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H Rider Haggard - Joan Haste

H Rider Haggard - Joan Haste

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H Rider Haggard
H Rider Haggard

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Published by: KAW on May 01, 2013
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 A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook Title: Joan Haste (1895)Author: H. Rider HaggardeBook No.: 0500311.txtEdition: 1Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: Latin-1(ISO-8859-1)--8 bitDate first posted: March 2005Date most recently updated: March 2005This eBook was produced by: John Bickers and Dagny.Production notes:This text was prepared from a 1902 reissue of the 1897 edition,published by Longmans, Green, and Co., 89 Paternoster Row, Londonand Bombay, as part of the Longmans' Colonial Library. It wasprinted from American plates by Spottiswoode and Co., New-StreetSquare, London. Illustrations by F. S. Wilson.Project Gutenberg of Australia eBooks are created from printed editionswhich are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright noticeis included. We do NOT keep any eBooks in compliance with a particularpaper edition.Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check thecopyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing thisfile.This eBook is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictionswhatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the termsof the Project Gutenberg of Australia License which may be viewed online athttp://gutenberg.net.au/licence.htmlTo contact Project Gutenberg of Australia go to http://gutenberg.net.auTitle: Joan Haste (1895)Author: H. Rider Haggard
JOAN HASTEBYH. RIDER HAGGARD'Il y a une page effrayante dans le livre des destinées humaines;on y lit en tête ces motes--"les désirs accomplis"'--Georges SandDEDICATIONTO I. H.PREPARER'S NOTEThis text was prepared from a 1902 reissue of the 1897 edition,published by Longmans, Green, and Co., 89 Paternoster Row, Londonand Bombay, as part of the Longmans' Colonial Library. It wasprinted from American plates by Spottiswoode and Co., New-StreetSquare, London. Illustrations by F. S. Wilson.JOAN HASTECHAPTER IJOAN HASTEAlone and desolate, within hearing of the thunder of the waters of theNorth Sea, but not upon them, stand the ruins of Ramborough Abbey.Once there was a city at their feet, now the city has gone; nothing isleft of its greatness save the stone skeleton of the fabric of theAbbey above and the skeletons of the men who built it mouldering inthe earth below. To the east, across a waste of uncultivated heath,lies the wide ocean; and, following the trend of the coast northward,the eye falls upon the red roofs of the fishing village of Bradmouth.When Ramborough was a town, this village was a great port; but thesea, advancing remorselessly, has choked its harbour and swallowed upthe ancient borough which to-day lies beneath the waters.
With that of Ramborough the glory of Bradmouth is departed, and of itspriory and churches there remains but one lovely and dilapidated fane,the largest perhaps in the east of England--that of Yarmouth aloneexcepted--and, as many think, the most beautiful. At the back of Bradmouth church, which, standing upon a knoll at some distance fromthe cliff, has escaped the fate of the city that once nestled beneathit, stretch rich marsh meadows, ribbed with raised lines of roadway.But these do not make up all the landscape, for between Bradmouth andthe ruins of Ramborough, following the indentations of the sea coastand set back in a fold or depression of the ground, lie a chain of small and melancholy meres, whose brackish waters, devoid of sparkleeven on the brightest day, are surrounded by coarse and worthlessgrass land, the haunt of the shore-shooter, and a favouritefeeding-place of curlews, gulls, coots and other wild-fowl. Beyondthese meres the ground rises rapidly, and is clothed in gorse andbracken, interspersed with patches of heather, till it culminates inthe crest of a bank that marks doubtless the boundary of some primevalfiord or lake, where, standing in a ragged line, are groups of wind-torn Scotch fir trees, surrounding a grey and solitary houseknown as Moor Farm.The dwellers in these parts--that is, those of them who are alive tosuch matters--think that there are few more beautiful spots than thisslope of barren land pitted with sullen meres and bordered by the sea.Indeed, it has attractions in every season: even in winter, when thesnow lies in drifts upon the dead fern, and the frost-browned gorseshivers in the east wind leaping on it from the ocean. It is alwaysbeautiful, and yet there is truth in the old doggerel verse that iswritten in a quaint Elizabethan hand upon the fly-lead of one of theBradmouth parish registers--"Of Rambro', north and west and south,Man's eyes can never see enough;Yet winter's gloom or summer's light,Wide England hath no sadder sight."And so it is; even in the glory of June, when lizards run across thegrey stonework and the gorse shows its blaze of gold, there is a stampof native sadness on the landscape which lies between Bradmouth andRamborough, that neither the hanging woodlands to the north, nor thedistant glitter of the sea, on which boats move to and fro, canaltogether conquer. Nature set that seal upon the district in thebeginning, and the lost labours of the generations now sleeping roundits rotting churches have but accentuated the primal impress of herhand.Though on the day in that June when this story opens, the sea shonelike a mirror beneath her, and the bees hummed in the flowers growingon the ancient graves, and the larks sang sweetly above her head, Joanfelt this sadness strike her heart like the chill of an autumn night.

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