Page:Essays and phantasies by James Thomson.djvu/300

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This middle-class John Bull, well-fed, well-clothed, well-housed, with a snug balance at his banker's, is the most self-satisfied of optimists, and is simply disgusted and alarmed by a fellow, who as a Dean ought surely to have been contented and sleekly jolly, who never omitted when his birthday came round to read the words of Job: "Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived;" who asked a friend, "Do not the corruptions and villanies of men eat your flesh and exhaust your spirits?" and who wrote of himself in his epitaph: "Ubi sæva indignatio ulterius cor lacerare nequit."

general English public, with its soft-hearted and soft-headed sentimental optimism, a genius of such stern and unblenching insight is damned at once and for ever by being denounced as a cynic. It loves to blubber till tear-dry over its Dickens and Farjeon."—Copes Tobacco Plant, April 1876.