Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECTION IV. - Harriet Martineau's Autobiography, vol. 1
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SECTION IV. - Harriet Martineau, Harriet Martineau’s Autobiography, vol. 1 
Harriet Martineau’s Autobiography, ed. Maria Weston Chapman (Boston: James R. Osgood & Co., 1877). 2 vols. Vol. 1.
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My prize-money enabled me to go to Dublin, to visit my brother James and his wife; and I staid there till September, — writing all the time, and pondering the scheme of my Political Economy Series. I sketched out my plan in a very small blue book which was afterwards begged of me as a relic by a friend who was much with me at that time. My own idea was that my stories should appear quarterly. My brother and the publishers urged their being monthly. The idea was overwhelming at first: and there were times when truly I was scared at other parts of the scheme than that. The whole business was the strongest act of will that I ever committed myself to; and my will was always a pretty strong one. I could never have even started my project but for my thorough, well-considered, steady conviction that the work was wanted, — was even craved by the popular mind. As the event proved me right, there is no occasion to go into the evidence which determined my judgment. I now believed that for two years I must support an almost unequalled amount of literary labour: that, owing to the nature of some of the subjects to be treated, my effort would probably be fatal to my reputation: that the chances of failure in a scheme of such extent, begun without money or interest, were most formidable; and that failure would be ruin. I staked my all upon this project, in fact, and with the belief that long, weary months must pass before I could even discern the probabilities of the issue; for the mere preparations must occupy months. In the first place, — in that autumn of 1831, — I strengthened myself in certain resolutions, from which I promised myself that no power on earth should draw me away. I was resolved that, in the first place, the thing should be done. The people wanted the book; and they should have it. Next, I resolved to sustain my health under the suspense, if possible, by keeping up a mood of steady determination, and unfaltering hope. Next, I resolved never to lose my temper, in the whole course of the business. I knew I was right; and people who are aware that they are in the right need never lose temper. Lastly, I resolved to refuse, under any temptation whatever, to accept any loan from my kind mother and aunt. I felt that I could never get over causing them any pecuniary loss, — my mother having really nothing to spare, and my aunt having been abundantly generous to the family already. My own small remnant of property (which came to nothing after all) I determined to risk; and, when the scheme began to take form, I accepted small loans from two opulent friends, whom I was able presently to repay. They knew the risks as well as I; and they were men of business; and there was no reason for declining the timely aid, so freely and kindly granted. What those months of suspense were like, it is necessary now to tell.
I wrote to two or three publishers from Dublin, opening my scheme; but one after another declined having any thing to do with it, on the ground of the disturbed state of the public mind, which afforded no encouragement to put out new books. The bishops had recently thrown out the Reform Bill; and every body was watching the progress of the Cholera, — then regarded with as much horror as a plague of the middle ages. The terrifying Order in Council which froze men’s hearts by its doleful commands and recommendations, was issued just at the same time with my poor proposals; and no wonder that I met only refusals. Messrs. Baldwin and Cradock, however, requested me to take London on my way back to Norwich, that we might discuss the subject. I did so; and I took with me as a witness a lawyer cousin who told me long afterwards what an amusing scene it was to him. Messrs. Baldwin and Cradock sat superb in their arm-chairs, in their brown wigs, looking as cautious as possible, but relaxing visibly under the influence of my confidence. My cousin said that, in their place, he should have felt my confidence a sufficient guarantee, — so fully as I assigned the grounds of it: and Messrs. Baldwin and Cradock seemed to be nearly of the same mind, though they brought out a long string of objections, beginning with my proposed title, and ending with the Reform Bill and the Cholera. They wanted to suppress the words Political Economy altogether: but I knew that science could not be smuggled in anonymously. I gave up the point for the time, feeling assured that they would find their smuggling scheme impracticable. “Live and let live” was their title; and its inadequacy was vexatious enough, as showing their imperfect conception of the plan: but it was necessary to let them have their own way in the matter of preliminary advertising. They put out a sort of feeler in the form of an advertisement in some of the Diffusion Society’s publications; but an intimation so vague and obscure attracted no notice. This melancholy fact Messrs. Baldwin and Cradock duly and dolefully announced to me. Still, they did not let go for some time; and I afterwards heard that they were so near becoming my publishers that they had actually engaged a stitcher for my monthly numbers. Fortunately for me, as it turned out, but most discouragingly at the time, they withdrew, after a hesitation of many weeks. They had read and approved of a part of the manuscript of “Life in the Wilds,” — my first number: but they went on doubting; and at last wrote to me that, considering the public excitement about the Reform Bill and the Cholera, they dared not venture.
