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the differences are very slight: literary English especially of the higher kind, requires more careful pronunciation and tolerates more archaic forms and more pompous words than the colloquial speech. The language of poetry is, to some extent, of the same character. Prose, however, even the best, is never entirely remote in form from the best conversational style of the same period.

"Here indeed lies the heart of the whole matter. The literary language is kept living and flexible only by a close relation with the colloquial speech of the age. A purely literary tradition, however splendid, will not suffice for the style of a later period. A literary tradition alone, deprived of the living spirit is a lifeless thing. The breath of life comes into literary form from the living spoken language, as it comes into literature itself from touch with life. Thus, while great prose owes much to tradition, it owes still more to the racy speech of the age in which it is produced.

"The impression made by fine prose of any age, and not unfrequently also by verse, of the less artificial and elaborate kind, is that the author writes very much as he would speak, if he were conveying the same ideas by word of mouth. It is this quality of vitality, which springs from a mastery of the best spoken form of his age that compels our admiration in the prose of Dryden; but what we