The Country of the Pointed Firs

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Houghton Mifflin, 1896 - Authorship - 213 pages
In this contemporary collection of short stories, Jewett explores the lives of the inhabitants of struggling small towns along the Maine coast. A classic American novella. -- vendor's description.

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Page 19 - The sentences failed to catch these lovely summer cadences. For the first time I began to wish for a companion and for news from the outer world, which had been, half unconsciously, forgotten. Watching the funeral gave one a sort of pain. I began to wonder if I ought not to have walked with the rest, instead of hurrying away at the end of the services. Perhaps the Sunday gown I had put on for the occasion was making this disastrous change of feeling, but I had now made myself and my friends remember...
Page 28 - I returned, with my interest quite awakened. " It accounts for the change in a great many things, — the sad disappearance of sea-captains,— does n't it ?" " A shipmaster was apt to get the habit of reading," said my companion,, brightening still more, and taking on a most touching air of unreserve. " A captain is not expected to be familiar with his crew, and for company's sake in dull days and nights he turns to his book. Most of us old...
Page 45 - ... waited to embark. As we looked far seaward among the outer islands, the trees seemed to march seaward still, going steadily over the heights and down to the water's edge. It had been growing gray and cloudy, like the first evening of autumn, and a shadow had fallen on the darkening shore. Suddenly, as we looked, a gleam of golden sunshine struck the outer islands, and one of them shone out clear in the light, and revealed itself in a compelling way to our eyes. Mrs. Todd was looking off across...
Page 163 - It was strangely moving to see this and to make part of it. The sky, the sea, have watched poor humanity at its rites so long ; we were no more a New England family celebrating its own existence and simple progress ; we carried the tokens and inheritance of all such households from which this had descended, and were only the latest of our line. We possessed the instincts of a far, forgotten childhood ; I found myself thinking that we ought to be carrying green branches and singing as we went.
Page 4 - ... something in the forgotten past. Some of these might once have belonged to sacred and mystic rites, and have had some occult knowledge handed with them down the centuries; but now they pertained only to humble compounds brewed at intervals with molasses or vinegar or spirits in a small caldron on Mrs. Todd's kitchen stove. They were dispensed to suffering neighbors, who usually came at night as if by stealth, bringing their own ancient-looking vials to be filled.
Page 27 - In the old days, a good part o' the best men here knew a hundred ports and something of the way folks lived in them. They saw the world for themselves, and like's not their wives and children saw it with them. They may not have had the best of knowledge to carry with 'em sight-seein', but they were some acquainted with foreign lands an...
Page 54 - I looked, and could see a tiny flutter in the doorway, but a quicker signal had made its way from the heart on shore to the heart on the sea. "How do you suppose she knows it's me ? " said Mrs. Todd, with a tender smile on her broad face. " There, you never get over bein' a child long 's you have a mother to go to. Look at the chimney, now ; she 's gone right in an
Page 174 - It was not the first time that I was full of wonder at the waste of human ability in this world, as a botanist wonders at the wastefulness of nature, the thousand seeds that die, the unused provision of every sort.
Page 4 - ... experience, in exactly which corner of the garden she might be. At one side of this herb plot were other growths of a rustic pharmacopoeia, great treasures and rarities among the commoner herbs. There were some strange and pungent odors that roused a dim sense and remembrance of something in the forgotten past. Some of these might once have belonged to sacred and mystic rites, and have had some occult knowledge handed with them down the centuries...
Page 76 - There's nothin' like it," she said; "oh, no, there's no such pennyr'yal as this in the State of Maine. It's the right pattern of the plant, and all the rest I ever see is but an imitation. Don't it do you good?" And I answered with enthusiasm. "There, dear, I never showed nobody else but mother where to find this place; 't is kind of sainted to me. Nathan, my husband, an...

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