lundi 7 novembre 2011

Augusta Jane Evans, ST. ELMO, New York, G. W. Carleton & Co., 1867, 571 pages.

The night was almost spent when Edna laid down her pen, and raised her clasped hands over the MS., which she had just completed.
        For many weary months she had toiled to render it worthy of its noble theme, had spared neither time nor severe trains of thought; by day and by night she had searched and pondered; she had prayed fervently and ceaselessly, and worked arduously, unflaggingly, to accomplish this darling hope of her heart, to embody successfully this ambitious dream, and at last the book was finished.
        The manuscript was a mental tapestry, into which she had woven exquisite shades of thought, and curious and quaint, devices and rich, glowing imagery that flecked the groundwork with purple and amber and gold.
        But would the design be duly understood and appreciated by the great, busy, bustling world, for whose amusement and improvement she had labored so assiduously at the spinning-wheels of fancy -- the loom of thought? Would her fellow-creatures accept it in the earnest, loving spirit in which it had been manufactured? Would they hang this Gobelin of her brain along the walls of memory, and turn to it tenderly, reading reverently its ciphers

Page 434 and its illuminations; or would it be rent and ridiculed, and trampled under foot? This book was a shrine to which her purest thoughts, her holiest aspirations travelled like pilgrims, offering the best of which her nature was capable. Would those for whom she had patiently chiselled and built it guard and prize and keep it; or smite and overturn and defile it?
        Looking down at the mass of MS. now ready for the printer, a sad, tender, yearning expression filled the author's eyes; and her little white hands passed caressingly over its closely-written pages, as a mother's soft fingers might lovingly stroke the face of a child about to be thrust out into a hurrying crowd of cold, indifferent strangers, who perhaps would rudely jeer at and brow-beat her darling.
        For several days past Edna had labored assiduously to complete the book, and now at last she could fold her tired hands, and rest her weary brain.

p. 433-434

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