Matthew Arnold is a poet and essayist who I never quite took to, darkling plain or no; and Silver Spring is a small suburban city north of DC which once again has a bookstore, the clarifyingly and concisely named, Silver Spring Books.

Silver Spring Books seems like a great old place. A cluttered bookstore. Not so poorly organized that you can figure out, roughly, where stuff should be; but sufficiently poorly organized as to facilitate serendipity. I was tempted by some old Daw paperbacks (Daw being a publisher of inexpensive paperback sci fi and fantasy), but there were two, smallish hardcover volumes of Matthew Arnold. One was twelve dollars and the other four.

I bought the four dollar one.

Why? It’s hard to say. I think that I thought I should give him another chance. I’ve been into essays lately and Arnold is, of course, a famed essayist and critic. But here we are.