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A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder
written by "De Mille, James, 1833-1880"
...ays that we consider them as being written merely to indicate that difference. It is like the Germania of Tacitus, which many critics still hold to be a satire on Roman ways, while as a matter of fact it is simply a narrative of German manners and customs." "I hope," cried Melick, "that you do not mean to compare this awful rot and rubbish to the Germania of Tacitus?" "By no means," said Oxenden; "I merely asserted that in one respect they were analogous. You forced on the allusion to the Germania by calling this 'rot and rubbish' a satirical romance." "Oh, well," said Melick, "I only referred to the intention of the writer. His plan is one thing and his execution quite another. His plan is not bad, but he fails utterly in his execution. The style is detestable. If he had written in the style of a plain seaman, and told a simple unvarnished tale, it would have been all right. In order to carry out properly such a plan as this the writer should take Defoe as his model, or, still better, Dean Swift. Gulliver's Travels and Robinson Crusoe show what can be done in this way, and form a standard by which all other attempts must be judged. But this writer is tawdry; he has the worst vices of the sensational school—he shows everywhere marks of haste, gross carelessness, and universal feebleness. When he gets hold of a good fancy, he lacks the patience that is necessary in order to work it up in an effective way. He is a gross plagiarist, and over and over again violates in the most glaring manner all the ordinary proprieties of style. What can be more absurd, for instance, than the language which he puts into the mouth of Layelah? Not content with making her talk like a sentimental boarding-school, bread-and-butter English miss, he actually forgets himself so far as to put in her mouth a threadbare joke, which everyone has heard since childhood." "What is that?" "Oh, that silly speech about the athaleb swallowing its ...

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