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external show pass for sterling worth-to let white-washed walls
vouch for clean shrines. It may hate him who dares to scrutinise
and expose-to rase the gilding, and show base metal under it-to
penetrate the sepulchre, and reveal charnel relics: but hate as it
will, it is indebted to him.

Ahab did not like Micaiah, because he never prophesied good
concerning him, but evil; probably he liked the sycophant son of
Chenaanah better; yet mightAhab have escaped a bloody death,
had he but stopped his ears to flattery, and opened them to faithful

There is a man in our own days whose words are not framed to
tickle delicate ears: who, to my thinking, comes before the great
ones of society, much as the son of Imlah came before the throned
Kings of Judah and Israel; and who speaks truth as deep, with a
power as prophet-like and as vital-a mien as dauntless and as
daring. Is the satirist of Vanity Fair admired in high places? I
cannot tell; but I think if some of those amongst whom he hurls the
Greek fire of his sarcasm, and over whom he flashes the levin-
brand of his denunciation, were to take his warnings in time-they
or their seed might yet escape a fatal Ramoth-Gilead.Why have I
alluded to this man? I have alluded to him, Reader, because I think
I see in him an intellect profounder and more unique than his
contemporaries have yet recognised; because I regard him as the
first social regenerator of the day-as the very master of that
working corps who would restore to rectitude the warped system
of things; because I think no commentator on his writings has yet
found the comparison that suits him, the terms which rightly
characterise his talent. They say he is like Fielding: they talk of his
wit, humour, comic powers. He resembles Fielding as an eagle
does a vulture: Fielding could stoop on carrion, but Thackeray
never does. His wit is bright, his humour attractive, but both bear
the same relation to his serious genius that the mere lambent sheet-
lightning playing under the edge of the summer-cloud does to the
electric death-spark hid in itswomb. Finally, I have alluded to Mr.
Thackeray, because to him-if he will accept the tribute of a total
stranger-I have dedicated this second edition of Jane Eyre.

December 21 st , 1847.


I AVAIL myself of the opportunity which a third edition of Jane
Eyre affords me, of again addressing a word to the Public, to
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