Fuel of Fire

Cover of book Fuel of Fire
Categories: Nonfiction

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER II. BAXEN


DALE HALL. Upon a hill the old house stood, Commanding stream and field and wood. Baxendale Hall, which was built for the third time?having been twice destroyed by fire?in the reign of James the Second, was a fine, square house of red brick, with stone facings, and the coat-of-arms of the Baxendales, also in stone, carved over the front door. It stood in the centre of a beautiful park, on the borders of Mershire and Salopshire; and the house was situated upon such an eminence that its cellars were on a line with the top of the tower of Silverhampton Church. Thus Silverhamp- ton and Baxendale Hall looked at each other, from their respective hills, across a fruitful and well-populated valley, a pleasant land of meadows and orchards and comfortable houses, made fcippy by the money that was coined in the murky coal-fields on the other side of Silverhampton town. The Baxendales were one of the oldest families in Mershire; and they had lived at Baxendale Hall ever since Doomsday Book was edited?and probably before that. But of late years their prosperity had dwindled, as is the way nowadays of all prosperitywhich has its being solely in land; and when the late Mr. Baxendale died of a broken heart, owing to the pecuniary difficulties which beset him, it was found that the rents of the estate were so reduced, and the mortgages upon it so heavy, that his son came into an income of only some very few hundreds a year; and those few hundreds were made still fewer by the enormous fire insurance which all the owners of Baxendale were bound to pay, in consideration of the family curse which foretold that Baxendale Hall should once more?for the third time? "be made fuel of fire." The late Mr. Baxendale had married for love and not for money?a peculiarity of his ra... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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