The Automaton Ear, and Other Sketches

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General Books LLC, 2010 - 124 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1876. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... t the foot of the hill stood a low, oldfashioned frame-house, with a picketfence round the yard, which ran down to a small stream that sometimes flowed along slowly, and sometimes with a great rush, and sometimes slept tranquilly beneath a sheeting of ice. Nearly a mile off, smooth and level, with pleasant streets, and a church whose spire shone in the sunlight long after the evening shade had crept over the ground, was the village of Pickaway, the gem of Paint Valley. From there, two days in every week, to the quaint old-fashioned house at the foot of the hill, the children wended their way with music folios, coming loiteringly in Summer over the narrow foot-path where the wild columbine grew by the creek, but in Winter walking hurriedly over the frozen turnpike, swinging their arms, blowing their fingers, and sometimes doing battle bravely with the snow. Here Franz Erckman lived in the plainest manner, with only his piano and his cottageorgan for companions. Wife and children he had none, nor any relative, nor any domestic pet. There was never a dog, or cat, or even so much as a chicken, to be seen about the premises. One servant he kept, to be sure, but she, a cross old woman, never opened her mouth for the purpose of speech more than a dozen times in a year, and then it was only upon some unusual provocation, as when the scholars broke a pitcher, or muddied her floor, when she would give utterance to some incoherent but disagreeable ejaculation. Franz Erckman had lived in this way for nearly twenty years, and was just as bluff in manner, and just as reserved in disposition, as when he had first come there, an unknown young foreigner, without friends, or acquaintances, or money, and commenced in a modest way giving music-lessons to a few pupils at first, to m...

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