Margaret Fuller, in the cultivated Cambridge circle of that day, that she spoke disrespectfully of Menzel in the Dial, and called him a Philistine—the first introduction into English, so far as I know, of that word since familiarized by Arnold and others.
We fancy France to be a place where, if governments are changeable, literary fame, fortified by academies, rests on sure ground.
But Theophile Gautier, in the preface to his Les Grotesques, says just the contrary.
He declares that in Paris all praise or blame is overstated, because, in order to save the trouble of a serious opinion, they take up one writer temporarily in order to get rid of the rest.
There are, he goes on, strange fluctuations in reputations, and aureoles change heads.
After death, illuminated foreheads are extinguished and obscure brows grow bright.
Posterity means night for some, dawn to others.
Who would to-day believe, he asks, that the obscure writer Chapelain passed for long years as the greatest poe