This is part of a description of the village schoolroom where the sometimes compassionate, sometimes ascerbic schoolmaster Bartle Massey tries to knock some learning, or at least letters of the alphabet, into the dunderheads of artisans and labourers who dutifully come for evening classes.

‘… he could make nothing of the old map of England that hung against the opposite wall, for age had turned it of a fine yellow-brown, something like that of a well-seasonsed meerschaum.’

Source: George Eliot, Adam Bede (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985 (1859)), p. 278

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