What will you have, gentlemen? he asked briskly. He asked the question almost sternly. For the first time in his life he was angry with this dear fragile creature, the idol of his heart. He had loved Tabitha as servants are not often loved. He had left his young wife in her charge, desiring no better custodian, full of faith in Tabitha's ability both to protect and counsel her girlish mistress. 500wan福彩3d I apologise for these tales, which are certainly outside my purpose, and will endeavour to tell no more that shall not have a closer relation to my story. I had finished The Three Clerks just before I left England, and when in Florence was cudgelling my brain for a new plot. Being then with my brother, I asked him to sketch me a plot, and he drew out that of my next novel, called Doctor Thorne. I mention this particularly, because it was the only occasion in which I have had recourse to some other source than my own brains for the thread of a story. How far I may unconsciously have adopted incidents from what I have read 鈥?either from history or from works of imagination 鈥?I do not know. It is beyond question that a man employed as I have been must do so. But when doing it I have not been aware that I have done it. I have never taken another man鈥檚 work, and deliberately framed my work upon it. I am far from censuring this practice in others. Our greatest masters in works of imagination have obtained such aid for themselves. Shakespeare dug out of such quarries whenever he could find them. Ben Jonson, with heavier hand, built up his structures on his studies of the classics, not thinking it beneath him to give, without direct acknowledgment, whole pieces translated both from poets and historians. But in those days no such acknowledgment was usual. Plagiary existed, and was very common, but was not known as a sin. It is different now; and I think that an author, when he uses either the words or the plot of another, should own as much, demanding to be credited with no more of the work than he has himself produced. I may say also that I have never printed as my own a word that has been written by others. 4 It might probably have been better for my readers had I done so, as I am informed that Doctor Thorne, the novel of which I am now speaking, has a larger sale than any other book of mine. Was it not Mr. Crowther's insolence, and that alone, which had prejudiced him against Lostwithiel鈥攈ad made the very name hateful to him? Yes, that was the cause of his aversion. He had disproved those insolent insinuations; he had exploded the covert slander and rebuked the slanderer; but he had not forgotten. The wound still rankled. The scenery was preposterous: red and green flowers growing on violet boughs, with forests in the background of pink and yellow trees; perspective views of streets, in which the houses were climbing over each other, and finally a purple cavern under a brilliant yellow sky. and very uphill. [Pg 117] on top or would he sink? Then it is about time for a new supply? Is it any better than the suit you made me a short time since?