Is it just the result of untidiness that Milton, Browning and Kipling's collected verse stand side by side on my bookshelves? In any case, instinct tells me that they are not incompatible neighbours. Deep down, very deep, they have a common foundation. (Beetle the schoolboy read Brownin'.) Browning and Milton both would approve Kipling in his role as the preacher of devotion to what seems duty, and with him would have been bewildered by changes which seem to make that devotion old‐fashioned. All three are terrible at their worst, and unaware of the fact. Perhaps they all three lack the sense of humour which is a useful aid to self‐criticism. At their best they meet above criticism.
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