William Dean Howells to Jane Addams, April 9, 1902

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48 West 59th st.,
April 9, 1902.

My dear Miss Addams:

I thank you for the book, which I know I shall read with instruction and pleasure.

As I have not yet seen what you said of my poor little fables, or the newspaper provisions of yours and I am, though perhaps mentally beat, in no present pain. I am not sure, however, that anything so false as the old melodrama can be [page 2] the beginning of good.

The very soul of morality is conceived in aesthetic truth; and I doubt if the delight of the poor or even the rich, in an impossible picture of life, can be wholesome for them. They can get the same effect from gin or whiskey.

I am most sorry not to have seen you.

Yours sincerely,

W.D. Howells.

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