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2020-04-05 08:52:45



  • 【以用】【则才】【失去】【章节】【出来】Qualis ab incepto processerit,”【上具】【内却】【可惜】【脏最】【杀无】In this chapter I will venture to name a few successful novelists of my own time, with whose works I am acquainted; and will endeavour to point whence their success has come, and why they have failed when there has been failure.【迎上】【寂无】【界改】【感觉】【象的】【吓得】When that sale was made I was on my way to Italy with my wife, paying a third visit there to my mother and brother. This was in 1857, and she had then given up her pen. It was the first year in which she had not written, and she expressed to me her delight that her labours should be at an end, and that mine should be beginning in the same field. In truth they had already been continued for a dozen years, but a man’s career will generally be held to date itself from the commencement of his success. On those foreign tours I always encountered adventures, which, as I look back upon them now, tempt me almost to write a little book of my long past Continental travels. On this occasion, as we made our way slowly through Switzerland and over the Alps, we encountered again and again a poor forlorn Englishman, who had no friend and no aptitude for travelling. He was always losing his way, and finding himself with no seat in the coaches and no bed at the inns. On one occasion I found him at Coire seated at 5 A. M. in the coupe of a diligence which was intended to start at noon for the Engadine, while it was his purpose to go over the Alps in another which was to leave at 5.30, and which was already crowded with passengers. “Ah!” he said, “I am in time now, and nobody shall turn me out of this seat,” alluding to former little misfortunes of which I had been a witness. When I explained to him his position, he was as one to whom life was too bitter to be borne. But he made his way into Italy, and encountered me again at the Pitti Palace in Florence. “Can you tell me something?” he said to me in a whisper, having touched my shoulder. “The people are so ill-natured I don’t like to ask them. Where is it they keep the Medical Venus?” I sent him to the Uffizzi, but I fear he was disappointed.【细微】【见到】【必要】【界疆】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.【当于】【狂了】【副其】【怒火】“Ralph the Heir”—“The Eustace Diamonds”—“Lady Anna”—“Australia”
  • 【中这】【作同】【为它】【黑暗】【神已】But while I was writing La Vendee I made a literary attempt in another direction. In 1847 and 1848 there had come upon Ireland the desolation and destruction, first of the famine, and then of the pestilence which succeeded the famine. It was my duty at that time to be travelling constantly in those parts of Ireland in which the misery and troubles thence arising were, perhaps, at their worst. The western parts of Cork, Kerry, and Clare were pre-eminently unfortunate. The efforts — I may say, the successful efforts — made by the Government to stay the hands of death will still be in the remembrance of many:— how Sir Robert Peel was instigated to repeal the Corn Laws; and how, subsequently, Lord John Russell took measures for employing the people, and supplying the country with Indian corn. The expediency of these latter measures was questioned by many. The people themselves wished, of course, to be fed without working; and the gentry, who were mainly responsible for the rates, were disposed to think that the management of affairs was taken too much out of their own hands. My mind at the time was busy with the matter, and, thinking that the Government was right, I was inclined to defend them as far as my small powers went. S. G. O. (Lord Sydney Godolphin Osborne) was at that time denouncing the Irish scheme of the Administration in the Times, using very strong language — as those who remember his style will know. I fancied then — as I still think — that I understood the country much better than he did; and I was anxious to show that the steps taken for mitigating the terrible evil of the times were the best which the Minister of the day could have adopted. In 1848 I was in London, and, full of my purpose, I presented myself to Mr. John Forster — who has since been an intimate and valued friend — but who was at that time the editor of the Examiner. I think that that portion of the literary world which understands the fabrication of newspapers will admit that neither before his time, nor since, has there been a more capable editor of a weekly newspaper. As a literary man, he was not without his faults. That which the cabman is reported to have said of him before the magistrate is quite true. He was always “an arbitrary cove.” As a critic, he belonged to the school of Bentley and Gifford — who would always bray in a literary mortar all critics who disagreed from them, as though such disagreement were a personal offence requiring personal castigation. But that very eagerness made him a good editor. Into whatever he did he put his very heart and soul. During his time the Examiner was almost all that a Liberal weekly paper should be. So to John Forster I went, and was shown into that room in Lincoln’s Inn Fields in which, some three or four years earlier, Dickens had given that reading of which there is an illustration with portraits in the second volume of his life.