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THE best way to learn to write is to write.

Herbert Spencer never studied grammar until he had learned to write. He took his grammar at sixty, which is a good age for one to begin this most

interesting study, as by the time you have reached that age you have largely lost your capacity to sin. Men who can swim exceedingly well are not those who have taken courses in the theory of swimming at natatoriums, from professors of the amphibian art-they were just boys who jumped into the ol' swimmin' hole, and came home with shirts on wrong-side out and a tell-tale dampness in their hair. Correspondence schools for the taming of bronchos are as naught; and treatises on the gentle art of wooing are of no avail—follow nature's lead. Grammar is the appendenda vermiformis of the science of pedagogics: it is as useless as the letter q in the alphabet, or the proverbial two tails to a cat, which no cat ever had, and

the finest cat in the world, the Manx cat, has
no tail at all.
“ The literary style of most university men
is commonplace, when not positively bad,"
wrote Herbert Spencer in his old age.
“Educated Englishmen all write alike,” said
Taine. That is to say, educated men who
have been drilled to write by certain fixed and
unchangeable rules of rhetoric and grammar
will produce similar compositions. They have
no literary style, for style is individuality and
character-the style is the man, and grammar
tends to obliterate individuality. No study is
so irksome to everybody, except the sciolists
who teach it, as grammar. It remains forever a
bad taste in the mouth of the man of ideas,
and has weaned bright minds innumerable
from a desire to express themselves through
the written word.
Grammar is the etiquette of words, and the
man who does not know how to properly
salute his grandmother on the street until he
has consulted a book, is always so troubled
about the tenses that his fancies break thru
language and escape.
The grammarian is one whose whole thought


is to string words according to a set formula. The substance itself that he wishes to convey is of secondary importance. Orators who keep their thoughts upon the proper way to gesticulate in curves, impress nobody. If it were a sin against decency, or an attempt to poison the minds of the people, for a person to be ungrammatical, it might be wise enough to hire men to protect the well of English from defilement. But a stationary language is a dead one-moving water only is pure—and the well that is not fed by springs is sure to be a breeding-place for disease. Let men express themselves in their own way, and if they express themselves poorly, look you, their punishment will be that no one will read their literary effusions at Oblivion with her smother-blanket lies in wait for the writer who has nothing to say and says it faultlessly. In the making of hare soup, I am informed by most excellent culinary authority, the first requisite is to catch your hare. The literary scullion who has anything to offer a hungry world, will doubtless find a way to fricassee it


RELIGION of just being
kind would be a pretty
good religion, don't you
think so?
But a religion of kindness
and useful effort is nearly
a perfect religion.
We used to think it was

a man's belief concerning a dogma that would fix his place in eternity. This was because we believed that God was a grumpy, grouchy old gentleman, stupid, touchy and dictatorial * A really good man would not damn you even if you did n't like him, but a bad man would. As our ideas of God changed, we ourselves changed for the better. Or, as we thought better of ourselves we thought better of God. It will be character that locates our place in another world, if there is one, just as it is our character that fixes our place here. We are weaving character every day, and the way to weave the best character is to be kind and to be useful. THINK RIGHT, ACT RIGHT; IT IS WHAT WE THINK AND DO THAT MAKE US WHAT WE ARE.

So here ends LOVE, LIFE AND WORK, being a book of Essays selected from the writings of ELBERT HUBBARD, and done into print by The Roycrofters at their Shop at East Aurora, which is in Erie County, New York, U.S. A. Completed in the month of July, MCMVI

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