Here was the whole work to begin again. I stifled my sighs, and swallowed my tears, and wrote to one publisher after another, receiving instant refusals from all, except Messrs. Whittaker. They kept up the negotiation for a few posts, but at length joined the general chorus about the Reform Bill and the Cholera. They offered, however, to do their best for the work as mere publishers, on the usual terms of commission. My mother and aunt re-urged my accepting a loan from them of money which they were willing to risk in such a cause: but of course I would not hear of this. Mr. Fox appeared at that time earnest in the project; and a letter from him came by the same post with Messrs. Whittakers’ last, saying that booksellers might be found to share the risk; and he named one (who, like Baldwin and Cradock, afterwards failed) who would be likely to go halves with me in risk and profit. I did not much relish either the plan or the proposed publisher; but I was in no condition to refuse suggestions. I said to my mother, “You know what a man of business would do in my case.” — “What?” — “Go up to town by the next mail, and see what is to be done.” — “My dear, you would not think of doing such a thing, alone, and in this weather!” — “I wish it.” — “Well, then, let us show Henry the letters after dinner, and see what he will say.” — As soon as the cloth was removed, and we had drawn round the fire, I showed my brother Henry the letters, with the same remark I had made to my mother. He sat looking into the fire for several minutes, while nobody spoke: and then he turned to me, and said oracularly “Go!” — I sprang up, — sent to have my place taken by the early morning coach, tied up and dispatched borrowed books, and then ran to my room to pack. There I found a fire, and my trunk airing before it. All was finished an hour before tea time; and I was at leisure to read to my old ladies for the rest of the evening. On my mother observing that she could not have done it, my aunt patted me on the shoulder, and said that, at least, the back was fitted to the burden. This domestic sympathy was most supporting to me; but, at the same time, it rendered success more stringently necessary.
My scheme of going to London was not at all a wild one, unless the speed of the movement, and the state of the weather made it so. It was the beginning of December, foggy and sleety. I was always sure of a home in London, with or without notice; and without notice I presented myself at my cousin’s door that dreary December Saturday night. It was a great Brewery house, always kept open, and cooking daily going on, for the use of the partners. My kind cousin and his family were to leave home the next morning, for three weeks: but, as he observed, this would rather aid than hinder my purposes, as I went for work. I was really glad to be alone during those three eventful weeks, — feeling myself no intruder, all the while, and being under the care of attentive servants.
My first step on Monday was seeing the publisher mentioned by Mr. Fox. He shook his head; his wife smiled; and he begged to see the opening chapters, promising to return them, with a reply, in twenty-four hours. His reply was what was already burnt in upon my brain. He had “no doubt of the excellence, — wished it success — but feared that the excitement of the public mind about the Reform Bill and the Cholera would afford it no chance,” &c., &c. I was growing as sick of the Reform Bill as poor King William himself. I need not detail, even if I could remember, the many applications I made in the course of the next few days. Suffice it that they were all unsuccessful, and for the same alleged reasons. Day after day, I came home weary with disappointment, and with trudging many miles through the clay of the streets, and the fog of the gloomiest December I ever saw. I came home only to work; for I must be ready with two first numbers in case of a publisher turning up any day. All the while, too, I was as determined as ever that my scheme should be fulfilled. Night after night, the Brewery clock struck twelve, while the pen was still pushing on in my trembling hand. I had promised to take one day’s rest, and dine and sleep at the Foxes’. Then, for the first time, I gave way, in spite of all my efforts. Some trifle having touched my feelings before saying “Good-night,” the sluices burst open, and I cried all night. In the morning, Mr. Fox looked at me with great concern, stepped into the next room, and brought a folded paper to the breakfast table, saying “Don’t read this now. I can’t bear it. These are what may be called terms from my brother.” (A young bookseller who did not pretend to have any business, at that time.) “I do not ask you even to consider them; but they will enable you to tell publishers that you hold in your hand terms offered by a publisher: and this may at least procure attention to your scheme.” These were, to the subsequent regret of half a score of publishers, the terms on which my work was issued at last.
