Mrs. Jameson appears to be growing more and more desperately modest, if we may judge from her motto:
What if the little rain should say, “So small a drop as I Can ne'er refresh the thirsty plain, I'll tarry in the sky?”1
and other superfluous doubts and disclaimers proffered in the course of the volume. We thought the time was gone by when it was necessary to plead “request of friends” for printing, and that it was understood now-a-days that from the facility of getting thoughts into print, literature has become not merely an archive for the preservation of great thoughts, but a means of general communication between all classes of minds, and all grades of culture. If writers write much that is good, and write it well, they are read much and long; if the reverse, people simply pass them by, and go in search of what is more interesting. There needs be no great fuss about publishing or not publishing. Those who forbear may, rather, be considered the vain ones, who wish to be distinguished among the crowd. Especially this extreme modesty looks superfluous in a person who knows her thoughts have been received with interest for ten or twelve years back. We do not like this from Mrs. Jameson, because we think she would be amazed if others spoke of her as this humble little flower, doubtful whether it ought to raise its head to light. She should leave such affectations to her Aunts; they were the fashion in their day.
It is very true, however, that she should not have published the very first paragraph in her book, which presents an inaccuracy and shallowness of thought quite amazing in a person of her fine perceptions, talent and culture.____________________