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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

184    The Enfant Terrible of Literature

Walter Pater and Matthew Arnold

Mr. Walter Pater's style is, to me, like the face of some
old woman who has been to Madame Rachel and had herself
enamelled. The bloom is nothing but powder and paint and
the odour is cherry-blossom. Mr. Matthew Arnold's odour is
as the faint sickliness of hawthorn.

My Random Passages

At the Century Club a friend very kindly and hesitatingly
ventured to suggest to me that I should get some one to go
over my MS. before printing ; a judicious editor, he said,
would have prevented me from printing many a bit which, it
seemed to him, was written too recklessly and offhand. The
fact is that the more reckless and random a passage appears
to be, the more carefully it has been submitted to friends
and considered and re-considered ; without the support of
friends I should never have dared to print one half of what
I have printed.

I am not one of those who can repeat the General Confession
unreservedly. I should say rather :

" I have left unsaid much that I am sorry I did not say,
but I have said little that I am sorry for having said, and
I am pretty well on the whole, thank you."

Moral Try-Your-Strengths

There are people who, if they only had a slot, might turn
a pretty penny as moral try-your-strcngths, like those we
see in railway-stations for telling people their physical strength
when they have dropped a penny in the slot. In a way they
have a slot, which is their mouths, and people drop pennies
in by asking them to dinner, and then they try their strength
against them and get snubbed; but this way is roundabout
and expensive. We want a good automatic asinometer by
which we can tell at a moderate cost how great or how little
of a fool we are.

Populus Vult

If people like being deceived—and this can hardly be
doubted—there can rarely have been a time during which