Page:Armatafragment00ersk.djvu/24

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had written a romance and not a real history, I must be a lunatic not to blazon it in the largest characters even in the title-page of my work.—No human stupidity or folly ever failed so far in the composition of a novel as to defeat its popularity to the extent of at least two editions, which the circulating libraries of themselves take off, without the sale of a single volume to the collectors of books; whereas no human learning or wisdom employed upon realities can now-a-days look much farther than to an indemnity for the paper and the types.—High reputation, indeed, (a rare phenomenon!) with the aids of hot-pressed foolscap, a broad margin and expensive engravings, may force a passage for history through the libraries of the great, but Novels alone are the books of universal sale.—The only actual historians are the Editors of Newspapers, and bankruptcy would soon overtake even their most favoured proprietors, if they were fettered in their columns by truth. This most useful class of men are therefore shamefully calumniated for their occasionaldeviations