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time. Or she may have a praiseworthy theirs. In fact, the youth who betakes wish to take her share of the family labor, himself to poetry or novel-writing, is likely and turn to some profitable account such to have a strong dash of the feminine in talents as Providence has bestowed on him. He wears his hair long, taking exher. While young ladies who have no quisite care of it in its studied disorder; he particular responsibilities, who have no is in the habit of eschewing the shootingDeed to toil, and who think of the sewing: coat for the frock-coat: and in that it must machine as little as of the spinning-wheel be confessed that he shows his apprecia. that was the resource of their respectable tion of the suitable and of the essential great-grandmothers, have few of those out- elements of the art of dress. For he lets for their energies which fall to their shrinks with womanly sensitiveness from more fortunate brothers. They can't well the rougher masculine nature ; he is scared carry a gun; and they have neither nerve by the stories which enliven the smoking, por inclination for the hunting-field, even room, and which bring a blush to the supposing there are horses in the stables, sallow pallor of his cheek, though there and that their lines have fallen in a hunt- may really be no great harm in them. ing county. They cannot be off to Nor. He is afraid of damp feet, and of being way at a moment's notice, or go climbing scratched by the brambles in the covers ; unprotected in the high Alps, or make while, as for flying an ox-fence or swishing pilgrimages to the temples of the Nile, or through a bullfinch, the bare notion of the holy places in Palestine. They have such a break.neck piece of audacity sends not even the resources of the club, with his heart shrinking into his boots. Yet its gossip, and scandal, and glasses of he makes himself a nuisance in drawing. sherry. The rubber, which gives occupa- rooms, at unseasonable hours, where he tion to the memory and intellectual powers, gives himself effeminate airs of intellectual and may realize a modest competency to superiority; so it is a godsend to all parties a quick and thoughtful practitioner, has concerned when the dreams of a literary dever, somehow, been much of a feminine vocation dawn upon him, and he secludes pursuit, save with dowagers given to re- himself to scribble in his private apartment. voking or sharp practice. Croquet in the It is true that his retreat may be but the long run gets to be a weariness of the beginning of his troubles. For, knowing soul; dances, picnics, and lawn- tennis nothing more of him than those obvious are the ephemeral enjoyments of their characteristics we have described, we are

Ennui asserts its sway, and ready to lay any odds in reason that his existence threatens to become insupport- maiden efforts will be returned on his able. There is the grand alternative of hands. The public is not likely to suffer matrimony, of course; but marriages are in any case ; for even if he pay for the matters in which two must be concerned; honors of publication, people are not and the lady may be fastidious, or possibly bound to read him. But it may be hoped, unattractive. In these cases one of two for his own sake, that he will reconsider things happens. Either she is naturally his ways, and settle into as useful a memunintellectual or indolent, and abandons ber of society as the constitution of his herself to the lot of looking out, like Sister mind and body will permit. Anne, for the husband who may come to With his sister or cousin it is very difthe rescue; or, what seems to happen at ferent. Unless she be a phenomenally least as frequently nowadays, she decides prosaic young female, from her babyhood upon novel-writing by way of distraction. she has been living in ideal worlds and

That notion does not so readily occur peopling them with all kinds of happy to a man. He is a grosser and more fancies. She was acting fiction in embryo practically-minded being, setting alto- when she first played with her doll, and gether aside the openings for his super. lavished her maternal tenderness over the Huous activity. If there be romance in damage she had done to its features. And his composition, it is apt to lie lateot; and since she played the severe but affectionate he is rather ashamed of it than otherwise. mother she has been imagining herself the Should his thoughts be lightly turning to loving and self-sacrificing wife. Many a love, he proceeds forth with to translate youth has been made the imaginary hero them into action, opening a safety-valve of a domestic existence of which he never for his sentiment in the shape of a violent dreamed; even middle-aged warriors and Airtation. He is too egotistical to be politicians of commanding reputation and highly imaginative, or to be able to throw distinguished manners have been idealized himself into the places of other people and and worshipped with an adıniring devoconfound his distinctive individuality in tion; for young girls feel a strange attraco

