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[131] Boston, when asked what quality on the whole best promoted one's usefulness in life, replied, ‘The sense of humor.’

But when this sense of humor is, as one may say, nationalized, it furnishes some occasional disadvantages to set against this merit. It may not only be turned against good causes, but against the whole attitude of earnest study or faithful action. Mr. Warner has lately pointed out how not merely the external reputation of Chicago has been injured, but its whole intellectual life retarded, by the determined habit of the newspapers of that city in treating all intellectual efforts coming from that quarter as a joke. ‘When Chicago makes up her mind to take hold of culture,’ said one of the local humorists, ‘she will just make culture hum.’ Of course it might seem that every word of this vigorous sentence must serve to put culture a little farther off. But, as a matter of fact, culture is already there, in Chicago. There is probably no city in the Union which publishes books of a higher grade, in proportion to their numbers. Looking on the fly-leaf of a new London edition of Sir

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