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[74] no deep national principle involved-only a casual change, like that which takes athletic prizes for a few years from one college and gives them to another. Novels and even whole schools of fiction emerge and disappear like the flash or darkening of a revolving light in a light-house; you must use the glimpse while you have it. “The highways of literature are spread over,” says Holmes, “with the shells of dead novels, each of which has been swallowed at a mouthful by the public, and is done with.” Each foreign notability, in particular, should bear in mind on his arrival the remark of Miss Berry's Frenchman about a waning beauty who was declared by her to be still lovely. “Yes; but she has only a quarter of an hour to be so” (“Elle n'a qu'un quart d'heure pour être”).

The bulk of English fiction fortunately never reaches this country, and the bulk of American fiction as fortunately never reaches England. The exceptions are often wayward and very often inexplicable. Who can now understand why the forgotten novel called The Lamplighter had a wider English circulation than any American book had hitherto conquered except Uncle Tom's Cabin? or why The Wide, Wide World achieved such a success

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