all permanent happiness with her lover; my friend could only reply that it was all very true, but she had never thought of it. In other words, the guide-board was not there.
The only thing that could have disarmed her criticism would have been a distinct announcement on the author's part: “N. B. The situation is dangerous;” just as Miss Edgeworth
used to append to every particularly tough statement: “N. B. This is a fact.”
The truth is, that in Miss Edgeworth
's day they ordered the matter differently.
Either the sinners and saints were called up by name in the closing chapter, and judgment rendered in detail, or else very explicit reasons were given why the obvious award was impracticable.
“The Lord Lilburnes
of this hollow world are not to be pelted with the soft roses of poetical justice.
He is alone with old age and in the sight of death.”
Thus stands the guide-board at the close of Bulwer
's Night and Morning;
and in the discontinuance of such aids there is doubtless a certain risk.
Some of the most powerful works of modern fiction have apparently failed to impress their moral on the careless reader.
All really strong novels involving illicit love are necessarily tragedies at last, not vaudevilles; and nowhere is