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The FS Daily

Daily Excerpts: My humble attempt at offering fresh, daily, bookstore-style browsing…

Below you’ll find twelve book excerpts selected at random, each day, from over 400 different hand-selected Project Gutenberg titles. This includes many of my personal favorites.

Excerpts for Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Quick Excerpts, from a Library of 492 Titles

Generated 2022-07-28 13:21:04

Excerpt #1, from Lakeland Words, by Bryham Kirkby

…CLARTY—Stickey. Yan o’ t’ finest preachers in a’ America was yance writin’ aboot a famous puddin’, an’ he sed it was “clarty.” An ther’s clarty tricks, an’ clarty fooak, an’ clarty looanens, an’ clarty trods.—See Ruskin’s “Fors Clavigera,” vol. 2, page 203. CLASH—Ther’s wake tea; rain; gossip; a yat er a door shot wi’ a bang; an’ a rattle on t’ side o’ t’ heed; these is o co’ed clash betimes, as weel as thin poor yal. CLASH-BAGS—A gurt gossipin’ clash-bags is a body ’at tells mair than they know aboot other fooak. CLASH’D-LIUKEN—Yan o’ t’ world’s failures ats doon on his luck. CLASHY—Rainy, stormy. It’s clashy weather aboot Brough Hill time varra oft. CLAW, CLAWK’T, CLAWKEN—Ta scrat when ye’re feitin asteed o’ strikin’ wi’ yer double nief. CLEAN-HEELS—Lads ’at’s been amang t’ pes, er i’ somebody’s wotchet, an’ er catcht ’ll show ye some clean heels as they gang ower t’ dykes. CLEG—A gad-fly, but git yan i’ yer neck whol on a het day, an’ let it git agiat sooken, an’ than common cleg’s fine eniuf. CLEW—A clew o’ yarn. It’s when ye’ve wund it ready fer knittin. “Give it a corner and the clew undoes,” says George Herbert. CLICK—Snatch. Click hod ov his coat laps….

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Excerpt #2, from The Genetic Effects of Radiation, by Isaac Asimov and Theodosius Dobzhansky

…advantages to heterozygousness than we know. This may be the basis of what is sometimes called “hybrid vigor”. In a world in which human beings are more mobile than they have ever been in history and in which intercultural marriages are increasingly common, information on this point is particularly important. Mutation Rates It is easier to observe the removal of genes through death or through failure to reproduce than to observe their production through mutation. It is particularly difficult to study their production in human beings, since men have comparatively long lifetimes and few children, and since their mating habits cannot well be controlled. For this reason, geneticists have experimented with species much simpler than man—smaller organisms that are short-lived, produce many offspring, and that can be penned up and allowed to mate only under fixed conditions. Such creatures may have fewer chromosomes than man does and the sites of mutation are more easily pinned down. An important assumption made in such experiments is that the machinery of inheritance and mutation is essentially the same in all creatures and that therefore knowledge gained from very simple species (even from bacteria) is applicable to man. There is overwhelming evidence to indicate that this is true in general, although there are specific…

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Excerpt #3, from David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens

…uncomfortable on my account, but to leave me to take care of myself. ‘I have not been here a week tomorrow, without considering that too, my dear,’ she returned. ‘There is a furnished little set of chambers to be let in the Adelphi, Trot, which ought to suit you to a marvel.’ With this brief introduction, she produced from her pocket an advertisement, carefully cut out of a newspaper, setting forth that in Buckingham Street in the Adelphi there was to be let furnished, with a view of the river, a singularly desirable, and compact set of chambers, forming a genteel residence for a young gentleman, a member of one of the Inns of Court, or otherwise, with immediate possession. Terms moderate, and could be taken for a month only, if required. ‘Why, this is the very thing, aunt!’ said I, flushed with the possible dignity of living in chambers. ‘Then come,’ replied my aunt, immediately resuming the bonnet she had a minute before laid aside. ‘We’ll go and look at ‘em.’ Away we went. The advertisement directed us to apply to Mrs. Crupp on the premises, and we rung the area bell, which we supposed to communicate with Mrs. Crupp. It was not until we had rung three or four times that we could prevail on Mrs. Crupp to communicate with us, but at last she appeared, being a stout lady with a flounce of flannel petticoat below a nankeen gown….

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Excerpt #4, from The Heroes; Or, Greek Fairy Tales for My Children, by Charles Kingsley

…Then slowly rose up those three fair sisters, with a cruel smile upon their lips; and slowly they crept down towards him, like leopards who creep upon their prey; and their hands were like the talons of eagles as they stept across the bones of their victims to enjoy their cruel feast. But fairest Aphrodite saw him from the highest Idalian peak, and she pitied his youth and his beauty, and leapt up from her golden throne; and like a falling star she cleft the sky, and left a trail of glittering light, till she stooped to the Isle of the Sirens, and snatched their prey from their claws. And she lifted Butes as he lay sleeping, and wrapt him in golden mist; and she bore him to the peak of Lilybæum, and he slept there many a pleasant year. But when the Sirens saw that they were conquered, they shrieked for envy and rage, and leapt from the beach into the sea, and were changed into rocks until this day. Then they came to the straits by Lilybæum, and saw Sicily, the three-cornered island, under which Enceladus the giant lies groaning day and night, and when he turns the earth quakes, and his breath bursts out in roaring flames from the highest cone of Ætna, above the chestnut woods. And there Charybdis caught them in its fearful coils of wave, and rolled mast-high about them, and spun them round and round; and they could go neither back nor forward, while the whirlpool sucked them in….

