What a Desperate Business

“I thanked Heaven, the other day, that I was not a critic. These attenuated volumes of poetry in fancy bindings open their covers at one like so many little unfledged birds, and one does so long to drop a worm in, — a worm in the shape of a kind word for the poor fledgling! But what a desperate business it is to deal with this army of candidates for immortality!” (Oliver Wendell Holmes sr., Over the Teacups, 1890)