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against its side, as if making music to my meditations, and having my eyes fixed upon the Bhow Begum, who was sitting opposite to me at the head of her own table, I said, “It ought to be written in a Book !"
There had been a heavy thunder-storm in the afternoon; and though the thermometer had fallen from 78 to 70, still the atmosphere was charged. If that mysterious power hy which the nerves convey sensation and make their impulses obeyed, be (as experiments seem to indicate) identical with the galvanic fluid ; and if the galvanic and electric fluids be the same (as philosophers have more than surmised ;) and if the lungs (according to a happy hypothesis) elaborate for us from the light of heaven this pabulum of the brain, and material essence, or essential matter of genius, -it may be that the ethereal fire which I had inhaled so largely during the day produced the bright conception, or at least impregnated and quickened the latent seed. The punch, reader, had no share in it.
I had spoken as it were abstractedly, and the look which accompanied the words was rather cogitative than regardant. The Bhow Begum laid down her snuff-box and replied, entering into the feeling, as well as echoing the words, “It ought to be written in a book,-certainly it ought."
They may talk as they will of the dead languages. Our auxiliary verbs give us a power which the ancients, with all their varieties of mood, and inflections of tense, never could attain. “ It must be written in a book," said I, encouraged by her manner. The mood was the same, the tense was the same; but the gradation of meaning was marked in a way which a Greek or Latin grammarian might have envied as well as admired.
“ Pshaw ! nonsense! stuff!” said my wife's eldest sister, who was sitting at the right hand of the Bhow Begum; “I say write it in a book indeed!” My wife's youngest sister was sitting diagonally opposite to the last speaker; she lifted
and smiled. It was a smile which expressed the same opinion as the late vituperative tones; there was as much of in
credulity in it; but more of wonder and less of vehemence.
My wife was at my left hand, making a cap for her youngest daughter, and with her tortoiseshell-paper work-box before her. I turned towards her and repeated the words, “ It must be written in a book !" But I smiled while I was speaking, and was conscious of that sort of meaning in my eyes, which calls out contradiction for the pleasure of sporting with it.
" Write it in a book ?” she replied, “ I am sure you wo'nt !” and she looked at me with a frown. Poets have written much upon their ladies' frowns, but I do not remember that they have ever described the thing with much accuracy. When my wife frowns, two perpendicular wrinkles, each three quarters of an inch in length, are formed in the forehead, the base of each resting upon the top of the nose, and equi-distant from each other. The poets have also attributed dreadful effects to the frown of those whom they love. I cannot say that I ever experienced any thing very formidable in
At present she knew her eyes
would give the lie to it if they looked at me steadily for a moment; so they wheeled to the left about quick, off at a tangent, in a direction to the Bhow Begum, and then she smiled. She could not prevent the smile; but she tried to make it scornful.
My wife's nephew was sitting diagonally with her, and opposite his mother, on the left hand of the Bhow Begum. “Oh!" he exclaimed,
” “ it ought to be written in a book! it will be a glorious book! write it, uncle, I beseech you!" My wife's nephew is a sensible lad. He reads my writings, likes my stories, admires my singing, and thinks as I do in politics :-a youth of
I parts and considerable promise.
“ He will write it!" said the Bhow Begum, taking up her snuff-box, and accompanying the words with a nod of satisfaction and encouragement. “ He will never be so foolish !” said my wife. My wife's eldest sister rejoined, “ he is foolish enough for any thing.”
CHAPTER VI. A. I.
SHEWING THAT AN AUTHOR MAY MORE EASILY BE
KEPT AWAKE BY HIS OWN IMAGINATIONS THAN PUT
TO SLEEP BY THEM HIMSELF, WHATEVER MAY BE
THEIR EFFECT UPON HIS READERS.
Thou sleepest worse than if a mouse should be forced to take up her lodging in a cat's ear; a little infant that breeds its teeth, should it lie with thee, would cry out as if thou wert the more unquiet bedfellow.
When I ought to have been asleep the “unborn pages crowded on my soul.” The Chapters ante-initial and post-initial appeared in delightful prospect“ long drawn out:" the beginning, the middle and the end were evolved before me; the whole spread itself forth, and then the parts unravelled themselves and danced the hays. The very types rose in judgment against me, as if to persecute me for the tasks which