I immediately returned to town, and went straight to Whittaker’s. Mr. Whittaker looked bored, fidgetted, yawned, and then said, with extreme rudeness, “I have told you already that these are not times for new enterprises.” “Then,” said I, rising, “it is now time for me to consider the terms from another publisher which I hold in my hand.” “O, indeed, — really, Ma’am?” said he, reviving. “Do me the favour to give me a short time for consideration. Only twenty-four hours, Ma’am.” I refreshed his memory about the particulars, and endeavoured to make him see why the times were not unseasonable for this special work, though they might be for light literature.
It was next necessary to look at the paper I had been carrying. I read it with dismay. The very first stipulation was that the work should be published by subscription: and, moreover, the subscription must be for five hundred copies before the work began. Subscribers were to be provided by both parties; and Charles Fox was to have half the profits, besides the usual bookseller’s commission and privileges. The agreement was to cease at the end of any five numbers, at the wish of either party. As Charles Fox had neither money nor connexion, I felt that the whole risk was thrown upon me; and that I should have all the peril, as well as the toil, while Charles Fox would enjoy the greater part of the proceeds, in case of success, and be just where he was before, in case of failure. In fact, he never procured a single subscriber; and he told me afterwards that he knew from the beginning that he never should. After pondering this heart-sickening Memorandum, I looked with no small anxiety for Whittaker’s final reply. I seemed to see the dreaded words through the envelope; and there they were within. Mr. Whittaker expressed his “regrets that the public mind being so engrossed with the Reform Bill and the approach of the Cholera,” &c., &c. The same story to the end! Even now, in this low depth of disappointment, there were lower depths to be explored. The fiercest trial was now at hand.
I remonstrated strongly with Mr. Fox about the subscription stipulation; but in vain. The mortification to my pride was not the worst part of it, though that was severe enough. I told him that I could not stoop to that method, if any other means were left; to which he replied “You will stoop to conquer.” But he had no consolation to offer under the far more serious anxiety which I strove to impress on his mind as my main objection to the scheme. Those persons from whom I might hope for pecuniary support were precisely those to whom I despaired of conveying any conception of my aim, or of the object and scope of my work. Those who would, I believed, support it were, precisely, persons who had never seen or heard of me, and whose support could not be solicited. My view was the true one, as I might prove by many pages of anecdote. Suffice it that, at the very time when certain members of parliament were eagerly inquiring about the announced work, the wife of one of them, a rich lady of my acquaintance, to whom a prospectus had been sent, returned it, telling me that she “knew too well what she was about to buy a pig in a poke:” and the husband of a cousin of mine, a literary man in his way, sent me, in return for the prospectus, a letter, enclosing two sovereigns, and a lecture against my rashness and presumption in supposing that I was adequate to such work as authorship, and offering the enclosed sum as his mite towards the subscription; but recommending rather a family subscription which might eke out my earnings by my needle. I returned the two sovereigns, with a declaration that I wished for no subscribers but those who expected full value for their payment, and that I would depend upon my needle and upon charity when I found I could not do better, and not before. This gentleman apologised handsomely afterwards. The lady never did. It should be remembered that it is easy enough to laugh at these incidents now; but that it was a very different matter then, when success seemed to be growing more and more questionable and difficult every day. I had no resource, however, but to try the method I heartily disapproved and abhorred. I drew up a Prospectus, in which I avoided all mention of a subscription, in the hope that it might soon be dispensed with, but fully explanatory of the nature and object of the work. To this I added in my own handwriting an urgent appeal to all whom I could ask to be subscribers. I went to Mr. Fox’s, one foggy morning, to show him one of these, and the