The Interpreter, A Tale of the War by J. G. Whyte-Melville (Illustrated)

The Interpreter, A Tale of the War by J. G. Whyte-Melville (Illustrated)

by George John Whyte-Melville
     
 

• Includes original illustrations
• The book has been proof-read and corrected for spelling and grammatical errors
• All our books with improved formatting and links to chapters
Excerpt:
Not one of my keys will fit it: the old desk has been laid aside for years, and is covered with dust and rust. We do not make such strong boxes…  See more details below

Overview

• Includes original illustrations
• The book has been proof-read and corrected for spelling and grammatical errors
• All our books with improved formatting and links to chapters
Excerpt:
Not one of my keys will fit it: the old desk has been laid aside for years, and is covered with dust and rust. We do not make such strong boxes nowadays, for brass hinges and secret drawers have given place to flimsy morocco and russian leather; so we clap a Bramah lock, that Bramah himself cannot pick, on a black bag that the veriest bungler can rip open in five seconds with a penknife, and entrust our notes, bank and otherwise, our valuables, and our secrets, to this faithless repository with a confidence that deserves to be respected. But in the days when George the Third was king, our substantial ancestors rejoiced in more substantial workmanship: so the old desk that I cannot succeed in unlocking, is of shining rosewood, clamped with brass, and I shall spoil it sadly with the mallet and the chisel.
What a medley it holds! Thank Heaven I am no speculative philosopher, or I might moralise for hours over its contents. First, out flies a withered leaf of geranium. It must have been dearly prized once, or it would never have been here; maybe it represented the hopes, the wealth, the all-in-all of two aching hearts: and they are dust and ashes now. To think that the flower should have outlasted them! the symbol less perishable than the faith! Then I come to a piece of much-begrimed and yellow paper, carefully folded, and indorsed with a date,--a receipt for an embrocation warranted specific in all cases of bruises, sprains, or lumbago; next a gold pencil-case, with a head of Socrates for a seal; lastly, much of that substance which is generated in all waste places, and which the vulgar call "flue." How it comes there puzzles equally the naturalist and the philosopher; but you shall find it in empty corners, empty drawers, empty pockets, nay, we believe in its existence in the empty heads of our fellow-creatures.
In my thirst for acquisition, regardless of dusty fingers, I press the inner sides of the desk in hopes of discovering secret springs and hoarded repositories: so have poor men ere now found thousand-pound notes hid away in chinks and crannies, and straightway, giddy with the possession of boundless wealth, have gone to the Devil at a pace such as none but the beggar on horseback can command; so have old wills been fished out, and frauds discovered, and rightful heirs re-established, and society in general disgusted, and all concerned made discontented and uncomfortable--so shall I, perhaps--but the springs work, a false lid flies open, and I do discover a packet of letters, written on thin foreign paper, in the free straggling characters I remember so well. They are addressed to Sir H. Beverley, and the hand that penned them has been cold for years. So will yours and mine be some day, perhaps ere the flowers are out again; O beate Sexti!will you drink a glass less claret on that account? Buxom Mrs. Lalage, shall the dressmaker therefore put unbecoming trimmings in your bonnet? The "shining hours" are few, and soon past; make the best of them, each in your own way, only try and choose the right way:--
For the day will soon be over, and the minutes are of gold,
And the wicket shuts at sundown, and the shepherd leaves the fold.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940015548976
Publisher:
Unforgotten Classics
Publication date:
10/03/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
954 KB

Meet the Author

George John Whyte-Melville (1821–1878) was a Scottish novelist of the sporting-field and a poet.

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