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ASTOR. LFNOX AND HILDON FOUNDATIONE
R 1022 L
by Stephen Cole
Made in the United Sta
you have read, gentle reades, the main
It has not been any longer necessary to
My desire has been to lead him. iso the monas glorious company in the world, in te brenge hat
, having early made friends the to
All the truly great writers of English speak with simplicity from their hearts, they all evince a spirit of unaffected reverence, they all teach us to look up and not down, and by the nobility of their works which have penetrated into every home where letters are cultivated, they have done an incalculable service in forming and sustaining the high character of our race.
Clever flippant writers may do a trifling service here and there by ridiculing the pompous and deflating the prigs, but there is no permanence in such work, unless—which is seldom the case-it is totally devoid of personal vanity.
Very little such service is rendered when it emanates from a writer who announces himself as equal if not superior to Shakespeare, and embellishes his lucubrations with parodies of the creeds.
“A Gentleman with a Duster,” has in his “Glass of Fashion" shown us that the Society depicted in the books of Colonel Repington
and Mrs. Asquith is not the true and great Society that sustains England in its noble station among civilised peoples, and we may be sure that neither do these books in the faintest degree represent the true and living literature of the times. They will pass away and be forgotten as utterly as are the fashion plates and missing-word competitions of ten years ago.
Therefore, Antony, be sure that the famous and living literature of England, that has survived all the shocks of time and changes of modern life, is the best and properest study for a man to fit him for life, to refine his taste, to aggravate his wisdom, and consolidate his character.
Your loving old
MY DEAR ANTONY,
I alluded, in my first letter to you about English literature, to the necessity of your learning from the beginning the wide distinction between what is good and what is bad style.
I do not know a better instance of a display of the difference between what is fine style and what is not, than may be made by putting side by side almost any sentence from the old authorised translation of the Bible and the same sentence from The Bible in Modern Speech.
I will just put two quotations side by side:
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."