Cheese Essay

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If antiquity be the test of nobility, as many affirm and none deny (saving, indeed, that family which takes for its motto "Sola Virtus Nobilitas," which may mean that virtue is the only nobility, but which may also mean, mark you, that nobility is the only virtue--and anyhow denies that nobility is tested by the lapse of time), _if_, I say, antiquity be the only test of nobility, then cheese is a very noble thing. But wait a moment: there was a digression in that first paragraph which to the purist might seem of a complicated kind. Were I writing algebra (I wish I were) I could have analysed my thoughts by the use of square brackets, round brackets, twiddly brackets, and the rest, all properly set out in order so that a Common Fool could follow them. But no such luck! I may not write of algebra here; for there is a rule current in all newspapers that no man may write upon any matter save upon those in which he is more learned than all his human fellows that drag themselves so slowly daily forward to the grave. So I had to put the thing in the very common form of a digression, and very nearly to forget that great subject of cheese which I had put at the very head and title of this. Which reminds me: had I followed the rule set down by a London journalist the other day (and of the proprietor of his paper I will say nothing--though I might have put down the remark to his proprietor) I would have hesitated to write that first paragraph. I would have hesitated, did I say? Griffins' tails! Nay--Hippogriffs and other things of the night! I would not have dared to write it at all! For this journalist made a law and promulgated it, and the law was this: that no man should write that English which could not be understood if all the punctuation were left out. Punctuation, I take it, includes brackets, which the Lord of Printers knows are a very modern part of

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