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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.) 114 0 Browse Search
James Russell Lowell, Among my books 80 0 Browse Search
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 50 0 Browse Search
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard) 46 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Carlyle's laugh and other surprises 38 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.) 32 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Walcott Boynton, Reader's History of American Literature 30 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays 28 0 Browse Search
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches 28 0 Browse Search
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard) 20 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 Shakespeare or search for Shakespeare in all documents.

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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 and have much coarser
ll its primary education, he says, America is still, from an intellectual point of view, a very rude and primitive soil, only to be cultivated by violent methods. These childish and half-savage minds are not moved except by very elementary narratives composed without art, in which burlesque and melodrama, vulgarity and eccentricity, are combined in strong doses. It may be said that Frenchmen, the present generation of Frenchmen at any rate, themselves take seriously, as of the family of Shakespeare, Moliere, and Goethe, an author half genius, half charlatan, like M. Victor Hugo. They do so; but still they may judge, soundly and correctly enough, another nation's false literature which does not appeal to their weaknesses. I am not blaming America for falling a victim to Quinion, or to Murdstone either. We fall a victim to Murdstone and Quinion ourselves, as I very well know, and the Americans are just the same people that we are. But I want to deliver England from Murdstone and Qu