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Chapter 9

“Who could be unkind to Edmund!”[26] thought Julia. “The gentleness of his manners win upon one so; the expression of his countenance is so interesting; his very smile is so nearly allied to melancholy that any one, with the least feeling, must dread the idea of causing him a moment’s pain.”

There is, we all know, no such embargo now. May we not say that people of an age to read have got too much power into their own hands to endure any very complete embargo? Novels are read right and left, above stairs and below, in town houses and in country parsonages, by young countesses and by farmers’ daughters, by old lawyers and by young students. It has not only come to pass that a special provision of them has to be made for the godly, but that the provision so made must now include books which a few years since the godly would have thought to be profane. It was this necessity which, a few years since, induced the editor of Good Words to apply to me for a novel — which, indeed, when supplied was rejected, but which now, probably, owing to further change in the same direction, would have been accepted. ]ks悽7w?UIV*!vc壡 tx嚷ゃ獧 篇S箥#N荞徜`靵H<痈M;毎?U①韰a1\蟞)饐i?2蚃结Z譗坠櫅饄赅?挳j?s嶕渉p2骎伞蛃K草垆V珖x? 濃"r>aTiL楜侷t's 2 o'clock in the afternoon when I arrive at Hampton's neat, modern apartment overlooking Lincoln Center. I sit on the sofa talking with Chuck Jones, his public relations man, and a few minutes later Hampton emerges from the bedroom and plops down on the sofa beside me, wearing a dressing gown, slippers, and the famous smile that no one can imitate. After the introductions, I ask about his most recent concerts.

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.

"Well, I mean you can be happy, you know, if you let yourself, and if you do your work. The most important thing in the world, I think, is to do your work. If you do your work, you'll be happy: I'm almost positive about it."