Framley Parsonage 鈥?or, rather, my connection with the Cornhill 鈥?was the means of introducing me very quickly to that literary world from which I had hitherto been severed by the fact of my residence in Ireland. In December, 1859, while I was still very hard at work on my novel, I came over to take charge of the Eastern District, and settled myself at a residence about twelve miles from London, in Hertfordshire, but on the borders both of Essex and Middlesex 鈥?which was somewhat too grandly called Waltham House. This I took on lease, and subsequently bought after I had spent about 锟?000 on improvements. From hence I was able to make myself frequent both in Cornhill and Piccadilly, and to live, when the opportunity came, among men of my own pursuit. On my return home I received 锟?00 from Messrs. Chapman & Hall for Doctor Thorne, and agreed to sell them The Bertrams for the same sum. This latter novel was written under very vagrant circumstances 鈥?at Alexandria, Malta, Gibraltar, Glasgow, then at sea, and at last finished in Jamaica. Of my journey to the West Indies I will say a few words presently, but I may as well speak of these two novels here. Doctor Thorne has, I believe, been the most popular book that I have written 鈥?if I may take the sale as a proof of comparative popularity. The Bertrams has had quite an opposite fortune. I do not know that I have ever heard it well spoken of even by my friends, and I cannot remember that there is any character in it that has dwelt in the minds of novel-readers. I myself think that they are of about equal merit, but that neither of them is good. They fall away very much from The Three Clerks, both in pathos and humour. There is no personage in either of them comparable to Chaffanbrass the lawyer. The plot of Doctor Thorne is good, and I am led therefore to suppose that a good plot 鈥?which, to my own feeling, is the most insignificant part of a tale 鈥?is that which will most raise it or most condemn it in the public judgment. The plots of Tom Jones and of Ivanhoe are almost perfect, and they are probably the most popular novels of the schools of the last and of this century; but to me the delicacy of Amelia, and the rugged strength of Burley and Meg Merrilies, say more for the power of those great novelists than the gift of construction shown in the two works I have named. A novel should give a picture of common life enlivened by humour and sweetened by pathos. To make that picture worthy of attention, the canvas should be crowded with real portraits, not of individuals known to the world or to the author, but of created personages impregnated with traits of character which are known. To my thinking, the plot is but the vehicle for all this; and when you have the vehicle without the passengers, a story of mystery in which the agents never spring to life, you have but a wooden show. There must, however, be a story. You must provide a vehicle of some sort. That of The Bertrams was more than ordinarily bad; and as the book was relieved by no special character, it failed. Its failure never surprised me; but I have been surprised by the success of Doctor Thorne. 彩票平台开发搭建 of the asylum, down undulating ridges sprinkled with country estates, Sunday morning, the 9th, dawned luridly. The storm raged unabated. The air was so filled with the falling snow that one could not see the distance of twenty paces, and the gale was piling up large drifts on the frozen plains. Neither army could move. Neipperg was in advance of Frederick, and had established his head-quarters at the village of Mollwitz, a few miles northwest of Pogerell. He had therefore got fairly between the Prussians and Ohlau. But Frederick knew not where the Austrian army was. For six-and-thirty hours the wild storm drove both Prussians and Austrians to such shelter as could be obtained in the several hamlets which were scattered over the extended plain. I'm not, really, only just now I'm in the enthusiastic stage.