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essentials it is my written memory, to pursue the history of my own
fictions. They express themselves, and I leave them to themselves.
When I refer to them, incidentally, it is only as a part of my

Having some foundation for believing, by this time, that nature and
accident had made me an author, I pursued my vocation with
confidence. Without such assurance I should certainly have left it
alone, and bestowed my energy on some other endeavour. I should
have tried to find out what nature and accident really had made me,
and to be that, and nothing else.

I had been writing, in the newspaper and elsewhere, so
prosperously, that when my new success was achieved, I considered
myself reasonably entitled to escape from the dreary debates. One
joyful night, therefore, I noted down the music of the
parliamentary bagpipes for the last time, and I have never heard it
since; though I still recognize the old drone in the newspapers,
without any substantial variation (except, perhaps, that there is
more of it), all the livelong session.

I now write of the time when I had been married, I suppose, about
a year and a half. After several varieties of experiment, we had
given up the housekeeping as a bad job. The house kept itself, and
we kept a page. The principal function of this retainer was to
quarrel with the cook; in which respect he was a perfect
Whittington, without his cat, or the remotest chance of being made
Lord Mayor.

He appears to me to have lived in a hail of saucepan-lids. His
whole existence was a scuffle. He would shriek for help on the
most improper occasions, - as when we had a little dinner-party, or
a few friends in the evening, - and would come tumbling out of the
kitchen, with iron missiles flying after him. We wanted to get rid
of him, but he was very much attached to us, and wouldn't go. He
was a tearful boy, and broke into such deplorable lamentations,
when a cessation of our connexion was hinted at, that we were
obliged to keep him. He had no mother - no anything in the way of
a relative, that I could discover, except a sister, who fled to
America the moment we had taken him off her hands; and he became
quartered on us like a horrible young changeling. He had a lively
perception of his own unfortunate state, and was always rubbing his
eyes with the sleeve of his jacket, or stooping to blow his nose on
the extreme corner of a little pocket-handkerchief, which he never
would take completely out of his pocket, but always economized and
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