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Dashing It Off

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-The fitst and most prevalent misconception of tyros is, that an artiole or a poem, to be brilliiint, must be "dashed off." They have heard, of course, that Jolrason wrote "Rasselus" in a week; that Byron was only 13 days over "The Coraair1;" that Scott was seareely doublé that lime in vvriting a volume of "Waverly:" and that Burns composed "Tana o' Shanter" between dinher and tea. Uut tliey foret that before these tasks were accompllshed Johnson had composed and published what would fill volumes; Byron liad alrofuly spent the best of his yeare in tlie cunstant practice of liia pen; Scott hadedited the Border Dallada, the WOrkBOf Swift and Drydcn. an 1 writtfii the grefteart of his pocms; and that 15urns was as expert and practieed in veise-inaking as a long experience in the art could possibly niake even him. Apart altogether from the question of the super-eininent genius of all these men, they did not attain to this degree of literary celerity all at once. They did nyt junip into it as i man may get iuto a snit of new clothes. It was in each case the result of the unwearied practice of their art. There have been instances, sucli as that of the poe Campbell, where the genius ripenet early, and where the first work was tli best; but thia is very rare oven in th ranks of genius. The rule in thes ranks has rut her been on the Bidé o uninitigiitrd labor in correcting and perfecting their compositions. Many of tliem, sucli is Gibbon, wrote and revrot(i the ftret of their productions three or l'our times over; and alter all, wlien tlie.y saw their woik In print, have been kaown to declare, that they thought they could still improve it were tliey to write it over yet againl Tt may be taken, therefore, as a fundamental rule in the attainment of literary excellence, to spare no labor in perfecting and polishing, and to leáve no word, or sentence, or ]assage tmimproved that still seems lo adinit of improvement. Attentlon to thia would save many a youns writer some nf his


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat