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Autobiography of Anthony Trollope by Anthony Trollope

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In 1869 I was called on to decide, in council with my two boys and
their mother, what should be their destination in life. In June of
that year the elder, who was then twenty-three, was called to the
Bar; and as he had gone through the regular courses of lecturing
tuition and study, it might be supposed that his course was already
decided. But, just as he was called, there seemed to be an opening
for him in another direction; and this, joined to the terrible
uncertainty of the Bar, the terror of which was not in his case
lessened by any peculiar forensic aptitudes, induced us to sacrifice
dignity in quest of success. Mr. Frederic Chapman, who was then
the sole representative of the publishing house known as Messrs.
Chapman & Hall, wanted a partner, and my son Henry went into the
firm. He remained there three years and a half; but he did not like
it, nor do I think he made a very good publisher. At any rate he
left the business with perhaps more pecuniary success than might
have been expected from the short period of his labours, and has
since taken himself to literature as a profession. Whether he will
work at it so hard as his father, and write as many books, may be

My second son, Frederic, had very early in life gone to Australia,
having resolved on a colonial career when he found that boys who did
not grow so fast as he did got above him at school. This departure
was a great pang to his mother and me; but it was permitted on the
understanding that he was to come back when he was twenty-one, and
then decide whether he would remain in England or return to the
Colonies. In the winter of 1868 he did come to England, and had a
season's hunting in the old country; but there was no doubt in his
own mind as to his settling in Australia. His purpose was fixed,
and in the spring of 1869 he made his second journey out. As I
have since that date made two journeys to see him,--of one of which
at any rate I shall have to speak, as I wrote a long book on the
Australasian Colonies,--I will have an opportunity of saying a word
or two further on of him and his doings.

The Vicar of Bullhampton was written in 1868 for publication in Once
a Week, a periodical then belonging to Messrs. Bradbury & Evans.
It was not to come out till 1869, and I, as was my wont had made
my terms long previously to the proposed date. I had made my terms
and written my story and sent it to the publisher long before it
was wanted; and so far my mind was at rest. The date fixed was the
first of July, which date had been named in accordance with the
exigencies of the editor of the periodical. An author who writes
for these publications is bound to suit himself to these exigencies,
and can generally do so without personal loss or inconvenience, if
he will only take time by the forelock. With all the pages that I
have written for magazines I have never been a day late, nor have
I ever caused inconvenience by sending less or more matter than I
had stipulated to supply. But I have sometimes found myself compelled
to suffer by the irregularity of others. I have endeavoured to
console myself by reflecting that such must ever be the fate of
virtue. The industrious must feed the idle. The honest and simple
will always be the prey of the cunning and fraudulent. The punctual,
who keep none waiting for them, are doomed to wait perpetually for
the unpunctual. But these earthly sufferers know that they are making
their way heavenwards,--and their oppressors their way elsewards.
If the former reflection does not suffice for consolation, the
deficiency is made up by the second. I was terribly aggrieved on
the matter of the publication of my new Vicar, and had to think
very much of the ultimate rewards of punctuality and its opposite.
About the end of March, 1869, I got a dolorous letter from the
editor. All the Once a Week people were in a terrible trouble. They
had bought the right of translating one of Victor Hugo's modern
novels, L'Homme Qui Rit; they bad fixed a date, relying on positive
pledges from the French publishers; and now the great French author
had postponed his work from week to week and from month to month,
and it had so come to pass that the Frenchman's grinning hero would
have to appear exactly at the same time as my clergyman. Was it
not quite apparent to me, the editor asked, that Once a Week could
not hold the two? Would I allow my clergyman to make his appearance
in the Gentleman's Magazine instead?

My disgust at this proposition was, I think, chiefly due to Victor
Hugo's latter novels, which I regard as pretentious and untrue to
nature. To this perhaps was added some feeling of indignation that
I should be asked to give way to a Frenchman. The Frenchman had
broken his engagement. He had failed to have his work finished by
the stipulated time. From week to week and from month to month he
had put off the fulfilment of his duty. And because of these laches
on his part,--on the part of this sententious French Radical,--I was
to be thrown over! Virtue sometimes finds it difficult to console
herself even with the double comfort. I would not come out in the
Gentleman's Magazine, and as the Grinning Man could not be got out
of the way, by novel was published in separate numbers.

The same thing has occurred to me more than once since. "You no
doubt are regular," a publisher has said to me, "but Mr. ---- is
irregular. He has thrown me out, and I cannot be ready for you till
three months after the time named." In these emergencies I have
given perhaps half what was wanted, and have refused to give the
other half. I have endeavoured to fight my own battle fairly, and
at the same time not to make myself unnecessarily obstinate. But
the circumstances have impressed on my mind the great need there is
that men engaged in literature should feel themselves to be bound
to their industry as men know that they are bound in other callings.
There does exist, I fear, a feeling that authors, because they are
authors, are relieved from the necessity of paying attention to
everyday rules. A writer, if he be making 800 a year, does not think
himself bound to live modestly on 600, and put by the remainder
for his wife and children. He does not understand that he should
sit down at his desk at a certain hour. He imagines that publishers
and booksellers should keep all their engagements with him to
the letter;--but that he, as a brain-worker, and conscious of the
subtle nature of the brain, should be able to exempt himself from
bonds when it suits him. He has his own theory about inspiration
which will not always come,--especially will not come if wine-cups
overnight have been too deep. All this has ever been odious to
me, as being unmanly. A man may be frail in health, and therefore
unable to do as he has contracted in whatever grade of life. He who
has been blessed with physical strength to work day by day, year
by year--as has been my case--should pardon deficiencies caused
by sickness or infirmity. I may in this respect have been a little
hard on others,--and, if so, I here record my repentance. But
I think that no allowance should be given to claims for exemption
from punctuality, made if not absolutely on the score still with
the conviction of intellectual superiority.

