True stories are not often good art. The relations and experiences of real men and women rarely fall in such symmetrical order as to make an artistic whole. Until they have had such treatment as we give stone in the quarry or gems in the rough they seldom group themselves with that harmony of values and brilliant unity of interest that result when art comes in—not so much to transcend nature as to make nature transcend herself.Yet I have learned to believe that good stories happen oftener than once I thought they did. Within the last few years there have dropped into my hands by one accident or another a number of these natural crystals, whose charms, never the same in any two, are in each and all enough at least to warn off all tampering of the fictionist.
it either in Prudhomme, 'Dictionnaire des Individues envoyés à la Mort judiciairement, 1789-1796,' or in the list given by Wallon in the sixth volume of his very interesting 'Histoire du Tribunal Revolutionnaire de Paris.' Possibly he was not put to death in Paris," etc. And later he kindly wrote again that he had made some hours' further search, but in vain.
Here was distress. I turned to the little manuscript roll of which I had become so fond, and searched its pages anew for evidence of either genuineness or its opposite. The wrapper of black paper and the close-fitting silken bag had not been sufficient to keep it from taking on the yellowness of age. It was at least no modern counterfeit. Presently I noticed the total absence of quotation marks from its passages of conversation. Now, at the close of the last century, the use of quotation marks was becoming general, but had not become universal and imperative. Their entire absence from this manuscript of sixty-eight pages, abounding