The Life of the World to Come 369 To this must be added my book on the Sonnets in respect of which I have had no account as yet but am over a hundred pounds out of pocket by it so farlittle of which, I fear, is ever likely to come back. It will be noted that my public appears to be a declining one ; I attribute this to the long course of practical boycott to which I have been subjected for so many years, or, if not boycott, of sneer, snarl and misrepresentation. I cannot help it, nor if the truth were known, am I at any pains to try to do so.* Worth Doing If I deserve to be remembered, it will be not so much for anything I have written, or for any new way of looking at old facts which I may have suggested, as for having shown that a man of no special ability, with no literary connections, not particularly laborious, fairly, but not supremely, accurate as far as he goes, and not travelling far either for his facts or from them, may yet, by being perfectly square, sticking to his point, not letting his temper run away with him, and biding his time, be a match for the most powerful literary and scientific coterie that England has ever known. I hope it may be said of me that I discomfited an unscru- pulous, self-seeking clique, and set a more wholesome example myself. To have done this is the best of all discoveries. Doubt and Hope I will not say that the more than coldness with which my books are received does not frighten me and make me distrust myself. It must do so. But every now and then I meet with * Butler made this note in 1899 before the publication of Shake- pear e's Sonnets Reconsidered, which was published in the same year. The Odyssey Rendered into English Prose appeared in 1900 and Erewhon Revisited, the last book published in his lifetime, in 1901. He made no analysis of the sales of these three books, nor of the sales of A First Vear in Canterbury Settlement published in 1863, nor of his pamphlet The Evidence for the Resurrection, published in 1865. The Way of all Flesh and Essays on Life, Art, and Science were not published till alter his death. I do not know what he means by A Book of Essayst unless it may be that he incurred an outlay of £3 us. 9d. in connection with a projected republication of his articles in the Universal Review or of some of his Italian articles about the Odyssey.