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Disowned, Vol. 1 of 2 (Classic Reprint)

Disowned, Vol. 1 of 2 (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Disowned, Vol. 1 of 2

The main defect of Bulwer's weaker novels is the author's self-consciousness. His moral, which should be suggested by the story, - 1eft for the reader to discover for himself and not obtruded upon him, - is exhibited with all the emphasis of terse aphorism. If the reader is deeply absorbed in the unfolding of a tale, what can be more irritating than to find at its very crisis the action retarded by the interposition of a moral disquisition, or a chapter of philosophical talk? In one chapter (lxii.) of The Disowned, some fourteen pages are occupied with the mystic disquisitions of Mordaunt, which the reader, if he is interested in the tale, is sure im patiently to skip. Surely, it is not the province of a novel to teach philosophy; nor can any one be a philosopher without a breadth of view and other qualities which are fatal to artistic effect.

We read romances, as we go to the theatre, to be amused, - as a relief from the carking cares of life; and not one reader in five hundred ever vexes his brain with the philosophical problems to which the author sacrifices the continuity of the story. The very principle on which the present tale is said to have been constructed that of embodying certain abstract qualities and setting them in motion to work out some moral problem was sure to necessitate its failure. Nobody with less genius than John Bunyan's ever succeeded in such an enterprise, and his immortal work was not a novel, but an allegory.

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