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from Evelyn Waugh's novel, "Put Out More Flags"

Rampole and Bentley was not a large or very prosperous firm; it owed its continued existence largely to the fact that both partners had a reasonable income derived from other sources. Mr. Bentley was a publisher because ever since he was a boy, he had a liking for books; he thought them a Good Thing; the more of them the merrier. Wider acquaintance had not increased his liking for authors, whom he found as a class avaricious, egotistical, jealous, and ungrateful, but he had always the hope that one day one of these disagreeable people would turn out to be a messiah of genius. And he liked the books themselves; he liked to see in the window of the office the dozen bright covers which were the season's new titles; he liked the sense of vicarious authorship which this spectacle gave him. Not so old Rampole. Mr. Bentley wondered why his senior partner had ever taken to publishing and why, once disillusioned, he persisted in it. Old Rampole deplored the propagation of books. "It won't do," he always said whenever Mr. Bentley produced a new author, "no one ever reads first novels."

Once or twice a year old Rampole himself introduced an author, always with well-justified forecasts of the book's failure. "Terrible thing," he would say, "Met old So-and-so at the club. Got button-holed. Fellow's just retired from Malay States. Written his reminiscences. We shall have to do them for him. No getting out of it now. One comfort, he won't ever write another book."

That was one superiority he had over Mr. Bentley which he was fond of airing. His authors never came back for more, like Mr. Bentley's young friends....

He always gave his consent in the end to all Mr. Bentley's suggestions. That was the secret of their long partnership. He had registered his protest. No one could blame him. It was Mr. Bentley's doing. Often he had opposed Mr. Bentley's projects out of habit, on the widest grounds that publication of any kind was undesirable.

— Evelyn Waugh, PUT OUT MORE FLAGS, "Spring," Part 5, Little, Brown and Co., 1942.

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