I state these things simply and somewhat baldly; I might easily refine
upon them, and study that subtle effect for good and for evil which young people are always receiving from the fiction they read; but this its not the time or place for the inquiry, and I only wish to own that so far as I understand it, the chief part of my ethical experience has been from novels.
For the girls she seemed anxious only to render them as superficially attractive and showily accomplished as they could possibly be made, without present trouble or discomfort to themselves; and I was to act accordingly--to study and strive to amuse and oblige, instruct, refine
, and polish, with the least possible exertion on their part, and no exercise of authority on mine.
Olson says there is a geyser of oil there, and von Schoenvorts is making preparations to refine
It seemed to refine
him, to remove from him much of the dross of flesh and the too animal- like vigor that lured her while she detested it.
I cannot think they will help to refine
the ragamuffins if they read them, and I'm sure they can do no good to the better class of boys, who through these books are introduced to police courts, counterfeiters' dens, gambling houses, drinking saloons, and all sorts of low life.