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Rhoda Fleming   By: (1828-1909)

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RHODA FLEMING, complete

By George Meredith

CONTENTS

BOOK 1. I. THE KENTISH FAMILY II. QUEEN ANNE'S FARM III. SUGGESTS THE MIGHT OF THE MONEY DEMON IV. THE TEXT FROM SCRIPTURE V. THE SISTERS MEET VI. EDWARD AND ALGERNON VII. GREAT NEWS FROM DAHLIA VIII. INTRODUCES MRS. LOVELL IX. ROBERT INTERVENES X. DAHLIA IS NOT VISIBLE XI. AN INDICATIVE DUET IN A MINOR KEY

BOOK 2. XII. AT THE THEATRE. XIII. THE FARMER SPEAKS XIV. BETWEEN RHODA AND ROBERT XI. A VISIT TO WREXBY HALL XII. AT FAIRLY PARK XVII. A YEOMAN OF THE OLD BREED XVIII. AN ASSEMBLY AT THE PILOT INN XIX. ROBERT SMITTEN LOW XX. MRS. LOVELL SHOWS A TAME BRUTE

BOOK 3. XXI. GIVES A GLIMPSE OF WHAT POOR VILLANIES THE STORY CONTAINS XXII. EDWARD TAKES HIS COURSE XXIII. MAJOR PERCY WARING XXIV. WARBEACH VILLAGE CHURCH XXV. OF THE FEARFUL TEMPTATION WHICH CAME UPON ANTHONY HACKBUT, AND OF HIS MEETING WITH DAHLIA XXVI. IN THE PARK XXVII. CONTAINS A STUDY OF A FOOL IN TROUBLE XXVIII. EDWARD'S LETTER XXIX. FURTHERMORE OF THE FOOL

BOOK 4. XXX. THE EXPIATION XXXI. THE MELTING OF THE THOUSAND XXXII. LA QUESTION D'ARGENT XXXIII. EDWARD'S RETURN XXXIV. FATHER AND SON XXXV. THE NIGHT BEFORE XXXVI. EDWARD MEETS HIS MATCH XXXVII. EDWARD TRIES HIS ELOQUENCE XXXVIII. TOO LATE

BOOK 5. XXXIX. DAHLIA GOES HOME XL. A FREAK OF THE MONEY DEMON, THAT MAY HAVE BEEN ANTICIPATED XLI. DAHLIA'S FRENZY XLII. ANTHONY IN A COLLAPSE XLIII. RHODA PLEDGES HER HAND XLIV. THE ENEMY APPEARS XLV. THE FARMER IS AWAKENED XLVI. WHEN THE NIGHT IS DARKEST XLVII. DAWN IS NEAR XLVIII. CONCLUSION

CHAPTER I

Remains of our good yeomanry blood will be found in Kent, developing stiff, solid, unobtrusive men, and very personable women. The distinction survives there between Kentish women and women of Kent, as a true South eastern dame will let you know, if it is her fortune to belong to that favoured portion of the county where the great battle was fought, in which the gentler sex performed manful work, but on what luckless heads we hear not; and when garrulous tradition is discreet, the severe historic Muse declines to hazard a guess. Saxon, one would presume, since it is thought something to have broken them.

My plain story is of two Kentish damsels, and runs from a home of flowers into regions where flowers are few and sickly, on to where the flowers which breathe sweet breath have been proved in mortal fire.

Mrs. Fleming, of Queen Anne's Farm, was the wife of a yeoman farmer of the county. Both were of sound Kentish extraction, albeit varieties of the breed. The farm had its name from a tradition, common to many other farmhouses within a circuit of the metropolis, that the ante Hanoverian lady had used the place in her day as a nursery hospital for the royal little ones. It was a square three storied building of red brick, much beaten and stained by the weather, with an ivied side, up which the ivy grew stoutly, topping the roof in triumphant lumps. The house could hardly be termed picturesque. Its aspect had struck many eyes as being very much that of a red coat sentinel grenadier, battered with service, and standing firmly enough, though not at ease. Surrounding it was a high wall, built partly of flint and partly of brick, and ringed all over with grey lichen and brown spots of bearded moss, that bore witness to the touch of many winds and rains. Tufts of pale grass, and gilliflowers, and travelling stone crop, hung from the wall, and driblets of ivy ran broadening to the outer ground. The royal Arms were said to have surmounted the great iron gateway; but they had vanished, either with the family, or at the indications of an approaching rust. Rust defiled its bars; but, when you looked through them, the splendour of an unrivalled garden gave vivid signs of youth, and of the taste of an orderly, laborious, and cunning hand... Continue reading book >>




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