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Analysis of the Story. Among the few features of agricultural England which retain an appearance but little modified by the lapse of centuries may be reckoned the high, grassy, and furzy downs, coombs, or ewe-leases , as they are indifferently called, that fill a large area of certain counties in the south and southwest. If any mark of human occupation is met with hereon it usually takes the form of the solitary cottage of some shepherd. Fifty years ago such a lonely cottage stood on such a down, and may possibly be standing there now.

The Three Strangers

Analysis of the Story. Among the few features of agricultural England which retain an appearance but little modified by the lapse of centuries may be reckoned the high, grassy, and furzy downs, coombs, or ewe-leases , as they are indifferently called, that fill a large area of certain counties in the south and southwest.

If any mark of human occupation is met with hereon it usually takes the form of the solitary cottage of some shepherd. Fifty years ago such a lonely cottage stood on such a down, and may possibly be standing there now. In spite of its loneliness, however, the spot, by actual measurement, was not more than five miles from a county town. Yet what of that? Some old earthen camp or barrow, some clump of trees, at least some starved fragment of ancient hedge, is usually taken advantage of in the execution of these forlorn dwellings; but in the present case such a kind of shelter had been disregarded.

Higher Crowstairs, as the house was called, stood quite detached and undefended. The only reason for its precise situation seemed to be the crossing of two foot-paths at right angles hard by, which may have crossed there and thus for a good five hundred years. The house was thus exposed to the elements on all sides. But, though the wind up here blew unmistakably when it did blow, and the rain hit hard whenever it fell, the various weathers of the winter season were not quite so formidable on the coomb as they were imagined to be by dwellers on low ground.

The raw rimes were not so pernicious as in the hollows, and the frosts were scarcely so severe. The night of March 28, , was precisely one of the nights that were wont to call forth these expressions of commiseration. The level rain-storm smote walls, slopes, and hedges like the cloth-yard shafts of Senlac and Crecy. Such sheep and outdoor animals as had no shelter stood with their buttocks to the wind, while the tails of little birds trying to roost on some scraggy thorn were blown inside out like umbrellas.

The gable end of the cottage was stained with wet, and the eaves-droppings flapped against the wall. Yet never was commiseration for the shepherd more misplaced. For that cheerful rustic was entertaining a large party in glorification of the christening of his second girl. The guests had arrived before the rain began to fall, and they were all now assembled in the chief or living room of the dwelling.

The calling of its inhabitant was proclaimed by a number of highly polished sheep-crooks without stems, that were hung ornamentally over the fireplace, the curl of each shining crook varying, from the antiquated type engraved in the patriarchal pictures of old family Bibles to the most approved fashion of the last local sheep fair. The room was lighted by half a dozen candles, having wicks only a trifle smaller than the grease which enveloped them, in sticks that were never used but at high-days, holy days, and family feasts.

The lights were scattered about the room, two of them standing on the chimney-piece. This position of candles was in itself significant. Candles on the chimney-piece always meant a party. Nineteen persons were gathered here. Enjoyment was pretty general, and so much the more prevailed in being unhampered by conventional restrictions.

This frugal woman had been somewhat exercised as to the character that should be given to the gathering. A sit-still party had its advantages; but an undisturbed position of ease in chairs and settles was apt to lead on the men to such an unconscionable deal of toping that they would sometimes fairly drink the house dry.

A dancing-party was the alternative; but this, while avoiding the foregoing objection on the score of good drink, had a counterbalancing disadvantage in the matter of good victuals, the ravenous appetites engendered by the exercise causing immense havoc in the buttery.

Shepherdess Fennel fell back upon the intermediate plan of mingling short dances with short periods of talk and singing, so as to hinder any ungovernable rage in either. But this scheme was entirely confined to her own gentle mind; the shepherd himself was in the mood to exhibit the most reckless phases of hospitality. The fiddler was a boy of those parts, about twelve years of age, who had a wonderful dexterity in jigs and reels, though his fingers were so small and short as to necessitate a constant shifting for the high notes, from which he scrambled back to the first position with sounds not of unmixed purity of tone.

