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The Great House

Excerpt from The Great House On an evening in March in the 'forties of last century a girl looked down on the Seine from an attic window on the Ile St. Louis. The room behind her - or beside her, for she sat on the window-ledge, with her back against one side of the opening and her feet against the other - was long, whitewashed from floor to ceiling, lighted by five gaunt windows, and as cold to the eye as charity to the recipient. Along each side of the chamber ran ten pallet beds. A black door broke the wall at one end, and above the door hung a crucifix. A painting of a Station of the Cross adorned the wall at the other end. Beyond this picture the room had no ornament; it is almost true to say that beyond what has been named it had no furniture. One bed - the bed beside the window at which the girl sat - was screened by a thin curtain which did not reach the floor. This was her bed. But in early spring no window in Paris looked on a scene more cheerful than this window; which as from an eyrie commanded a shining reach of the Seine bordered by the lawns and foliage of the King's Garden, and closed by the graceful arches of the Bridge of Austerlitz. On the water boats shot to and fro. The quays were gay with the red trousers of soldiers and the coquettish caps of soubrettes, with students in strange cloaks, and the twinkling wheels of yellow cabriolets. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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