Tales: Edward Shore by George Crabbe

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"Who Often Reads, Will Sometimes Wish To Write"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Edward Shore, a very personable young man endowed with genius and learning, could not settle upon any course in life. In all ways he was a model young man, gracious, good-natured, sensible, spirited, conservative in his dress. He looked over all the professions and found them all wanting. He shrank from entering trade and could be a lawyer only if he approved of the cases he might have; physicians seemed dull and divines wrapped in dreams; war he could perhaps love, but, there again, he would have to approve the cause. He believed in absolute virtue, unconstrained by law; he would be good, but only because of his inner promptings: the coarse, common people were constrained to be good because the law compelled them to be, but not so with Edward Shore. While reason guided him, he would walk upright. He, however, had doubts, and applied to doubters for help in resolving them; but this action was like the blind leading the blind. Naturally, he read a great deal, and anyone who reads much finally desires to write; but he could not fix upon any form of literature in which to gain the fame he wished. Tragedies were tedious and gloomy; a serious story concerned ghosts, of which he became ashamed; his sermons were unread; a guide for the conduct of national affairs came to nothing because he could not fix upon a political party. In short, his dislike of labor and his vacillating mind kept him from doing anything.

But though with shaken faith, and slave to fame,Vain and aspiring on the...

(The entire section is 404 words.)