'I an't what I could wish myself to be,' said Mrs. Gummidge. 'I am far from it. I know what I am. My troubles has made me contrary. I feel my troubles, and they make me contrary. I wish I didn't feel 'em, but I do. I wish I could be hardened to 'em, but I an't. I make the house uncomfortable. I don't wonder at it. I've made your sister so all day, and Master Davy.'
‘Precious Sister,—Your touching letter has quickened the spirit of Prayer; but oh, I feel as if my prayers were often so weak and worthless. I want more faith, more earnestness. I have not time to write more, but could not let that letter be unanswered by your loving
Once more, the strangest aspect of the new invention was that those who controlled it were themselves under its control. For the operators themselves were fitted with the instruments. Operators in each department were controlled by their superiors, and these by their superiors. These again were controlled by the supreme council of the locality, which was composed of all heads of departments. The supreme council of the locality was in turn controlled by the council of the province or state; and the state councils by the World Imperial Council. Members of this body were automatically controlled. Automatic machinery ensured that any incipient desire inconsistent with the orthodox system of desires should automatically be obliterated, while certain desires fundamental to orthodoxy were automatically maintained.
Bond fiddled minutely with the traversing and elevating screws at his fingertips and got the fine lines of the scope exactly intersected, just behind where the butt of the enemy gun merged into the blackness behind. Get the chest-don't bother about the head!
We who have succeeded are so apt to tell new aspirants not to aspire, because the thing to be done may probably be beyond their reach. “My dear young lady, had you not better stay at home and darn your stockings?” “As, sir, you have asked for my candid opinion, I can only counsel you to try some other work of life which may be better suited to your abilities.” What old-established successful author has not said such words as these to humble aspirants for critical advice, till they have become almost formulas? No doubt there is cruelty in such answers; but the man who makes them has considered the matter within himself, and has resolved that such cruelty is the best mercy. No doubt the chances against literary aspirants are very great. It is so easy to aspire — and to begin! A man cannot make a watch or a shoe without a variety of tools and many materials. He must also have learned much. But any young lady can write a book who has a sufficiency of pens and paper. It can be done anywhere; in any clothes — which is a great thing; at any hours — to which happy accident in literature I owe my success. And the success, when achieved, is so pleasant! The aspirants, of course, are very many; and the experienced councillor, when asked for his candid judgment as to this or that effort, knows that among every hundred efforts there will be ninety-nine failures. Then the answer is so ready: “My dear young lady, do darn your stockings; it will be for the best.” Or perhaps, less tenderly, to the male aspirant: “You must earn some money, you say. Don’t you think that a stool in a counting-house might be better?” The advice will probably be good advice — probably, no doubt, as may be proved by the terrible majority of failures. But who is to be sure that he is not expelling an angel from the heaven to which, if less roughly treated, he would soar — that he is not dooming some Milton to be mute and inglorious, who, but for such cruel ill-judgment, would become vocal to all ages?