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[204] seems as if even these last qualities must have become a little impaired when we read in the Saturday Review such curious lapses as this: ‘At home we have only the infinitely little, the speeches of infinitesimal members of Parliament. . . . In America matters yet more minute occupy the press.’ More minute than the infinitely little and the infinitesimal!

It will be a matter of deep regret to all thoughtful Americans should there ever be a distinct lowering of the standard of literary workmanship in England. The different branches of the English-speaking race are mutually dependent; they read each other's books; they need to co-operate in keeping up the common standard. It is too much to ask of any single nation that it should do this alone. Can it be that the real source of the change, if it is actually in progress, may be social rather than literary? It is conceivable that the higher status of the dime novel in England may be simply a part of that reversion toward a lower standard which grows naturally out of an essentially artificial social structure. Is it possible that some strange and abnormal

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