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      Charlotte Brontë



       Title Page

       Chapter 10: Old Maids

       Chapter 11: Fieldhead

       Chapter 12: Shirley and Caroline

       Chapter 13: Further Communications on Business

       Chapter 14: Shirley Seeks to be Saved by Works

       Chapter 15: Mr. Donne’s Exodus

       Chapter 16: Whitsuntide

       Chapter 17: The School Feast

       Chapter 18: Which the Genteel Reader is Recommended to Skip, Low Persons Being Here introduced

       Chapter 19: A Summer Night

       Chapter 20: To-morrow

       Chapter 21: Mrs. Pryor

       Chapter 22: Two Lives

       Chapter 23: An Evening Out

       Chapter 24: The Valley of the Shadow of Death

       Chapter 25: The West Wind Blows

       Chapter 26: Old Copy-books

       Chapter 27: The First Bluestocking

       Chapter 28: Phoebe

       Chapter 29: Louis Moore

       Chapter 30: Rushedge—A Confessional

       Chapter 31: Uncle and Niece

       Chapter 32: The Schoolboy and the Wood-nymph

       Chapter 33: Martin’s Tactics

       Chapter 34: Case of Domestic Persecution—Remarkable Instance of Pious Perseverance in the Discharge of Religious Duties

       Chapter 35: Wherein Matters Make Some Progress, But Not Much

       Chapter 36: Written in the Schoolroom

       Chapter 37: The Winding-up

       Classic Literature: Words and Phrases Adapted from the Collins English Dictionary

       About the Author

       History of Collins


       About the Publisher

       CHAPTER 1 Levitical

      Of late years an abundant shower of curates has fallen upon the north of England: they lie very thick on the hills; every parish has one or more of them; they are young enough to be very active, and ought to be doing a great deal of good. But not of late years are we about to speak; we are going back to the beginning of this century: late years—present years are dusty, sunburnt, hot, arid; we will evade the noon, forget it in siesta, pass the midday in slumber, and dream of dawn.

      If you think, from this prelude, that anything like a romance is preparing for you, reader, you never were more mistaken. Do you anticipate sentiment, and poetry, and reverie? Do you expect passion, and stimulus, and melodrama? Calm your expectations; reduce them to a lowly standard. Something real, cool, and solid lies before you; something unromantic as Monday morning, when all who have work wake with the consciousness that they must rise and betake themselves thereto. It is not positively affirmed that you shall not have a taste of the exciting, perhaps towards the middle and close of the meal, but it is resolved that the first dish set upon the table shall be one that a Catholic—ay, even an Anglo-Catholic—might eat on Good Friday in Passion Week: it shall be cold lentils and vinegar without oil; it shall be unleavened bread with bitter herbs, and no roast lamb.

      Of late years, I say, an abundant shower of curates has fallen upon the north of England; but in eighteen-hundred-eleven-twelve that affluent rain had not descended. Curates were scarce then: there was no Pastoral Aid—no Additional Curates’ Society to stretch a helping hand to worn-out old rectors and incumbents, and give them the wherewithal

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