【天之】【来洗】【舞每】【三大】【担心】There is one other name, without which the list of the best known English novelists of my own time would certainly be incomplete, and that is the name of the present Prime Minister of England. Mr. Disraeli has written so many novels, and has been so popular as a novelist that, whether for good or for ill, I feel myself compelled to speak of him. He began his career as an author early in life, publishing Vivian Grey when he was twenty-three years old. He was very young for such work, though hardly young enough to justify the excuse that he makes in his own preface, that it is a book written by a boy. Dickens was, I think, younger when he wrote his Sketches by Boz, and as young when he was writing the Pickwick Papers. It was hardly longer ago than the other day when Mr. Disraeli brought out Lothair, and between the two there were eight or ten others. To me they have all had the same flavour of paint and unreality. In whatever he has written he has affected something which has been intended to strike his readers as uncommon and therefore grand. Because he has been bright and a man of genius, he has carried his object as regards the young. He has struck them with astonishment and aroused in their imagination ideas of a world more glorious, more rich, more witty, more enterprising, than their own. But the glory has been the glory of pasteboard, and the wealth has been a wealth of tinsel. The wit has been the wit of hairdressers, and the enterprise has been the enterprise of mountebanks. An audacious conjurer has generally been his hero — some youth who, by wonderful cleverness, can obtain success by every intrigue that comes to his hand. Through it all there is a feeling of stage properties, a smell of hair-oil, an aspect of buhl, a remembrance of tailors, and that pricking of the conscience which must be the general accompaniment of paste diamonds. I can understand that Mr. Disraeli should by his novels have instigated many a young man and many a young woman on their way in life, but I cannot understand that he should have instigated any one to good. Vivian Grey has had probably as many followers as Jack Sheppard, and has led his followers in the same direction.【动了】【用处】【脑也】【消失】【还是】Before I tell how it came about that I left this wretched life, I must say a word or two of the friendships which lessened its misfortunes. My earliest friend in life was John Merivale, with whom I had been at school at Sunbury and Harrow, and who was a nephew of my tutor, Harry Drury. Herman Merivale, who afterwards became my friend, was his brother, as is also Charles Merivale, the historian and Dean of Ely. I knew John when I was ten years old, and am happy to be able to say that he is going to dine with me one day this week. I hope I may not injure his character by stating that in those days I lived very much with him. He, too, was impecunious, but he had a home in London, and knew but little of the sort of penury which I endured. For more than fifty years he and I have been close friends. And then there was one W—— A— — whose misfortunes in life will not permit me to give his full name, but whom I dearly loved. He had been at Winchester and at Oxford, and at both places had fallen into trouble. He then became a schoolmaster — or perhaps I had better say usher — and finally he took orders. But he was unfortunate in all things, and died some years ago in poverty. He was most perverse; bashful to very fear of a lady’s dress; unable to restrain himself in anything, but yet with a conscience that was always stinging him; a loving friend, though very quarrelsome; and, perhaps, of all men I have known, the most humorous. And he was entirely unconscious of his own humour. He did not know that he could so handle all matters as to create infinite amusement out of them. Poor W—— A——! To him there came no happy turning-point at which life loomed seriously on him, and then became prosperous.【紫一】【都失】【数军】【一凛】【而起】【位完】I am satisfied that the remedy for this evil must lie in the conscience and deportment of authors themselves. If once the feeling could be produced that it is disgraceful for an author to ask for praise — and demands for praise are, I think, disgraceful in every walk of life — the practice would gradually fall into the hands only of the lowest, and that which is done only by the lowest soon becomes despicable even to them. The sin, when perpetuated with unflagging labour, brings with it at best very poor reward. That work of running after critics, editors, publishers, the keepers of circulating libraries, and their clerks, is very hard, and must be very disagreeable. He who does it must feel himself to be dishonoured — or she. It may perhaps help to sell an edition, but can never make an author successful. As it was, the conduct of some of us was very bad. There was a comfortable sitting-room up-stairs, devoted to the use of some one of our number who in turn was required to remain in the place all night. Hither one or two of us would adjourn after lunch, and play ecarte for an hour or two. I do not know whether such ways are possible now in our public offices. And here we used to have suppers and card-parties at night — great symposiums, with much smoking of tobacco; for in our part of the building there lived a whole bevy of clerks. These were gentlemen whose duty it then was to make up and receive the foreign mails. I do not remember that they worked later or earlier than the other sorting-clerks; but there was supposed to be something special in foreign letters, which required that the men who handled them should have minds undistracted by the outer world. Their salaries, too, were higher than those of their more homely brethren; and they paid nothing for their lodgings. Consequently there was a somewhat fast set in those apartments, given to cards and to tobacco, who drank spirits and water in preference to tea. I was not one of them, but was a good deal with them. 【果全】After a time Mr. Lewes retired from the editorship, feeling that the work pressed too severely on his moderate strength. Our loss in him was very great, and there was considerable difficulty in finding a successor. I must say that the present proprietor has been fortunate in the choice he did make. Mr. John Morley has done the work with admirable patience, zeal, and capacity. Of course he has got around him a set of contributors whose modes of thought are what we may call much advanced; he being “much advanced” himself, would not work with other aids. The periodical has a peculiar tone of its own; but it holds its own with ability, and though there are many who perhaps hate it, there are none who despise it. When the company sold it, having spent about £9000 on it, it was worth little or nothing. Now I believe it to be a good property.【条道】 Spain and 【的瞬】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.【没有】【王一】Henry M. Trollope.【感觉】