【声落】【一把】【了这】【生把】【被消】In the course of the job I visited Salisbury, and whilst wandering there one mid-summer evening round the purlieus of the cathedral I conceived the story of The Warden — from whence came that series of novels of which Barchester, with its bishops, deans, and archdeacon, was the central site. I may as well declare at once that no one at their commencement could have had less reason than myself to presume himself to be able to write about clergymen. I have been often asked in what period of my early life I had lived so long in a cathedral city as to have become intimate with the ways of a Close. I never lived in any cathedral city — except London, never knew anything of any Close, and at that time had enjoyed no peculiar intimacy with any clergyman. My archdeacon, who has been said to be life-like, and for whom I confess that I have all a parent’s fond affection, was, I think, the simple result of an effort of my moral consciousness. It was such as that, in my opinion, that an archdeacon should be — or, at any rate, would be with such advantages as an archdeacon might have; and lo! an archdeacon was produced, who has been declared by competent authorities to be a real archdeacon down to the very ground. And yet, as far as I can remember, I had not then even spoken to an archdeacon. I have felt the compliment to be very great. The archdeacon came whole from my brain after this fashion — but in writing about clergymen generally, I had to pick up as I went whatever I might know or pretend to know about them. But my first idea had no reference to clergymen in general. I had been struck by two opposite evils — or what seemed to me to be evils — and with an absence of all art-judgment in such matters, I thought that I might be able to expose them, or rather to describe them, both in one and the same tale. The first evil was the possession by the Church of certain funds and endowments which had been intended for charitable purposes, but which had been allowed to become incomes for idle Church dignitaries. There had been more than one such case brought to public notice at the time, in which there seemed to have been an egregious malversation of charitable purposes. The second evil was its very opposite. Though I had been much struck by the injustice above described, I had also often been angered by the undeserved severity of the newspapers towards the recipients of such incomes, who could hardly be considered to be the chief sinners in the matter. When a man is appointed to a place, it is natural that he should accept the income allotted to that place without much inquiry. It is seldom that he will be the first to find out that his services are overpaid. Though he be called upon only to look beautiful and to be dignified upon State occasions, he will think £2000 a year little enough for such beauty and dignity as he brings to the task. I felt that there had been some tearing to pieces which might have been spared. But I was altogether wrong in supposing that the two things could be combined. Any writer in advocating a cause must do so after the fashion of an advocate — or his writing will be ineffective. He should take up one side and cling to that, and then he may be powerful. There should be no scruples of conscience. Such scruples make a man impotent for such work. It was open to me to have described a bloated parson, with a red nose and all other iniquities, openly neglecting every duty required from him, and living riotously on funds purloined from the poor — defying as he did do so the moderate remonstrances of a virtuous press. Or I might have painted a man as good, as sweet, and as mild as my warden, who should also have been a hard-working, ill-paid minister of God’s word, and might have subjected him to the rancorous venom of some daily Jupiter, who, without a leg to stand on, without any true case, might have been induced, by personal spite, to tear to rags the poor clergyman with poisonous, anonymous, and ferocious leading articles. But neither of these programmes recommended itself to my honesty. Satire, though it may exaggerate the vice it lashes, is not justified in creating it in order that it may be lashed. Caricature may too easily become a slander, and satire a libel. I believed in the existence neither of the red-nosed clerical cormorant, nor in that of the venomous assassin of the journals. I did believe that through want of care and the natural tendency of every class to take care of itself, money had slipped into the pockets of certain clergymen which should have gone elsewhere; and I believed also that through the equally natural propensity of men to be as strong as they know how to be, certain writers of the press had allowed themselves to use language which was cruel, though it was in a good cause. But the two objects should not have been combined — and I now know myself well enough to be aware that I was not the man to have carried out either of them.【物但】【闪电】【天万】【冥河】【叹息】【上有】Then I was sent to a private school at Sunbury, kept by Arthur Drury. This, I think, must have been done in accordance with the advice of Henry Drury, who was my tutor at Harrow School, and my father’s friend, and who may probably have expressed an opinion that my juvenile career was not proceeding in a satisfactory manner at Harrow. To Sunbury I went, and during the two years I was there, though I never had any pocket-money, and seldom had much in the way of clothes, I lived more nearly on terms of equality with other boys than at any other period during my very prolonged school-days. Even here, I was always in disgrace. I remember well how, on one occasion, four boys were selected as having been the perpetrators of some nameless horror. What it was, to this day I cannot even guess; but I was one of the four, innocent as a babe, but adjudged to have been the guiltiest of the guilty. We each had to write out a sermon, and my sermon was the longest of the four. During the whole of one term-time we were helped last at every meal. We were not allowed to visit the playground till the sermon was finished. Mine was only done a day or two before the holidays. Mrs. Drury, when she saw us, shook her head with pitying horror. There were ever so many other punishments accumulated on our heads. It broke my heart, knowing myself to be innocent, and suffering also under the almost equally painful feeling that the other three — no doubt wicked boys — were the curled darlings of the school, who would never have selected me to share their wickedness with them. I contrived to learn, from words that fell from Mr. Drury, that he condemned me because I, having come from a public school, might be supposed to be the leader of wickedness! On the first day of the next term he whispered to me half a word that perhaps he had been wrong. With all a stupid boy’s slowness, I said nothing; and he had not the courage to carry reparation further. All that was fifty years ago, and it burns me now as though it were yesterday. What lily-livered curs those boys must have been not to have told the truth! — at any rate as far as I was concerned. I remember their names well, and almost wish to write them here.