Page:The Craftsmanship of Writing.djvu/248

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metaphor of the principle upon which language tends constantly to renew itself.

And this brings us to a vital point in the whole question of acquiring style. If you are proposing to learn the craft of building, or pottery making, or carpet weaving, will you be satisfied to know nothing beyond what has been done by England or America? Or will you, just as a matter of business shrewdness, study what has been done in the past in Greece and Rome, in Egypt and Turkey and India? The business man and the scientist always keep a keen eye on the whole world. And the man of letters cannot afford to do less. If you run over the list of the world's great stylists, you will find that they were, relatively speaking, linguists. I use the term, relatively speaking, advisedly; because in some countries and at certain epochs, a man who knew one language besides his own passed as a person of learn-