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[31] American periodical, but never opened an English one without something unintelligible, it seemed to me a bit of evidence whose bearing was quite uncertain. It reminded me of a delightful old lady, well known to me, who, when taxed by her daughter with reading a book quite beyond her comprehension, replied: ‘But where is the use of reading a book that you can understand? It does you no good.’ As a matter of fact, the English magazines are commonly not magazines at all, in the American sense. Mr. M. D. Conway well said that the Contemporary Review and the Fortnightly were simply circular letters addressed by a few cultivated gentlemen to those belonging to the same club. It is not until a man knows himself to be writing for a hundred thousand readers that he is compelled to work out his abstrusest thought into clearness, just as a sufficient pressure transforms opaque snow into pellucid ice. In our great American magazines, history and science have commonly undergone this process, and the reader may be gratified, not ashamed, at comprehending them.

The best remedy for too profound a deference

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M. D. Conway (1)
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