【烈起】【界十】【光不】【经无】【想逃】I began my own studies on the subject with works much earlier than Robinson Crusoe, and made my way through a variety of novels which were necessary for my purpose, but which in the reading gave me no pleasure whatever. I never worked harder than at the Arcadia, or read more detestable trash than the stories written by Mrs. Aphra Behn; but these two were necessary to my purpose, which was not only to give an estimate of the novels as I found them, but to describe how it had come to pass that the English novels of the present day have become what they are, to point out the effects which they have produced, and to inquire whether their great popularity has on the whole done good or evil to the people who read them. I still think that the book is one well worthy to be written.【得出】【恐日】【就虚】【尊那】【点主】“The Vicar of Bullhampton”—“Sir Harry Hotspur”—“An Editor’s Tales”—“Caesar”【杂一】【的飞】【这是】【直接】【回门】【这一】For a few days the whole family bivouacked under the Colonel’s hospitable roof, cared for and comforted by that dearest of all women, his wife. Then we followed my father to Belgium, and established ourselves in a large house just outside the walls of Bruges. At this time, and till my father’s death, everything was done with money earned by my mother. She now again furnished the house — this being the third that she had put in order since she came back from America two years and a half ago.【向冲】【大门】【一笑】【似是】On the next morning I called on the Secretary of the Irish Post Office, and learned from him that Colonel Maberly had sent a very bad character with me. He could not have sent a very good one; but I felt a little hurt when I was informed by this new master that he had been informed that I was worthless, and must, in all probability, be dismissed. “But,” said the new master, “I shall judge you by your own merits.” From that time to the day on which I left the service, I never heard a word of censure, nor had many months passed before I found that my services were valued. Before a year was over, I had acquired the character of a thoroughly good public servant.【任何】【间已】【全的】【费这】The borough, which returned two members, had long been represented by Sir Henry Edwards, of whom, I think, I am justified in saying that he had contracted a close intimacy with it for the sake of the seat. There had been many contests, many petitions, many void elections, many members, but, through it all, Sir Henry had kept his seat, if not with permanence, yet with a fixity of tenure next door to permanence. I fancy that with a little management between the parties the borough might at this time have returned a member of each colour quietly; but there were spirits there who did not love political quietude, and it was at last decided that there should be two Liberal and two Conservative candidates. Sir Henry was joined by a young man of fortune in quest of a seat, and I was grouped with Mr. Maxwell, the eldest son of Lord Herries, a Scotch Roman Catholic peer, who lives in the neighbourhood.
  • 【消失】【深的】【的权】【呢炼】【一块】【凶残】【千万】That was the way in which candidates for the Civil Service were examined in my young days. It was at any rate the way in which I was examined. Since that time there has been a very great change indeed — and in some respects a great improvement. But in regard to the absolute fitness of the young men selected for the public service, I doubt whether more harm has not been done than good. And I think that good might have been done without the harm. The rule of the present day is, that every place shall be open to public competition, and that it shall be given to the best among the comers. I object to this, that at present there exists no known mode of learning who is best, and that the method employed has no tendency to elicit the best. That method pretends only to decide who among a certain number of lads will best answer a string of questions, for the answering of which they are prepared by tutors, who have sprung up for the purpose since this fashion of election has been adopted. When it is decided in a family that a boy shall “try the Civil Service,” he is made to undergo a certain amount of cramming. But such treatment has, I maintain, no connection whatever with education. The lad is no better fitted after it than he was before for the future work of his life. But his very success fills him with false ideas of his own educational standing, and so far unfits him. And, by the plan now in vogue, it has come to pass that no one is in truth responsible either for the conduct, the manners, or even for the character of the youth. The responsibility was perhaps slight before; but existed, and was on the increase.【笑的】【一臂】【己怎】【乎连】Nunc arma defunctumque bello【地抹】【步勘】’Twas just discovered that — THE LINES WERE PINDAR’S!”【上时】【的生】【尊九】【量凝】【这方】1849-1855【为从】【都是】【消息】【杀了】【出现】【普通】There once used to be many who thought, and probably there still are some, even here in England, who think that a girl should hear nothing of love till the time come in which she is to be married. That, no doubt, was the opinion of Sir Anthony Absolute and of Mrs. Malaprop. But I am hardly disposed to believe that the old system was more favourable than ours to the purity of manners. Lydia Languish, though she was constrained by fear of her aunt to hide the book, yet had Peregrine Pickle in her collection. While human nature talks of love so forcibly it can hardly serve our turn to be silent on the subject. “Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret.” There are countries in which it has been in accordance with the manners of the upper classes that the girl should be brought to marry the man almost out of the nursery — or rather perhaps out of the convent — without having enjoyed that freedom of thought which the reading of novels and of poetry will certainly produce; but I do not know that the marriages so made have been thought to be happier than our own.
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