The Vicar of Bullhampton was written chiefly with the object of
exciting not only pity but sympathy for fallen woman, and of raising
a feeling of forgiveness for such in the minds of other women. I
could not venture to make this female the heroine of my story. To
have made her a heroine at all would have been directly opposed
to my purpose. It was necessary therefore that she should be
a second-rate personage in the tale;--but it was with reference to
her life that the tale was written, and the hero and the heroine with
their belongings are all subordinate. To this novel I affixed a
preface,--in doing which I was acting in defiance of my old-established
principle. I do not know that any one read it; but as I wish to
have it read, I will insert it here again:--

"I have introduced in the Vicar of Bullhampton the character of a
girl whom I will call,--for want of a truer word that shall not in
its truth be offensive,--a castaway. I have endeavoured to endow
her with qualities that may create sympathy, and I have brought
her back at last from degradation, at least to decency. I have not
married her to a wealthy lover, and I have endeavoured to explain
that though there was possible to her a way out of perdition, still
things could not be with her as they would have been had she not

"There arises, of course, the question whether a novelist, who
professes to write for the amusement of the young of both sexes,
should allow himself to bring upon his stage a character such as
that of Carry Brattle. It is not long since,--it is well within the
memory of the author,--that the very existence of such a condition
of life as was hers, was supposed to be unknown to our sisters and
daughters, and was, in truth, unknown to many of them. Whether that
ignorance was good may be questioned; but that it exists no longer
is beyond question. Then arises the further question,--how far the
conditions of such unfortunates should be made a matter of concern
to the sweet young hearts of those whose delicacy and cleanliness
of thought is a matter of pride to so many of us. Cannot women,
who are good, pity the sufferings of the vicious, and do something
perhaps to mitigate and shorten them without contamination from the
vice? It will be admitted probably by most men who have thought
upon the subject that no fault among us is punished so heavily
as that fault, often so light in itself but so terrible in its
consequences to the less faulty of the two offenders, by which a
woman falls. All of her own sex is against her, and all those of
the other sex in whose veins runs the blood which she is thought
to have contaminated, and who, of nature, would befriend her, were
her trouble any other than it is.

"She is what she is, and she remains in her abject, pitiless,
unutterable misery, because this sentence of the world has placed
her beyond the helping hand of Love and Friendship. It may be said,
no doubt, that the severity of this judgment acts as a protection
to female virtue,--deterring, as all known punishments do deter, from
vice. But this punishment, which is horrible beyond the conception
of those who have not regarded it closely, is not known beforehand.
Instead of the punishment, there is seen a false glitter of gaudy
life,--a glitter which is damnably false,--and which, alas I has
been more often portrayed in glowing colours, for the injury of
young girls, than have those horrors which ought to deter, with
the dark shadowings which belong to them.

"To write in fiction of one so fallen as the noblest of her sex,
as one to be rewarded because of her weakness, as one whose life
is, happy, bright, and glorious, is certainly to allure to vice
and misery. But it may perhaps be possible that if the matter be
handled with truth to life, some girl, who would have been thoughtless,
may be made thoughtful, or some parent's heart may be softened."

Those were my ideas when I conceived the story, and with that
feeling I described the characters of Carry Brattle and of her
family. I have not introduced her lover on the scene, nor have I
presented her to the reader in the temporary enjoyment of any of
those fallacious luxuries, the longing for which is sometimes more
seductive to evil than love itself. She is introduced as a poor
abased creature, who hardly knows how false were her dreams, with
very little of the Magdalene about her--because though there may
be Magdalenes they are not often found--but with an intense horror
of the sufferings of her position. Such being her condition, will
they who naturally are her friends protect her? The vicar who has
taken her by the hand endeavours to excite them to charity; but
father, and brother, and sister are alike hard-hearted. It had
been my purpose at first that the hand of every Brattle should be
against her; but my own heart was too soft to enable me to make
the mother cruel,--or the unmarried sister who had been the early
companion of the forlorn one.

As regards all the Brattles, the story is, I think, well told.
The characters are true, and the scenes at the mill are in keeping
with human nature. For the rest of the book I have little to say.
It is not very bad, and it certainly is not very good. As I have
myself forgotten what the heroine does and says--except that she
tumbles into a ditch--I cannot expect that any one else should
remember her. But I have forgotten nothing that was done or said
by any of the Brattles.

The question brought in argument is one of fearful importance. As
to the view to be taken first, there can, I think, be no doubt. In
regard to a sin common to the two sexes, almost all the punishment
and all the disgrace is heaped upon the one who in nine cases out
of ten has been the least sinful. And the punishment inflicted is
of such a nature that it hardly allows room for repentance. How is
the woman to return to decency to whom no decent door is opened?
Then comes the answer: It is to the severity of the punishment alone
that we can trust to keep women from falling. Such is the argument
used in favour of the existing practice, and such the excuse
given for their severity by women who will relax nothing of their
harshness. But in truth the severity of the punishment is not known
beforehand; it is not in the least understood by women in general,
except by those who suffer it. The gaudy dirt, the squalid plenty,
the contumely of familiarity, the absence of all good words and all
good things, the banishment from honest labour, the being compassed
round with lies, the flaunting glare of fictitious revelry, the
weary pavement, the horrid slavery to some horrid tyrant,--and then
the quick depreciation of that one ware of beauty, the substituted
paint, garments bright without but foul within like painted sepulchres,
hunger, thirst, and strong drink, life without a hope, without the
certainty even of a morrow's breakfast, utterly friendless, disease,
starvation, and a quivering fear of that coming hell which still
can hardly be worse than all that is suffered here! This is the
life to which we doom our erring daughters, when because of their
error we close our door upon them! But for our erring sons we find
pardon easily enough.

Of course there are houses of refuge, from which it has been
thought expedient to banish everything pleasant, as though the only
repentance to which we can afford to give a place must necessarily
be one of sackcloth and ashes. It is hardly thus that we can hope
to recall those to decency who, if they are to be recalled at
all, must be induced to obey the summons before they have reached
the last stage of that misery which I have attempted to describe.
To me the mistake which we too often make seems to be this,--that
the girl who has gone astray is put out of sight, out of mind if
possible, at any rate out of speech, as though she had never existed,
and that this ferocity comes not only from hatred of the sin, put
in part also from a dread of the taint which the sin brings with
it. Very low as is the degradation to which a girl is brought when
she falls through love or vanity, or perhaps from a longing for
luxurious ease, still much lower is that to which she must descend
perforce when, through the hardness of the world around her,
she converts that sin into a trade. Mothers and sisters, when the
misfortune comes upon them of a fallen female from among their
number, should remember this, and not fear contamination so strongly
as did Carry Brattle's married sister and sister-in-law.

In 1870 I brought out three books,--or rather of the latter of
the three I must say that it was brought out by others, for I had
nothing to do with it except to write it. These were Sir Harry
Hotspur of Humblethwaite, An Editor's Tales, and a little volume
on Julius Caesar. Sir Harry Hotspur was written on the same plan as
Nina Balatka and Linda Tressel, and had for its object the telling
of some pathetic incident in life rather than the portraiture of a
number of human beings. Nina and Linda Tressel and The Golden Lion
had been placed in foreign countries, and this was an English story.
In other respects it is of the same nature, and was not, I think,
by any means a failure. There is much of pathos in the love of
the girl, and of paternal dignity and affection in the father.

It was published first in Macmillan's Magazine, by the intelligent
proprietor of which I have since been told that it did not make
either his fortune or that of his magazine. I am sorry that it
should have been so; but I fear that the same thing may be said of
a good many of my novels. When it had passed through the magazine,
the subsequent use of it was sold to other publishers by Mr.
Macmillan, and then I learned that it was to be brought out by them
as a novel in two volumes. Now it had been sold by me as a novel
in one volume, and hence there arose a correspondence.

I found it very hard to make the purchasers understand that I had
reasonable ground for objection to the process. What was it to me?
How could it injure me if they stretched my pages by means of lead
and margin into double the number I had intended. I have heard the
same argument on other occasions. When I have pointed out that in
this way the public would have to suffer, seeing that they would
have to pay Mudie for the use of two volumes in reading that which
ought to have been given to them in one, I have been assured that
the public are pleased with literary short measure, that it is
the object of novel-readers to get through novels as fast as they
can, and that the shorter each volume is the better! Even this,
however, did not overcome me, and I stood to my guns. Sir Harry
was published in one volume, containing something over the normal
300 pages, with an average of 220 words to a page,--which I
had settled with my conscience to be the proper length of a novel
volume. I may here mention that on one occasion, and one occasion
only, a publisher got the better of me in a matter of volumes. He
had a two-volume novel of mine running through a certain magazine,
and had it printed complete in three volumes before I knew where I
was,--before I had seen a sheet of the letterpress. I stormed for
a while, but I had not the heart to make him break up the type.

The Editor's Tales was a volume republished from the St. Paul's
Magazine, and professed to give an editor's experience of his
dealings with contributors. I do not think that there is a single
incident in the book which could bring back to any one concerned
the memory of a past event. And yet there is not an incident in it
the outline of which was not presented to my mind by the remembrance
of some fact:--how an ingenious gentleman got into conversation
with me, I not knowing that he knew me to be an editor, and pressed
his little article on my notice; how I was addressed by a lady with
a becoming pseudonym and with much equally becoming audacity; how
I was appealed to by the dearest of little women whom here I have
called Mary Gresley; how in my own early days there was a struggle
over an abortive periodical which was intended to be the best
thing ever done; how terrible was the tragedy of a poor drunkard,
who with infinite learning at his command made one sad final effort
to reclaim himself, and perished while he was making it; and lastly
how a poor weak editor was driven nearly to madness by threatened
litigation from a rejected contributor. Of these stories, The Spotted
Dog, with the struggles of the drunkard scholar, is the best. I
know now, however, that when the things were good they came out
too quick one upon another to gain much attention;--and so also,
luckily, when they were bad.

The Caesar was a thing of itself. My friend John Blackwood had set
on foot a series of small volumes called Ancient Classics for English
Readers, and had placed the editing of them, and the compiling of
many of them, in the hands of William Lucas Collins, a clergyman
who, from my connection with the series, became a most intimate
friend. The Iliad and the Odyssey had already come out when I was
at Edinburgh with John Blackwood, and, on my expressing my very strong
admiration for those two little volumes,--which I here recommend
to all young ladies as the most charming tales they can read,--he
asked me whether I would not undertake one myself. Herodotus was
in the press, but, if I could get it ready, mine should be next.
Whereupon I offered to say what might be said to the readers of
English on The Commentaries of Julius Caesar.

I at once went to work, and in three months from that day the little
book had been written. I began by reading through the Commentaries
twice, which I did without any assistance either by translation
or English notes. Latin was not so familiar to me then as it has
since become,--for from that date I have almost daily spent an
hour with some Latin author, and on many days many hours. After
the reading what my author had left behind him, I fell into the
reading of what others had written about him, in Latin, in English,
and even in French,--for I went through much of that most futile
book by the late Emperor of the French. I do not know that for a
short period I ever worked harder. The amount I had to write was
nothing. Three weeks would have done it easily. But I was most
anxious, in this soaring out of my own peculiar line, not to disgrace
myself. I do not think that I did disgrace myself. Perhaps I was
anxious for something more. If so, I was disappointed.

The book I think to be a good little book. It is readable by all, old
and young, and it gives, I believe accurately, both an account of
Caesar's Commentaries,--which of course was the primary intention,--and
the chief circumstances of the great Roman's life. A well-educated
girl who had read it and remembered it would perhaps know as much
about Caesar and his writings as she need know. Beyond the consolation
of thinking as I do about it, I got very little gratification from
the work. Nobody praised it. One very old and very learned friend
to whom I sent it thanked me for my "comic Caesar," but said no
more. I do not suppose that he intended to run a dagger into me.
Of any suffering from such wounds, I think, while living, I never
showed a sign; but still I have suffered occasionally. There
was, however, probably present to my friend's mind, and to that
of others, a feeling that a man who had spent his life in writing
English novels could not be fit to write about Caesar. It was as
when an amateur gets a picture hung on the walls of the Academy.
What business had I there? Ne sutor ultra crepidam. In the press it
was most faintly damned by most faint praise. Nevertheless, having
read the book again within the last month or two, I make bold to say
that it is a good book. The series, I believe, has done very well.
I am sure that it ought to do well in years to come, for, putting
aside Caesar, the work has been done with infinite scholarship, and
very generally with a light hand. With the leave of my sententious
and sonorous friend, who had not endured that subjects which had
been grave to him should be treated irreverently, I will say that
such a work, unless it be light, cannot answer the purpose for which
it is intended. It was not exactly a schoolbook that was wanted,
but something that would carry the purposes of the schoolroom even
into the leisure hours of adult pupils. Nothing was ever better
suited for such a purpose than the Iliad and the Odyssey, as done
by Mr. Collins. The Virgil, also done by him, is very good; and so
is the Aristophanes by the same hand.



