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...author handle his material or weave his plot as best he can--when the dish is served we only ask, Is it good? when the battle has been fought, Who won? when the book comes out, Does it read?
Authors ought not to be above being reminded that it is their first duty to write agreeably; some very disagreeable ones have succeeded in doing so, and there is therefore no need for any one to despair. Every author, be he grave or gay, should try to make his book as ingratiating as possible.Reading is not a duty, and has consequently no business to be made disagreeable.Nobody is under any obligation to read any other man's book.
Literature exists to please,--to lighten the burden of men's lives; to make them for a short while forget their sorrows and their sins, their silenced hearths, their disappointed hopes, their grim futures--and those men of letters are the best loved who have best performed literature's truest office. Their name is happily legion, and I will conclude these disjointed remarks by quoting from one of them, as honest a parson as... Birrell, Augustine
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