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The great principle of Western society is that competition rules here as it rules in everything else. The best man - that is to say, the strongest and cleverest - is likely to get the best woman, in the sense of the most beautiful person.
Some persons have ventured to say that it is only since Englishmen ceased to believe in the Bible that they began to discover how beautiful it was.
Perhaps there is an idea among Japanese students that one general difference between Japanese and Western poetry is that the former cultivates short forms and the latter longer ones, gut this is only in part true.
One of the great defects of English books printed in the last century is the want of an index.
Of course, the simple explanation of the fact is that marriage is the most important act of man's life in Europe or America, and that everything depends upon it.
It is true that short forms of poetry have been cultivated in the Far East more than in modern Europe; but in all European literature short forms of poetry are to be found - indeed quite as short as anything in Japanese.
It is no exaggeration to say that the English Bible is, next to Shakespeare, the greatest work in English literature, and that it will have much more influence than even Shakespeare upon the written and spoken language of the English race.
It has been wisely observed by the greatest of modern thinkers that mankind has progressed more rapidly in every other respect than in morality.
Is woman a religion? Well, perhaps you will have the chance of judging for yourselves if you go to America. There you will find men treating women with just the same respect formerly accorded only to religious dignitaries or to great nobles.
In the world of reality the more beautiful a work of art, the longer, we may be sure, was the time required to make it, and the greater the number of different minds which assisted in its development.
I often imagine that the longer he studies English literature the more the Japanese student must be astonished at the extraordinary predominance given to the passion of love both in fiction and in poetry.
French novels generally treat of the relations of women to the world and to lovers, after marriage; consequently there is a great deal in French novels about adultery, about improper relations between the sexes, about many things which the English public would not allow.
For this reason, to study English literature without some general knowledge of the relation of the Bible to that literature would be to leave one's literary education very incomplete.
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