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Witness for the Execution?

The critic Frank Harris once reviewed Arnold Bennett's "The Old Wives' Tale," complaining that the book's famous public execution scene had been written by someone with a warped imagination who had never witnessed such an event. Adding insult to injury, he then produced his own version of the scene.

The offended author wrote Harris to say that -- had the critic's version been published before his own -- he would gladly have used it in the book. He also admitted that he had indeed never seen an execution. Harris soon wrote back with a confession of his own: "Neither have I."

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