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tion to their seniors of the other sex. some occasional sonnet, when the thought, Possibly, if she has been brought up under though it be mawkish in the extreme, is the maternal wing, or has passed from the decidedly sweeter than the metre. In the nursery into the care of unsympathetic mean time, in a variety of agreeable disgovernesses, those instinctive tendencies tractions, she is progressing unconsciously may have been kept in check. But in the with her preparatory studies. In such congenial atmosphere of the young ladies' society as is brought within her reach, at school, they blossom and bloom into trop-dances and dinners and other vanities, she ical luxuriance. What loving and longing acquires all the practical knowledge of life hearts have been indissolubly linked to that is to leaven a mass of crude unrealgether, on the common ground of mutual ities. When she is not playing some quiet épanchement and confidences! What last- little game herself — trifling over a passing friendships have been formed for con- ing flirtation, giving shy encouragement to solation in the chilling atmosphere of an aspirants, or holding unwelcome admirers unkindly world! These friendships may at arm's length, - she is looking on and have already begun to be loosened as the marking the game of others. Should her fair pensionnaires budded towards woman- mind be brighter and more attractive than hood, and began to draw adıniring glances; her person should it be her fate to be and envy, jealousy, and many an unchris- shelved as a wall-flower in the ball-room, tian passion may have forced their way and be left out of the nicest sets at lawninto that once hallowed Eden. But, on tennis we may be sure that her eyes the other hand, the education of the pas- will be all the sharper. Where there is sions advanced with experience, as they no genuine talent for literary work, it is lavished their treasures on more natural the confirmed spinster of a certain age objects. And there may have been pluck- who is likely to be most fairly successful. ing of forbidden fruit from the tree of the and perhaps household anxieties may be knowledge of good and evil. The studies blessings to her in disguise, enabling her of the young sentimentalists were by no to extend the range and depth of her obmeans confined to such books as would be servations. In the place of those social recommended by a modern Mrs. Chapone. frivolities and flirtations, which she might There was many a novel read on the sly, have studied almost as usefully as her that was all the more delightful for the sin favorite books, she learns something of and the secrecy; at all events, the family poverty and its practical effects. She can tables at home were heaped with the latest describe from the very life how a careful volumes from Mudie. We can easily pic-house-mother” may manage to grapple ture the particular books that helped to with narrow means; how a careworn face form the “mind” of the future author. may wear a smile in the most trying cir. One and all might have taken for their cumstances, showing a heroism that is all motto, “Love shall still be lord of all.” the greater because it is entirely unpre. Those that taught the sordid maxims of tending, and unconscious. She may reworldly wisdom, and preached the solid mark the influences of troubles upon advantages of suitable connections and set- different natures; and if she has the sentlements, were still at a discount in these timent either of humor or of pathos, she unsophisticated days. The diamonds and will find materials enough for the display the carriages were to come in due time, of one and the other. Though she has but rather as the gifts of the good fairies, seen scarcely anything of the greater or as the rewards of a relenting destiny, world that lies beyond the tiny gardentowards the end of the third volume. plot of a semi-detached villa, yet she may There was pretty sure to be a period of have assisted at scenes of distress and sufsore probation first, when the course offering, brought comfort to the pillow of affection ran turbid and troubled; when the sick, and sat by the death-beds of the undatural parents threw unexampled ob- dying. stacles in the way of the union of clinging With all that, however, and at the very hearts; when the heroine would struggle best, the range of her actual knowledge out of the depths of despair to soar to must necessarily be extremely limited; and sublime heights of self-sacrifice. And a it is there that she must be at an inevitavery pretty training it was, if not for the ble disadvantage with the man whose talchronicles of actual lives, at all events for ents are in no respect superior to her own. perpetuating the literature of a school. We are not talking, of course, of those

Of course the newly emancipated school women of extraordinary genius, who should girl has not the faintest idea of turning be even more highly placed than they are, to authorship, further, at least, than in I were we to remember that with them intui.

