4 A COLLEGE MAUAZIJNE student should have tried all that are possible ; before he can choose and preserve a fitting key of words, he should long have practised the literary scales ; and it is only after years of such gymnastic that he can sit down at last, legions of words swarming to his call, dozens of turns of phrase simultaneously bidding for his choice, and he him- self knowing what he wants to do and (within the narrow limit of a man's ability) able to do it. And it is the great point of these imitations that there still shines beyond the student's reach his inimitable model Let him try as he please, he is still sure of failure ; and it is a very old and a very true saying that failure is the only highroad to success. I must have had some disposition to learn ; for I clear-sightedly condemned my own performances. I liked doing them indeed ; but when they were done, I could see they were rubbish. In conse- quence, I very rarely showed them even to my friends; and such friends as I chose to be my confidants I must have chosen well, for they had the friendliness to be quite plain with me, ' Padding/ said one. Another wrote; 11 cannot understand why you do lyrics so badly.' No more could I! Thrice I put myself in the way of a more authoritative rebuff, by sending a paper to a magazine. These were returned; and I was not surprised nor even pained. If they had not been looked at, as (like all amateurs) I suspected was the case, there was no good in repeating the experiment; if they had been looked at-— well, then I had not yet learned to write, and I must keep on learning and living. Lastly, I had a piece of good fortune which is the occasion of this paper, and by which I was able to see my literature in print, and to measure experimentally how far I stood from the favour of the public.