When Matthew Arnold used the epithets "excellent" and "indispensable" for the eighteenth century which had little of good poetry or drama to boast of, he was probably paying it due homage for its gift of the novel. The eighteenth century was the age in which the novel was established as the most outstanding and enduring form of literature. The periodical essay, which was another gift of this century to English literature, was born and died in the century, but the novel was to enjoy an enduring career. It is to the credit of the major eighteenth-century novelists that they freed the novel from the influence and elements of high flown romance and fantasy, and used it to interpret the everyday social and psychological problems of the common man. Thus they introduced realism, democratic spirit, and psychological interest into the novel— the qualities which have since then been recognized as the essential prerequisites of-every good novel and which distinguish it from the romance and other impossible stories.