LET it not be supposed that styles free from such defects as I have pointed out, are therefore to be classed as good styles. I am far from saying or implying this. Other traits must be possessed--aptness of words, variety of form, freshness of metaphor, euphony--traits which, as I know to my regret, innate faculty alone can achieve. My position is that a style cannot be redeemed by any or all of these traits if its sentences are incoherent, or contain superfluities and duplications of meaning. Avoidance of defects of construction is a primary requisite; and praise cannot be given to a culture which, promising to insure a good style, does not insure its first element.
It seems strange that the current a priori conclusion respecting the effects produced by the study of languages and by familiarity with good models, is not verified a posteriori. The absence of verification emphasizes the French saying, "The Style is the Man."
A personal experience has strengthened my belief in this saying. More than half-a-century ago some