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[139] are we to drop it out of view in fiction? The thought or impulse that springs into my mind or heart this instant has been largely moulded by a hundred men and women, living or dead; if the novelist or the dramatist wishes to portray me, he must include them also. Otherwise the picture is as hopelessly detached and isolated as the figure in this sketch that a very young artist has just brought me in from the seaside—a little boy standing at the apex of a solitary rock, fishing in the ocean; the whole vast sea around him, but not a living thing near him—not even a fish.

We all find ourselves, as we come into mature society and take our part in life, surrounded by a network of event and incident, one-tenth public and nine-tenths private. If we have warm hearts and observant minds we are pretty sure to be entangled in this network. By middle life, every person who has seen much of the world is acquainted with secrets that would convulse the little circle around him, if told; and might easily eclipse all the novels, if the very complication of the matter did not forbid utterance. As no painter,

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