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Old 04-19-2013, 02:52 PM   #1
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Howells, W.D.: The Minister's Charge. V1. 19-Apr-2013

William Dean Howells (March 1, 1837 – May 11, 1920) was an American realist author and literary critic. Nicknamed "The Dean of American Letters", he was particularly known for his tenure as editor of the Atlantic Monthly as well as his own prolific writings, including the Christmas story "Christmas Every Day" and the novel The Rise of Silas Lapham.


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On their way back to the farm-house where they were boarding, Sewell’s wife reproached him for what she called his recklessness. “You had no right,” she said, “to give the poor boy false hopes. You ought to have discouraged him—that would have been the most merciful way—if you knew the poetry was bad. Now, he will go on building all sorts of castles in the air on your praise, and sooner or later they will come tumbling about his ears—just to gratify your passion for saying pleasant things to people.”
“I wish you had a passion for saying pleasant things to me, my dear,” suggested her husband evasively.
“Oh, a nice time I should have!”
“I don’t know about your nice time, but I feel pretty certain of my own. How do you know—Oh, do get up, you implacable cripple!” he broke off to the lame mare he was driving, and pulled at the reins.
“Don’t saw her mouth!” cried Mrs. Sewell.
“Well, let her get up, then, and I won’t. I don’t like to saw her mouth; but I have to do something when you come down on me with your interminable consequences. I dare say the boy will never think of my praise again. And besides, as I was saying when this animal interrupted me with her ill-timed attempts at grazing, how do you know that I knew the poetry was bad?”
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