Why do so many ingenious theorists give fresh reasons every year for the decline of letter writing, and why do they assume, in derision of suffering humanity, that it has declined? They lament the lack of leisure, the lack of sentiment ... They talk of telegrams, and telephones, and postal cards, as if any discovery of science, any device of civilization, could eradicate from the human heart that passion for self-expression which is the impelling force of letters.
Wit is a pleasure-giving thing, largely because it eludes reason; but in the apprehension of an absurdity through the working of the comic spirit there is a foundation of reason, and an impetus to human companionship.
The tourist may complain of other tourists; but he would be lost without them. He may find them in his way, taking up the best seats in the motors, and the best tables in the hotel dining-rooms; but he grows amazingly intimate with them during the voyage, and not infrequently marries one of them when it is over.
It is because of our unassailable enthusiasm, our profound reverence for education, that we habitually demand of it the impossible. The teacher is expected to perform a choice and varied series of miracles.