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[[underline]] Voice from the Cliff" [[/underline]]  As I really wished to make the etching I thought & cyphered closely & said that I would do it for $800 - Mr. K. shook his head -- too high-- far too high -- he could have that etched in Paris by Tissoniere for little more than half that sum -- At less than $800 I was satisfied that I could not make the wages of a journeyman cabinet maker or plumber, so I said regretfully let Mr. Tissoniere do it -- He did it -- the proofs are now in the shop windows. In confidence, for it would never do for me to declare such a thing publicly -- it would give me pain to have to attach my signature to such a work.  With undisguised satisfaction Mr. Keppel told me the other day that Tissoniere had etched that plate for $500 & had thanked him for his liberal commission -- that he had brought over from Paris, with the plate, 24 (I think) parchment proofs, every one of which sold promptly & he had [^orders] [[end page]]
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for ten more, which [^orders] the number being limited, he could not fill -- & he wound up with: "and what do you think of that Mr. Smillie?"  And I said with humility: the lesson is writ large & plain -- The Frenchman can underbid me hopelessly -- the American public buys his work greedily at your prices -- his work is a commercial success & what more does an enterprising print publisher want?
     Now, can Mr. Keppel afford to say anything such as you have written to me? Not one word. I so far forgot my "maidenly reserve" as to ask him for a critical expression concerning "The Goldsmith's Daughter" but he evaded it in the most 
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