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"Same thing," said Mr. Snowman. "You can naturally rely absolutely on my discretion!"He now crossed the river by means of a single arched bridge, much overhung by the trees of the opposite bank, under the thick cover of which it immediately led. Through this copse he rode for a time and then emerged just at the foot of the headland, the lofty summit of which bore on high that which he could now ascertain to be the only real tower of all he had in[245] imagination so designated. Rock over rock, with wood between, shelved and projected, till how the building itself was to be reached seemed an impenetrable mystery; there did not appear to be nearly space enough to conquer so perpendicular an ascent by any windings of the road he still pursued. He next passed a lodge-gate, which was opened by a little bare-footed girl, who stretched first the one side on its hinges, then the other, though our hero had meanwhile passed through. At a second gate he demanded if he might pursue his course through what thus seemed to be an approach to some nobleman’s or gentleman’s place, though, as yet, he could discern no residence. He was answered in the affirmative, and proceeded till, having got round to the further side of the headland, a part of the height of which he had meantime, by a gradual ascent, achieved,[246] he came suddenly in view of a magnificent castellated mansion, apparently surrounded by an extensive richly wooded and beautifully diversified demesne, some of the grounds of which, on one side, descended by an inclined plane to the sea, and the whole of which had been screened from view during the former part of his ride by the much greater height of the side nearest the valley, on the rocky pinnacle of which, at an elevation far above that of the castle, and surrounded up to its very base by wood, still appeared conspicuous the same single tower which from the first had attracted so much of his notice. Seeing a lad on the lawn, who was employed rolling the newly mown grass, Edmund gave him his horse, demanding to whom the place belonged, and if the family were at home? The lad first stared awkwardly, and when about to reply was prevented doing[247] so, coherently, by the unruly movements of the animal committed to his charge. Our hero, however, on ascertaining that the family was not at home, without waiting to repeat the former part of his question, turned into a footpath among the trees, which promised to lead in the direction of the said solitary tower. I know no more disagreeable trouble into which an author may plunge himself than of a quarrel with his critics, or any more useless labour than that of answering them. It is wise to presume, at any rate, that the reviewer has simply done his duty, and has spoken of the book according to the dictates of his conscience. Nothing can be gained by combating the reviewer’s opinion. If the book which he has disparaged be good, his judgment will be condemned by the praise of others; if bad, his judgment will he confirmed by others. Or if, unfortunately, the criticism of the day be in so evil a condition generally that such ultimate truth cannot be expected, the author may be sure that his efforts made on behalf of his own book will not set matters right. If injustice be done him, let him bear it. To do so is consonant with the dignity of the position which he ought to assume. To shriek, and scream, and sputter, to threaten actions, and to swear about the town that he has been belied and defamed in that he has been accused of bad grammar or a false metaphor, of a dull chapter, or even of a borrowed heroine, will leave on the minds of the public nothing but a sense of irritated impotence. 'Is it the last occupant's furniture?' inquired my aunt.

James Bond, sitting on the edge of his bed, said, "Thank you."

He found her companionship easy and unexacting. There was something enigmatic about her which was a constant stimulus. She gave little of her real personality away and he felt that however long they were together there would always be a private room inside her which he could never invade. She was thoughtful and full of consideration without being slavish and without compromising her arrogant spirit. And now he knew that she was profoundly, excitingly sensual, but that the conquest of her body, because of the central privacy in her, would each time have the sweet tang of rape. Loving her physically would each time be a thrilling voyage without the anticlimax of arrival. She would surrender herself avidly, he thought, and greedily enjoy all the intimacies of the bed without ever allowing herself to be possessed.

"I've got something for that. Be a good girl and give me another cup of coffee."