Paul Faber, Surgeon by George MacDonald

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THE LANE. The rector sat on the box of his carriage, driving his horses toward his church, the grand old abbey-church of Glaston. His wife was inside, and an old woman—he had stopped on the road to take her up—sat with her basket on the foot-board behind. His coachman sat beside him; he never took the reins when his master was there. Mr. Bevis drove like a gentleman, in an easy, informal, yet thoroughly business-like way. His horses were black—large, well-bred, and well-fed, but neither young nor showy, and the harness was just the least bit shabby. Indeed, the entire turnout, including his own hat and the coachman’s, offered the beholder that aspect of indifference to show, which, by the suggestion of a nodding acquaintance with poverty, gave it the right clerical air of being not of this world. Mrs. Bevis had her basket on the seat before her, containing, beneath an upper stratum of flowers, some of the first rhubarb of the season and a pound or two of fresh butter for a poor relation in the town. The rector was a man about sixty, with keen gray eyes, a good-humored mouth, a nose whose enlargement had not of late gone in the direction of its original design, and a face more than inclining to the rubicund, suggestive of good living as well as open air. Altogether he had the look of a man who knew what he was about, and was on tolerable terms with himself, and on still better with his neighbor. The heart under his ribs was larger even than indicated by the benevolence of his countenance and the humor hovering over his mouth. Upon the countenance of his wife rested a placidity sinking almost into fatuity. Its features were rather indications than completions, but there was a consciousness of comfort about the mouth, and the eyes were alive. They were passing at a good speed through a varying country—now a thicket of hazel, now great patches of furze upon open common, and anon well-kept farm-hedges, and clumps of pine, the remnants of ancient forest, when, halfway through a lane so narrow that the rector felt every yard toward the other end a gain, his horses started, threw up their heads, and looked for a moment wild as youth. Just in front of them, in the air, over a high hedge, scarce touching the topmost twigs with his hoofs, appeared a great red horse. Down he came into the road, bringing with him a rather tall, certainly handsome, and even at first sight, attractive rider. A dark brown mustache upon a somewhat smooth sunburned face, and a stern settling of the strong yet delicately finished features gave him a military look; but the sparkle of his blue eyes contradicted his otherwise cold expression. He drew up close to the hedge to make room for the carriage, but as he neared him Mr. Bevis slackened his speed, and during the following talk they were moving gently along with just room for the rider to keep clear of the off fore wheel. "Heigh, Faber," said the clergyman, "you'll break your neck some day! You should think of your patients, man. That wasn't a jump for any man in his senses to take
 

About George MacDonald

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George MacDonald, December 10, 1824 - September 18. 1905 George MacDonald was born on December 10, 1824 in Huntley, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He attended University in Aberdeen in 1840 and then went on to Highbury College in 1848 where he studied to be a Congregational Minister, receiving his M. A. His first appointment was in Arundel, but he was forced to resign form the position in 1853. He became a lecturer in English Literature at Kings College in London before finally focusing all of his attention on writing and living off the charity of friends and pupils. In 1955, MacDonald wrote his first important original work, a long religious poem entitled "Within and Without." Three years later in 1858, he wrote "Phantastes," his first contribution to the fantasy genre. It was influenced by both the English and Germanic Romantic writers and religious poets of the Renaissance. MacDonald is perhaps best known for his fantasy children's books, although he wrote fantasy books for adults as well. His most well known children's book is "At the Back of the North Wind," which was surprisingly a favorite of Mark Twain's children. In 1863, MacDonald published "David Eiginbrod, the first of a dozen novels that were set in Scotland and based on the lives of rural Scots. It was these series of novels that gained MacDonald worldwide fame and brought money to the foundering MacDonald family. MacDonald was a friend and confident of Lewis Carroll and John Ruskin. He exchanged letters with Mark Twain, and met Walt Whitman and many other American writers on his trips to America. MacDonald also inspired his later compatriots, such as C. S. Lewis, with his blend of fantasy and Christianity. George MacDonald died in Ashtead, Surrey, England, on September 18. 1905. His body is buried in Bordighea, Italy, a place he spent most of his later years in.
 
Published July 29, 2009 by Library of Alexandria. 416 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, History, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure. Non-fiction

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