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heard nothing and read nothing about man-
haters, bring her home (with no better dowry
than pots of the famous Cream from her
native land to propitiate your mother and
sisters), and trust to your father to welcome
an Asiatic daughter-in-law, who will not
despise him for the unavoidable misfortune
of beinga Man!

But I am losing my temper over a
hypothetical case.  I am forgetting the special
purpose of my petition, which is to beg that
the Man-Hater may be removed altogether
from her usurped position of heroine.  I have
respectfully suggested slight changes in other
charactersI imperatively demand total
extinction in the present instance.  The new-
fashioned heroine is a libel on her sex.  As a
husband and a father, I solemnly deny that
she is in any single respect a natural woman.
Am I no judge?  I have a wife, and I made
her an offer.  Did she receive it as the Man-
Haters receive offers?  Can I ever forget
the mixture of modest confusion, and perfect
politeness with which that admirable woman
heard me utter the most absolute nonsense that
ever issued from my lips?  Perhaps she is not
fit for a heroine.  Well, I can give her up in that
capacity without a pang.  But my daughters
and nieces have claims, I suppose, to be
considered as examples of what young ladies are
in the present day.  Ever since I read the
first novel with a Man-Hater in it, I have had
my eye on their nostrils, and I can make
affidavit that I have never yet seen them
dilate under any circumstances, or in any
society.  As for curling their lips and curving
their necks, they have attempted both
operations at my express request, and have
found them to be physical impossibilities.
In men's society, their manners (like those of
all other girls whom I meet with) are natural
and modest; andin the cases of certain
privileged menwinning, into the bargain.
They open their eyes with astonishment
when they read of the proceedings of our
new-fashioned heroines, and throw the book
indignantly across the room, when they
find a nice man submitting to be bullied by a
nasty woman, because he has paid her the
compliment of falling in love with her.  No,
no!  we positively decline to receive any more
Man-Haters, and there is an end of it!

With this uncompromising expression of
opinion, I think it desirable to bring the
present petition to a close.  There are one or
two other good things in fiction, of which we
have had enough; but I refrain from
mentioning them, from modest apprehension of
asking for too much at a time.  If the
slight changes in general, and the sweeping
reform in particular, which I have ventured
to suggest, can be accomplished, we
are sure, in the future as in the past, to be
grateful, appreciating, and incessant novel-
readers.  If we cannot claim any critical
weight in the eyes of our esteemed authors, we
can at least arrogate to ourselves the minor
merit, not only of reading novels perpetually
but (and this is a rarer virtue) of publicly
and proudly avowing the fact.  We only
pretend to be human beings with a natural
desire for as much amusement as our
work-a-day destinies will let us have.  We are just
respectable enough to be convinced of the
usefulness of occasionally reading for
information; but we are also certain (and we say it
boldly, in the teeth of the dull people), that
there are few higher, better, or more
profitable enjoyments in this world than
reading a good novel.


gentleman of ancient family, but reduced
fortune, in Touraine.  The family name was
Bouchet, but he called himself Pivardière to
distinguish himself from his brothers; he
was of moderate height, neither handsome
nor ugly, rather intelligent, well-disposed,
and fond of amusement; he married more
for money than for love a woman somewhat
older than himselfa Madame du Plessira
widow, who brought him an estate and
château, called Nerbonne, for a dowry.  She
was not more than thirty-five, very fond of
society, of which she was esteemed an
ornament; for, says the chronicle, "Elle recevait
avec une grace parfaite."  She and her
husband lived on good terms, but he was
frequently absent from home; for, he was
lieutenant in the regiment of the Dragoons of
St. Herinine, and had to be with the army;
nevertheless, he corresponded with his wife,
and came to see her whenever he could obtain
leave of absence.  At last he grew jealous of
her.  There was a certain Prior de Miseray,
who, in former days, had been a great friend
of his own, whom he had made his own chaplain,
which obliged the priest to come to
the château more frequently than when he
had been only the Prior of Miseray.  At
first the husband liked this increase of
intimacy, but when he found that the prior
continued to come to the château in his
absence as frequently as before, if not more
frequently, he took umbrage, and chose to
suppose that his wife and his friend betrayed
him.  He was terribly afraid of the
ridicule that attaches to a deceived husband,
and he said nothing, but took his own
resolution.  He quitted the army without telling
his wife, and set out to travel.  Whither he
went is not particularly recordedprobably
not very farfor, a short time after he had
left the service he arrived, on a summer's
evening, at the gates of the town of Auxerre.
A number of young girls were walking on
the ramparts, laughing and talking among
themselves.  One of them attracted his
admiration; she was very handsome; he made
inquiries about her, and discovered that she
was a Demoiselle Pillard, the daughter of a
widow who kept a small innher father was