Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 669 pages of information about Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest.

’But I was not doomed to return to the dissipation of the world.  One morning a young nobleman, who had for some time past showed a wish to cultivate my acquaintance, came to me in a considerable hurry.  “I am come to beg an important favour of you,” said he; “one of the county memberships is vacant—­I intend to become a candidate; what I want immediately is a spirited address to the electors.  I have been endeavouring to frame one all the morning, but in vain; I have, therefore, recourse to you as a person of infinite genius; pray, my dear friend, concoct me one by the morning!” “What you require of me,” I replied, “is impossible; I have not the gift of words; did I possess it I would stand for the county myself, but I can’t speak.  Only the other day I attempted to make a speech, but left off suddenly, utterly ashamed, although I was quite alone, of the nonsense I was uttering.”  “It is not a speech that I want,” said my friend; “I can talk for three hours without hesitating, but I want an address to circulate through the county, and I find myself utterly incompetent to put one together; do oblige me by writing one for me, I know you can; and, if at any time you want a person to speak for you, you may command me not for three but for six hours.  Good-morning; to-morrow I will breakfast with you.”  In the morning he came again.  “Well,” said he, “what success?” “Very poor,” said I; “but judge for yourself”; and I put into his hand a manuscript of several pages.  My friend read it through with considerable attention.  “I congratulate you,” said he, “and likewise myself; I was not mistaken in my opinion of you; the address is too long by at least two-thirds, or I should rather say, that it is longer by two-thirds than addresses generally are; but it will do—­I will not curtail it of a word.  I shall win my election.”  And in truth he did win his election; and it was not only his own but the general opinion that he owed it to the address.

’But, however that might be, I had, by writing the address, at last discovered what had so long eluded my search—­what I was able to do.  I, who had neither the nerve nor the command of speech necessary to constitute the orator—­who had not the power of patient research required by those who would investigate the secrets of nature, had, nevertheless, a ready pen and teeming imagination.  This discovery decided my fate—­from that moment I became an author.’

CHAPTER LXVI

Trepidations—­Subtle principle—­Perverse imagination—­Are they mine?—­Another book—­How hard!—­Agricultural dinner—­Incomprehensible actions—­Inmost bosom—­Give it up—­Chance resemblance—­Rascally newspaper.

‘An author,’ said I, addressing my host; ’is it possible that I am under the roof of an author?’

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Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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