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third, which I now reprint, is /Ernest Maltravers/,** the most mature,
and, on the whole, the most comprehensive of all that I have hitherto
* For /The Disowned/ is cast in the time of our grandfathers, and /The
Pilgrims of the Rhine/ had nothing to do with actual life, and is not,
therefore, to be called a novel.
** At the date of this preface /Night and Morning/ had not appeared.
For the original idea, which, with humility, I will venture to call the
philosophical design of a moral education or apprenticeship, I have left
it easy to be seen that I am indebted to Goethe's /Wilhelm Meister/.
But, in /Wilhelm Meister/, the apprenticeship is rather that of
theoretical art. In the more homely plan that I set before myself, the
apprenticeship is rather that of practical life. And, with this view,
it has been especially my study to avoid all those attractions lawful in
romance, or tales of pure humour or unbridled fancy, attractions that,
in the language of reviewers, are styled under the head of "most
striking descriptions," "scenes of extraordinary power," etc.; and are
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