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[193] of that life. It enriches existence to do this; it makes us all look on humanity with a kindlier eye. If a man has the genius to do it in literary art, he is a benefactor. The error begins when he or his admirers begin to decry or disparage all other forms of literary creation. The merit of discovering the obscure is almost cancelled and neutralized when the discoverer goes on to say that henceforth nothing but the obscure can have any value. I knew a botanist who discovered two undescribed and almost invisible species of plants on Cambridge Common, Massachusetts. It was a boon to science, no doubt; but would it have been a boon if he had induced all cultivators to annihilate their greenhouses, root lip their orchids, and spend the rest of their lives poring with spectacles among the scant grasses of that not very luxuriant enclosure where he found his fame?

“The novel of pure character,” says Mr. Gosse, in the Pall Mall Gazette, “is the novel of the future. The after-ages will wonder that we preferred our assassins and our bigamists to the ‘Lady of the Aroostook,’ just as we ourselves wonder that an age which had Colonel Newcome and Becky Sharp before its eyes could waste its time on the false, crude, high-flown romanticism of the first Lord Lytton and his idealistic waxworks.” There is always something very impressive in the way these

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