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literary man has often to work for his bread against time, or against his will, or in spite of his health, or of his indolence, or of his, repugnance to the subject on which he is called to exert himself, just like any other daily toiler. When you want to make money by Pegasus, (as he must, perhaps, who has no other saleable property,) farewell poetry and aerial flights: Pegasus only rises now like Mr. Green's balloon, at periods advertised before-hand, and when the spectator's money has been paid. Pegasus trots in harness over the stony pavement, and pulls a cart or a cab behind him. Often Pegasus does his work with panting sides and trembling knees, and not seldom gets a cut of the whip from his driver.

Do not let us, however, be too prodigal of our pity upon Pegasus. There is no reason why this animal should be exempt from labour, or illness, or decay, any more than any of the other creatures of God's world. If he gets the whip, Pegasus very often deserves it, and I for one am quite ready to protest with my friend, George Warrington, against the doctrine which sonic poetical sympathisers are inclined to put forward, viz., that men of letters, and what is called genius, are to be exempt from the prose deities of this daily, bread-wanting, taxpaying life, and are not to be made to work and pay like their neighbours. [Pendennis, vol. I, chap. 37]

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Last modified: 8 April 2001