advertisement intended for the next day’s papers, announcing the first of February as the day of publication: (for it was now too late to open with the year). I found Mr. Fox in a mood as gloomy as the day. He had seen Mr. James Mill, who had assured him that my method of exemplification, — (the grand principle of the whole scheme) could not possibly succeed; and Mr. Fox now required of me to change my plan entirely, and issue my Political Economy in a didactic form! Of course, I refused. He started a multitude of objections, — feared every thing, and hoped nothing. I saw, with anguish and no little resentment, my last poor chance slipping from me. I commanded myself while in his presence. The occasion was too serious to be misused. I said to him “I see you have taken fright. If you wish that your brother should draw back, say so now. Here is the advertisement. Make up your mind before it goes to press.” He replied, “I do not wish altogether to draw back.” “Yes, you do,” said I: “and I had rather you would say so at once. But I tell you this: — the people want this book, and they shall have it.” “I know that is your intention,” he replied: “but I own I do not see how it is to come to pass.” — “Nor I: but it shall. So, say that you have done with it, and I will find other means.” “I tell you, I do not wish altogether to draw out of it; but I cannot think of my brother going on without decisive success at the outset.” “What do you mean, precisely?” “I mean that he withdraws at the end of two numbers, unless the success of the work is secured in a fortnight.” “What do you mean by success being secured?” “You must sell a thousand in a fortnight.” “In a fortnight! That is unreasonable! Is this your ultimatum?” “Yes.” “We shall not sell a thousand in the first fortnight: nevertheless, the work shall not stop at two numbers. It shall go on to five, with or without your brother.” “So I perceive you say.” “What is to be done with this advertisement?” I inquired. “Shall I send it, — yes or no?” “Yes: but remember Charles gives up at the end of two numbers, unless you sell a thousand in the first fortnight.”
I set out to walk the four miles and a half to the Brewery. I could not afford to ride, more or less; but, weary already, I now felt almost too ill to walk at all. On the road, not far from Shoreditch, I became too giddy to stand without support; and I leaned over some dirty palings, pretending to look at a cabbage bed, but saying to myself, as I stood with closed eyes, “My book will do yet.” I moved on as soon as I could, apprehending that the passers-by took me to be drunk: but the pavement swam before my eyes so that I was glad enough to get to the Brewery. I tried to eat some dinner; but the vast rooms, the plate and the liveried servant were too touching a contrast to my present condition; and I was glad to go to work, to drown my disappointment in a flow of ideas. Perhaps the piece of work that I did may show that I succeeded. I wrote the Preface to my “Illustrations of Political Economy” that evening; and I hardly think that any one would discover from it that I had that day sunk to the lowest point of discouragement about my scheme. — At eleven o’clock, I sent the servants to bed. I finished the Preface just after the Brewery clock had struck two. I was chilly and hungry: the lamp burned low, and the fire was small. I knew it would not do to go to bed, to dream over again the bitter disappointment of the morning. I began now, at last, to doubt whether my work would ever see the light. I thought of the multitudes who needed it, — and especially of the poor, — to assist them in managing their own welfare. I thought too of my own conscious power of doing this very thing. Here was the thing wanting to be done, and I wanting to do it; and the one person who had seemed best to understand the whole affair now urged me to give up either the whole scheme, or, what was worse, its main principle! It was an inferior consideration, but still, no small matter to me, that I had no hope or prospect of usefulness or independence if this project failed: and I did not feel that night that I could put my heart into any that might arise. As the fire crumbled, I put it together till nothing but dust and ashes remained; and when the lamp went out, I lighted the chamber candle; but at last it was necessary to go to bed; and at four o’clock I went, after crying for two hours, with my feet on the fender. I cried in bed till six, when I fell asleep; but I was at the breakfast table by half-past eight, and ready for the work of the day.
