Page:Life and Works of the Sisters Bronte - Volume I.djvu/41

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of 'Vanity Fair' admired in high places? I cannot tell; but I think if some of those amongst whom he hurls the Greek fire of his sarcasm, and over whom he flashes the levin-brand of his denunciation, were to take his warnings in time they or their seed might yet escape a fatal Ramoth- Gilead.

Why have I alluded to this man ? I have alluded to him, Reader, because I think I see in him an intellect pro- founder and more unique than his contemporaries have yet recognised; because I regard him as the first social regener- ator of the day as the very master of that working corps who would restore to rectitude the warped system of things; because I think no commentator on his writings has yet found the comparison that suits him, the terms which rightly characterise his talent. They say he is like Fielding; they talk of his wit, humour, comic powers. He resembles Fielding as an eagle does a vulture: Fielding could stoop on carrion, but Thackeray never does. His wit is bright, his humour attractive, but both bear the same relation to his serious genius, that the mere lambent sheet - lightning, playing under the edge of the summer cloud, does to the electric death-spark hid in its womb. Finally ; I have alluded to Mr. Thackeray, because to him if he will accept the tribute of a total stranger I have dedicated this second edition of 'Jane Eyre.'


December 21, 1847.