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[254] of James are only various campaigns of this one questing spirit, changing his procedure as the elusive object of his search hid itself by this or that device of protective coloration or swift escape. It is as if a collector of rare butterflies had one method of capturing them in Madagascar, another for the Orinoco, and still another for Japanthough Henry James found his Japan and Orinoco and Madagascar all in London town!

No one who ever had the pleasure of hearing him discourse about the art of fiction can forget the absolute seriousness of his professional devotion; it was as though a shy celebrant were to turn and explain, with mystical intensity and a mystic's involution and reversal of all the values of vulgar speech, the ceremonial of some strange, high altar. His own power as a creative artist was not always commensurate with his intellectual endowment or with his desire after beauty, and his frank contempt for the masses of men made it difficult for him to write English. He preferred, as did Browning, who would have liked to reach the masses, a dialect of his own, and he used it increasingly after he was fifty. It was a dialect capable of infinite gradations of tone, endless refinements of expression. In his threescore books there are

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