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The word is not employed here in Verlaine's sense. The Impersonal is to be excluded from this Collection. Notwithstanding its solid basis, the modern mode of the Essay gives full play of personal freedom in the handling of its matter. In writing an entire History of Literature, one is unable to take equal interest in all its details. Much is included because it belongs there, but has to be described and criticised of necessity, not desire. While the concentrates himself con amore upon the parts which, in accordance with his temperament, attract his sympathies, or rivet his attention by their characteristic types, he accepts the rest as unavoidable stuffing, in order to escape the reproach of ignorance or defect. In the Essay there is no padding. Nothing is put in from external considerations. The here admits no temporising with his subject. However foreign the theme may be to him, there is always some point of contact between himself and the strange Personality. There is certain to be some crevice through which he can insinuate himself into this alien nature, after the fashion of the cunning actor with his part. He tries to feel its feelings, to think its thoughts, to divine its instincts, to discover its impulses and its will—then retreats from it once more, and sets down what he has gathered. Or he steeps himself intimately in the subject, till he feels that the Alien Personality is beginning to live in him. It may be months before this happens; but it comes at last. another Being fills him; for the time his soul is captive to it, and when he begins to express himself in words, he is freed, as it were, from an evil dream, the while he is fulfilling a cherished duty.

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