In the spring of 1871 we,--I and my wife,--had decided that we
would go to Australia to visit our shepherd son. Of course before
doing so I made a contract with a publisher for a book about the
Colonies. For such a work as this I had always been aware that
I could not fairly demand more than half the price that would be
given for the same amount of fiction; and as such books have an
indomitable tendency to stretch themselves, so that more is given
than what is sold, and as the cost of travelling is heavy, the
writing of them is not remunerative. This tendency to stretch comes
not, I think, generally from the ambition of the writer, but from
his inability to comprise the different parts in their allotted
spaces. If you have to deal with a country, a colony, a city, a
trade, or a political opinion, it is so much easier to deal with
it in twenty than in twelve pages! I also made an engagement with
the editor of a London daily paper to supply him with a series of
articles,--which were duly written, duly published, and duly paid
for. But with all this, travelling with the object of writing is
not a good trade. If the travelling author can pay his bills, he
must be a good manager on the road.

Before starting there came upon us the terrible necessity of coming
to some resolution about our house at Waltham. It had been first
hired, and then bought, primarily because it suited my Post Office
avocations. To this reason had been added other attractions,--in the
shape of hunting, gardening, and suburban hospitalities. Altogether
the house had been a success, and the scene of much happiness. But
there arose questions as to expense. Would not a house in London
be cheaper? There could be no doubt that my income would decrease,
and was decreasing. I had thrown the Post Office, as it were,
away, and the writing of novels could not go on for ever. Some of
my friends told me already that at fifty-five I ought to give up
the fabrication of love-stories. The hunting, I thought, must soon
go, and I would not therefore allow that to keep me in the country.
And then, why should I live at Waltham Cross now, seeing that
I had fixed on that place in reference to the Post Office? It was
therefore determined that we would flit, and as we were to be away
for eighteen months, we determined also to sell our furniture. So
there was a packing up, with many tears, and consultations as to
what should be saved out of the things we loved.

As must take place on such an occasion, there was some heart-felt
grief. But the thing was done, and orders were given for the letting
or sale of the house. I may as well say here that it never was let
and that it remained unoccupied for two years before it was sold.
I lost by the transaction about 800. As I continually hear that
other men make money by buying and selling houses, I presume I am
not well adapted for transactions of that sort. I have never made
money by selling anything except a manuscript. In matters of
horseflesh I am so inefficient that I have generally given away
horses that I have not wanted.

When we started from Liverpool, in May, 1871, Ralph the Heir was
running through the St. Paul's. This was the novel of which Charles
Reade afterwards took the plot and made on it a play. I have always
thought it to be one of the worst novels I have written, and almost
to have justified that dictum that a novelist after fifty should
not write love-stories. It was in part a political novel; and
that part which appertains to politics, and which recounts the
electioneering experiences of the candidates at Percycross, is well
enough. Percycross and Beverley were, of course, one and the same
place. Neefit, the breeches-maker, and his daughter, are also good
in their way,--and Moggs, the daughter's lover, who was not only
lover, but also one of the candidates at Percycross as well. But
the main thread of the story,--that which tells of the doings of the
young gentlemen and young ladies,--the heroes and the heroines,--is
not good. Ralph the heir has not much life about him; while Ralph
who is not the heir, but is intended to be the real hero, has
none. The same may be said of the young ladies,--of whom one, she
who was meant to be the chief, has passed utterly out of my mind,
without leaving a trace of remembrance behind.

I also left in the hands of the editor of The Fortnightly, ready for
production on the 1st of July following, a story called The Eustace
Diamonds. In that I think that my friend's dictum was disproved.
There is not much love in it; but what there is, is good. The
character of Lucy Morris is pretty; and her love is as genuine and
as well told as that of Lucy Robarts of Lily Dale.

But The Eustace Diamonds achieved the success which it certainly
did attain, not as a love-story, but as a record of a cunning little
woman of pseudo-fashion, to whom, in her cunning, there came a
series of adventures, unpleasant enough in themselves, but pleasant
to the reader. As I wrote the book, the idea constantly presented
itself to me that Lizzie Eustace was but a second Becky Sharpe; but
in planning the character I had not thought of this, and I believe
that Lizzie would have been just as she is though Becky Sharpe had
never been described. The plot of the diamond necklace is, I think,
well arranged, though it produced itself without any forethought.
I had no idea of setting thieves after the bauble till I had got
my heroine to bed in the inn at Carlisle; nor of the disappointment
of the thieves, till Lizzie had been wakened in the morning with
the news that her door had been broken open. All these things, and
many more, Wilkie Collins would have arranged before with infinite
labour, preparing things present so that they should fit in with
things to come. I have gone on the very much easier plan of making
everything as it comes fit in with what has gone before. At any
rate, the book was a success, and did much to repair the injury
which I felt had come to my reputation in the novel-market by the
works of the last few years. I doubt whether I had written anything
so successful as The Eustace Diamonds. since The Small House at
Allington. I had written what was much better,--as, for instance,
Phineas Finn and Nina Balatka; but that is by no means the same

I also left behind, in a strong box, the manuscript of Phineas Redux,
a novel of which I have already spoken, and which I subsequently
sold to the proprietors of the Graphic newspaper. The editor of
that paper greatly disliked the title, assuring me that the public
would take Redux for the gentleman's surname,--and was dissatisfied
with me when I replied that I had no objection to them doing
so. The introduction of a Latin word, or of a word from any other
language, into the title of an English novel is undoubtedly in
bad taste; but after turning the matter much over in my own mind,
I could find no other suitable name.

I also left behind me, in the same strong box, another novel, called
An Eye for an Eye, which then had been some time written, and of
which, as it has not even yet been published, I will not further
speak. It will probably be published some day, though, looking
forward, I can see no room for it, at any rate, for the next two

If therefore the Great Britain, in which we sailed for Melbourne,
had gone to the bottom, I had so provided that there would be new
novels ready to come out under my name for some years to come. This
consideration, however, did not keep me idle while I was at sea.
When making long journeys, I have always succeeded in getting
a desk put up in my cabin, and this was done ready for me in the
Great Britain, so that I could go to work the day after we left
Liverpool. This I did; and before I reached Melbourne I had finished
a story called Lady Anna. Every word of this was written at sea,
during the two months required for our voyage, and was done day by
day--with the intermission of one day's illness--for eight weeks,
at the rate of 66 pages of manuscript in each week, every page of
manuscript containing 250 words. Every word was counted. I have
seen work come back to an author from the press with terrible
deficiencies as to the amount supplied. Thirty-two pages have
perhaps been wanted for a number, and the printers with all their
art could not stretch the matter to more than twenty-eight or -nine!
The work of filling up must be very dreadful. I have sometimes been
ridiculed for the methodical details of my business. But by these
contrivances I have been preserved from many troubles; and I have
saved others with whom I have worked--editors, publishers, and
printers--from much trouble also.

