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Documents Biography Criticism

Literary Life of the Rev. William Harness
William Harness to Mary Russell Mitford, [1826]

Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
Chapter X.
Chapter XI.
Chapter XII.
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“My dear Miss Mitford,

“Send me the charades, and I will forward them to Blackwood. I have not a doubt of their doing your opera at Covent Garden, if Charles find it likely to succeed—which, from the nature of the story, must, I should think, be the case. I really think Deville was right about my head; and right, in fact, even when he appeared to be wrong in his description. For instance, he said that I should be offended by
glaring colours, which is not the case. I have the eyes of colours, but am extremely annoyed by colours that don’t harmonize, though I am rather fond of strong colours. I forget whether, in my hurry of writing to you, I told you of his extraordinary exposition of the character of my friend Newman’s little boy. The child went with me; and Deville having told me the propensities of the child’s character, said, ‘There is one thing very remarkable in this boy’s head; I never saw any English child with the perceptive organs so strongly marked. In general, the English have strong reflection, and the Foreigners strong perception; but in this boy there is an exact and beautiful equality subsisting between the two.’ His mother is, as you know, a Portuguese. This was an admirable hit.

By-the-by, would it not be better to reserve your charades for your novel? They would take as new, and, at the present time, novelty of incident is the very thing that novels want.

“With kindest remembrances to Dr. and Mrs. Mitford.

Best love,
Yours ever most faithfully,
William Harness.”