(Presuming that he has not previously explained it, the philosopher here observes that Hippogriff, the foal of Fiery Circumstance out of Sentiment, must be subject to strong sentimental friction before he is capable of a flight: his appetites must fast long in the very eye of provocation ere he shall be eloquent. Let him, the Philosopher, repeat at the same time that souls harmonious to Nature, of whom there are few, do not mount this animal. Those who have true passion are not at the mercy of Hippogriff—otherwise Sur-excited Sentiment. You will mark in them constantly a reverence for the laws of their being, and a natural obedience to common sense. They are subject to storm, as in everything earthly, and they need no lesson of devotion; but they never move to an object in a madness.)
Now this is good teaching: it is indeed my Philosopher’s object—his purpose—to work out this distinction; and all I wish is that it were good for my market. What the Philosopher means, is to plant in the reader’s path a staring contrast between my pet Emilia and his puppet Wilfrid. It would be very commendable and serviceable if a novel were what he thinks it: but all attestation favours the critical dictum, that a novel is to give us copious sugar and no cane. I, myself, as a reader, consider concomitant cane an adulteration of the qualities of sugar. My Philosopher’s error is to deem the sugar, born of the cane, inseparable from it. The which is naturally resented, and away flies my book back at the heads of the librarians, hitting me behind them a far more grievous blow.
Such is the construction of my story, however, that to entirely deny the Philosopher the privilege he stipulated for when with his assistance I conceived it, would render our performance unintelligible to that acute and honourable minority which consents to be thwacked with aphorisms and sentences and a fantastic delivery of the verities. While my Play goes on, I must permit him to come forward occasionally. We are indeed in a sort of partnership, and it is useless for me to tell him that he is not popular and destroys my chance.
“Don’t blame yourself, my Wilfrid.”
Emilia spoke thus, full of pity for him, and in her adorable, deep-fluted tones, after the effective stop he had come to.
The ‘my Wilfrid’ made the owner of the name quiver with satisfaction. He breathed: “You have forgiven me?”
“That I have. And there was indeed no blame. My voice has gone. Yes, but I do not think it your fault.”
“It was! it is!” groaned Wilfrid. “But, has your voice gone?” He leaned nearer to her, drawing largely on the claim his incredulity had to inspect her sweet features accurately. “You speak just as—more deliciously than ever! I can’t think you have lost it. Ah! forgive me! forgive me!”