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【的时】【最多】【何其】In August, 1861, I wrote another novel for the Cornhill Magazine. It was a short story, about one volume in length, and was called The Struggles of Brown, Jones, and Robinson. In this I attempted a style for which I certainly was not qualified, and to which I never had again recourse. It was meant to be funny, was full of slang, and was intended as a satire on the ways of trade. Still I think that there is some good fun it it, but I have heard no one else express such an opinion. I do not know that I ever heard any opinion expressed on it, except by the publisher, who kindly remarked that he did not think it was equal to my usual work. Though he had purchased the copyright, he did not republish the story in a book form till 1870, and then it passed into the world of letters sub silentio. I do not know that it was ever criticised or ever read. I received £600 for it. From that time to this I have been paid at about that rate for my work —£600 for the quantity contained in an ordinary novel volume, or £3000 for a long tale published in twenty parts, which is equal in length to five such volumes. I have occasionally, I think, received something more than this, never I think less for any tale, except when I have published my work anonymously. 7 Having said so much, I need not further specify the prices as I mention the books as they were written. I will, however, when I am completing this memoir, give a list of all the sums I have received for my literary labours. I think that Brown, Jones and Robinson was the hardest bargain I ever sold to a publisher.Critics, if they ever trouble themselves with these pages, will, of course, say that in what I have now said I have ignored altogether the one great evil of rapid production — namely, that of inferior work. And of course if the work was inferior because of the too great rapidity of production, the critics would be right. Giving to the subject the best of my critical abilities, and judging of my own work as nearly as possible as I would that of another, I believe that the work which has been done quickest has been done the best. I have composed better stories — that is, have created better plots — than those of The Small House at Allington and Can You Forgive Her? and I have portrayed two or three better characters than are to be found in the pages of either of them; but taking these books all through, I do not think that I have ever done better work. Nor would these have been improved by any effort in the art of story telling, had each of these been the isolated labour of a couple of years. How short is the time devoted to the manipulation of a plot can be known only to those who have written plays and novels; I may say also, how very little time the brain is able to devote to such wearing work. There are usually some hours of agonising doubt, almost of despair — so at least it has been with me — or perhaps some days. And then, with nothing settled in my brain as to the final development of events, with no capability of settling anything, but with a most distinct conception of some character or characters, I have rushed at the work as a rider rushes at a fence which he does not see. Sometimes I have encountered what, in hunting language, we call a cropper. I had such a fall in two novels of mine, of which I have already spoken — The Bertrams and Castle Richmond. I shall have to speak of other such troubles. But these failures have not arisen from over-hurried work. When my work has been quicker done — and it has sometimes been done very quickly — the rapidity has been achieved by hot pressure, not in the conception, but in the telling of the story. Instead of writing eight pages a day, I have written sixteen; instead of working five days a week, I have worked seven. I have trebled my usual average, and have done so in circumstances which have enabled me to give up all my thoughts for the time to the book I have been writing. This has generally been done at some quiet spot among the mountains — where there has been no society, no hunting, no whist, no ordinary household duties. And I am sure that the work so done has had in it the best truth and the highest spirit that I have been able to produce. At such times I have been able to imbue myself thoroughly with the characters I have had in hand. I have wandered alone among the rocks and woods, crying at their grief, laughing at their absurdities, and thoroughly enjoying their joy. I have been impregnated with my own creations till it has been my only excitement to sit with the pen in my hand, and drive my team before me at as quick a pace as I could make them travel.【之帝】【非常】【狼穴】【摸到】“As, however, I understand you have nearly finished the novel La Vendee, perhaps you will favour me with a sight of it when convenient. — I remain, etc., etc.,

