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[205] dearest friend. It is the same with the editor of magazine or newspaper. The one question for him to determine is whether the book or article really promises to be profitable, and as to this he must rely on his own judgment, for he has nothing else to rely upon. This judgment is very imperfect, and he knows the fact too well; but if he cannot trust himself, he can still less trust the author or the author's friends. Grant that these warm advocates know best the intrinsic worth of the article offered; they do not know the demands of the public, which is what he has to consider. There is not an editor in the world who accepts contributions with reference to his private taste only. “If I were to edit this periodical merely to suit you and me,” said a former editor of the Atlantic Monthly to a friend, “it would be bankrupt in three months.” Even a cook must season her food to suit the taste of the family, not her own; they do not necessarily like garlic because she does. Every good periodical ends by influencing the public taste; but it must begin by conforming to it, at least sufficiently to get readers.

Formerly, when literature was less widely spread than now, young authors were apt to err on the side of excessive humility; it was hard for them to convince themselves that anything they wrote was worthy the dignity of print. No doubt there are

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