Dancing was instantaneous, Mrs. Fennel privately enjoining the players on no account to let the dance exceed the length of a quarter of an hour. But Elijah and the boy, in the excitement of their position, quite forgot the injunction. Moreover, Oliver Giles, a man of seventeen, one of the dancers, who was enamoured of his partner, a fair girl of thirty-three rolling years, had recklessly handed a new crown-piece to the musicians as a bribe to keep going as long as they had muscle and wind. But they took no notice, and, fearing she might lose her character of genial hostess if she were to interfere too markedly, she retired and sat down helpless.

And so the dance whizzed on with cumulative fury, the performers moving in their planet-like courses, direct and retrograde, from apogee to perigee, till the hand of the well-kicked clock at the bottom of the room had travelled over the circumference of an hour. It was nearly the time of full moon, and on this account, though the sky was lined with a uniform sheet of dripping cloud, ordinary objects out of doors were readily visible. The sad, wan light revealed the lonely pedestrian to be a man of supple frame; his gait suggested that he had somewhat passed the period of perfect and instinctive agility, though not so far as to be otherwise than rapid of motion when occasion required.

In point of fact, he might have been about forty years of age. Notwithstanding the regularity of his tread, there was caution in it, as in that of one who mentally feels his way; and, despite the fact that it was not a black coat nor a dark garment of any sort that he wore, there was something about him which suggested that he naturally belonged to the black-coated tribes of men. His clothes were of fustian and his boots hobnailed, yet in his progress he showed not the mud-accustomed bearing of hobnailed and fustianed peasantry.

The outskirts of the little homestead partially broke the force of wind and rain, and this induced him to stand still. He turned aside, and, finding it empty, stood under the pentroof for shelter. While he stood, the boom of the serpent within and the lesser strains of the fiddler reached the spot, as an accompaniment to the surging hiss of the flying rain on the sod, its louder beating on the cabbage-leaves of the garden, on the eight or ten beehives just discernible by the path, and its dripping from the eaves into a row of buckets and pans that had been placed under the walls of the cottage; for at Higher Crowstairs, as at all such elevated domiciles, the grand difficulty of housekeeping was an insufficiency of water, and a casual rainfall was utilised by turning out as catchers every utensil that the house contained.

Some queer stories might be told of the contrivances for economy in suds and dish-waters that are absolutely necessitated in upland habitations during the droughts of summer.

But at this season there were no such exigencies; a mere acceptance of what the skies bestowed was sufficient for an abundant store. At last the notes of the serpent ceased and the house was silent. This cessation of activity aroused the solitary pedestrian from the reverie into which he had lapsed, and, emerging from the shed, with an apparently new intention, he walked up the path to the house door.

Arrived here, his first act was to kneel down on a large stone beside the row of vessels and to drink a copious draught from one of them. Having quenched his thirst, he rose and lifted his hand to knock, but paused with his eye upon the panel. Since the dark surface of the wood revealed absolutely nothing, it was evident that he must be mentally looking through the door, as if he wished to measure thereby all the possibilities that a house of this sort might include, and how.

In his indecision he turned and surveyed the scene around. Not a soul was anywhere visible. The garden path stretched downward from his feet, gleaming like the track of a snail; the roof of the little well mostly dry , the well-cover, the top rail of the garden gate, were varnished with the same dull liquid glaze; while, far away in the vale, a faint whiteness of more than usual extent showed that the rivers were high in the meads.

Beyond all this winked a few bleared lamplights through the beating drops, lights that denoted the situation of the county town from which he had appeared to come. The absence of all notes of life in that direction seemed to clinch his intentions, and he knocked at the door. Within, a desultory chat had taken the place of movement and musical sound. The hedge-carpenter was suggesting a song to the company, which nobody just then was inclined to undertake, so that the knock afforded a not unwelcome diversion.

