one thing embarrasses me. no one ever seems to understand my attitude about that book; the stuff sent was never meant for other than a first state; i never meant it to appear as a book. knowing well that i have never had one hour of inspiration since it was begun, and have only beaten out my metal by brute force and patient repetition, i hoped some day to get a 'spate of style' and burnish it - fine mixed metaphor. i am now so sick that i intend, when the letters are done and some more written that will be wanted, simply to make a book of it by the pruning-knife.
i cannot fight longer; i am sensible of having done worse than i hoped, worse than i feared; all i can do now is to do the best i can for the future, and clear the book, like a piece of bush, with axe and cutlass. even to produce the ms. of this will occupy me, at the most favourable opinion, till the middle of next year; really five years were wanting, when i could have made a book; but i have a family, and - perhaps i could not make the book after all.