CHAPTER X Here's Cavities, said one; And here, says He, An amusing story is told about these large dinners. In those days the custom of 鈥榙rinking healths鈥?had gained sway to an absurd and objectionable extent; gentlemen being expected to respond to every toast, and not only to sip their wine, but very often to empty their glasses, under pain of giving serious offence. Mr. Tucker always had by his side a decanter of toast and water, from which his glass was filled for the various toasts; and probably those not in the secret counted him a marvellously hard-headed man. One day a guest requested leave to taste this especial wine, which was kept for the host alone, supposing it to be of some very rare and choice vintage. His request was immediately complied with; and the face of the bon-vivant may be imagined when he discovered himself to be drinking toast-and-water. I have certainly always had also before my eyes the charms of reputation. Over and above the money view of the question, I wished from the beginning to be something more than a clerk in the Post Office. To be known as somebody 鈥?to be Anthony Trollope if it be no more 鈥?is to me much. The feeling is a very general one, and I think beneficent. It is that which has been called the 鈥渓ast infirmity of noble mind.鈥?The infirmity is so human that the man who lacks it is either above or below humanity. I own to the infirmity. But I confess that my first object in taking to literature as a profession was that which is common to the barrister when he goes to the Bar, and to the baker when he sets up his oven. I wished to make an income on which I and those belonging to me might live in comfort.   丁香婷婷缴情网_婷婷色香五月综合缴缴情_五月丁香合缴情在线看 For I can only shake, but not cast off my Chain. Though on each finger of each hand a jewelled ring may shine; Some years since a critic of the day, a gentleman well known then in literary circles, showed me the manuscript of a book recently published 鈥?the work of a popular author. It was handsomely bound, and was a valuable and desirable possession. It had just been given to him by the author as an acknowledgment for a laudatory review in one of the leading journals of the day. As I was expressly asked whether I did not regard such a token as a sign of grace both in the giver and in the receiver, I said that I thought it should neither have been given nor have been taken. My theory was repudiated with scorn, and I was told that I was strait-laced, visionary, and impracticable! In all that the damage did not lie in the fact of that one present, but in the feeling on the part of the critic that his office was not debased by the acceptance of presents from those whom he criticised. This man was a professional critic, bound by his contract with certain employers to review such books as were sent to him. How could he, when he had received a valuable present for praising one book, censure another by the same author?