io6 On the Making of Music,
far to go before we reach them. They are, like the Kingdom
of Heaven, within us.
I never make them: they grow; they come to me and
insist on being written, and on being such and such. I did not
want to write Erewhon, I wanted to go on painting and found
it an abominable nuisance being dragged willy-nilly into
writing it. So with all my books—the subjects were never
of my own choosing; they pressed themselves upon me
with more force than I could resist. If I had not liked the
subjects I should have kicked, and nothing would have got
me to do them at all. As I did like the subjects and the
books came and said they were to be written, I grumbled a
little and wrote them.*
These have always something of the " de profundis"
Every new idea has something of the pain and peril of
childbirth about it; ideas are just as mortal and just as
immortal as organised beings are.
Books and Children
If the literary offspring is not to die young, almost as much
trouble must be taken with it as with the bringing up of a
physical child. Still, the physical child is the harder work of
The'Life of Books
Some writers think about the life of books as some savages
think about the life of men—that there are books which never
die. They all die sooner or later; but that will not hinder
an author from trying to give his book as long a life as he can
fet for it. The fact that it will have to die is no valid reason
3r letting it die sooner than can be helped.
* Cf. the note " Reproduction/' p. 16 ante.