At what date Charlotte first began to think seriously upon religious questions it is not possible to say. Probably at a very early age. Underlying her high spirits was a stratum of deep thought; and strong principle seems almost from the beginning to have held control over her life. One of her brothers speaks of her as ‘always religious.’ She may have thought and may have felt to any extent, without expression in words of what she thought or felt. The innate reticence, which veiled so much of herself from others, would naturally in early years extend itself to matters of religion. Later in life reserve broke down in that direction; but silence in girlhood was no proof whatever of indifference.
`Certainly, Effendi,' the man bowed Bond to the lift. `But alas the plumbers are in your former room. The water supply . . . .' the voice trailed away. The lift rose about ten feet and stopped at the first floor.
TO MRS. HAMILTON.
The Vicar of Bullhampton was written in 1868 for publication in Once a Week, a periodical then belonging to Messrs. Bradbury & Evans. It was not to come out till 1869, and I, as was my wont had made my terms long previously to the proposed date. I had made my terms and written my story and sent it to the publisher long before it was wanted; and so far my mind was at rest. The date fixed was the first of July, which date had been named in accordance with the exigencies of the editor of the periodical. An author who writes for these publications is bound to suit himself to these exigencies, and can generally do so without personal loss or inconvenience, if he will only take time by the forelock. With all the pages that I have written for magazines I have never been a day late, nor have I ever caused inconvenience by sending less or more matter than I had stipulated to supply. But I have sometimes found myself compelled to suffer by the irregularity of others. I have endeavoured to console myself by reflecting that such must ever be the fate of virtue. The industrious must feed the idle. The honest and simple will always be the prey of the cunning and fraudulent. The punctual, who keep none waiting for them, are doomed to wait perpetually for the unpunctual. But these earthly sufferers know that they are making their way heavenwards — and their oppressors their way elsewards. If the former reflection does not suffice for consolation, the deficiency is made up by the second. I was terribly aggrieved on the matter of the publication of my new Vicar, and had to think very much of the ultimate rewards of punctuality and its opposite. About the end of March, 1869, I got a dolorous letter from the editor. All the Once a Week people were in a terrible trouble. They had bought the right of translating one of Victor Hugo’s modern novels, L’Homme Qui Rit; they bad fixed a date, relying on positive pledges from the French publishers; and now the great French author had postponed his work from week to week and from month to month, and it had so come to pass that the Frenchman’s grinning hero would have to appear exactly at the same time as my clergyman. Was it not quite apparent to me, the editor asked, that Once a Week could not hold the two? Would I allow my clergyman to make his appearance in the Gentleman’s Magazine instead?
It was, I think, before I started on my English tours among the rural posts that I made my first attempt at writing for a magazine. I had read, soon after they came out, the two first volumes of Charles Menvale’s History of the Romans under the Empire, and had got into some correspondence with the author’s brother as to the author’s views about Caesar. Hence arose in my mind a tendency to investigate the character of probably the greatest man who ever lived, which tendency in after years produced a little book of which I shall have to speak when its time comes — and also a taste generally for Latin literature, which has been one of the chief delights of my later life. And I may say that I became at this time as anxious about Caesar, and as desirous of reaching the truth as to his character, as we have all been in regard to Bismarck in these latter days. I lived in Caesar, and debated with myself constantly whether he crossed the Rubicon as a tyrant or as a patriot. In order that I might review Mr. Merivale’s book without feeling that I was dealing unwarrantably with a subject beyond me, I studied the Commentaries thoroughly, and went through a mass of other reading which the object of a magazine article hardly justified — but which has thoroughly justified itself in the subsequent pursuits of my life. I did write two articles, the first mainly on Julius Caesar, and the second on Augustus, which appeared in the Dublin University Magazine. They were the result of very much labour, but there came from them no pecuniary product. I had been very modest when I sent them to the editor, as I had been when I called on John Forster, not venturing to suggest the subject of money. After a while I did call upon the proprietor of the magazine in Dublin, and was told by him that such articles were generally written to oblige friends, and that articles written to oblige friends were not usually paid for. The Dean of Ely, as the author of the work in question now is, was my friend; but I think I was wronged, as I certainly had no intention of obliging him by my criticism. Afterwards, when I returned to Ireland, I wrote other articles for the same magazine, one of which, intended to be very savage in its denunciation, was on an official blue-book just then brought out, preparatory to the introduction of competitive examinations for the Civil Service. For that and some other article, I now forget what, I was paid. Up to the end of 1857 I had received ￡55 for the hard work of ten years.
"Oh, those," she said scornfully. "There used to be thousands of them here. But you won't find many now. They scared them all away." She sat down on the sand and put her arms round her knees, proud of her superior knowledge and now certain that she had nothing to fear from this man.
ENTRANCE IN ST. GEORGE STREET
'He is always generous and noble,' said Mrs. Steerforth, proudly.