A month or two after my return home, Lady Anna appeared in The
Fortnightly, following The Eustace Diamonds. In it a young girl,
who is really a lady of high rank and great wealth, though in her
youth she enjoyed none of the privileges of wealth or rank, marries
a tailor who had been good to her, and whom she had loved when she
was poor and neglected. A fine young noble lover is provided for
her, and all the charms of sweet living with nice people are thrown
in her way, in order that she may be made to give up the tailor.
And the charms are very powerful with her. But the feeling that
she is bound by her troth to the man who had always been true to
her overcomes everything,--and she marries the tailor. It was my
wish of course to justify her in doing so, and to carry my readers
along with me in my sympathy with her. But everybody found fault
with me for marrying her to the tailor. What would they have said
if I had allowed her to jilt the tailor and marry the good-looking
young lord? How much louder, then, would have been the censure!
The book was read, and I was satisfied. If I had not told my story
well, there would have been no feeling in favour of the young lord.
The horror which was expressed to me at the evil thing I had done,
in giving the girl to the tailor, was the strongest testimony I
could receive of the merits of the story.

I went to Australia chiefly in order that I might see my son among
his sheep. I did see him among his sheep, and remained with him for
four or five very happy weeks. He was not making money, nor has he
made money since. I grieve to say that several thousands of pounds
which I had squeezed out of the pockets of perhaps too liberal
publishers have been lost on the venture. But I rejoice to say
that this has been in no way due to any fault of his. I never knew
a man work with more persistent honesty at his trade than he has

I had, however, the further intentions of writing a book about the
entire group of Australasian Colonies; and in order that I might
be enabled to do that with sufficient information, I visited them
all. Making my headquarters at Melbourne, I went to Queensland, New
South Wales, Tasmania, then to the very little known territory of
Western Australia, and then, last of all, to New Zealand. I was
absent in all eighteen months, and think that I did succeed in
learning much of the political, social, and material condition of
these countries. I wrote my book as I was travelling and brought
it back with me to England all but completed in December, 1872.

It was a better book than that which I had written eleven years
before on the American States, but not so good as that on the West
Indies in 1859. As regards the information given, there was much
more to be said about Australia than the West Indies. Very much
more is said,--and very much more may be learned from the latter
than from the former book. I am sure that any one who will take
the trouble to read the book on Australia, will learn much from
it. But the West Indian volume was readable. I am not sure that
either of the other works are, in the proper sense of that word.
When I go back to them I find that the pages drag with me;--and if
so with me, how must it be with others who have none of that love
which a father feels even for his ill-favoured offspring. Of all
the needs a book has the chief need is that it be readable.

Feeling that these volumes on Australia were dull and long, I was
surprised to find that they had an extensive sale. There were, I
think, 2000 copies circulated of the first expensive edition; and
then the book was divided into four little volumes, which were
published separately, and which again had a considerable circulation.
That some facts were stated inaccurately, I do not doubt; that many
opinions were crude, I am quite sure; that I had failed to understand
much which I attempted to explain, is possible. But with all these
faults the book was a thoroughly honest book, and was the result of
unflagging labour for a period of fifteen months. I spared myself
no trouble in inquiry, no trouble in seeing, and no trouble in
listening. I thoroughly imbued my mind with the subject, and wrote
with the simple intention of giving trustworthy information on
the state of the Colonies. Though there be inaccuracies,--those
inaccuracies to which work quickly done must always be subject,--I
think I did give much valuable information.

I came home across America from San Francisco to New York, visiting
Utah and Brigham Young on the way. I did not achieve great intimacy
with the great polygamist of the Salt Lake City. I called upon
him, sending to him my card, apologising for doing so without an
introduction, and excusing myself by saying that I did not like
to pass through the territory without seeing a man of whom I had
heard so much. He received me in his doorway, not asking me to
enter, and inquired whether I were not a miner. When I told him
that I was not a miner, he asked me whether I earned my bread. I
told him I did. "I guess you're a miner," said he. I again assured
him that I was not. "Then how do you earn your bread?" I told him
I did so by writing books. "I'm sure you're a miner," said he. Then
he turned upon his heel, went back into the house, and closed the
door. I was properly punished, as I was vain enough to conceive
that he would have heard my name.

I got home in December, 1872, and in spite of any resolution made
to the contrary, my mind was full of hunting as I came back. No
real resolutions had in truth been made, for out of a stud of four
horses I kept three, two of which were absolutely idle through the
two summers and winter of my absence. Immediately on my arrival
I bought another, and settled myself down to hunting from London
three days a week. At first I went back to Essex, my old country,
but finding that to be inconvenient, I took my horses to Leighton
Buzzard, and became one of that numerous herd of sportsmen who rode
with the "Baron" and Mr. Selby Lowndes. In those days Baron Meyer
was alive, and the riding with his hounds was very good. I did not
care so much for Mr. Lowndes. During the winters of 1873, 1874, and
1875, I had my horses back in Essex, and went on with my hunting,
always trying to resolve that I would give it up. But still I
bought fresh horses, and, as I did not give it up, I hunted more
than ever. Three times a week the cab has been at my door in London
very punctually, and not unfrequently before seven in the morning.
In order to secure this attendance, the man has always been invited
to have his breakfast in the hall. I have gone to the Great Eastern
Railway,--ah! so often with the fear that frost would make all my
exertions useless, and so often too with that result! And then,
from one station or another station, have travelled on wheels at
least a dozen miles. After the day's sport, the same toil has been
necessary to bring me home to dinner at eight. This has been work
for a young man and a rich man, but I have done it as an old man
and comparatively a poor man. Now at last, in April, 1876, I do
think that my resolution has been taken. I am giving away my old
horses, and anybody is welcome to my saddles and horse-furniture.

"Singula de nobis anni praedantur euntes;
Eripuere jocos, venerem, convivia, ladum;
Tendunt extorquere poemata."

"Our years keep taking toll as they move on;
My feasts, my frolics, are already gone,
And now, it seems, my verses must go too."

This Is Conington's translation, but it seems to me to be a little

"Years as they roll cut all our pleasures short;
Our pleasant mirth, our loves, our wine, our sport,
And then they stretch their power, and crush at last
Even the power of singing of the past."

