Adam Bede - George Eliot - Страница 1 из 768


ADAM BEDE
by George Eliot
Book One
Chapter I
The Workshop
With a single drop of ink for a mirror, the Egyptian sorcerer undertakes
to reveal to any chance comer far-reaching visions of the past. This is
what I undertake to do for you, reader. With this drop of ink at the
end of my pen, I will show you the roomy workshop of Mr. Jonathan Burge,
carpenter and builder, in the village of Hayslope, as it appeared on the
eighteenth of June, in the year of our Lord 1799.
The afternoon sun was warm on the five workmen there, busy upon doors
and window-frames and wainscoting. A scent of pine-wood from a tentlike
pile of planks outside the open door mingled itself with the scent of
the elder-bushes which were spreading their summer snow close to
the open window opposite; the slanting sunbeams shone through the
transparent shavings that flew before the steady plane, and lit up the
fine grain of the oak panelling which stood propped against the wall.
On a heap of those soft shavings a rough, grey shepherd dog had
made himself a pleasant bed, and was lying with his nose between his
fore-paws, occasionally wrinkling his brows to cast a glance at the
tallest of the five workmen, who was carving a shield in the centre of
a wooden mantelpiece. It was to this workman that the strong barytone
belonged which was heard above the sound of plane and hammer singing--
Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth...
Here some measurement was to be taken which required more concentrated


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