Page:The Craftsmanship of Writing.djvu/70
THE POWER OF SELF-CRITICISM
as to make many a mature man of letters of his day feel sadly delinquent. George Eliot, at about the same age, writes to a friend as follows: "My mind is an assemblage of disjointed specimens of history, ancient and modern, scraps of poetry picked up from Shakespeare, William Cowper, Wordsworth and John Milton; newspaper topics; morsels of Joseph Addison and Francis Bacon, Latin verbs, geometry, entomology and chemistry; reviews and metaphysics." Théophile Gautier is perhaps, the most extreme in-
the headings, History, Law, Philosophy, Geography, Poetry, Eloquence, Divinity, and Miscellaneous, concluding with the following paragraph: "All the books have enumerated I have taken down from memory. I recollect reading them and can quote passages from any mentioned. I have, of course, omitted several in my catalogue, but the greater part of the above I perused before before the age of fifteen .... I have also read (to my regret at present) about four thousand novels, including the works of Cervantes, Fielding, Smollett, Richardon, Mackenzie, Sterne, Rabelais, Rousseau, etc."
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