ving realities of American life ought to come in among the tiresome lay-figures of average English fiction like Steven Lawrence into the London drawing-room: tragedy must resume its grander shape, and no longer turn on the vexed question whether the daughter of this or that matchmaker shall marry the baronet.
It is the characteristic of a real book that, though the scene be laid in courts, their whole machinery might be struck out and the essential interest of the plot remain the same.
In Auerbach's On the heights, for instance, the social heights might be abolished and the moral elevation would be enough.
The play of human emotion is a thing so absorbing, that the petty distinctions of cottage and castle become as nothing in its presence.
Why not waive these small matters in advance, then, and go straight to the real thing?
The greatest transatlantic successes which American novelists have yet attained — those won by Cooper and Mrs. Stowe--have come through a daring Americanism