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- The next disagreeable was confined to his feminine companions; it was the mounting of the polished oak stairs, which had very handsome carpets rolled up and laid by in a spare bedroom, so that the ascent of these glossy steps might have served, in barbarous times, as a trial by ordeal from which none but the most spotless virtue could have come off with unbroken limbs.1.9 -- Book 1 Chapter 9 -- To Garum Firs (26% in)
There are no more uses of "ordeal" in The Mill on the Floss.
Typical Usage (best examples)