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Critical Miscellanies, Vol. III

Essay 6: Harriet Martineau

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Author: John Morley (Viscount Morley)
Published: 1904
Language: English
Wordcount: 10,767 / 38 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 51.6
LoC Categories: CT, PR
Downloads: 603
Added to site: 2008.06.15 21225
Genres: Biography, Essays

intelligent, who knows so much. Come, Mademoiselle, pray talk. Now, Madame, you will see how she talks. Well, first of all, now talk a little about religion; then you can tell us about something else.'

We cannot wonder that Miss Martineau did not go a second time to the house where Space might be the unprovoked theme of a casual chat. Pretension in every shape she hated most heartily. Her judgments in most cases were thoroughly just--at this period of her life at any rate--and sometimes even unexpectedly kindly; and the reason is that she looked at society through the medium of a strong and penetrating kind of common sense, which is more often the gift of clever women than of clever men. If she is masculine, she is, like Mrs. Colonel Poyntz, in one of Bulwer's novels, 'masculine in a womanly way.' There is a real spirit of ethical divination in some of her criticism of character. Take the distinguished man whose name we have just written. 'There was Bulwer on a sofa,' she says, 'sparkling and languish



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