The Residence at Whitminster
First published in
A Thin Ghost and Others
Dr. Ashton — Thomas Ashton, Doctor of Divinity — sat in his study, habited in a dressing-gown, and with a silk cap on his shaven head — his wig being for the time taken off and placed on its block on a side table. He was a man of some fifty-five years, strongly made, of a sanguine complexion, an angry eye, and a long upper lip. Face and eye were lighted up at the moment when I picture him by the level ray of an afternoon sun that shone in upon him through a tall sash window, giving on the west. The room into which it shone was also tall, lined with book-cases, and, where the wall showed between them, panelled. On the table near the doctor‟s elbow was a green cloth, and upon it what he would have called a silver standish — a tray with inkstands — quill pens, a calf-bound book or two, some papers, a churchwarden pipe and brass tobacco-box, a flask cased in plaited straw, and a liqueur glass. The year was 1730, the month December, the hour somewhat past three in the afternoon.
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