The latch clicked upward, and out of the night our pedestrian appeared upon the door-mat. The shepherd arose, snuffed two of the nearest candies, and turned to look at him. Their light disclosed that the stranger was dark in complexion and not unprepossessing as to feature. His hat, which for a moment he did not remove, hung low over his eyes, without concealing that they were large, open, and determined, moving with a flash rather than a glance round the room.

The stranger hoped his host might not be made unhappy either by too many or too few of such episodes, and, being invited by a gesture to a pull at the mug, he readily acquiesced. His manner, which before entering had been so dubious, was now altogether that of a careless and candid man. Shepherd Fennel assented, and made room for the self-invited comer, who, having got completely inside the chimney-corner, stretched out his legs and his arms with the expansiveness of a person quite at home.

I have had some rough times lately, and have been forced to pick up what I can get in the way of wearing; but I must find a suit better fit for working-days when I reach home.

And so am I; and by your tongue you come from my neighbourhood. This testimony to the youthfulness of his hostess had the effect of stopping her cross-examination. The man went through the movement of searching his pockets. Meanwhile the general body of guests had been taking little notice of this visitor by reason of an absorbing discussion in which they were engaged with the band about a tune for the next dance. The matter being settled, they were about to stand up, when an interruption came in the shape of another knock at the door.

He too was a stranger. This individual was one of a type radically different from the first. There was more of the commonplace in his manner, and a certain jovial cosmopolitanism sat upon his features. He was several years older than the first arrival, his hair being slightly frosted, his eyebrows bristly, and his whiskers cut back from his cheeks. His face was rather full and flabby, and yet it was not altogether a face without power.

A few grog-blossoms marked the neighbourhood of his nose. He flung back his long drab greatcoat, revealing that beneath it he wore a suit of cinder-gray shade throughout, large, heavy seals, of some metal or other that would take a polish, dangling from his fob as his only personal ornament. Not that Fennel had the least tinge of niggardliness in his composition, but the room was far from large, spare chairs were not numerous, and damp companions were not altogether comfortable at close quarters for the women and girls in their bright-coloured gowns.

However, the second comer, after taking off his greatcoat and hanging his hat on a nail in one of the ceiling beams as if he had been specially invited to put it there, advanced, and sat down at the table. This had been pushed so closely into the chimney-corner, to give all available room to the dancers, that its inner edge grazed the elbow of the man who had ensconced himself by the fire, and thus the two strangers were brought into close companionship.

They nodded to each other way of breaking the ice of unacquaintance, and the first stranger handed his neighbour the large mug—a huge vessel of brown ware, having its upper edge worn away, like a threshold, by the rub of whole genealogies of thirsty lips that had gone the way of all flesh, and bearing the following inscription burned upon its rotund side in yellow letters:. Now the old mead of those days, brewed of the purest first-year or maiden honey, four pounds to gallon,—with its due complement of whites of eggs, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, mace, rosemary, yeast, and processes of working, bottling, and cellaring,—tasted remarkably strong; but it did not taste so strong as it actually was.

Hence, presently the stranger in cinder gray at the table, moved by its creeping influence, unbuttoned his waistcoat, threw himself back in his chair, spread his legs, and made his presence felt in various ways. The cinder-gray stranger paused, as if to consider whether he would accept that definition of himself.

I do work, and I must work. And even if I only get to Casterbridge by midnight I must begin work there at eight to-morrow morning.

The shepherdess followed him. And a stranger unbeknown to any of us! The catastrophe of having the mug drained dry at one pull by the stranger in cinder gray was effectually guarded against this time by Mrs.

She poured out his allowance in a small cup, keeping the large one at a discreet distance from him. The hands of the man in the chimney corner instinctively sought the shade, and he gazed into the fire as he resumed his pipe. The same obstacles presented themselves as at the former time: one had no voice, another had forgotten the first verse.

