XVI Which, it is to be hoped, the Reader will find an agreeable Medley of Mirth and Madness, Sense and Absurdity XVII Containing Adventures of Chivalry equally new and surprising XVIII In which the Rays of Chivalry shine with renovated Lustre XIX Containing the Achievements of the Knights of the Griffin and Crescent XX In which our Hero descends into the Mansions of the Damned XXI Containing further Anecdotes relating to the Children of Wretchedness XXII In which Captain Crowe is sublimed into the Regions of Astrology XXIII In which the Clouds that cover the Catastrophe begin to disperse XXIV The Knot that puzzles human Wisdom, the Hand of Fortune sometimes will untie familiar as her Garter XXV Which, it is to be hoped, will be, on more accounts than one, agreeable to the Reader


It was on the great northern road from York to London, about the beginning of the month of October, and the hour of eight in the evening, that four travellers were, by a violent shower of rain, driven for shelter into a little public house on the side of the highway, distinguished by a sign which was said to exhibit the figure of a black lion. The kitchen, in which they assembled, was the only room for entertainment in the house, paved with red bricks, remarkably clean, furnished with three or four Windsor chairs, adorned with shining plates of pewter, and copper saucepans, nicely scoured, that even dazzled the eyes of the beholder; while a cheerful fire of sea coal blazed in the chimney.

It would be hard to find a better beginning for a wholesome novel of English life, than these first two sentences in The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves. They are full of comfort and promise. They promise that we shall get rapidly into the story; and so we do. They give us the hope, in which we are not to be disappointed, that we shall see a good deal of those English inns which to this day are delightful in reality, and which to generations of readers, have been delightful in fancy. Truly, English fiction, without its inns, were as much poorer as the English country, without these same hostelries, were less comfortable. For few things in the world has the so called "Anglo Saxon" race more reason to be grateful than for good old English inns... Continue reading book >>

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