By Walter Lionel George

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Wells is more clearly pictured: 'Wells? the fellow who writes about flying machines and men in the moon. Jules Verne sort of stuff, isn't it? ' And so out with Mr Bennett, one of our best modern stylists, who in spite of an occasional crowding of the canvas has somehow fixed for us the singular and ferocious tribe from which he springs; so out with Mr Wells, with his restless, impulsive, combative, infinitely audacious mind. The average man says: 'Flying machines,' and the passion of Mr Wells for a beautiful, if somewhat over-hygienic world is swept away.

This is obvious when the average man (which includes many women) alludes to the personality of some well-known writer. One he has come to respect: Mr Hall Caine, because popular report says that his latest novel brought him in about a hundred thousand pounds, but those such as Mr Arnold Bennett and Mr H. G. Wells leave strange shadows upon his memory. Of Mr Bennett he says: 'Oh, yes, he writes about the North Country, doesn't he? Or is it the West Country? Tried one of his books once. I forget its name, and now I come to think of it, it may have been by somebody else.

Jacobs, Mr Mason, and such like, who certainly do not strain his imaginative powers; he is greatly addicted to humour of the coarser kind, and he dissipates many of his complexes by means of vile stories which he exchanges with his fellows; these do not at all represent his kindliness and his respectability. Sometimes he reads a shocker, the sort that is known as 'railway literature,' presumably because it cannot hold the attention for more than the time that elapses between two stops. The more serious and scholarly man, who abounds in every club, is addicted to the monthly reviews, (price two-and-six; he does not like the shilling ones), to the Times, to the Spectator; that kind of man is definitely stodgy and prides himself upon being sound.

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