I think that I may say with truth that I rode hard to my end.

"Vixi puellis nuper idoneus,
Et militavi non sine gloria;
Nunc arma defunctumque bello
Barbiton hic paries habebit."

"I've lived about the covert side,
I've ridden straight, and ridden fast;
Now breeches, boots, and scarlet pride
Are but mementoes of the past."



In what I have said at the end of the last chapter about my hunting,
I have been carried a little in advance of the date at which I
had arrived. We returned from Australia in the winter of 1872, and
early in 1873 I took a house in Montagu Square,--in which I hope
to live and hope to die. Our first work in settling there was to
place upon new shelves the books which I had collected round myself
at Waltham. And this work, which was in itself great, entailed
also the labour of a new catalogue. As all who use libraries know,
a catalogue is nothing unless it show the spot on which every
book is to be found,--information which every volume also ought to
give as to itself. Only those who have done it know how great is
the labour of moving and arranging a few thousand volumes. At the
present moment I own about 5000 volumes, and they are dearer to
me even than the horses which are going, or than the wine in the
cellar, which is very apt to go, and upon which I also pride myself.

When this was done, and the new furniture had got into its place,
and my little book-room was settled sufficiently for work, I
began a novel, to the writing of which I was instigated by what I
conceived to be the commercial profligacy of the age. Whether the
world does or does not become more wicked as years go on, is a
question which probably has disturbed the minds of thinkers since
the world began to think. That men have become less cruel, less
violent, less selfish, less brutal, there can be no doubt;--but
have they become less honest? If so, can a world, retrograding from
day to day in honesty, be considered to be in a state of progress?
We know the opinion on this subject of our philosopher Mr. Carlyle.
If he be right, we are all going straight away to darkness and the
dogs. But then we do not put very much faith in Mr. Carlyle,--nor
in Mr. Ruskin and his other followers. The loudness and extravagance
of their lamentations, the wailing and gnashing of teeth which comes
from them, over a world which is supposed to have gone altogether
shoddy-wards, are so contrary to the convictions of men who cannot
but see how comfort has been increased, how health has been improved,
and education extended,--that the general effect of their teaching
is the opposite of what they have intended. It is regarded simply
as Carlylism to say that the English-speaking world is growing
worse from day to day. And it is Carlylism to opine that the general
grand result of increased intelligence is a tendency to deterioration.

Nevertheless a certain class of dishonesty, dishonesty magnificent
in its proportions, and climbing into high places, has become at
the same time so rampant and so splendid that there seems to be
reason for fearing that men and women will be taught to feel that
dishonesty, if it can become splendid, will cease to be abominable.
If dishonesty can live in a gorgeous palace with pictures on all
its walls, and gems in all its cupboards, with marble and ivory
in all its corners, and can give Apician dinners, and get into
Parliament, and deal in millions, then dishonesty is not disgraceful,
and the man dishonest after such a fashion is not a low scoundrel.
Instigated, I say, by some such reflections as these, I sat down
in my new house to write The Way We Live Now. And as I had ventured
to take the whip of the satirist into my hand, I went beyond the
iniquities of the great speculator who robs everybody, and made an
onslaught also on other vices;--on the intrigues of girls who want
to get married, on the luxury of young men who prefer to remain
single, and on the puffing propensities of authors who desire to
cheat the public into buying their volumes.

The book has the fault which is to be attributed to almost all
satires, whether in prose or verse. The accusations are exaggerated.
The vices are coloured, so as to make effect rather than to represent
truth. Who, when the lash of objurgation is in his hands, can
so moderate his arm as never to strike harder than justice would
require? The spirit which produces the satire is honest enough, but
the very desire which moves the satirist to do his work energetically
makes him dishonest. In other respects The Way We Live Now
was, as a satire, powerful and good. The character of Melmotte is
well maintained. The Beargarden is amusing,--and not untrue. The
Longestaffe girls and their friend, Lady Monogram, are amusing,--but
exaggerated. Dolly Longestaffe, is, I think, very good. And Lady
Carbury's literary efforts are, I am sorry to say, such as are too
frequently made. But here again the young lady with her two lovers
is weak and vapid. I almost doubt whether it be not impossible to
have two absolutely distinct parts in a novel, and to imbue them
both with interest. If they be distinct, the one will seem to be
no more than padding to the other. And so it was in The Way We Live
Now. The interest of the story lies among the wicked and foolish
people,--with Melmotte and his daughter, with Dolly and his family,
with the American woman, Mrs. Hurtle, and with John Crumb and the
girl of his heart. But Roger Carbury, Paul Montague, and Henrietta
Carbury are uninteresting. Upon the whole, I by no means look upon
the book as one of my failures; nor was it taken as a failure by
the public or the press.

While I was writing The Way We Live Now, I was called upon by the
proprietors of the Graphic for a Christmas story. I feel, with regard
to literature, somewhat as I suppose an upholsterer and undertaker
feels when he is called upon to supply a funeral. He has to supply
it, however distasteful it may be. It is his business, and he will
starve if he neglects it. So have I felt that, when anything in the
shape of a novel was required, I was bound to produce it. Nothing
can be more distasteful to me than to have to give a relish of
Christmas to what I write. I feel the humbug implied by the nature
of the order. A Christmas story, in the proper sense, should be
the ebullition of some mind anxious to instil others with a desire
for Christmas religious thought, or Christmas festivities,--or,
better still, with Christmas charity. Such was the case with Dickens
when he wrote his two first Christmas stories. But since that the
things written annually--all of which have been fixed to Christmas
like children's toys to a Christmas tree--have had no real savour
of Christmas about them. I had done two or three before. Alas!
at this very moment I have one to write, which I have promised to
supply within three weeks of this time,--the picture-makers always
require a long interval,--as to which I have in vain been cudgelling
my brain for the last month. I can't send away the order to another
shop, but I do not know how I shall ever get the coffin made.

For the Graphic, in 1873, I wrote a little story about Australia.
Christmas at the antipodes is of course midsummer, and I was not
loth to describe the troubles to which my own son had been subjected,
by the mingled accidents of heat and bad neighbours, on his station
in the bush. So I wrote Harry Heathcote of Gangoil, and was well
through my labour on that occasion. I only wish I may have no
worse success in that which now hangs over my head.

