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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Genesis of the ‘Grammar’
By Charles Blanc (1813–1882)
 
AT dinner one day with the dignitaries of one of the largest cities of France, conversation turned upon the arts. All of the guests spoke of them, and well; but each intrenched himself behind his own personal views, in virtue of the adage “One cannot argue about tastes.” I protested in vain against this false principle, saying that it was inadmissible, and that the classic Brillat-Savarin would have been shocked at such blasphemy. Even his name had no weight, and the guests separated gayly, after uttering heresies that made you shiver. Among the eminent men present there was one, however, who seemed somewhat mortified that he had not the most elementary idea of art; and he asked me if there was not some book in which its principles were presented in a clear and brief form. I replied that no such book existed, and that on leaving college I should have been only too happy to find such a work; and thereupon determined to write one.  1
 
 
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