Victorian Short Stories: Stories of Successful Marriages


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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Victorian Short Stories
by Elizabeth Gaskell, et al.

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net


Title: Victorian Short Stories
Stories Of Successful Marriages

Author: Elizabeth Gaskell, et al.

Release Date: March 4, 2005 [EBook #15252]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK VICTORIAN SHORT STORIES ***




Produced by Juliet Sutherland, S.R.Ellison and the PG Online
Distributed Proofreading Team.






STORIES OF SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGES


THE MANCHESTER MARRIAGE Elizabeth Gaskell

A MERE INTERLUDE Thomas Hardy

A FAITHFUL HEART George Moore

THE SOLID GOLD REEF COMPANY, LIMITED Walter Besant

THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE Henry James




_Elizabeth Gaskell_

THE MANCHESTER MARRIAGE

(_Household Words_, Christmas 1858)


Mr and Mrs Openshaw came from Manchester to settle in London. He
had been, what is called in Lancashire, a salesman for a large
manufacturing firm, who were extending their business, and opening a
warehouse in the city; where Mr Openshaw was now to superintend their
affairs. He rather enjoyed the change; having a kind of curiosity
about London, which he had never yet been able to gratify in his brief
visits to the metropolis. At the same time, he had an odd, shrewd
contempt for the inhabitants, whom he always pictured to himself as
fine, lazy people, caring nothing but for fashion and aristocracy, and
lounging away their days in Bond Street, and such places; ruining good
English, and ready in their turn to despise him as a provincial. The
hours that the men of business kept in the city scandalized him too,
accustomed as he was to the early dinners of Manchester folk and
the consequently far longer evenings. Still, he was pleased to go to
London, though he would not for the world have confessed it, even to
himself, and always spoke of the step to his friends as one demanded
of him by the interests of his employers, and sweetened to him by a
considerable increase of salary. This, indeed, was so liberal that he
might have been justified in taking a much larger house than the
one he did, had he not thought himself bound to set an example to
Londoners of how little a Manchester man of business cared for show.
Inside, however, he furnished it with an unusual degree of comfort,
and, in the winter-time, he insisted on keeping up as large fires as
the grates would allow, in every room where the temperature was in
the least chilly. Moreover, his northern sense of hospitality was such
that, if he were at home, he could hardly suffer a visitor to leave
the house without forcing meat and drink upon him. Every servant in
the house was well warmed, well fed, and kindly treated; for their
master scorned all petty saving in aught that conduced to comfort;
while he amused himself by following out all his accustomed habits and
individual ways, in defiance of what any of his new neighbours might
think.

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