On the proposed abolition of the plot
it was said of the romantic Muse
—of the Pegasus, or winged horse of Uhland
—that, like its colleague, the famous war-horse Bayard
, it possessed all possible virtues and but one fault, that it was dead.
It is in this decisive way that Mr. Howells
and others deal with the plot in stories and dramas; they decline to argue the matter, but simply assert that the plot is extinct.
If any one doubts the assertion they would perhaps still decline to argue the matter, and simply extend the assertion to any critic who differed from them, pointing out that he must be dead also.
It may be so, since there may always be room for such a possibility.
‘Tyrawley and I,’ said Walpole
's old statesman, ‘have been dead these two years; but we don't let anybody know it.’
In the matter of literary criticism, however, the fact is just the other way. The