The work of the day was to prepare and send out my Circulars. After preparing enough for my family, I took into my confidence the before-mentioned cousin, — my benefactor and my host at that time. He was regarded by the whole clan as a prudent and experienced man of business; and I knew that his countenance would be of great value to me. That countenance he gave me, and some good suggestions, and no discouragement. — It was very disagreeable to have to appeal to monied relations whose very confidence and generosity would be a burden on my mind till I had redeemed my virtual pledges; while the slightest indulgence of a critical spirit by any of them must be exceedingly injurious to my enterprise. It was indeed not very long before I had warnings from various quarters that some of my relations were doing me “more harm by their tongues than they could ever do good by their guineas.” This was true, as the censors themselves have since spontaneously and handsomely told me. I could not blame them much for saying what they thought of my rashness and conceit, while I cordially honour the candour of their subsequent confession: but their sayings were so much added to the enormous obstructions of the case. From my first act of appeal to my monied relations, however, I derived such singular solace that every incident remains fresh in my mind, and I may fairly indulge in going over it once more.
My oldest surviving uncle and his large family, living near Clapham, had always been ready and kind in their sympathy; and I was now to find the worth of it more than ever in connexion with the greatest of my enterprises. On the next Sunday, I returned with them when they went home from Chapel. While at luncheon, my uncle told me that he understood I had some new plan, and he was anxious to know what it was. His daughters proposed that I should explain it after dinner, when their brothers would be present. After dinner, accordingly, I was called upon for my explanation, which I gave in a very detailed way. All were silent, waiting for my uncle to make his remark, the very words of which I distinctly remember, at the distance of nearly a quarter of a century. In his gentle and gracious manner he said, “You are a better judge, my dear, than we of this scheme; but we know that your industry and energy are the pride of us all, and ought to have our support.” When we ladies went to the drawing-room, I knew there would be a consultation between my uncle and his sons: and so there was. At the close of the pleasant evening, he beckoned to me, and made me sit beside him on the sofa, and told me of the confidence of his family and himself that what I was doing would be very useful: that his daughters wished for each a copy of the Series, his sons two each; and that he himself must have five. “And,” he concluded, “as you will like to pay your printer immediately, you shall not wait for our money.” So saying, he slipped a packet of bank notes and gold into my hand, to the amount of payment for fourteen copies of the whole series! To complete the grace of his hospitality, he told me that he should go to town late the next morning, and would escort me; and he desired me to sleep as late as I liked. And I did sleep, — the whole night through, and awoke a new creature. Other members of the family did what they thought proper, in the course of the week; and then I had only to go home, and await the result.
I was rather afraid to show myself to my mother, — thin as I was, and yellow, and coughing with every breath; and she was panic-struck at the evident symptoms of liver-complaint which the first half-hour disclosed. I was indeed in wretched health; and during the month of April following, when I was writing “Demerara,” I was particularly ill. I do not think I was ever well again till, at the close of 1833, I was entirely laid aside, and confined to my bed for a month, by inflammation of the liver. I am confident that that serious illness began with the toils and anxieties, and long walks in fog and mud, of two years before. My mother took my health in hand anxiously and most tenderly. In spite of my entreaties, she would never allow me to be wakened in the morning; and on Sundays, the day when Charles Fox’s dispatches came by a manufacturer’s parcel, my breakfast was sent up to me, and I was not allowed to rise till the middle of the day. For several weeks I dreaded the arrival of the publisher’s weekly letter. He always wrote gloomily, and sometimes rudely. The subscription proceeded very little better than I had anticipated. From first to last, about three hundred copies were subscribed for: and before that number had been reached, the success of the work was such as to make the subscription a mere burden. It was a thoroughly vexatious part of the business altogether, — that subscription. A clever suggestion of my mother’s, at this time, had, I believe, much to do with the immediate success of the book. By her advice, I sent, by post, a copy of my Prospectus (without a word about subscription in it) to almost every member of both Houses of Parliament. There was nothing of puffery in this, — nothing that I had the least objection to do. It was merely informing our legislators that a book was coming out on their particular class of subjects.
