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The Farringdons   By: (1860-1929)

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THE FARRINGDONS BY ELLEN THORNEYCROFT FOWLER

AUTHOR OF CONCERNING ISABEL CARNABY, A DOUBLE THREAD, ETC.

NEW YORK D. APPLETON AND COMPANY 1900 COPYRIGHT, 1900, All rights reserved.

DEDICATION

For all such readers as have chanced to be Either in Mershire or in Arcady, I write this book, that each may smile, and say, "Once on a time I also passed that way."

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE I. THE OSIERFIELD 1 II. CHRISTOPHER 12 III. MRS. BATESON'S TEA PARTY 29 IV. SCHOOL DAYS 51 V. THE MOAT HOUSE 70 VI. WHIT MONDAY 90 VII. BROADER VIEWS 114 VIII. GREATER THAN OUR HEARTS 137 IX. FELICIA FINDS HAPPINESS 156 X. CHANGES 187 XI. MISS FARRINGDON'S WILL 213 XII. "THE DAUGHTERS OF PHILIP" 232 XIII. CECIL FARQUHAR 249 XIV. ON THE RIVER 272 XV. LITTLE WILLIE 292 XVI. THIS SIDE OF THE HILLS 306 XVII. GEORGE FARRINGDON'S SON 325 XVIII. THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HILLS 346

THE FARRINGDONS

CHAPTER I

THE OSIERFIELD

They herded not with soulless swine, Nor let strange snares their path environ: Their only pitfall was a mine Their pigs were made of iron.

In the middle of Sedgehill, which is in the middle of Mershire, which is in the middle of England, there lies a narrow ridge of high table land, dividing, as by a straight line, the collieries and ironworks of the great coal district from the green and pleasant scenery of the western Midlands. Along the summit of this ridge runs the High Street of the bleak little town of Sedgehill; so that the houses on the east side of this street see nothing through their back windows save the huge slag mounds and blazing furnaces and tall chimneys of the weird and terrible, yet withal fascinating, Black Country; while the houses on the west side of the street have sunny gardens and fruitful orchards, sloping down toward a fertile land of woods and streams and meadows, bounded in the far distance by the Clee Hills and the Wrekin, and in the farthest distance of all by the blue Welsh mountains.

In the dark valley lying to the immediate east of Sedgehill stood the Osierfield Works, the largest ironworks in Mershire in the good old days when Mershire made iron for half the world. The owners of these works were the Farringdons, and had been so for several generations. So it came to pass that the Farringdons were the royal family of Sedgehill; and the Osierfield Works was the circle wherein the inhabitants of that place lived and moved. It was as natural for everybody born in Sedgehill eventually to work at the Osierfield, as it was for him eventually to grow into a man and to take unto himself a wife.

The home of the Farringdons was called the Willows, and was separated by a carriage drive of half a mile from the town. Its lodge stood in the High Street, on the western side; and the drive wandered through a fine old wood, and across an undulating park, till it stopped in front of a large square house built of gray stone. It was a handsome house inside, with wonderful oak staircases and Adams chimneypieces; and there was an air of great stateliness about it, and of very little luxury. For the Farringdons were a hardy race, whose time was taken up by the making of iron and the saving of souls; and they regarded sofas and easy chairs in very much the same light as they regarded theatres and strong drink, thereby proving that their spines were as strong as their consciences were stern.

Moreover, the Farringdons were of "the people called Methodists"; consequently Methodism was the established religion of Sedgehill, possessing there that prestige which is the inalienable attribute of all state churches... Continue reading book >>




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