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The Chimes - Charles Dickens

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The Chimes by Charles Dickens

The Chimes

CHAPTER I - First Quarter.

HERE are not many people - and as it is desirable that a story-
teller and a story-reader should establish a mutual understanding
as soon as possible, I beg it to be noticed that I confine this
observation neither to young people nor to little people, but
extend it to all conditions of people:  little and big, young and
old:  yet growing up, or already growing down again - there are
not, I say, many people who would care to sleep in a church.  I
don't mean at sermon-time in warm weather (when the thing has
actually been done, once or twice), but in the night, and alone.  A
great multitude of persons will be violently astonished, I know, by
this position, in the broad bold Day.  But it applies to Night.  It
must be argued by night, and I will undertake to maintain it
successfully on any gusty winter's night appointed for the purpose,
with any one opponent chosen from the rest, who will meet me singly
in an old churchyard, before an old church-door; and will
previously empower me to lock him in, if needful to his
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