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It's very plain that if a thing's the fashion—
Too much the fashion—if the people leap
To do it, or to be it, in a passion
Of haste and crowding, like a herd of sheep,
Why then that thing becomes through imitation
Vulgar, excessive, obvious, and cheap.
No gentleman desires to be pursuing
What every Tom and Dick and Harry's doing.
Stranger, do you write books? I ask the question,
Because I'm told that everybody writes
That what with scribbling, eating, and digestion,
And proper slumber, all our days and nights
Are wholly filled. It seems an odd suggestion—
But if you do write, stop it, leave the masses,
Read me, and join the small selected classes.