When Harry Heathcote was over, I returned with a full heart to
Lady Glencora and her husband. I had never yet drawn the completed
picture of such a statesman as my imagination had conceived. The
personages with whose names my pages had been familiar, and perhaps
even the minds of some of my readers--the Brocks, De Terriers, Monks,
Greshams, and Daubeneys--had been more or less portraits, not of
living men, but of living political characters. The strong-minded,
thick-skinned, useful, ordinary member, either of the Government or
of the Opposition, had been very easy to describe, and had required
no imagination to conceive. The character reproduces itself from
generation to generation; and as it does so, becomes shorn in
a wonderful way of those little touches of humanity which would
be destructive of its purposes. Now and again there comes a burst
of human nature, as in the quarrel between Burke and Fox; but, as
a rule, the men submit themselves to be shaped and fashioned, and
to be formed into tools, which are used either for building up or
pulling down, and can generally bear to be changed from this box
into the other, without, at any rate, the appearance of much personal
suffering. Four-and-twenty gentlemen will amalgamate themselves
into one whole, and work for one purpose, having each of them to
set aside his own idiosyncrasy, and to endure the close personal
contact of men who must often be personally disagreeable, having
been thoroughly taught that in no other way can they serve either
their country or their own ambition. These are the men who are
publicly useful, and whom the necessities of the age supply,--as
to whom I have never ceased to wonder that stones of such strong
calibre should be so quickly worn down to the shape and smoothness
of rounded pebbles.

Such have been to me the Brocks and the Mildmays, about whom I have
written with great pleasure, having had my mind much exercised in
watching them. But had I also conceived the character of a statesman
of a different nature--of a man who should be in something perhaps
superior, but in very much inferior, to these men--of one who could
not become a pebble, having too strong an identity of his own. To
rid one's self of fine scruples--to fall into the traditions of
a party--to feel the need of subservience, not only in acting but
also even in thinking--to be able to be a bit, and at first only a
very little bit,--these are the necessities of the growing statesman.
The time may come, the glorious time when some great self action
shall be possible, and shall be even demanded, as when Peel gave
up the Corn Laws; but the rising man, as he puts on his harness,
should not allow himself to dream of this. To become a good, round,
smooth, hard, useful pebble is his duty, and to achieve this he
must harden his skin and swallow his scruples. But every now and
again we see the attempt, made by men who cannot get their skins to
be hard--who after a little while generally fall out of the ranks.
The statesman of whom I was thinking--of whom I had long thought--was
one who did not fall out of the ranks, even though his skin would
not become hard. He should have rank, and intellect, and parliamentary
habits, by which to bind him to the service of his country; and he
should also have unblemished, unextinguishable, inexhaustible love
of country. That virtue I attribute to our statesmen generally.
They who are without it are, I think, mean indeed. This man should
have it as the ruling principle of his life; and it should so rule
him that all other things should be made to give way to it. But he
should be scrupulous, and, being scrupulous, weak. When called to
the highest place in the council of his Sovereign, he should feel
with true modesty his own insufficiency; but not the less should
the greed of power grow upon him when he had once allowed himself
to taste and enjoy it. Such was the character I endeavoured to
depict in describing the triumph, the troubles, and the failure
of my Prime Minister. And I think that I have succeeded. What the
public may think, or what the press may say, I do not yet know,
the work having as yet run but half its course. [Footnote: Writing
this note in 1878, after a lapse of nearly three years, I am obliged
to say that, as regards the public, The Prime Minister was a failure.
It was worse spoken of by the press than any novel I had written.
I was specially hurt by a criticism on it in the Spectator. The
critic who wrote the article I know to be a good critic, inclined
to be more than fair to me; but in this case I could not agree with
him, so much do I love the man whose character I had endeavoured
to portray.]

That the man's character should be understood as I understand
it--or that of his wife's, the delineation of which has also been
a matter of much happy care to me--I have no right to expect, seeing
that the operation of describing has not been confined to one novel,
which might perhaps be read through by the majority of those who
commenced it. It has been carried on through three or four, each
of which will be forgotten even by the most zealous reader almost
as soon as read. In The Prime Minister, my Prime Minister will not
allow his wife to take office among, or even over, those ladies who
are attached by office to the Queen's court. "I should not choose,"
he says to her, "that my wife should have any duties unconnected
with our joint family and home." Who will remember in reading
those words that, in a former story, published some years before,
he tells his wife, when she has twitted him with his willingness
to clean the Premier's shoes, that he would even allow her to clean
them if it were for the good of the country? And yet it is by such
details as these that I have, for many years past, been manufacturing
within my own mind the characters of the man and his wife.

I think that Plantagenet Palliser, Duke of Omnium, is a perfect
gentleman. If he be not, then am I unable to describe a gentleman.
She is by no means a perfect lady; but if she be not all over
a woman, then am I not able to describe a woman. I do not think
it probable that my name will remain among those who in the next
century will be known as the writers of English prose fiction;--but
if it does, that permanence of success will probably rest on the
character of Plantagenet Palliser, Lady Glencora, and the Rev. Mr.

I have now come to the end of that long series of books written by
myself with which the public is already acquainted. Of those which
I may hereafter be able to add to them I cannot speak; though I
have an idea that I shall even yet once more have recourse to my
political hero as the mainstay of another story. When The Prime
Minister was finished, I at once began another novel, which is now
completed in three volumes, and which is called Is He Popenjoy?
There are two Popenjoys in the book, one succeeding to the title
held by the other; but as they are both babies, and do not in the
course of the story progress beyond babyhood, the future readers,
should the tale ever be published, will not be much interested in
them. Nevertheless the story, as a story, is not, I think, amiss.
Since that I have written still another three-volume novel, to
which, very much in opposition to my publisher, I have given the
name of The American Senator. [Footnote: The American Senator and
Popenjoy have appeared, each with fair success. Neither of them has
encountered that reproach which, in regard to The Prime Minister,
seemed to tell me that my work as a novelist should be brought to
a close. And yet I feel assured that they are very inferior to The
Prime Minister.] It is to appear in Temple Bar, and is to commence
its appearance on the first of next month. Such being its
circumstances, I do not know that I can say anything else about it

And so I end the record of my literary performances,--which I
think are more in amount than the works of any other living English
author. If any English authors not living have written more--as
may probably have been the case--I do not know who they are. I find
that, taking the books which have appeared under our names, I have
published much more than twice as much as Carlyle. I have also
published considerably more than Voltaire, even including his
letters. We are told that Varro, at the age of eighty, had written
480 volumes, and that he went on writing for eight years longer.
I wish I knew what was the length of Varro's volumes; I comfort
myself by reflecting that the amount of manuscript described as a
book in Varro's time was not much. Varro, too, is dead, and Voltaire;
whereas I am still living, and may add to the pile.

