Those who had been asleep woke up, and every one rose as if just surprised at his work.
Note: the novel--which i didnt think would be particularly funny--starts with a joke. and a riddle: who are we?
Although he was not broad-shouldered, his short school jacket of green cloth with black buttons must have been tight about the arm-holes, and showed at the opening of the cuffs red wrists accustomed to being bare. His legs, in blue stockings, looked out from beneath yellow trousers, drawn tight by braces, He wore stout, ill-cleaned, hob-nailed boots.
Note: what a horrible outfit for the first day of school
it was "the thing."
Note: (not that) interesting use of slang.
"I know what it is," said he, clapping him on the shoulder; "I've been through it. When I lost my dear departed, I went into the fields to be quite alone. I fell at the foot of a tree; I cried; I called on God; I talked nonsense to Him. I wanted to be like the moles that I saw on the branches, their insides swarming with worms, dead, and an end of it. And when I thought that there were others at that very moment with their nice little wives holding them in their embrace, I struck great blows on the earth with my stick. I was pretty well mad with not eating; the very idea of going to a cafe disgusted...
Note: Quite the eloquent farmer, actually. I really like this description of losing a significant other, particularly the second paragraph.