" ... as Mrs. Wilcox had no reason for supposing that her friends were not the greatest writers alive, what reason had she for supposing that they were not the greatest that ever lived? Without the taste, the intelligence, or the knowledge which alone can give some notion of what's what in art, she was obliged to rely on more accessible criteria. The circulation of her own works, for instance, must have compared favourably with that of most poets. To be sure there was Shakespeare and the celebrated Hugo - or was it Gambetta? But what grounds could there be for thinking that she was not superior to the obscure John Donne or the obscurer Andrew Marvell, or to Arthur Rimbaud, of whom no one she had ever heard of had ever heard? Mrs. Wilcox was not dishonest in assuming that the most successful writer in her set was the best in the world; she was not conceited even; she was merely ridiculous."