Somebody said to me, 'Let us go to the theatre, Copperfield!' There was no bedroom before me, but again the jingling table covered with glasses; the lamp; Grainger on my right hand, Markham on my left, and Steerforth opposite - all sitting in a mist, and a long way off. The theatre? To be sure. The very thing. Come along! But they must excuse me if I saw everybody out first, and turned the lamp off - in case of fire.
Such a self-contained man I never saw. But in that quality, as in every other he possessed, he only seemed to be the more respectable. Even the fact that no one knew his Christian name, seemed to form a part of his respectability. Nothing could be objected against his surname, Littimer, by which he was known. Peter might have been hanged, or Tom transported; but Littimer was perfectly respectable.
Mr. Chillip was so alarmed by her abruptness - as he told my mother afterwards - that it was a mercy he didn't lose his presence of mind. But he repeated sweetly:
Gee up, Dobbin, Gee ho, Dobbin, Gee up, Dobbin, Gee up, and gee ho - o - o!
Like white-winged angels rise the radiant throng
They worked in silence. Then it was finished and they were on the ground again. The smuggler had been thinking desperately. He summoned up the voice of an equal partner, the voice of someone who knew the score and had an equal control.
'A hundred and five pounds a year,' said my mother.
"But there is a precedent, Mr. Lincoln," said Stephens, "King Charles of England treated with the Cromwellians."
While I write this I well know that what I say, if it be ever noticed at all, will be taken as a straining at gnats, as a pretence of honesty, or at any rate as an exaggeration of scruples. I have said the same thing before, and have been ridiculed for saying it. But none the less am I sure that English literature generally is suffering much under this evil. All those who are struggling for success have forced upon them the idea that their strongest efforts should be made in touting for praise. Those who are not familiar with the lives of authors will hardly believe how low will be the forms which their struggles will take:— how little presents will be sent to men who write little articles; how much flattery may be expended even on the keeper of a circulating library; with what profuse and distant genuflexions approaches are made to the outside railing of the temple which contains within it the great thunderer of some metropolitan periodical publication! The evil here is not only that done to the public when interested counsel is given to them, but extends to the debasement of those who have at any rate considered themselves fit to provide literature for the public. 2020-08-07 09:09:27