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Excerpt from The Human Interest: A Study in Incompatibilities

One dull afternoon - and it was in summer - a London authoress of some repute, whose nom-deguerre was Egidia, was wandering along the pavement of a dull and imposing street in Newcastle. Day was beginning to decline, but the approach of evening was not alone responsible for the heartfelt ejaculation of the South-country woman, "Oh, this Northern gloom!" as she walked along under the smoky pall that, summer and winter, shrouds the city. She stood still presently, carefully scanning the solemn, stately houses with pillared porticos all of the self-same pattern, which run in an interminable row to a vanishing point seemingly far beyond conjecture. "Each of the houses is exactly like the other," she murmured to herself. "In which, I wonder, does the Muse of Newcastle hold her court? Like most muses, she gave no number.

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