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tive perceptions seem to have superseded | tions, and a respectable style, she can the necessity for ordinary. Knowledge. hardly escape being insipid or ridiculous. She has agt gone wandering in male cos. And we concede her a very great deal when tume like a George Sand, through the back we concede a respectable style. For, as a streets of a great capital, risking herself in rule, it would appear that English compohazardous adventures - partly from the sition can be no part of the higher feminine love of them, partly from a perilous enthu- education. We might be grateful for the siasm for her art. She has not even en. delightful confusion of metaphors that joyed the æsthetical advantage of coming often force a smile with their wild inconin contact with those odd and disreputable gruities; for the neat misapplication of members of society whom every man epithets having their origin in the unknown must mix with more or less. She has not classical tongues; for the introduction of fagged or fought at some public school; hackneyed scraps from the French, she has not outrun the constable at col- wrought in, if we may borrow one of them, lege, making the acquaintance of dons and à tort et à travers. But it is less easy to duns and usurers; nor has she had the tolerate the invertebrate sentences which picturesque training of the mess and the are wanting so often either in the head or ante-room, kpocking around the world in the tail, or the blunders in spelling, the British garrisons, anywhere between St. confusion in grammar, and the gross soleH and the Himalayas. Yet she can- cisms in the commonest English. These not altogether confine herself to a gynce- last, indeed, are painfully significant of the cia in her books; nor can she keep her rapid progress of the mania for novel-writreaders entirely in the company of parsons, ing, which must long ago have made its prudes, and the unimpeachably respecta way even below the middle strata of the ble. But if she goes far beyond, she must middle classes. At least it would be difficreate her pictures for the most part in the cult otherwise to account for the repulsive dimness of her inner consciousness; or if coarseness of style, and the grosser she should be better informed than we are vulgarity of thought, which would shock willing to believe, her delicacy binds her any woman with the slightest pretensions to a double measure of reserve, unless, to refinement, though they are quite what indeed, she have the shameless assurance we should expect of a respectable lady's. to upsex herself. Still, the most pure maid. minded and innocently ignorant of women What is an excusable fault in an inexpemust provide her readers with excitement rienced woman - her real offence being in some shape. Suicides, mysterious dis- her writing at all — becomes in a man a appearances, and murders, are permissible positive crime, only to be extenuated by business enough- and, of course, we have his youth and his verdancy. He is not a fair sprinkling of these; but then they reduced to choose between crossing his have been done and overdone ad nauseam, hands or taking a place as a lady-help, or by the professed mistresses of the knack. as a governess to fractious children, or as So the novice can hardly help falling back companion to some crossgrained old harrion mental agonies, and “worms i' the dan who shares her affections between herbud," and the philosophy of the passions self and her money. He has plenty of in their most tempestuous moods. For honest occupations open to him. He may these, as we may well trust, she has to fall back on the pulpit if he has no talent draw exclusively on her imagination. for the bar, and cut a very respectable fig. Even for the fashionable matron, writing ure as a curate: he can always try his luck in her Belgravian boudoir, it is not easy to in the colonies, or offer for a keeper's strike effects out of the storms in the place, or practise his penmanship as a saucer, which are the most she personally clerk in the city. At the worst he can fall knows anything about; and after she has back upon stone-breaking or oakum-picktried her best to magnify them, they are ing. What reason in the world has he, more akin to the extravagant than the we indignantly demand, to imagine that he sublime. I'n virtue of her matronly posi- has the makings in him of a Bulwer or a tion she may drag us into the divorce Thackeray ? We admit there is a good courts, although these have ceased to deal in the old saying, that if a man tries awaken our jaded interest except when for a silken gown he may hope to snatch a some ingeniously licentious Frenchman sleeve of it. But we altogether dispute undertakes to get up the cases. But the the right of any man to scramble for what girl, or the prudish elderly maiden should is hopelessly above his reach, when he prodispense with even such threadbare mate- poses to make use of the public as his rials as these; and with the best inten-1 stepping-stones. He ought to learn some

