So much comfort I may have bestowed on him, but he left me comfortless; and yet who can say what good he may not have done me? Paths made too smooth leave the feet unprepared for rougher roads. To step always in the primrose way is death to the higher desires. Yet oh, for the hours I spent over that poor rejected story, beautifying it (as I fondly, if erroneously, believed), adding a word here, a sentiment there! So conscientiously minded was I, that even the headings of the chapters were scraps of poetry (so called) done all by myself. Well, never mind. I was very young then, and, as they say upon the stage, I 'meant well'.
For a long twelvemonth after that I never dreamed of putting pen to paper. I had given myself up, as it were. I was the most modest of children, and fully decided within myself that a man so clever as a real live editor must needs be could not have been mistaken. He had seen and judged, and practically told me that writing was not my forte.
Yet the inevitable hour
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