CHAPTER I. HIS STORY.
I ended the last page with "I shall write no more here." It used to be my pride never to have broken a promise nor changed a resolution. Pride! What have I to do with pride?
And resolutions, forsooth! What,-are we omnipotent and omniscient, that against all changes of circumstances, feelings, or events, we should set up our paltry resolutions, urge them and hold to them, in spite of reason and conviction, with a tenacity that we suppose heroic, god-like, yet which may be merely the blind obstinacy of a brute?
I will never make a resolution again. I will never again say to myself, "You, Max Urquhart, in order to keep up that character for virtue, honour, and steadfastness, which heaven only knows whether or no you deserve, ought to do so and so; and, come what will, you must do it." Out upon me and my doings! Was I singled out to be the scapegoat of the world?
It is my intention here, regularly to set down, for certain reasons, which I may, or may not, afterwards allude to, certain events, which have happened without any act of mine, almost without my volition, if a man can be so led on by force of circumstances, that there seems only one course of conduct open to him to pursue. Whither these circumstances may lead, I am at this moment as utterly ignorant as on the day I was born, and almost as powerless. I make no determinations, attempt no previsions, follow no set line of conduct; doing only from day to day, what is expected of me, and leaving all the rest to-is it? it must be-to God.
Dinah Maria Craik born Dinah Maria Mulock, also often credited as Miss Mulock or Mrs. Craik) (20 April 1826 - 12 October 1887) was an English novelist and poet.
Mulock was born at Stoke-on-Trent to Dinah and Thomas Mulock and raised in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, where her father was then minister of a small congregation. Her childhood and early youth were much affected by his unsettled fortunes, but she obtained a good education from various quarters and felt called to be a writer.[clarification needed]
She came to London about 1846, much at the same time as two friends, Alexander Macmillan and Charles Edward Mudie. Introduced by Camilla Toulmin to Westland Marston, she rapidly made friends in London, and found great encouragement for the stories for the young. In 1865 she married George Lillie Craik a partner with Alexander Macmillan in the publishing house of Macmillan & Company, and nephew of George Lillie Craik. They adopted a foundling baby girl, Dorothy, in 1869.
At Shortlands, near Bromley, Kent, while in a period of preparation for Dorothy's wedding, she died of heart failure on 12 October 1887, aged 61. Her last words were reported to have been: "Oh, if I could live four weeks longer! but no matter, no matter!" Her final book, An Unknown Country, was published by Macmillan in 1887, the year of her death. Dorothy married Alexander Pilkington in 1887 but they divorced in 1911 and she went on to marry Captain Richards of Macmine Castle. She and Alexander had just one son John Mulock Pilkington. John married Freda Roskelly and they had a son and daughter.