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Helen with the High Hand (2nd ed.)   By: (1867-1931)

Book cover

First Page:

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

NOVELS

A MAN FROM THE NORTH ANNA OF THE FIVE TOWNS LEONORA A GREAT MAN SACRED AND PROFANE LOVE WHOM GOD HATH JOINED BURIED ALIVE THE OLD WIVES' TALE THE GLIMPSE HELEN WITH THE HIGH HAND CLAYHANGER THE CARD HILDA LESSWAYS THE REGENT THE PRICE OF LOVE

FANTASIAS

THE GRAND BABYLON HOTEL THE GATES OF WRATH TERESA OF WATLING STREET THE LOOT OF CITIES HUGO THE GHOST THE CITY OF PLEASURE

SHORT STORIES

TALES OF THE FIVE TOWNS THE GRIM SMILE OF THE FIVE TOWNS THE MATADOR OF THE FIVE TOWNS

BELLES LETTRES

JOURNALISM FOR WOMEN FAME AND FICTION HOW TO BECOME AN AUTHOR THE TRUTH ABOUT AN AUTHOR THE REASONABLE LIFE HOW TO LIVE ON 24 HOURS A DAY THE HUMAN MACHINE LITERARY TASTE THE FEAST OF ST. FRIEND THOSE UNITED STATES THE PLAIN MAN AND HIS WIFE PARIS NIGHTS THE AUTHOR'S CRAFT LIBERTY

DRAMA

POLITE FARCES CUPID AND COMMON SENSE WHAT THE PUBLIC WANTS THE HONEYMOON THE GREAT ADVENTURE

( In collaboration with Eden Phillpotts )

THE SINEWS OF WAR: A Romance THE STATUE: A Romance

( In collaboration with Edward Knoblauch )

MILESTONES

HELEN WITH THE HIGH HAND

IDYLLIC DIVERSION

BY ARNOLD BENNETT

AUTHOR OF "THE OLD WIVES TALE," ETC.

A NEW EDITION

HODDER AND STOUGHTON

LONDON NEW YORK TORONTO

1915

CONTENTS

CHAP.

I BEGINNING OF THE IDYLL

II AN AFFAIR OF THE SEVENTIES

III MARRYING OFF A MOTHER

IV INVITATION TO TEA

V A SALUTATION

VI MRS. BUTT'S DEPARTURE

VII THE NEW COOK

VIII OMELETTE

IX A GREAT CHANGE

X A CALL

XI ANOTHER CALL

XII BREAKFAST

XIII THE WORLD

XIV SONG, SCENE AND DANCE

XV THE GIFT

XVI THE HALL AND ITS RESULT

XVII DESCENDANTS OF MACHIAVELLI

XVIII CHICANE

XIX THE TOSSING

XX THE FLITTING

XXI SHIP AND OCEAN

XXII CONFESSIONAL

XXIII NOCTURNAL

XXIV SEEING A LADY HOME

XXV GIRLISH CONFIDENCES

XXVI THE CONCERT

XXVII UNKNOTTING AND KNOTTING

CHAPTER I

BEGINNING OF THE IDYLL

In the Five Towns human nature is reported to be so hard that you can break stones on it. Yet sometimes it softens, and then we have one of our rare idylls of which we are very proud, while pretending not to be. The soft and delicate South would possibly not esteem highly our idylls, as such. Nevertheless they are our idylls, idyllic for us, and reminding us, by certain symptoms, that though we never cry there is concealed somewhere within our bodies a fount of happy tears.

The town park is an idyll in the otherwise prosaic municipal history of the Borough of Bursley, which previously had never got nearer to romance than a Turkish bath. It was once waste ground covered with horrible rubbish heaps, and made dangerous by the imperfectly protected shafts of disused coal pits. Now you enter it by emblazoned gates; it is surrounded by elegant railings; fountains and cascades babble in it; wild fowl from far countries roost in it, on trees with long names; tea is served in it; brass bands make music on its terraces, and on its highest terrace town councillors play bowls on billiard table greens while casting proud glances on the houses of thirty thousand people spread out under the sweet influence of the gold angel that tops the Town Hall spire. The other four towns are apt to ridicule that gold angel, which for exactly fifty years has guarded the borough and only been regilded twice. But ask the plumber who last had the fearsome job of regilding it whether it is a gold angel to be despised, and you will see!

The other four towns are also apt to point to their own parks when Bursley mentions its park (especially Turnhill, smallest and most conceited of the Five); but let them show a park whose natural situation equals that of Bursley's park. You may tell me that the terra cotta constructions within it carry ugliness beyond a joke; you may tell me that in spite of the park's vaunted situation nothing can be seen from it save the chimneys and kilns of earthenware manufactories, the scaffoldings of pitheads, the ample dome of the rate collector's offices, the railway, minarets of non conformity, sundry undulating square miles of monotonous house roofs, the long scarves of black smoke which add such interest to the sky of the Five Towns and, of course, the gold angel... Continue reading book >>




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