country stories

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: MISS PHILLY FIRKIN, THE CHINA- WOMAN. In Belford Regis, as in many of those provincial capitals of the south of England, whose growth and importance have kept pace with the increased affluence and population of the neighbourhood, the principal shops will be found clustered in the close, inconvenient streets of the antique portion of the good town; whilst the more showy and commodious modern buildings are quite unable to compete in point of custom with the old crowded localities, which seem even to derive an advantage from the appearance of business and bustle occasioned by the sharp turnings, the steep declivities, the narrow causeways, the jutting-out windows, and the various obstructions incident to the picturesque but irregular street-architecture of our ancestors. Accordingly, Oriel Street, in Belford,—a narrow lane, cribbed and confined on the one side by an old monastic establishment, now turned into alms-houses, called the Oriel, which divided the street from that branch of the river called the Holy Brook, and on the other bounded by the market-place, whilst one end abutted on the yard of a great inn, and turned so sharply up a steep acclivity that accidents happened there every day, and the other terminus wound with an equally awkward curvature round the churchyard of St. Stephen's,—this most strait and incommodious avenue of shops was the wealthiest quarter of the Borough. It was a provincial combination of Regent Street and Cheapside. The houses let for double their value; and, as a necessary consequence, goods sold there at pretty nearly the same rate; horse-people and foot-people jostled upon the pavement; coaches and phaetons ran against each other in the road. Nobody dreamt of visiting Belford without wanting something or other in Oriel Street;and although nois... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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