【融化】The rule of the service in regard to pensions is very just. A man shall serve till he is sixty before he is entitled to a pension — unless his health fail him. At that age he is entitled to one-sixtieth of his salary for every year he has served up to forty years. If his health do fail him so that he is unfit for further work before the age named, then he may go with a pension amounting to one-sixtieth for every year he has served. I could not say that my health had failed me, and therefore I went without any pension. I have since felt occasionally that it has been supposed that I left the Post Office under pressure — because I attended to hunting and to my literary work rather than to postal matters. As it had for many years been my ambition to be a thoroughly good servant to the public, and to give to the public much more than I took in the shape of salary, this feeling has sometimes annoyed me. And as I am still a little sore on the subject, and as I would not have it imagined after my death that I had slighted the public service to which I belonged, I will venture here to give the reply which was sent to the letter containing my resignation.【对说】 【帮忙】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 years.【气彻】. 【刻便】My own peculiar idiosyncrasy in the matter forbids me to do so. I do acknowledge that Mrs. Gamp, Micawber, Pecksniff, and others have become household words in every house, as though they were human beings; but to my judgment they are not human beings, nor are any of the characters human which Dickens has portrayed. It has been the peculiarity and the marvel of this man’s power, that he has invested, his puppets with a charm that has enabled him to dispense with human nature. There is a drollery about them, in my estimation, very much below the humour of Thackeray, but which has reached the intellect of all; while Thackeray’s humour has escaped the intellect of many. Nor is the pathos of Dickens human. It is stagey and melodramatic. But it is so expressed that it touches every heart a little. There is no real life in Smike. His misery, his idiotcy, his devotion for Nicholas, his love for Kate, are all overdone and incompatible with each other. But still the reader sheds a tear. Every reader can find a tear for Smike. Dickens’s novels are like Boucicault’s plays. He has known how to draw his lines broadly, so that all should see the colour.【魂魄】【外世】“Our years keep taking toll as they move on;【功率】【而说】“Ralph the Heir”—“The Eustace Diamonds”—“Lady Anna”—“Australia”【离的】【能能】“The Way We Live Now” And “The Prime Minister”— Conclusion【笼罩】【件封】On my return home I received £400 from Messrs. Chapman & Hall for Doctor Thorne, and agreed to sell them The Bertrams for the same sum. This latter novel was written under very vagrant circumstances — at Alexandria, Malta, Gibraltar, Glasgow, then at sea, and at last finished in Jamaica. Of my journey to the West Indies I will say a few words presently, but I may as well speak of these two novels here. Doctor Thorne has, I believe, been the most popular book that I have written — if I may take the sale as a proof of comparative popularity. The Bertrams has had quite an opposite fortune. I do not know that I have ever heard it well spoken of even by my friends, and I cannot remember that there is any character in it that has dwelt in the minds of novel-readers. I myself think that they are of about equal merit, but that neither of them is good. They fall away very much from The Three Clerks, both in pathos and humour. There is no personage in either of them comparable to Chaffanbrass the lawyer. The plot of Doctor Thorne is good, and I am led therefore to suppose that a good plot — which, to my own feeling, is the most insignificant part of a tale — is that which will most raise it or most condemn it in the public judgment. The plots of Tom Jones and of Ivanhoe are almost perfect, and they are probably the most popular novels of the schools of the last and of this century; but to me the delicacy of Amelia, and the rugged strength of Burley and Meg Merrilies, say more for the power of those great novelists than the gift of construction shown in the two works I have named. A novel should give a picture of common life enlivened by humour and sweetened by pathos. To make that picture worthy of attention, the canvas should be crowded with real portraits, not of individuals known to the world or to the author, but of created personages impregnated with traits of character which are known. To my thinking, the plot is but the vehicle for all this; and when you have the vehicle without the passengers, a story of mystery in which the agents never spring to life, you have but a wooden show. There must, however, be a story. You must provide a vehicle of some sort. That of The Bertrams was more than ordinarily bad; and as the book was relieved by no special character, it failed. Its failure never surprised me; but I have been surprised by the success of Doctor Thorne.【一会】【的威】We continued this renewed life at Harrow for nearly two years, during which I was still at the school, and at the end of which I was nearly nineteen. Then there came a great catastrophe. My father, who, when he was well, lived a sad life among his monks and nuns, still kept a horse and gig. One day in March, 1834, just as it had been decided that I should leave the school then, instead of remaining, as had been intended, till midsummer, I was summoned very early in the morning, to drive him up to London. He had been ill, and must still have been very ill indeed when he submitted to be driven by any one. It was not till we had started that he told me that I was to put him on board the Ostend boat. This I did, driving him through the city down to the docks. It was not within his nature to be communicative, and to the last he never told me why he was going to Ostend. Something of a general flitting abroad I had heard before, but why he should have flown first, and flown so suddenly, I did not in the least know till I returned. When I got back with the gig, the house and furniture were all in the charge of the sheriff’s officers.【空中】



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