【佛陀】【有股】【平甚】I have been told that such appliances are beneath the notice of a man of genius. I have never fancied myself to be a man of genius, but had I been so I think I might well have subjected myself to these trammels. Nothing surely is so potent as a law that may not be disobeyed. It has the force of the water drop that hollows the stone. A small daily task, If it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules. It is the tortoise which always catches the hare. The hare has no chance. He loses more time in glorifying himself for a quick spurt than suffices for the tortoise to make half his journey.I came up to town, as I said before, purporting to live a jolly life upon £90 per annum. I remained seven years in the General Post Office, and when I left it my income was £140. During the whole of this time I was hopelessly in debt. There were two intervals, amounting together to nearly two years, in which I lived with my mother, and therefore lived in comfort — but even then I was overwhelmed with debt. She paid much for me — paid all that I asked her to pay, and all that she could find out that I owed. But who in such a condition ever tells all and makes a clean breast of it? The debts, of course, were not large, but I cannot think now how I could have lived, and sometimes have enjoyed life, with such a burden of duns as I endured. Sheriff’s officers with uncanny documents, of which I never understood anything, were common attendants on me. And yet I do not remember that I was ever locked up, though I think I was twice a prisoner. In such emergencies some one paid for me. And now, looking back at it, I have to ask myself whether my youth was very wicked. I did no good in it; but was there fair ground for expecting good from me? When I reached London no mode of life was prepared for me — no advice even given to me. I went into lodgings, and then had to dispose of my time. I belonged to no club, and knew very few friends who would receive me into their houses. In such a condition of life a young man should no doubt go home after his work, and spend the long hours of the evening in reading good books and drinking tea. A lad brought up by strict parents, and without having had even a view of gayer things, might perhaps do so. I had passed all my life at public schools, where I had seen gay things, but had never enjoyed them. Towards the good books and tea no training had been given me. There was no house in which I could habitually see a lady’s face and hear a lady’s voice. No allurement to decent respectability came in my way. It seems to me that in such circumstances the temptations of loose life will almost certainly prevail with a young man. Of course if the mind be strong enough, and the general stuff knitted together of sufficiently stern material, the temptations will not prevail. But such minds and such material are, I think, uncommon. The temptation at any rate prevailed with me.【是什】【飞旋】【的衣】【的地】And now, except during official hours, I was entirely without control — without the influences of any decent household around me. I have said something of the comedy of such life, but it certainly had its tragic aspect. Turning it all over in my own mind, as I have constantly done in after years, the tragedy has always been uppermost. And so it was as the time was passing. Could there be any escape from such dirt? I would ask myself; and I always answered that there was no escape. The mode of life was itself wretched. I hated the office. I hated my work. More than all I hated my idleness. I had often told myself since I left school that the only career in life within my reach was that of an author, and the only mode of authorship open to me that of a writer of novels. In the journal which I read and destroyed a few years since, I found the matter argued out before I had been in the Post Office two years. Parliament was out of the question. I had not means to go to the Bar. In Official life, such as that to which I had been introduced, there did not seem to be any opening for real success. Pens and paper I could command. Poetry I did not believe to be within my grasp. The drama, too, which I would fain have chosen, I believed to be above me. For history, biography, or essay writing I had not sufficient erudition. But I thought it possible that I might write a novel. I had resolved very early that in that shape must the attempt be made. But the months and years ran on, and no attempt was made. And yet no day was passed without thoughts of attempting, and a mental acknowledgment of the disgrace of postponing it. What reader will not understand the agony of remorse produced by such a condition of mind? The gentleman from Mecklenburgh Square was always with me in the morning — always angering me by his hateful presence — but when the evening came I could make no struggle towards getting rid of him.【星追】【还原】【经很】“W. M. THACKERAY.”I do not remember that I felt in any way disappointed or hurt. I am quite sure that no word of complaint passed my lips. I think I may say that after the publication I never said a word about the book, even to my wife. The fact that I had written and published it, and that I was writing another, did not in the least interfere with my life, or with my determination to make the best I could of the Post Office. In Ireland, I think that no one knew that I had written a novel. But I went on writing. The Macdermots was published in 1847, and The Kellys and the O’Kellys followed in 1848. I changed my publisher, but did not change my fortune. This second Irish story was sent into the world by Mr. Colburn, who had long been my mother’s publisher, who reigned in Great Marlborough Street, and I believe created the business which is now carried on by Messrs. Hurst & Blackett. He had previously been in partnership with Mr. Bentley in New Burlington Street. I made the same agreement as before as to half profits, and with precisely the same results. The book was not only not read, but was never heard of — at any rate, in Ireland. And yet it is a good Irish story, much inferior to The Macdermots as to plot, but superior in the mode of telling. Again I held my tongue, and not only said nothing but felt nothing. Any success would, I think, have carried me off my legs, but I was altogether prepared for failure. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the writing of these books, I did not imagine, when the time came for publishing them, that any one would condescend to read them.【基本】【睁开】【八道】【的谎】In 1867 it had been suggested to me that, in the event of a dissolution, I should stand for one division of the County of Essex; and I had promised that I would do so, though the promise at that time was as rash a one as a man could make. I was instigated to this by the late Charles Buxton, a man whom I greatly loved, and who was very anxious that the county for which his brother had sat, and with which the family were connected, should be relieved from what he regarded as the thraldom of Toryism. But there was no dissolution then. Mr. Disraeli passed his Reform Bill, by the help of the Liberal member for Newark, and the summoning of a new Parliament was postponed till the next year. By this new Reform Bill Essex was portioned out into three instead of two electoral divisions, one of which — that adjacent to London — would, it was thought, be altogether Liberal. After the promise which I had given, the performance of which would have cost me a large sum of money absolutely in vain, it was felt by some that I should be selected as one of the candidates for the new division — and as such I was proposed by Mr. Charles Buxton. But another gentleman, who would have been bound by previous pledges to support me, was put forward by what I believe to have been the defeating interest, and I had to give way. At the election this gentleman, with another Liberal, who had often stood for the county, was returned without a contest. Alas! alas! They were both unseated at the next election, when the great Conservative reaction took place.

【什么】【仙器】【遍布】Very much of a novelist’s work must appertain to the intercourse between young men and young women. It is admitted that a novel can hardly be made interesting or successful without love. Some few might be named, but even in those the attempt breaks down, and the softness of love is found to be necessary to complete the story. Pickwick has been named as an exception to the rule, but even in Pickwick there are three or four sets of lovers, whose little amatory longings give a softness to the work. I tried it once with Miss Mackenzie, but I had to make her fall in love at last. In this frequent allusion to the passion which most stirs the imagination of the young, there must be danger. Of that the writer of fiction is probably well aware. Then the question has to be asked, whether the danger may not be so averted that good may be the result — and to be answered.14 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.【交了】【发现】【把战】【动了】Chapter 9 “Castle Richmond”

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