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The Bread-Winners: A Social Study
by by John Hay
Binding: Paperback, 226 pages
Publisher: BiblioBazaar
Weight: 69
Dimension: H: 0.75 x L: 8 x W: 0.47 inches

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Book Description:
A MORNING CALLA French clock on the mantel piece, framed of brass and crystal, whichbetrayed its inner structure as the transparent sides of some insectsbetray their vital processes, struck ten with the mellow and lingeringclangor of a distant cathedral bell. A gentleman, who was seated infront of the fire reading a newspaper, looked up at the clock to seewhat hour it was, to save himself the trouble of counting the slow,musical strokes. The eyes he raised were light gray, with a blue glintof steel in them, shaded by lashes as black as jet. The hair was alsoas black as hair can be, and was parted near the middle of hisforehead. It was inclined to curl, but had not the length required bythis inclination. The dark brown mustache was the only ornament therazor had spared on the wholesome face, the outline of which was clearand keen. The face suited the hands it had the refinement andgentleness of one delicately bred, and the vigorous lines and color ofone equally at home in field and court; and the hands had the firm,hard symmetry which showed they had done no work, and the bronze tingewhich is the imprint wherewith sky and air mark their lovers. Hisclothes were of the fashion seen in the front windows of theKnickerbocker Club in the spring of the year 187 , and were worn aseasily as a self respecting bird wears his feathers. He seemed, inshort, one of those fortunate natures, who, however born, are alwaysbred well, and come by prescription to most of the good things theworld can give.He sat in a room marked, like himself, with a kind of seriouselegance one of those apartments which seem to fit the person like amore perfect dress. All around the walls ran dwarf book cases of carvedoak, filled with volumes bound in every soft shade of brown and tawnyleather, with only enough of red and green to save the shelves frommonotony. Above these the wall space was covered with Cordovan leather,stamped with gold _fleurs de lis_ to within a yard of the top, where afrieze of palm leaves led up to a ceiling of blue and brown and gold.The whole expression of the room was of warmth and good manners. Thefurniture was of oak and stamped leather. The low book cases werecovered with bronzes, casts, and figurines, of a quality so uniformlygood that none seemed to feel the temptation either to snub or tocringe to its neighbor. The Owari pots felt no false shame beside theroyal Satsuma; and Barbedienne's bronzes, the vases of Limoges andLambeth and bowls from Nankin and Corea dwelt together in the harmonyof a varied perfection.It was an octagon room, with windows on each side of the fire place, inwhich a fire of Ohio coal was leaping and crackling with a cheerful andunctuous noisiness. Out of one window yon could see a pretty garden offive or six acres behind the house, and out of the other a carefullykept lawn, extending some hundred yards from the front door to thegates of hammered iron which opened upon a wide paved avenue. Thisstreet was the glory of Buff land, a young and thriving city on LakeErie, which already counted a population of over two hundred thousandsouls. The people of Clairfield, a rival town, denied that there wasanything like so many inhabitants, and added that 'the less we sayabout 'souls' the better.' But this was pure malice; Buffland was a bigcity. Its air was filled with the smoke and odors of vast andsuccessful trade, and its sky was reddened by night with the glare ofits furnaces, rising like the hot breath of some prostrate Titan,conquered and bowed down by the pitiless cunning of men. Its peoplewere, as a rule, rich and honest, especially in this avenue of which Ihave spoken. If you have ever met a Bufflander, you have heard ofAlgonquin Avenue......

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