Young, strong Adam Bede is the village carpenter and cabinet-maker, hence having made a coffin which he and his brother deliver on their shoulders over a mile and a half of bucolic English scenery on a gentle summer morning.  Indeed, an incongruous sight.

‘It was a strangely-mingled picture – the fresh youth of the summer morning, with its Eden-like peace and loveliness, the stalwart strength of the two brothers in their rusty working clothes, and the long coffin on their shoulders.’

Source: George Eliot, Adam Bede (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985 (1859)), p. 95

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