I may as well mention in this place, that I had offered (I cannot at all remember when) one of my tales, — the one which now stands as “Brooke and Brooke Farm,” — to the Diffusion Society, whence it had been returned. Absurd as were some of the stories afterwards set afloat about this transaction, there was thus much foundation for them. Mr. Knight, then the publisher of the Society, sent me a note of cordial and generous encouragement; but a sub-committee, to whose judgment the manuscript was consigned, thought it “dull,” and pronounced against its reception accordingly. I knew nothing about this sub-committee, or about the method employed, and had in fact forgotten, among so many failures, that particular one, when, long after, I found to my regret and surprise, that the gentlemen concerned had been supposing me offended and angry all the while, and somehow an accomplice in Lord Brougham’s mockery of their decision. In vain I told them that I now thought them perfectly right to form and express their own judgment, and that I had never before heard who had been my judges. I fear the soreness remains in their minds to this day, though there never was any in mine. Lord Brougham’s words travelled far and wide, and were certainly anything but comfortable to the subcommittee. He said he should revive the torture for their sakes, as hanging was too good for them. He tore his hair over the tales, he added, unable to endure that the whole Society, “instituted for the very purpose, should be driven out of the field by a little deaf woman at Norwich.” — As I have said, I cannot remember at what time I made my application; but I imagine it must have been during that eventful year 1831, — in which case the writing of that story must come into the estimate of the work of that year.
A cheering incident occurred during the interval of awaiting the effects of the Circular. Every body knows that the Gurneys are the great bankers of Norwich. Richard Hanbury Gurney, at that time one of the Members for Norfolk, was in the firm; and he was considered to be one of the best-informed men in England on the subject of Currency. The head officer of the bank, Mr. Simon Martin, deserved the same reputation, and had it, among all who knew him. He sent for my brother Henry, who found him with my Circular before him. He said that he had a message to communicate to me from the firm: and the message was duly delivered, when Mr. Martin had satisfied himself that my brother conscientiously believed me adequate to my enterprise. Messrs. Gurney considered the scheme an important one, promising public benefit: they doubted whether it would be immediately appreciated: they knew that I could not afford to go on at a loss, but thought it a pity that a beneficial enterprise should fall to the ground for want of immediate support: and they therefore requested that, in case of discouragement in regard to the sale, I should apply to them before giving up. “Before she gives up, let her come to us,” were their words: words which were as pleasant to me in the midst of my success as they could have been if I had needed the support so generously offered.
Meantime the weekly letter grew worse and worse. But on the Sunday preceding the day of publication came a bit of encouragement in the shape of a sentence in these, or nearly these words. “I see no chance of the work succeeding unless the trade take it up better. We have only one considerable booksellers’ order — from A and B for a hundred copies.” “Why, there,” said my mother, “is a hundred towards your thousand!” “Ah, but,” said I, “where are the other nine hundred to come from, in a fortnight?” The edition consisted of fifteen hundred.
