these days, and I find it a very moral and nice book.”
It is not given to a veteran author like Mr. Andrew Lang
to afford his readers many experiences of an engaging frankness like this; yet he has come nearer to it than might have been expected.
It seems that, he having rashly undertaken the enterprise of editing the novels of Sir Walter Scott
, it occurred to him very properly that it might be well to read them; and as The Betrothed
happened to be next on the list, he has just read that for the first time, and thinks well of it. The feat itself is perhaps not so very extraordinary.
On inquiry at a large public library, it appears that there are very few American children of tolerably intelligent families who have not accomplished the same enterprise by the age of fourteen.
At any rate, the editor of the new edition of Scott
's novels has achieved it, and is prepared to pronounce, of his own knowledge, that he finds The Betrothed
to be a very moral and nice book.
Now we get used in this country, and, indeed, in the English-speaking world, to very curious limitations of what is called culture.
describes an English lady “of great social position” who had never heard of Matthew