So I'm rewarding myself for finishing THE GATHERING by reading something funny--COLD COMFORT FARM by Stella Gibbons. It's a parody of melodramatic pastorals like WUTHERING HEIGHTS (even though I love WUTHERING HEIGHTS). Here we are introduced to one of the male leads--a strapping farm lad named Seth.
"A snood full of coarse porridge hung over the fire, and standing with one arm resting upon the high mantel, looking moodily down into the the heaving contents of the snood, was a tall young man whose riding-boots were splashed with mud to the thigh, and whose coarse linen shirt was open to his waist. The firelight lit up his diaphragm muscles as they heaved slowly in rough rhythm with the porridge."
Oh. I would just die happy if I ever wrote anything that terrific.