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George Saintsbury

But the eighteenth century, on the whole, loathed melancholy.

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Nothing is more curious than the almost savage hostility that humor excites in those who lack it.

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Miss Austen had shown the infinite possibilities of ordinary and present things for the novelist.

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The Italian prose tale had begun to exercise that influence as early as Chaucer's time: but circumstances and atmosphere were as yet unfavourable for its growth.

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It is the unbroken testimony of all history that alcoholic liquors have been used by the strongest, wisest, handsomest, and in every way best races of all times.

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The Odyssey is, indeed, one of the greatest of all stories, it is the original romance of the West; but the Iliad, though a magnificent poem, is not much of a story.

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But even gold is not everything: and only a fanatic, and a rather foolish fanatic, would say that this style of fiction summed up and exhausted all the good that fiction could give and do.

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The transition state of manners and language cannot be too often insisted upon: for this affected the process at both ends, giving the artist in fictitious life an uncertain model to copy and unstable materials to work in.

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But at the time when he wrote, Englishmen, with the rarest exceptions, wrote only in French or Latin; and when they began to write in English, a man of genius, to interpret and improve on him, was not found for a long time.

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To pass to the deluge, and beyond it, and to come to close quarters with our proper division, the origin of Romance itself is a very debatable subject, or rather it is a subject which the wiser mind will hardly care to debate much.

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