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Excerpt #5, from The Critique of Pure Reason, by Immanuel Kant

…devices of the pure understanding and the delusions which thence arise, as it would always distinguish to what faculty of cognition each conception properly belonged. Every conception, every title, under which many cognitions rank together, may be called a logical place. Upon this is based the logical topic of Aristotle, of which teachers and rhetoricians could avail themselves, in order, under certain titles of thought, to observe what would best suit the matter they had to treat, and thus enable themselves to quibble and talk with fluency and an appearance of profundity. Transcendental topic, on the contrary, contains nothing more than the above-mentioned four titles of all comparison and distinction, which differ from categories in this respect, that they do not represent the object according to that which constitutes its conception (quantity, reality), but set forth merely the comparison of representations, which precedes our conceptions of things. But this comparison requires a previous reflection, that is, a determination of the place to which the representations of the things which are compared belong, whether, to wit, they are cogitated by the pure understanding, or given by sensibility. Conceptions may be logically compared without the trouble of inquiring to what faculty their objects belong, whether as noumena, to the…

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Excerpt #6, from The Grenadier Guards in the Great War of 1914 to 1918, Vol. 3 of 3, by Ponsonby

…ROLL OF OFFICERS IN JULY Lieut.-Colonel W. S. Pilcher, D.S.O. Commanding Officer. Major C. F. A. Walker, M.C. Second in Command. Capt. C. R. Gerard, D.S.O. Adjutant. Capt. I. H. Ingleby Act.-Quartermaster. Lieut. G. W. Selby-Lowndes Transport Officer. Lieut. R. L. Murray-Lawes Intelligence Officer. Capt. the Hon. F. E. Needham No. 1 Double Compy. Capt. J. H. C. Simpson " " Lieut. R. P. le Poer Trench, M.C. " " Lieut. H. G. Wiggins, M.C. " " Lieut. M. P. B. Wrixon, M.C. " " Lieut. J. E. Greenwood " " 2nd Lieut. the Hon. S. E. Marsham " " Capt. the Hon. A. H. L. Hardinge, M.C. No. 2 Double Compy. Lieut. E. W. Nairn " " Lieut. C. E. Irby, M.C. " " 2nd Lieut. A. F. Alington " " 2nd Lieut. P. G. S. Gregson-Ellis " " 2nd Lieut. H. V. Gillett " " Capt. N. Grellier, M.C., R.A.M.C. Medical Officer….

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Excerpt #7, from Selected Prose of Oscar Wilde, by Oscar Wilde

…companion of a very selfish and rich old woman. I inquired what became of the governess, and she replied that, oddly enough, some years after the appearance of Vanity Fair, she ran away with the nephew of the lady with whom she was living, and for a short time made a great splash in society, quite in Mrs. Rawdon Crawley’s style, and entirely by Mrs. Rawdon Crawley’s methods. Ultimately she came to grief, disappeared to the Continent, and used to be occasionally seen at Monte Carlo and other gambling places. The noble gentleman from whom the same great sentimentalist drew Colonel Newcome died, a few months after The Newcomer had reached a fourth edition, with the word ‘Adsum’ on his lips. Shortly after Mr. Stevenson published his curious psychological story of transformation, a friend of mine, called Mr. Hyde, was in the north of London, and being anxious to get to a railway station, took what he thought would be a short cut, lost his way, and found himself in a network of mean, evil-looking streets. Feeling rather nervous he began to walk extremely fast, when suddenly out of an archway ran a child right between his legs. It fell on the pavement, he tripped over it, and trampled upon it. Being of course very much frightened and a little hurt, it began to scream, and in a few seconds the whole street was full of rough people who came pouring out of the houses like ants. They surrounded him, and asked him his name. He was just about to give it…

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Excerpt #8, from Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo

…“I think the likeness is strong.” “To my sister?” inquired Mademoiselle Gillenormand. “Yes, certainly.” The old man added:— “And to him also.” Once as he sat with his knees pressed together, and his eyes almost closed, in a despondent attitude, his daughter ventured to say to him:— “Father, are you as angry with him as ever?” She paused, not daring to proceed further. “With whom?” he demanded. “With that poor Marius.” He raised his aged head, laid his withered and emaciated fist on the table, and exclaimed in his most irritated and vibrating tone:— “Poor Marius, do you say! That gentleman is a knave, a wretched scoundrel, a vain little ingrate, a heartless, soulless, haughty, and wicked man!” And he turned away so that his daughter might not see the tear that stood in his eye. Three days later he broke a silence which had lasted four hours, to say to his daughter point-blank:— “I had the honor to ask Mademoiselle Gillenormand never to mention him to me.”…

