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Newton Forster The Merchant Service   By: (1792-1848)

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Newton Forster, or the Merchant Service, by Captain Marryat.

Captain Frederick Marryat was born July 10 1792, and died August 8 1848. He retired from the British navy in 1828 in order to devote himself to writing. In the following 20 years he wrote 26 books, many of which are among the very best of English literature, and some of which are still in print.

Marryat had an extraordinary gift for the invention of episodes in his stories. He says somewhere that when he sat down for the day's work, he never knew what he was going to write. He certainly was a literary genius.

"Newton Forster" was published in 1832, the third book to flow from Marryat's pen. It was the first of his nautical books in which the hero is not in the Royal Navy.

This e text was transcribed in 1998 by Nick Hodson, and was reformatted in 2003.



And what is this new book the whole world makes such a rout about? Oh! 'tis out of all plumb, my lord, quite an irregular thing; not one of the angles at the four corners was a right angle. I had my rule and compasses, my lord, in my pocket. Excellent critic!

Grant me patience, just Heaven! Of all the cants which are canted in this canting world though the cant of hypocrites may be the worst, the cant of criticism is the most tormenting! STERNE.

What authors in general may feel upon the subject I know not, but I have discovered, since I so rashly took up my pen, that there are three portions of a novel which are extremely difficult to arrange to the satisfaction of a fastidious public.

The first is the beginning, the second the middle, and the third is the end.

The painter who, in times of yore, exposed his canvass to universal criticism, and found to his mortification that there was not a particle of his composition which had not been pronounced defective by one pseudo critic or another, did not receive severer castigation than I have experienced from the unsolicited remarks of "damned good natured friends."

"I like your first and second volume," said a tall, long chinned, short sighted blue, dressed in yellow, peering into my face, as if her eyes were magnifying glasses, and she was obtaining the true focus of vision, "but you fall off in your last, which is all about that nasty line of battle ship."

"I don't like your plot, sir," brawls out in a stentorian voice an elderly gentleman; "I don't like your plot, sir," repeated he with an air of authority, which he had long assumed, from supposing because people would not be at the trouble of contradicting his opinions, that they were incontrovertible "there is nothing but death."

"Death, my dear sir," replied I, as if I was hailing the look out man at the mast head, and hoping to soften him with my intentional bull; "is not death, sir, a true picture of human life?"

"Ay, ay," growled he, either not hearing or not taking ; "it's all very well, but there's too much killing in it."

"In a novel, sir, killing's no murder, you surely will admit; and you must also allow something for professional feeling `'Tis my occupation;' and after five and twenty years of constant practice, whether I wield the sword or the pen, the force of habit "

"It won't do, sir," interrupted he; "the public don't like it. Otherwise," continued this hyper critic, softening a little, "some of the chapters are amusing, and on the whole, it may be said to be rather that is not unpleasantly written."

"I like your first and third volume, but not your second," squeaked out something intended to have been a woman, with shoulder blades and collar bones, as De Ville would say, most strongly developed.

"Well now, I don't exactly agree with you, my dear Miss Pegoo; I think the second and third volumes are by far the most readable ," exclaimed another thing , perched upon a chair, with her feet dangling halfway between her seat and the carpet... Continue reading book >>

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