'Why should you think so much of these troubles, father? Is it such a great matter that narrow-minded people triumph over you?'
'Narrow-minded?' He clutched at the word. 'You admit they are that?'
'I feel very sure that Mr Fadge is.'
'Then you are not on his side against me?'
'How could you suppose such a thing?'
'Well, well; we won't talk of that. Perhaps it isn't a great matter. No--from a philosophical point of view, such things are unspeakably petty. But I am not much of a philosopher.' He laughed, with a break in his voice. 'Defeat in life is defeat, after all; and unmerited failure is a bitter curse. You see, I am not too old to do something yet. My sight is failing, but I can take care of it. If I had my own review, I would write every now and then a critical paper in my very best style. You remember poor old Hinks's note about me in his book? We laughed at it, but he wasn't so far wrong. I have many of those qualities. A man is conscious of his own merits as well as of his defects. I have done a few admirable things. You remember my paper on Lord Herbert of Cherbury? No one ever wrote a more subtle piece of criticism; but it was swept aside among the rubbish of the magazines. And it's just because of my pungent phrases that I have excited so much enmity. Wait! Wait! Let me have my own review, and leisure, and satisfaction of mind--heavens! what I will write! How I will scarify!'
'That is unworthy of you. How much better to ignore your enemies!
In such a position, I should carefully avoid every word that betrayed personal feeling.'
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