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It is a labor of love; the eyes gloat upon the bubbling drug which shall anon witch the soul of those emaciated toilers. They renew the pipe again and again; their talk grows less frequent and dwindles to a whispered soliloquy. We address them, and are smiled at by delirious eyes; but the ravenous lips are sealed to that magic tube, from which they draw the breath of a life we know not of.

The case of the Connaught landowners is particularly characteristic, and as space dwindles rapidly, may serve as an example of the rest. Nearly all the Connaught gentry, native and Norman alike, had surrendered their estates either to Elizabeth or to her father, and had received them back again upon new terms.

"Of course, Holly Erroll was her father, and that accounts for something; and her mother seems to have been a wit as well as a beauty which helps you to understand; but the brilliancy of the result aged nineteen, mind you is out of all proportion; cause and effect do not balance. . . . Why, Boots, an ordinary man I mean an everyday fellow who dines and dances and does the harmlessly usual about town, dwindles to anæmic insignificance when compared to that young girl even now when she's practically undeveloped when her intelligence is like an uncut gem still in the matrix of inexperience "

"It is a long time," Mime ventures timidly, "since I left my native place; a long time since I departed from the bosom of earth, my mother; I once saw the gleam of Wotan's eye as he looked into the cave; my mother-wit dwindles before him...." But the wee fellow has no mean conceit of his wisdom, and is really not as uneasy as might be expected of one in his position.

The initial idea of the book is excellent, finer because deeper than the commonplace idea that is the foundation of Balzac's "Peau de Chagrin," though it would probably never have been written if Balzac had not written his book first; but Balzac's sincerity and earnestness grapple with the theme and wring a blessing out of it, whereas the subtler idea in Oscar's hands dwindles gradually away till one wonders if the book would not have been more effective as a short story.

Consciousness dwindles and flares up most irresponsibly, so long as its own flow alone is regarded, and it continually arises out of nothing, which indeed is simplicity itself. But it does not arise without real conditions outside, which cannot be discovered by introspection, nor divined by that literary psychology which proceeds by imagining what introspection might yield in others.

The Colorado river is a large stream, but as seen here a mile below and several miles out, it dwindles into insignificance and appears no larger than a meadow brook. The river looks placid in the distance, but is a raging, turbulent torrent in which an ordinary boat cannot live and the roar of its wild waters can be distinctly heard as of the rushing of a distant train of cars.

The sea dwindles and the land broadens. Transportation and travel become difficult and hazardous. Merchant and customer, running alike a labyrinthine gauntlet of taxes, tolls and arbitrary exactions by the wolves of schloss and chateau, found it safest to make fewer trips and concentrate their transactions.

The most exquisite work of literary art exhibits a certain crudeness and coarseness, when we turn to it from Nature, as the smallest cambric needle appears rough and jagged, when compared through the magnifier with the tapering fineness of the insect's sting. Once separated from Nature, literature recedes into metaphysics, or dwindles into novels.

Happiness, at least, is not solitary; it joys to communicate; it loves others, for it depends on them for its existence; it sanctions and encourages to all delights that are not unkind in themselves; if it lived to a thousand, it would not make excision of a single humorous passage; and while the self-improver dwindles towards the prig, and, if he be not of an excellent constitution may even grow deformed into an Obermann, the very name and appearance of a happy man breathe of good-nature, and help the rest of us to live.