Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 54, April, 1862

Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 54, April, 1862

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Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 54, April, 1862 by Various

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1862

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Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 54, April, 1862

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Book Excerpt

ve been expressed in two. Do not throw a dozen vague epithets at a thing, in the hope that some one of them will fit; but study each phrase so carefully that the most ingenious critic cannot alter it without spoiling the whole passage for everybody but himself. For the same reason do not take refuge, as was the practice a few years since, in German combinations, heart-utterances, soul-sentiments, and hyphenized phrases generally; but roll your thought into one good English word. There is no fault which seems so hopeless as commonplaceness, but it is really easier to elevate the commonplace than to reduce the turgid. How few men in all the pride of culture can emulate the easy grace of a bright woman's letter!

Have faith enough in your own individuality to keep it resolutely down for a year or two. A man has not much intellectual capital who cannot treat himself to a brief interval of modesty. Premature individualism commonly ends either in a reaction against the original whims, or in a mannerism which perp

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