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`That's what I thought, old man.'

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'I'm not more self-interested, I hope, than another man,' said Mr. Omer. 'Look at me! My wind may fail me at any moment, and it ain't likely that, to my own knowledge, I'd be self-interested under such circumstances. I say it ain't likely, in a man who knows his wind will go, when it DOES go, as if a pair of bellows was cut open; and that man a grandfather,' said Mr. Omer.

THE TROUBLES of mankind were by no means over. Nor will they ever be. But with the founding of the new world-order the species entered on a new phase of its career, in which the balance of the forces of the light and the forces of darkness, already slightly favourable to the light, was tipped still farther by a much improved social structure. To many of the generation which founded the new world it seemed not only that a new age had started, which was true, but that henceforth there could be no serious troubles. In this they were mistaken. Masses of human beings who were not ready for the new order were included in it against their wills. In their hearts they still clung to the old values. They still desired a disorderly world so that they could continue to practise brigandage of one kind or another. They still cared mainly for personal dominance or for tribal glory. In the new world, therefore, they set out to make trouble. They tried to undermine the federal authority and the people’s confidence in the new order. They exaggerated its failures, disparaged its successes, fomented the differences between the peoples and between social classes. 'It looks like him,' I replied, as carelessly as I could. 'I know'd I was never wanted before!' cried Mrs. Gummidge, with a pitiable whimper, 'and now I'm told so! How could I expect to be wanted, being so lone and lorn, and so contrary!' But, sitting at work, not far from Doctor Strong, was a very pretty young lady - whom he called Annie, and who was his daughter, I supposed - who got me out of my difficulty by kneeling down to put Doctor Strong's shoes on, and button his gaiters, which she did with great cheerfulness and quickness. When she had finished, and we were going out to the schoolroom, I was much surprised to hear Mr. Wickfield, in bidding her good morning, address her as 'Mrs. Strong'; and I was wondering could she be Doctor Strong's son's wife, or could she be Mrs. Doctor Strong, when Doctor Strong himself unconsciously enlightened me.

The telephone crooked a mechanical finger at him and he went into the box and closed the door and picked up the receiver.

'He told me, but I can't remember.' She screwed up her eyes. 'A hundred and seventy somethings. Would it be mega-somethings?'

Bulwer, or Lord Lytton — but I think that he is still better known by his earlier name — was a man of very great parts. Better educated than either of those I have named before him, he was always able to use his erudition, and he thus produced novels from which very much not only may be but must be learned by his readers. He thoroughly understood the political status of his own country, a subject on which, I think, Dickens was marvellously ignorant, and which Thackeray had never studied. He had read extensively, and was always apt to give his readers the benefit of what he knew. The result has been that very much more than amusement may be obtained from Bulwer’s novels. There is also a brightness about them — the result rather of thought than of imagination, of study and of care, than of mere intellect — which has made many of them excellent in their way. It is perhaps improper to class all his novels together, as he wrote in varied manners, making in his earlier works, such as Pelham and Ernest Maltravers, pictures of a fictitious life, and afterwards pictures of life as he believed it to be, as in My Novel and The Caxtons. But from all of them there comes the same flavour of an effort to produce effect. The effects are produced, but it would have been better if the flavour had not been there.