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Excerpt #9, from The Talking Horse, and Other Tales, by F. Anstey

…jumping up somewhere and wanting you to give the countersign. It isn’t like home, these holidays!’ ‘Perhaps,’ suggested Cecily, ‘it makes things safer, you know.’ ‘Duffer, Cis!’ cried Hilary, contemptuously, for Cecily had appointed herself professional peacemaker to the family, and her efforts were about as successful as such domestic offices ever are. ‘Look out!’ cried Hilary, presently; ‘they’re coming. Don’t let’s take the least notice of them. They hate that more than anything.’ From the shrubbery filed three boys, the first and tallest of whom wore an imposing dragoon’s helmet with a crimson plume, and carried a sabretache and crossbelts, and wore red caps like those of the French army; they carried guns on their shoulders. ‘Halt! ’Tention! Dis-miss!’ shouted the commanding officer, and the army broke off with admirable precision. ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ said the General considerately to the three girls; ‘the army is only out on fatigue duty.’ ‘Then wouldn’t the army like to sit down?’ suggested Hilary, forgetting all about her recent proposal. ‘Ah, you don’t understand,’ said General Tinling with some pity. ‘It’s a military term.’ He was a pale, puffy boy, with reddish hair and freckles, who was…

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Excerpt #10, from The Story of King Arthur and his Knights, by Howard Pyle

…saintliness had reached even unto the place where she dwelt. For that lady had a favorite page who was very sick of a fever, and she trusted that the holy man might give her some charm or amulet by the virtue of which he might haply be cured. Wherefore she had come to that place with her entire Court so that all that part of the forest was made gay with fine raiment and the silence thereof was made merry with the sound of talk and laughter and the singing of songs and the chattering of many voices and the neighing of horses. And the Lady Guinevere rode in the midst of her damsels and her Court, and her beauty outshone the beauty of her damsels as the splendor of the morning star outshines that of all the lesser stars that surround it. For then and afterward she was held by all the Courts of Chivalry to be the most beautiful lady in the world. Now when the Lady Guinevere had come to that place, she perceived the milk-white war-horse of King Arthur where it stood cropping the green grass of the open glade nigh to the hermitage. And likewise she perceived Merlin, where he stood beside the door of the cell. So of him she demanded whose was that noble war-horse that stood browsing upon the grass at that lonely place, and who was it that lay within that cell. And unto her Merlin made answer, “Lady, he who lieth within is a knight, very sorely wounded, so that he is sick nigh unto death!”…

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Excerpt #11, from The Aztec Treasure

…instinct in his blood aroused, that filled his soul with awe. Certainly there was no suggestion of awe in Young’s demeanor towards the statue. With a monkey-like quickness, that I would not have given his stout legs and heavy body credit for, he climbed upon the altar and plumped himself down on the head of the figure almost in a moment. But again he was disappointed, for the idol did not stir. As we examined it closely we perceived that its fixedness was not unreasonable; for the figure, and the altar on which it rested, were one solid mass of rock that itself was a part of the cliff–left standing here when the niche around it was hollowed out. A very prodigious piece of stone-cutting all this was, and as I contemplated it I was filled with admiration of the skill of them who had achieved it. But Young came down from the idol moodily; and he said that the way these people had of playing tricks on travellers, by making Mullinses that didn’t tip when they ought to tip, was quite of a piece with their putting their treasure where it couldn’t be got at without a diving-bell. Behind the altar the niche was cut into the cliff so far that the depths of it in the waning daylight were dusky with heavy shadows; indeed, so dense were these that Young came near to breaking his bones by falling into a little hole in the floor, that was the less easily seen because it was hidden behind a jutting mass of rock. But he caught the rock in…

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Excerpt #12, from The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Arthur Conan Doyle

…“I don’t say now that he isn’t a crazy man,” said Sir Henry; “I can’t forget the look in his eyes when he ran at me this morning, but I must allow that no man could make a more handsome apology than he has done.” “Did he give any explanation of his conduct?” “His sister is everything in his life, he says. That is natural enough, and I am glad that he should understand her value. They have always been together, and according to his account he has been a very lonely man with only her as a companion, so that the thought of losing her was really terrible to him. He had not understood, he said, that I was becoming attached to her, but when he saw with his own eyes that it was really so, and that she might be taken away from him, it gave him such a shock that for a time he was not responsible for what he said or did. He was very sorry for all that had passed, and he recognized how foolish and how selfish it was that he should imagine that he could hold a beautiful woman like his sister to himself for her whole life. If she had to leave him he had rather it was to a neighbour like myself than to anyone else. But in any case it was a blow to him and it would take him some time before he could prepare himself to meet it. He would withdraw all opposition upon his part if I…

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