I have come passionately to prefer sense to sensibility, and even cynics (if one must have either) to rhapsodists and rapturists. . . . I can only suggest that humanity seems throughout its history to have suffered far worse from mental intoxications and fanaticisms than from any rare excess of sober reason.
I sometimes wonder if there have not been two great disasters in the history of modern letters: the first when literature began to be a full-time profession, with writers like Dryden and Lesage, instead of remaining a by-product of more sanely active lives; the second, when the criticism of literature became likewise a profession, and a livelihood for professors.