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dreading the danger looming in the future.
The novelist, addressing the less reflective,
and endeavouring to paint "the manners
living as they rise," is compelled by his
audience to take special note of the actual stage
of the progress attained by the contemporaneous
and active life which is surging
about him on every hand, and soliciting
recognition in every possible shape, however
strange and difficult of estimation by the
canons of judgment hitherto acknowledged.
The novel must deal with the newest, and
is accordingly very often merely tentative
equally in its subject-matter and its treatment;
showing in this as much difference
from the classical as the classical does from
the wilder examples of Indian literature.
Both efficient and final causes, equally living
and interacting, are continually working to
evolve from all manner of complications
some original element that may show the
literary mind of the present to be really as
creative as that of the past. We must all
of us feel that there is a mighty stir and
striving everywhere constraining us to new
and daring effort, and teeming with
extraordinary births, in which the passions of
the heart and the conclusions of the reason
will enter into sweet and bitter conflict,
in order to their ultimate reconciliation in
an improved and more permanent order of
things, but with which perhaps the future
world will be as little satisfied as the
present is with existing arrangements. But
as the past was forced onward until it
united itself with yesterday and to-day, so
must we yield still to the constant pressure
which urges us into the presence of the
coming morrow, and our literature in all
its forms must bear the marks of the same
necessity, on every page of the countless
volumes which testify to its inexhaustible


NOTWITHSTANDING that, since the period
at which I first accosted the reader in
these pages, grey has something mingled
with our younger brown, it may not be
wholly without interest to the fairer portion
of my friends to mention, incidentally, that
I am still an unsnared being, a bright old
bachelor, still faithful to my principles of
freedom, still, with the combined decision
and courtesy with which one honours, and
repels, the efforts of a persevering foe,
resisting eligible opportunities of parting
with that blessing. Urbane, but inexorable,
I really know no man who more
thoroughly appreciates the charming qualities
of the other sex, or cherishes a deeper
sentiment of gratitude for the still greater
blessings he had sometimes believed them
not unwilling to confer. Cordially recognising
the sagacious provision that proposals
should proceed from our side, I feel
that I must else not only have long since
exhausted all acknowledged forms of negative,
but that the perpetual demand upon
one's best and tenderest sympathies must
have seriously affected my nervous system,
and terminated insay sciatica, if nothing

I would not, for worlds, be considered to
speak disrespectfully of the married state.
Very, very far from it. I have a positive
predilection for matrimonial life, provided
I do not share it, and look round upon the
ever-increasing circle of its victims with
something of that feeling, mournful,
indeed, yet tender and humanising, with
which one gazes on the sick and wounded
in some mighty hospital.

I have even a little gallery in my house,
sacred to their manes. Under each sad-
eyed portrait, with its forced, quivering
smile, and, not unfrequently, that "tamed"
look never seen in cage-born animals of the
fiercer kind, appears the date of the
unfortunate fellow's birth and exec
marriage, I meanand I am sensible of few
things more gratifying than to sit, smoking
(poor lads! you never smoked) in your
midst, to remember that if you fell easily,
you bore it nobly, and to think that, but
for a too ostentatious embracing of your
chains, you might have passed for happy

One of you (yes, Balaam Burkemyoung,
b. 1687, m. 1715, you may well try to
disarm me with that deprecating gaze),
carried hypocrisy to the extent of marrying
three wives! Of the first, history is
mute. Between the two last, you lie
buried. In the interesting bas-relief
commemorating that circumstance, you are
turning your back to the one, and bestowing
your undivided attention on the other.
Balaam, this is suggestive. Is itcan it
be two to one that you were not a happy

Charley Wing, dear old boy, your wink
is a transparent humbug. It is not worth
one dump. That look, recalled with
difficulty for deceitful ends, belongs to an
earlier and happier period of your
existence. You had been dead three years (to
freedom) when, at the command of your