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George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard) 46 0 Browse Search
Cambridge History of American Literature: volume 3 (ed. Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939., Erskine, John, 1879-1951., Sherman, Stuart Pratt, 1881-1926., Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.) 46 0 Browse Search
Margaret Fuller, Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (ed. W. H. Channing) 36 0 Browse Search
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 2 36 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 26 0 Browse Search
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches 24 0 Browse Search
Cambridge History of American Literature: volume 2 (ed. Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939., Erskine, John, 1879-1951., Sherman, Stuart Pratt, 1881-1926., Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.) 16 0 Browse Search
The Daily Dispatch: March 12, 1861., [Electronic resource] 12 0 Browse Search
Jula Ward Howe, Reminiscences: 1819-1899 10 0 Browse Search
Elias Nason, The Life and Times of Charles Sumner: His Boyhood, Education and Public Career. 10 0 Browse Search
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Browsing named entities in Matthew Arnold, Civilization in the United States: First and Last Impressions of America.. You can also browse the collection for Dante or search for Dante in all documents.

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to be always seeking to institute comparisons, and comparisons to the advantage of their own country, is with so many Americans a tic, a mania, which every one notices in them, and which sometimes drives their friends half to despair. Recent greatness is always apt to be sensitive and self-assertive; let us remember Dr. Hermann Grimm on Goethe. German literature, as a power, does not begin before Lessing; if Germany had possessed a great literature for six centuries, with names in it like Dante, Montaigne, Shakespeare, probably Dr. Hermann Grimm would not have thought it necessary to call Goethe the greatest poet that has ever lived. But the Americans in the rage for comparison-making beat the world. Whatever excellence is mentioned, America must, if possible, be brought in to balance or surpass it. That fine and delicate naturalist, Mr. Burroughs, mentions trout, and instantly he adds: British trout, by the way, are not so beautiful as our own; they are less brilliantly marked a