The following is a list of the books I have written, with the dates
of publication and the sums I have received for them. The dates
given are the years in which the works were published as a whole,
most of them having appeared before in some serial form.

Names of Works. Date of Publication. Total Sums Received.

The Macdermots of Ballycloran, 1847 48 6 9
The Kellys and the O'Kellys, 1848 123 19 5
La Vendee, 1850 20 0 0
The Warden, 1855 \ 727 11 3
Barchester Towers, 1857 /
The Three Clerks, 1858 250 0 0
Doctor Thorne, 1858 400 0 0
The West Indies and the
Spanish Main, 1859 250 0 0
The Bertrams, 1859 400 0 0

Carried forward, 2219 16 17

Names of Works. Date of Publication. Total Sums Received.

Brought Forward, 2219 16 17
Castle Richmond, 1860 600 0 0
Framley Parsonage, 1861 1000 0 0
Tales of All
Countries--1st Series, 1861 \
" " 2d 1863 > 1830 0 0
" " 3d 1870 /
Orley Farm, 1862 3135 0 0
North America, 1862 1250 0 0
Rachel Ray, 1863 1645 0 0
The Small House at Allington, 1864 3000 0 0
Can You Forgive Her? 1864 3525 0 0
Miss Mackenzie, 1865 1300 0 0
The Belton Estate, 1866 1757 0 0
The Claverings, 1867 2800 0 0
The Last Chronicle of Barset, 1867 3000 0 0
Nina Balatka, 1867 450 0 0
Linda Tressel, 1868 450 0 0
Phineas Finn, 1869 3200 0 0
He Knew He Was Right, 1869 3200 0 0
Brown, Jones, and Robinson, 1870 600 0 0
The Vicar of Bullhampton, 1870 2500 0 0
An Editor's Tales, 1870 378 0 0
Caesar (Ancient Classics), 1870 0 0 0
[Footnote: This was given by me as a present to
my friend John Blackwood]

Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite, 1871 750 0 0
Ralph the Heir, 1871 2500 0 0
The Golden Lion of Granpere, 1872 550 0 0
The Eustace Diamonds, 1873 2500 0 0
Australia and New Zealand, 1873 1300 0 0
Phineas Redux, 1874 2500 0 0
Harry Heathcote of Gangoil, 1874 450 0 0

Carry forward, 48,389 17 5

Names of Works. Date of Publication. Total Sums Received.

Brought forward, 48,389 17 5
Lady Anna, 1874 1200 0 0
The Way We Live Now, 1875 3000 0 0
The Prime Minister, 1876 2500 0 0
The American Senator, 1877 1800 0 0
Is He Popenjoy? 1878 1600 0 0
South Africa, 1878 850 0 0
John Caldigate, 1879 1800 0 0
Sundries, 7800 0 0
68,939 17 5

It will not, I am sure, be thought that, in making my boast as
to the quantity, I have endeavoured to lay claim to any literary
excellence. That, in the writing of books, quantity without quality is
a vice and a misfortune, has been too manifestly settled to leave
a doubt on such a matter. But I do lay claim to whatever merit
should be accorded to me for persevering diligence in my profession.
And I make the claim, not with a view to my own glory, but for
the benefit of those who may read these pages, and when young may
intend to follow the same career. Nulla dies sine linea. Let that
be their motto. And let their work be to them as is his common work
to the common labourer. No gigantic efforts will then be necessary.
He need tie no wet towels round his brow, nor sit for thirty hours
at his desk without moving,--as men have sat, or said that they
have sat. More than nine-tenths of my literary work has been done
in the last twenty years, and during twelve of those years I followed
another profession. I have never been a slave to this work, giving
due time, if not more than due time, to the amusements I have loved.
But I have been constant,--and constancy in labour will conquer
all difficulties. Gutta cavat lapidem non vi, sed saepe cadendo.

It may interest some if I state that during the last twenty years
I have made by literature something near 70,000. As I have said
before in these pages, I look upon the result as comfortable, but
not splendid.

It will not, I trust, be supposed by any reader that I have intended
in this so-called autobiography to give a record of my inner life.
No man ever did so truly,--and no man ever will. Rousseau probably
attempted it, but who doubts but that Rousseau has confessed
in much the thoughts and convictions rather than the facts of his
life? If the rustle of a woman's petticoat has ever stirred my
blood; if a cup of wine has been a joy to me; if I have thought
tobacco at midnight in pleasant company to be one of the elements
of an earthly paradise; if now and again I have somewhat recklessly
fluttered a 5 note over a card-table;--of what matter is that to
any reader? I have betrayed no woman. Wine has brought me to no
sorrow. It has been the companionship of smoking that I have loved,
rather than the habit. I have never desired to win money, and I
have lost none. To enjoy the excitement of pleasure, but to be free
from its vices and ill effects,--to have the sweet, and leave the
bitter untasted,--that has been my study. The preachers tell us that
this is impossible. It seems to me that hitherto I have succeeded
fairly well. I will not say that I have never scorched a finger,--but
I carry no ugly wounds.

For what remains to me of life I trust for my happiness still
chiefly to my work--hoping that when the power of work be over with
me, God may be pleased to take me from a world in which, according
to my view, there can be no joy; secondly, to the love of those who
love me; and then to my books. That I can read and be happy while
I am reading, is a great blessing. Could I remember, as some men
do, what I read, I should have been able to call myself an educated
man. But that power I have never possessed. Something is always
left,--something dim and inaccurate,--but still something sufficient
to preserve the taste for more. I am inclined to think that it is
so with most readers.

Of late years, putting aside the Latin classics, I have found
my greatest pleasure in our old English dramatists,--not from any
excessive love of their work, which often irritates me by its want
of truth to nature, even while it shames me by its language,--but
from curiosity in searching their plots and examining their character.
If I live a few years longer, I shall, I think, leave in my copies
of these dramatists, down to the close of James I., written criticisms
on every play. No one who has not looked closely into it knows how
many there are.

Now I stretch out my hand, and from the further shore I bid adieu
to all who have cared to read any among the many words that I have

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