'What a daft set-up.'
We were silent again, and remained so, until the Doctor rose and walked twice or thrice across the room. Presently he returned to where his chair stood; and, leaning on the back of it, and occasionally putting his handkerchief to his eyes, with a simple honesty that did him more honour, to my thinking, than any disguise he could have effected, said:
Fitz-Ullin saw the ball enter the cloud of smoke, and, a second after, carry with it the form of Edmund! He could actually descry his friend’s feet lifted from the spot whereon they had stood. He clasped his hands over his eyes, but too late—the fearful sight had been seen—it continued to float before their closed vision. He groaned with agony of mind. When he again looked, the deck of the Euphrasia, from which the smoke was fast clearing, had become a scene of evident hustle and confusion.
I am satisfied that the remedy for this evil must lie in the conscience and deportment of authors themselves. If once the feeling could be produced that it is disgraceful for an author to ask for praise — and demands for praise are, I think, disgraceful in every walk of life — the practice would gradually fall into the hands only of the lowest, and that which is done only by the lowest soon becomes despicable even to them. The sin, when perpetuated with unflagging labour, brings with it at best very poor reward. That work of running after critics, editors, publishers, the keepers of circulating libraries, and their clerks, is very hard, and must be very disagreeable. He who does it must feel himself to be dishonoured — or she. It may perhaps help to sell an edition, but can never make an author successful.
iv. The Rise of Tibet