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A Comedy Of Masks  A Novel
Many Years Ago, In The Days Of The First Rainham And Of Wooden
Ships, It Had Been No Doubt A Flourishing Ship-Yard; And, Indeed,
Models Of Wooden Leviathans Of The Period, Which Had Been Turned
Out, Not A Few, In Those Palmy Days, Were Still Dusty Ornaments Of
Its Somewhat Antique Office. But As Time Went On, And The Age Of
Iron Intervened, And The Advance On The Clyde And The Tyne Had Made
Thames Ship-Building A Thing Of The Past, Blackpool Dock Had Ceased
To Be Of Commercial Importance. No More Ships Were Built There, And
Fewer Ships Put In To Be Overhauled And Painted; While Even These
Were For The Most Part Of A Class Viewed At Lloyd's With Scant
Favour, Which Seemed, Like The Yard Itself, To Have Fallen Somewhat
Behind The Day. The Original Rainham Had Not Bequeathed His Energy
Along With His Hoards To His Descendants; And, Indeed, The Last Of
These, Philip Rainham, A Man Of Weak Health, Original Rainham Had
Not Bequeathed His Energy Along With His Hoards To His Descendants;
And, Indeed, The Last Of These, Philip Rainham, A Man Of Weak
Health, Whose Tastes, Although These Were Veiled In Obscurity, Were
Supposed To Trench Little Upon Shipping, Let The Business Jog Along
So Much After Its Own Fashion, That The Popular View Hinted At Its
Imminent Dissolution. A Dignified, Scarcely Prosperous Quiet Seemed
The Normal Air Of Blackpool Dock, So That Even When It Was Busiest
--And Work Still Came In, Almost By Tradition, With A Certain

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