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[201] makes fritters of English. It is hard for criticism to deal seriously with a novelist who writes: ‘It is us;’ ‘He . . . read on like some one reads in some ghastly dream;’ ‘Jacobus . . . whom was exceedingly sick;’ ‘So that was where they were being taken to;’ and the like. In the Contemporary Review his style seems to have been revised editorially, and we find nothing worse than such slang phrases as ‘played out,’ though this is certainly bad enough. If a man in decent society should place his feet upon the table but once, his standing would be as effectually determined as if his offences had been seventy times seven.

Now, whatever may be said of current tendencies it American literature, it may at least be claimed that our leading novelists do not tilt back their chairs or put their feet upon the table. Mr. Howells, for instance, has his defects, and may be proceeding, just now, upon a theory too narrow; but it is impossible to deny that he recognizes the minor morals of literary art. His sentences hold well together; he does not gush, does not straggle, gives no

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