The Idea of a University

so far forth as style is necessary to convey and to recommend the matter. I mean a literature which resembles the literature of the day. This is not a day for great writers, but for good writing, and a great deal of it. There never was a time when men wrote so much and so well, and that, without being of any great account themselves. While our literature in this day, especially the periodical, is rich and various, its language is elaborated to a perfection far beyond that of our Classics, by the jealous rivalry, the incessant practice, the mutual influence, of its many writers. In point of mere style, I suppose, many an article in the Times newspaper, or Edinburgh Review, is superior to a preface of Dryden's, or a Spectator, or a pamphlet of Swift's, or one of South's sermons.

Our writers write so well that there is little to choose between them. What they lack is that individuality, that earnestness, most personal yet most unconscious of self,

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