he above lines from Matthew Arnold are quoted by one of my very numerous correspondents to support a certain optimism in this matter of a systematic attempt to improve the mind. They form part of a beautiful and inspiring poem, but I gravely fear that they run counter to the vast mass of earthly experience. More often than not I have found that a task willed in some hour of insight can not be fulfilled through hours of gloom. No, no, and no! To will is easy: it needs but the momentary bright contagion of a stronger spirit than one's own. To fulfil, morning after morning, or evening after evening, through months and years--this is the very dickens, and there is not one of my readers that will not agree with me. Yet such is the elastic quality of human nature that most of my correspondents are quite ready to ignore the sad fact and to demand at once: "what shall we will? Tell us what we must will." Some seem to think that they have solved the difficulty when they have advocated certain systems of memor
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