The stranger at the table, whose soul had now risen to a good working temperature, relieved the difficulty by exclaiming that, to start the company, he would sing himself. Thrusting one thumb into the armhole of his waistcoat, he waved the other hand in the air, and, with an extemporising gaze at the shining sheep-crooks above the mantelpiece, began:. Oliver Giles, John Pitcher, the dairyman, the parish clerk, the engaged man of fifty, the row of young women against the wall, seemed lost in thought not of the gayest kind.

The shepherd looked meditatively on the ground; the shepherdess gazed keenly at the singer, and with some suspicion; she was doubting whether this stranger was merely singing an old song from recollection, or composing one there and then for the occasion.

The Three Strangers

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By Thomas Hardy. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. Thomas Hardy, OM 2 June — 11 January was an English novelist, short story writer, and poet of the naturalist movement. The bulk of his work, set mainly in the semi-imaginary county of Wessex, delineates characters struggling against their passions and circumstances. Hardy's poetry, first published in his fifties, has come to be as well regarded as his novels, especially after the s Movement. Source: Wikipedia.


Books related to The Three Strangers and Other Stories Level 3 Oxford Bookworms Library. Jack the Giant Killer ebook by.


The Three Strangers and Other Stories - With Audio, Oxford Bookworms Library

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Although Thomas Hardy has made his mark in English literature chiefly as a poet and novelist, his short stories are well-crafted, tightly organized prose vehicles for Hardy's characteristic irony, albeit communicated more powerfully in such novels as The Mayor of Casterbridge and The Return of the Native. Although Hardy is best remembered as the author of the Wessex Novels , especially Tess of the D'Urbervilles , his first published work, "How I Built Myself a House" Chambers's Journal : 18 March , was neither a novel nor a poem, but a sketch, a species of short story. During his career as a short-story writer which, at approximately 25 years, is of the same span as his career as a novelist he produced fifty such works," equivalent in length to four or five of the same author's novels" Page

This version includes an audio book: listen to the story as you read.

English Language Teaching

Хотя спектакль и показался достаточно убедительным, но Беккер зашел слишком. Проституция в Испании запрещена, а сеньор Ролдан был человеком осторожным. Он уже не один раз обжигался, когда полицейские чиновники выдавали себя за похотливых туристов. Я хотел бы с ней покувыркаться.

Технология развивается в геометрической профессии, и рано или поздно алгоритмы, которыми пользуется общество, перестанут быть надежными. Понадобятся лучшие алгоритмы, чтобы противостоять компьютерам завтрашнего дня. - Такова Цифровая крепость.

В центре находился красный кружок с надписью БАЗА, вокруг которого располагались пять концентрических окружностей разной толщины и разного цвета. Внешняя окружность была затуманена и казалась почти прозрачной. - У нас имеется пять уровней защиты, - объяснял Джабба.  - Главный бастион, два набора пакетных фильтров для Протокола передачи файлов, Х-одиннадцать, туннельный блок и, наконец, окно авторизации справа от проекта Трюфель. Внешний щит, исчезающий на наших глазах, - открытый главный компьютер.

5 Comments

Camil D. 12.06.2021 at 07:19

Among the few features of agricultural England which retain an appearance but little modified by the lapse of centuries, may be reckoned the high, grassy and furzy downs, coombs, or ewe-leases, as they are indifferently called, that fill a large area of certain counties in the south and south-west.

Maritza B. 14.06.2021 at 17:15

The Three Strangers and Other Stories, Oxford Bookworms Library: Headwords By Thomas Hardy. Click link below to download ebook.

Г‰lisabeth P. 14.06.2021 at 23:51

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Gianluca E. 15.06.2021 at 04:19

{Download/Read PDF Book} The Three Strangers and Other Stories Level 3 Oxford Bookworms Library: Edition 3 by Thomas Hardy.

Esmeraude A. 16.06.2021 at 23:38

The Three Strangers a. The first stranger was the prisoner. b. The third stranger to arrive was the hangman. c. The shepherd's wife was happy for people to drink.

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