Excerpt from Dariel: A Romance of Surrey
If any man came to me, and said, "You are going to tell your tale, good sir, without knowing how to handle it," I should look at him first with some surprise, and anger at his interference, yet in a very few minutes, unless he wanted to argue about it, probably he would have my confession, and a prayer for his assistance. For every one knows how to do a thing, much better than the one who does it.
In spite of all that, I will declare in a truthful manner unabashed, whatever I know concerning the strange affairs which have befallen me; and perhaps if you care to look into them, you will admit that, even now, when the world supposes itself to be in a state of proud civilization, there are things to be found near its centre of perfection which are not quite up to the standard of the Lord.
Towards the middle of the month of May, in a year which I never shall forget, I happened to be riding home from Guildford in the county of Surrey, after a long but vain attempt to do a little business for my father. For we were not, as we used to be, people of wealth and large estates, and such as the world looks up to; but sadly reduced, and crippled, and hard-pushed to make a living. And the burden of this task had fallen most heavily upon me, because I was the only son at home, and my fathers mind was much too large to be cramped with petty troubles.
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