lundi 7 novembre 2011

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

To this literary Fouquier Tinville, the orphan had daringly written some weeks before, stating her determination to attempt a book, and asking permission to submit the first chapter to his searching inspection. She wrote that she expected him to find faults--he always did; and she preferred that her work should be roughly handled by him, rather than patted and smeared with faint praise by men of inferior critical astuteness.         The anxiously expected reply had come at last, and as she locked her door and sat down to read it, she trembled from head to foot. In the centre of a handsome sheet of tinted paper she found these lines.

        "MADAM: In reply to your very extraordinary request I have the honor to inform you, that my time is so entirely consumed by necessary and important claims, that I find no leisure at my command for the examination of the embryonic chapter of a contemplated book. I am, madam,

Very respectfully,

        Tears of disappointment filled her eyes and for a moment she bit her, lip with uncontrolled vexation; then refolding the letter, she put it in a drawer of her desk, and said sorrowfully:
        "I certainly had no right to expect any thing more polite from him. He snubs even his popular contributors, and of course he would not be particularly courteous to an unknown scribbler. Perhaps some day I may make him regret that letter; and such a triumph will more than compensate for this mortification. One might think that all literary people, editors, authors, reviewers, would sympathize with each other, and stretch out their hands to aid one another; but it seems there is less free-masonry among literati than other guilds. They wage an internecine war among themselves, though it certainly can not be termed 'civil strife,' judging from Mr. Douglass Manning's letter."
(p. 179-180)

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