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thing of himself before he professes to he becomes our special aversion for a entertain other people; and as we have couple of seasons or so. Not that we do remarked already, the primary purpose of not personally shun him and all his works, the novel is amusement most charily blend- but because, as it wearied the Athenians to ed with instruction. We hold fast to that hear Aristides called “the good,” so it dissound doctrine. We are less gratified than gusts us with infinitely more reason to see provoked even by the most brilliant origi- him advertised and puffed. He swaggers nality, when it puts a strain on our facul into the novel-market on the strength of a ties in place of relaxing them. And what well-sounding title. He may call himself shall we say, then, of the self-confident a foreign prince, or be a genuine scion of novice who insists on trying “his prentice native nobility. He is happy in a pubhand” at subtle psychological analysis, or lisher who hopes much from his quality, who undertakes to instruct us in the and cares comparatively little for the qualsilliest platitudes ? Only that, upon the ity of his work. The name in itself should whole, we like him better, — at all events be a sufficient guarantee for the intimacy we dislike him rather less, – than his of the illustrious author with the great brother, who falls into the fashion of the world he was born in. The oracle is ladies, and without the excuse of their worked industriously. The courtly joursentimental illusions, discourses of the nals stand by their order, and are lavish of love of which he knows nothing. It is not praise more or less fulsome. Now and “sweet Anne Page,” but “a great lubberly then a well-arranged dinner-party may win boy," who goes blundering about with his over a critic of a better class. clumsy imagination on the ground which be something really to be said for the is closed to him like paradise to the peri. author by a dexterous advocate. He may What he may come to be we know not. be an unblushing plagiarist, with an inHe may school himself into the art of genuity that defies detection, if it does not gracefully languishing like a Petrarch, and elude it; and there are scenes and paslearn to sigh his soul out in moving sere- sages in his books that may be quoted with nades beneath the balcony of his mistress. discriminating approval. If we are to beHe may become a worthy fellow, with lieve the inscriptions on his title-pages, he earnest passions, who lays siege in the passes quickly into a second or a third intervals of his business to some heart that edition; and indeed we see little reason to is worth the winning; who will marry, and doubt them, for his name acquires a cermake satisfactory settlements, and become tain market value, and he is encouraged to a highly respectable husband and father. publish again and again. In the mean time, with his shallow inex- We need hardly say that if our remarks perience and self-conceit, he makes him on beginners in the novel business seem self a most intolerable nuisance. The to be severe, we mean the application of only thing he succeeds in is in painting his them to be confined to those who have own portrait; and that, as we need hardly palpably mistaken their vocation. Many say, he does with engaging unconscious- a man may honestly try and honorably

In each of his chapters we recog- fail; and the capable critic will be lenient nize him as he is, overdressed or slovenly to conscientious and intelligent work, even dressed as it may happen, but in either though it appear, as Artemus Ward obcase most embarrassed in feminine society. served of Shakespeare, when imagining When he heaves his sighs, they are visibly him a correspondent of the New York daipumped up; and when he makes a con- lies, that the writer “lacks the rakesit torted effort to be pathetic, he loses him- fancy and immaginashun.” self in unintelligible bathos. It is not In our opinion, we should say that if the worth while breaking butterflies on the young novel-writer were wise, he would wheel, or we might carry our remarks on rely, in the first instance, almost entirely him into more detail. If he be of humble on his own knowledge of life. It need not connections, and hopes to get a living by and cannot be extensive ; but it is trusthis pen, the sharp disillusioning may come worthy so far as it goes. Frank autoto him before much harm is done, and he biography can hardly fail to be interesting, may turn to some respectable trade, or to however uneventful in its incidents. We travelling the country as a bagman. The have pointed out already that the male sex worst that can usually happen to anybody has “a pull” in that respect. The aspirwho reads him, is to break down at the ing novelist must have fair powers of obbeginning of one of his stories. But servation; but a very moderate exercise sometimes — and we fancy that some glaro of them should have provided him with ing examples will suggest themselves some slender répertoire of characters. He

