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Here superiority is claimed; if there is not superiority there must be at least balance. Therefore in literature we have the American Walter Scott, the American Wordsworth ; nay, I see advertised The Primer of American Literature. Imagine the face of Philip or Alexander at hearing of a Primer of Macedonian Literature! Are we to have a Primer of Canadian Literature too, and a Primer of Australian? We are all contributories to one great literature — English Literature. The contribution of Scotland to this literature is far more serious and important than that of America has yet had time to be; yet a Primer of Scotch Literature would be an absurdity. And these things are not only absurd; they are also retarding. My opinion on any military subject is of course worth very little, but I should have thought that in what Napier calls strength and majesty as a fighter, the American soldier, if we are to institute these comparisons, had his superiors; though as brave as any one, he is to
Matthew Arnold, Civilization in the United States: First and Last Impressions of America., III: a word more about America. (search)
that Ireland should be governed by Lord Spencer and Mr. Campbell Bannerman; as unnatural as for Scotland to be governed by Lord Cranbrook and Mr. Heally. It is Unnatural that Ireland should be governigns of this time. But even the Duke of Argyle, delivering his mind about the land question in Scotland, is like one seeing, thinking, and speaking in some other planet than ours. A man of even Mr. nits occur immediately to one's mind in the provinces of Ireland, the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, Wales, north and south, groups of English counties such as present themselves in the circuits Munster and Connaught for Munster and Connaught. The same with the like matters in England and Scotland. The local legislatures would regulate them. But there is more. Everybody who watches the nse strength. Probably the establishment will not stand in Wales probably it will not stand in Scotland. In Wales, it ought not, I think, to stand. In Scotland, I should regret its fall: but Presby
Matthew Arnold, Civilization in the United States: First and Last Impressions of America., IV: civilization in the United States. (search)
plant yourself in the Yankee-land. That is a miserable fate for any one, at best; never dream of it. Could you banish yourself from all that is interesting to your mind, forget the history, the glorious institutions, the noble principles of old Scotland — that you might eat a better dinner, perhaps? There is our word launched — the word interesting. I am not saying that Carlyle's advice was good, or that young men should not emigrate. I do but take note, in the word interesting, of a requirly at the great London papers, like the Times or the Standard, but quite as much at the great provincial newspapers, too,--papers like the Leeds Mercury and the York-shire Post in the north of England, like the Scotsman and the Glasgow Herald in Scotland. The Americans used to say to me that what they valued was news, and that this their newspapers gave them. I at last made the reply: Yes, news for the servants' hall! I remember that a New York newspaper, one of the first I saw after landin