previous next
[118] literary purpose has shaped itself in early years and has proved the adequate task of a lifetime. This is not ordinarily to be expected, or even desired. Some men simply fill in a wide background without the possibility of predicting where the foreground of their intellectual work will lie. No matter; they may at any moment reap the advantage of this early breadth. There are no departments of study which are more apt to prove useful in the end than those on which Time has for a while set up the sign No Thoroughfare. It has been said that no one is rich in knowledge who cannot afford to let two-thirds of it lie fallow; nor can any one tell in which particular field he may at any moment be called on to resume production, or, at least, to take the benefit of some early harvest that was merely ploughed in.

While I am therefore proud, as an American, of the clever writing and even of the genius of many of the authors who owe nothing to colleges; and while I rejoice to see it demonstrated as has been shown by Mr. Howells and Mr. James, that much of the strength and delicacy of English style can be attained without

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Henry James (1)
W. D. Howells (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: