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Wessex Tales by Thomas Hardy
page 1 of 302 (00%)


An Imaginative Woman
The Three Strangers
The Withered Arm
Interlopers at the Knap
The Distracted Preacher


An apology is perhaps needed for the neglect of contrast which is shown
by presenting two consecutive stories of hangmen in such a small
collection as the following. But in the neighbourhood of county-towns
tales of executions used to form a large proportion of the local
traditions; and though never personally acquainted with any chief
operator at such scenes, the writer of these pages had as a boy the
privilege of being on speaking terms with a man who applied for the
office, and who sank into an incurable melancholy because he failed to
get it, some slight mitigation of his grief being to dwell upon striking
episodes in the lives of those happier ones who had held it with success
and renown. His tale of disappointment used to cause some wonder why his
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