To the best of my recollection, I waited ten days from the day of publication, before I had another line from the publisher. My mother, judging from his ill-humour, inferred that he had good news to tell: whereas I supposed the contrary. My mother was right; and I could now be amused at his last attempts to be discouraging in the midst of splendid success. At the end of those ten days, he sent with his letter a copy of my first number, desiring me to make with all speed any corrections I might wish to make, as he had scarcely any copies left. He added that the demand led him to propose that we should now print two thousand. A postscript informed me that since he wrote the above, he had found that we should want three thousand. A second postscript proposed four thousand, and a third five thousand. The letter was worth having, now it had come. There was immense relief in this; but I remember nothing like intoxication; — like any painful reaction whatever. I remember walking up and down the grassplat in the garden (I think it was on the tenth of February) feeling that my cares were over. And so they were. From that hour, I have never had any other anxiety about employment than what to choose, nor any real care about money. Eight or nine years after, I found myself entirely cut off by illness from the power of working; and then my relations and friends aided me in ways so generous as to make it easy for me to accept the assistance. But even then, I was never actually pinched for money; and, from the time that the power of working was restored, I was at once as prosperous as ever, and became more and more so till now, when illness has finally visited me in a condition of independence. I think I may date my release from pecuniary care from that tenth of February, 1832.
The entire periodical press, daily, weekly, and, as soon as possible, monthly, came out in my favour; and I was overwhelmed with newspapers and letters, containing every sort of flattery. The Diffusion Society wanted to have the Series now; and Mr. Hume offered, on behalf of a new society of which he was the head, any price I would name for the purchase of the whole. I cannot precisely answer for the date of these and other applications; but, as far as I remember, there was, from the middle of February onwards, no remission of such applications, the meanest of which I should have clutched at a few weeks before. Members of Parliament sent down blue books through the postoffice, to the astonishment of the postmaster, who one day sent word that I must send for my own share of the mail, for it could not be carried without a barrow; — an announcement which, spreading in the town, caused me to be stared at in the streets. Thus began that sort of experience. Half the hobbies of the House of Commons, and numberless notions of individuals, anonymous and other, were commended to me for treatment in my Series, with which some of them had no more to do than geometry or the atomic theory. I had not calculated on this additional labour, in the form of correspondence; and very weary I often was of it, in the midst of the amusement. One necessity arose out of it which soon became very clear, — that I must reside in London, for the sake of the extensive and varied information which I now found was at my service there, and which the public encouragement of my work made it my duty to avail myself of.
It seemed hard upon my kind mother and aunt that the first consequence of the success they buoyed me up in hoping for should be to take me to London, after all: but the events of the summer showed them the necessity of the removal. We treated it as for a time; and I felt that my mother would not endure a permanent separation. The matter ended in their joining me in a small house in London, before many months were over: and meantime, my mother stipulated for my being in the house of some family well known to her. I obtained lodgings in the house of a tailor in Conduit Street, whose excellent wife had been an acquaintance of ours from her childhood to her marriage. There I arrived in November, 1832; and there I lodged till the following September, when I went, with my mother and aunt, into a house (No. 17) in Fludyer Street, Westminster, where I resided till the breakdown of my health (which took place in 1839) removed me from London altogether.
Here I stop, thinking that the third period of my life may be considered as closing with the conquest of all difficulty about getting a hearing from the public for what I felt I had to say. Each period of my life has had its trials and heart-wearing difficulties, — except (as will be seen) the last; but in none had the pains and penalties of life a more intimate connexion with the formation of character than in the one which closes here. And now the summer of my life was bursting forth without any interval of spring. My life began with winter, burst suddenly into summer, and is now ending with autumn, — mild and sunny. I have had no spring: but that cannot be helped now. It was a moral disadvantage, as well as a great loss of happiness: but we all have our moral disadvantages to make the best of; and “happiness” is not, as the poet says, “our being’s end and aim,” but the result of one faculty among many, which must be occasionally overborne by others, if there is to be any effectual exercise of the whole being. So I am satisfied in a higher sense than that in which the Necessarian is always satisfied. I cannot but know that in my life there has been a great waste of precious time and material: but I had now, by thirty years of age, ascertained my career, found occupation, and achieved independence; and thus the rest of my life was provided with its duties and its interests. Any one to whom that happens by thirty years of age may be satisfied; and I was so.