He can't even realize the seriousness of what he did!
In autumn he gave himself up to hunting with the same business-like seriousness--leaving home for a month, or even two, with his hunt.
But then the seriousness of the matter began to sink in.
As a proof of the seriousness with which he regarded the literary vocation, it may be mentioned that he used to write out his poems in printed characters, believing that that process best enabled him to understand his own peculiarities and faults, and probably unconscious that Coleridge had recommended some such method of criticism when he said he thought "print settles it."
In spite of the seriousness of the situation, Dean was forced to stifle a chuckle.