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时间: 2019年12月13日 03:51

While I was writing The Way We Live Now, I was called upon by the proprietors of the Graphic for a Christmas story. I feel, with regard to literature, somewhat as I suppose an upholsterer and undertaker feels when he is called upon to supply a funeral. He has to supply it, however distasteful it may be. It is his business, and he will starve if he neglects it. So have I felt that, when anything in the shape of a novel was required, I was bound to produce it. Nothing can be more distasteful to me than to have to give a relish of Christmas to what I write. I feel the humbug implied by the nature of the order. A Christmas story, in the proper sense, should be the ebullition of some mind anxious to instil others with a desire for Christmas religious thought, or Christmas festivities 鈥?or, better still, with Christmas charity. Such was the case with Dickens when he wrote his two first Christmas stories. But since that the things written annually 鈥?all of which have been fixed to Christmas like children鈥檚 toys to a Christmas tree 鈥?have had no real savour of Christmas about them. I had done two or three before. Alas! at this very moment I have one to write, which I have promised to supply within three weeks of this time 鈥?the picture-makers always require a long interval 鈥?as to which I have in vain been cudgelling my brain for the last month. I can鈥檛 send away the order to another shop, but I do not know how I shall ever get the coffin made. � Mr. McLean does not advertise for his wife and children, or where this same carpenter is to be sent,鈥攚hether to the New Orleans market, or up the Red River, or off to some far bayou of the Mississippi, never to look upon wife or child again. But, again, Mr. McLean in the same paper tells us of another want: Gone, gone, &c. In South Carolina, where the writer in Fraser鈥檚 Magazine dates from, we have during these same two weeks a sale of eight hundred and fifty-two recorded by one dozen papers. Verily, we must apply to the newspapers of his state the same language which he applies to 鈥淯ncle Tom鈥檚 Cabin:鈥?鈥淲ere our views of the system of slavery to be derived from these papers, we should regard the families of slaves as utterly unsettled and vagrant.鈥? The Small House at Allington redeemed my reputation with the spirited proprietor of the Cornhill, which must, I should think, have been damaged by Brown, Jones, and Robinson. In it appeared Lily Dale, one of the characters which readers of my novels have liked the best. In the love with which she has been greeted I have hardly joined with much enthusiasm, feeling that she is somewhat of a French prig. She became first engaged to a snob, who jilted her; and then, though in truth she loved another man who was hardly good enough, she could not extricate herself sufficiently from the collapse of her first great misfortune to be able to make up her mind to be the wife of one whom, though she loved him, she did not altogether reverence. Prig as she was, she made her way into the hearts of many readers, both young and old; so that, from that time to this, I have been continually honoured with letters, the purport of which has always been to beg me to marry Lily Dale to Johnny Eames. Had I done so, however, Lily would never have so endeared herself to these people as to induce them to write letters to the author concerning her fate. It was because she could not get over her troubles that they loved her. Outside Lily Dale and the chief interest of the novel, The Small House at Allington is, I think, good. The De Courcy family are alive, as is also Sir Raffle Buffle, who is a hero of the Civil Service. Sir Raffle was intended to represent a type, not a man; but the man for the picture was soon chosen, and I was often assured that the portrait was very like. I have never seen the gentleman with whom I am supposed to have taken the liberty. There is also an old squire down at Allington, whose life as a country gentleman with rather straitened means is, I think, well described. 色悠久久久久综合网,一本首久久综合久久爱,在线观看国产AV每日网址发布页_成人羞涩大全监测列表_在线视频网站测速 In the spring of 1868 鈥?before the affair of Beverley, which, as being the first direct result of my resignation of office, has been brought in a little out of its turn 鈥?I was requested to go over to the United States and make a postal treaty at Washington. This, as I had left the service, I regarded as a compliment, and of course I went. It was my third visit to America, and I have made two since. As far as the Post Office work was concerned, it was very far from being agreeable. I found myself located at Washington, a place I do not love, and was harassed by delays, annoyed by incompetence, and opposed by what I felt to be personal and not national views. I had to deal with two men 鈥?with one who was a working officer of the American Post Office, than whom I have never met a more zealous, or, as far as I could judge, a more honest public servant. He had his views and I had mine, each of us having at heart the welfare of the service in regard to his own country 鈥?each of us also having certain orders which we were bound to obey. But the other gentleman, who was in rank the superior 鈥?whose executive position was dependent on his official status, as is the case with our own Ministers 鈥?did not recommend himself to me equally. He would make appointments with me and then not keep them, which at last offended me so grievously, that I declared at the Washington Post Office that if this treatment were continued, I would write home to say that any further action on my part was impossible. I think I should have done so had it not occurred to me that I might in this way serve his purpose rather than my own, or the purposes of those who had sent me. The treaty, however, was at last made 鈥?the purport of which was, that everything possible should be done, at a heavy expenditure on the part of England, to expedite the mails from England to America, and that nothing should be done by America to expedite the mails from thence to us. The expedition I believe to be now equal both ways; but it could not be maintained as it is without the payment of a heavy subsidy from Great Britain, whereas no subsidy is paid by the States. 11 The Devil attempts arson. She was at the moment in the little typewriting den adjoining, the door of which was open. Through it he could just see her hands arranging the papers on her table; the rest of her was invisible. But as he spoke in a voice loud enough to be heard by her, he observed that her hands paused in the deft speed of their tidying and remained quite motionless for a second or two. And he knew as well as if some flawless telegraphic communication had been set up between{91} her brain and his that she was debating in her mind whether she should come or not. 鈥楽he thought him a cad, but no doubt she wanted to see his books;鈥?that was the message that came to him from her. � At all events, the story certainly made great impression on her, and had such an effect in improving her conduct, that the writer had great hopes of her.