No matches found 500彩票时时计划群_稳赚赢钱技巧V4.20app

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      SIGHTS IN PEKIN.


      "You're tired!" murmured the voice beside me, and the wave rolled in again. I lifted my brow and moved one hand from hers to make room on it for my lips, but her fingers slipped away and alighted compassionately on my neck. "You must be one ache from head to foot!" she whispered.


      "Why haven't I got it right?"


      And now in his fiftieth year he was as friendless outside his home as he was companionless there. The years during which friendships can be made, that is to say, from boyhood up till about the age of forty, had passed for him in a practically incessant effort of building up the immense business which was his own property. And even if he had not been so employed, it is doubtful whether he would ever have made friends. Partly a certain stark austerity innate in him would have kept{38} intimacy at a distance, partly he had never penetrated into circles at Bracebridge where he would have met his intellectual equals. Till now Keeling of the fish-shop had but expanded into Mr Keeling, proprietor of the Universal Stores, that reared such lofty terra-cotta cupolas in the High Street, and the men he met, those with whom he habitually came in contact, he met on purely business grounds, and they would have felt as little at ease in the secret atmosphere of his library as he would have been in entertaining them there. They looked up to him as the shrewdest as well as the richest of the prosperous tradesmen of Bracebridge, and his contributions and suggestions at the meetings of the Town Council were received with the respect that their invariable common sense merited. But there their intercourse terminated; he could not conceive what was the pleasure of hitting a golf-ball over four miles of downland, and faced with blank incomprehension the fact that those who had been exercising their brains all day in business should sit up over games of cards to find themselves richer or poorer by a couple of pounds at one oclock in the morning. He would willingly have drawn a cheque for such a sum in order to be permitted to go to bed at eleven as usual. He had no notion of sport in any form, neither had he the bonhomie, the pleasure in the company of cheerful human beings as such, which really lies at the root of the{39} pursuits which he so frankly despised, nor any zeal for the chatter of social intercourse. To him a glass of whisky and soda was no more than half a pint of effervescing fluid, which you were better without: it had to him no value or existence as a symbol of good fellowship. There was never a man less clubbable. But in spite of the bleakness of nature here indicated, and the severity of his aspect towards his fellow men, he had a very considerable fund of kindly impulses towards any who treated him with sincerity. An appeal for help, whether it implied the expenditure of time or money was certainly subjected to a strict scrutiny, but if it passed that, it was as certainly responded to. He was as reticent about such acts of kindness as he was about the pleasures of his secret garden, or the steady increase in his annual receipts from his stores. But all three gave him considerable satisfaction, and the luxury of giving was to him no whit inferior to that of getting.

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      "Margaret," said the dying man, as he raised himself a little from his bed, "I know not why I sent for you, or why I dragged my weary limbs from beyond the sea to this place; but as I felt my hour was coming, I longed to look upon you again. You are and have been happyyour looks bespeak it: but, Margaret, what do mine tell of?Of weary days and sleepless nightsof sickness of heart, and agony of soulof crimeof painof sorrow, and deep, destroying love!" His strength was exhausted with the feeling with which he uttered this, and he sunk back on the bed.

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      "We have had enough of kings," said Kirkby, "and lords tooI will drink to none but the true commons!""We had a long search among the porcelain shops for some blue china plates of what is called 'the willow pattern.' We must have gone into twenty shops at least before we found them; and, finally, when we did get them, the dealer was as anxious to sell as we were to buy. He said he had had those plates on hand a very long time, and nobody wanted them. We did not tell him how rare they are at home, and how anxious people are to get hold of them.

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      "I must not fail to tell you of a remarkable temple that we have seen; not that any are unworthy of mention, but this one is certainly very curious. It is known as the Temple of Rengenhoin, and contains one thousand idols of large size; then each idol in this lot is surrounded by several smaller ones, and there is one idol larger than all the rest. The[Pg 297] whole number is said to be 33,333. We did not count them to make sure that the estimate was correct, but I should think that there must be thirty thousand at least, so that a few odd thousands, more or less, would make no difference. The whole of the inside of the temple is full of them, and each figure is said to have a particular fable connected with it. The temple is nearly four hundred feet long, and is certainly a very fine building; and there is an artificial pond in front of it, which is covered with aquatic flowers in the season for them. There is a veranda that was used in olden times for a shooting-gallery for archery purposes; it is more than two hundred feet long, and there are records of some famous matches that have been shot there. The best on the books took place more than six hundred years ago, when one man is said to have hit the bull's-eye of the target 8,000 times out of 10,000, and another is reported to have done the same thing 8,133 times in 13,053. That was certainly good shooting, and I don't believe that it would be easy to find a bowman to-day who could equal it.


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