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[207] them would help their market, yet all with one accord make excuse. Is it to be accounted to them as a virtue or as a weakness? Their critic naturally thinks it rather a weakness; if they plunge into printer's ink, why not accept the consequences? But surely in the sympathetic breast there is something which pulsates in their defence.

The instinct of “retiracy” is not wholly limited to women. Tennyson, whom Lord Lytton called “Miss Alfred,” in his day, says frankly of the poet generally, “His worst he kept, his best he gave,” and pleads earnestly that all of his life except what he puts in print may be recognized as his own. Hawthorne, Emerson, Whittier, and many others have claimed a similar shelter. Longfellow confessed to a dislike to seeing his name in print. Swift, while seeming defiant of the world, read family prayers “in secret” in his household-“in a crypt,” as Thackeray said — that they might not be talked about; not only retiring to the Scriptural closet, but taking his whole family there. Shakespeare, while engaged in the most conspicuous of all professions, yet kept his personality so well concealed that there are those who doubt to this day whether he wrote the plays which bear his name, and

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