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    It was like travelling into a far country, such as I had never expected to behold, to lie there for one night.  It seemed to me that I never had heard the town-clock strike before, nor the evening sounds of the village; for we slept with the windows open, which were inside the grating.  It was to see my native village in the light of the Middle Ages, and our Concord was turned into a Rhine stream, and visions of knights and castles passed before me.  They were the voices of old burghers that I heard in the streets.  I was an involuntary spectator and auditor of whatever was done and said in the kitchen of the adjacent village-inn -- a wholly new and rare experience to me.  It was a closer view of my native town.  I was fairly inside of it.  I never had seen its institutions before. This is one of its peculiar institutions; for it is a shire town.  I began to comprehend what its inhabitants were about.
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