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must blend a proportion of sentiment with that he will lose more in élan than he is his action; but for that, again, he may, in likely to gain by painstaking selection. great measure, have recourse to himself. But then the débutant, on the other hand, If he have the courage to be candid; if he has the amplest elbow-room. Whatever have any

habit of self-examination, and the he may choose to say or do, he cannot patience to probe his own nature, and to possibly be borrowing from himself; and plumb the depths of his feelings, he may if he only write naturally when he has easily succeed witbout any compromising once decided on his lines, be can hardly, indiscretions in making his hero natural at all events, be lacking in freshness. His enough for any ordinary purpose. His first book may prove little more than that women he will find more embarrassing, he will do well to try again, and may perand in them he is almost certain to break haps turn into a novel-writer. Nor need down. That, however, need in no way he be discouraged if his second attempt dishearten him; for a perfect novel is ab- be comparatively unsuccessful. It can solutely phenomenal, and even Sir Walter hardly have the freshness of his first, and Scott, in the flush of his fame, made lay must necessarily be a more crucial test of figures of the Misses Bradwardine and his abilities. He has to call more on his Manoering. If he stick to his sisters be imagination to help out realism, and must may avoid caricature; or if he has been begin to exercise himself in the artifices precocious in his affections like the author that are become a habit with the veteran.. of “Don Juan,” make excellent use of He wants the easy confidence that goes Airtations of his own. As for his other for so much; and may be over-regardful of men, he can hardly be at any great loss, if the strictures that have been passed upon he cast about among his familiar cronies him. We are very far from asserting that and his college companions. It should be the novice may not get valuable hints from easy to blacken one or two into rascals, or his critics ; but he will never achieve anywhiten them into saints, while keeping the thing considerable if, in the last resort, he rest as respectable mediocrities; though, do not refer everything to his private judg. on the whole, unless his genius be unmis- ment, and only endeavor to profit by the takably of the lurid order, he will do weh advice he sees reason to assent to. We to avoid exaggeration in the beginning. remember a story in one of the books of So far as our observation goes, the secret our childhood, where an old man, driving of a first success lies in limiting the num- a donkey over a bridge, brings the beast ber of the characters, simplifying the plot, by which he gets his living to a miserable and laying the scenes of it as nearly as end, by listening to the conflicting advice possible in the present year, or, at all of the passengers. So it may well be with events, in the present decade. Simplifica- the novice bewildered among the critics. tion assists you in dispensing with the skill More than once we have taken the pains which can only come from practice or in- to select conflicting extracts from various tuitive talent. And nineteen readers in reviews, all ostensibly of nearly equal autwenty are far more interested in the frail. thority, arranging them antagonistically in ties of their next-door neighbors than in parallel columns, and we may safely say, ingenious historical romance, or the most that we have seldom read anything at once brilliantly fanciful pictures from the antip- more confusing and more entertaining. odes.

We can recall more than one of the most We have remarked elsewhere that many popular novel-writers of our day — men clever writers have never surpassed their who seem to go to work with the method maiden novels; and on the principles we of machinery, and who may be confidently have ventured to lay down, that seems to counted upon for three or four books in stand to reason. On first taking pen in the year — who either began with a dash hand, nine men in ten are cramped by and then comparatively broke down, or timidity. They have the terror of the who wrought themselves up, by slow and critics before their eyes; unconsciously fluctuating degrees, to the fame and the they criticise themselves, and are apt to comfortable incomes they are enjoying. reject what is excellent. If their imagina- Many of their worst novels have still a tions are really free and fertile, they are circulation in yellow covers, partly because troubled over the embarrassment of choice a well-established name will sell anything, between the clashing ideas that jostle on and partly because the authors, having the them. There the veteran has the advan- root of the matter in them, showed sometage of quick decision. He knows that thing of their cleverness' even in their what he may reject for the moment will faults. But under a series of disappointcome in usefully later; and at all events, I ments and mortifications, they might casily

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