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United States (United States) (search for this): chapter 15
needless to say, I regard with hearty admiration, and I can add with personal affection, since he has been my guest and I have been his—Mr. Bryce has a chapter on Creative Intellectual Power, in which he has some capital remarks on the impossibility of saying why great men appear in one time or place and not in another—in Florence, for instance, and not in Naples or Milan. Then he goes on to say that there is no reason why the absence of brilliant genius among the sixty millions in the United States should excite any surprise, and adds soon after, It is not to be made a reproach against America that men like Tennyson or Darwin have not been born there. Surely not; nor is it a reproach against England that men like Emerson or Hawthorne have not been born there. But if this last is true, why did it not occur to Mr. Bryce to say it; and had he said it, is it not plain that the whole tone and statement of his proposition would have been different? It occurs to him to specify Darwin a
Florence, S. C. (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 15
hat we must explain the meek gratitude with which our press receives it, when Mr. Bryce apologizes for our deficiencies in the way of literature. Mr. Bryce—whom, it is needless to say, I regard with hearty admiration, and I can add with personal affection, since he has been my guest and I have been his—Mr. Bryce has a chapter on Creative Intellectual Power, in which he has some capital remarks on the impossibility of saying why great men appear in one time or place and not in another—in Florence, for instance, and not in Naples or Milan. Then he goes on to say that there is no reason why the absence of brilliant genius among the sixty millions in the United States should excite any surprise, and adds soon after, It is not to be made a reproach against America that men like Tennyson or Darwin have not been born there. Surely not; nor is it a reproach against England that men like Emerson or Hawthorne have not been born there. But if this last is true, why did it not occur to Mr. <
Milan, Sullivan County, Missouri (Missouri, United States) (search for this): chapter 15
which our press receives it, when Mr. Bryce apologizes for our deficiencies in the way of literature. Mr. Bryce—whom, it is needless to say, I regard with hearty admiration, and I can add with personal affection, since he has been my guest and I have been his—Mr. Bryce has a chapter on Creative Intellectual Power, in which he has some capital remarks on the impossibility of saying why great men appear in one time or place and not in another—in Florence, for instance, and not in Naples or Milan. Then he goes on to say that there is no reason why the absence of brilliant genius among the sixty millions in the United States should excite any surprise, and adds soon after, It is not to be made a reproach against America that men like Tennyson or Darwin have not been born there. Surely not; nor is it a reproach against England that men like Emerson or Hawthorne have not been born there. But if this last is true, why did it not occur to Mr. Bryce to say it; and had he said it, is it <
Stuart Newton (search for this): chapter 15
quality of literary than of scientific eminence. Darwin was great, as he was certainly noble and lovable; but he was not greater, or at least held greater, than Newton:— Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night, God said, Let Newton be, and all was light. More than this could surely not be said for Darwin; and yet how vNewton be, and all was light. More than this could surely not be said for Darwin; and yet how vague and dim is now the knowledge, even among educated men, of precisely what it was that Newton accomplished, compared with the continued knowledge held by every school-boy as to Pope, who wrote the lines just quoted. The mere record of Darwin's own life shows how large a part of man's highest mental action became inert in him. Newton accomplished, compared with the continued knowledge held by every school-boy as to Pope, who wrote the lines just quoted. The mere record of Darwin's own life shows how large a part of man's highest mental action became inert in him. He ceased to care for the spheres of thought in which Emerson chiefly lived; while, on the other hand, the tendencies and results of Darwin's thought were always an object of interest to Emerson. When we turn to Tennyson the comparison must proceed on different grounds, and takes us back to Coleridge's fine definition of inspi
Charles Dickens (search for this): chapter 15
Mr. Bryce's admirable book on the American Commonwealth to a diminished national sensitiveness. It is certain that this sensitiveness has greatly diminished, and certain also that Mr. Bryce gives us plenty of praise. But the main difference seems to lie in this, that Mr. Bryce treats us as a subject for serious study, and not as a primary class for instruction in the rudiments of morals and grammar. The usual complaint made by us against English writers is the same now as in the days of Dickens, that they come here chiefly to teach and not to inquire. No man had so many foreign visitors in his time as the late Professor Longfellow, and there never lived a man in whom the element of kindly charity more prevailed; yet he records in his diary January 16, 185. his surprise that so few foreigners apparently desire any information about this country, while all have much to communicate on the subject. The reason why every one reads with pleasure even the censures of Mr. Bryce is be
E. W. Gosse (search for this): chapter 15
ake, for instance, the great effort of supposing Emerson an English author and Matthew Arnold an American; does any one suppose that Arnold's criticisms on Emerson would in that case have attracted very serious attention in either country? Had Mr. Gosse been a New Yorker, writing in a London magazine, would any one on either side of the Atlantic have seriously cared whether Mr. Gosse thought that contemporary England had produced a poet? The reason why the criticisms of these two Englishmen hMr. Gosse thought that contemporary England had produced a poet? The reason why the criticisms of these two Englishmen have attracted such widespread notice among us is that they have the accumulated literary weight—the ex oriente lux—of London behind them. We accept them meekly and almost reverently; just as we even accept the criticisms made on Grant and Sheridan by Lord Wolseley, who is, compared to either of these generals, but a carpet knight. It is in some such way that we must explain the meek gratitude with which our press receives it, when Mr. Bryce apologizes for our deficiencies in the way of litera
ountry? Had Mr. Gosse been a New Yorker, writing in a London magazine, would any one on either side of the Atlantic have seriously cared whether Mr. Gosse thought that contemporary England had produced a poet? The reason why the criticisms of these two Englishmen have attracted such widespread notice among us is that they have the accumulated literary weight—the ex oriente lux—of London behind them. We accept them meekly and almost reverently; just as we even accept the criticisms made on Grant and Sheridan by Lord Wolseley, who is, compared to either of these generals, but a carpet knight. It is in some such way that we must explain the meek gratitude with which our press receives it, when Mr. Bryce apologizes for our deficiencies in the way of literature. Mr. Bryce—whom, it is needless to say, I regard with hearty admiration, and I can add with personal affection, since he has been my guest and I have been his—Mr. Bryce has a chapter on Creative Intellectual Power, in which
Matthew Arnold (search for this): chapter 15
only to reverse in imagination the nationality of a few authors and critics, and consider what a change of estimate such an altered origin would involve. Let us make, for instance, the great effort of supposing Emerson an English author and Matthew Arnold an American; does any one suppose that Arnold's criticisms on Emerson would in that case have attracted very serious attention in either country? Had Mr. Gosse been a New Yorker, writing in a London magazine, would any one on either side of Arnold's criticisms on Emerson would in that case have attracted very serious attention in either country? Had Mr. Gosse been a New Yorker, writing in a London magazine, would any one on either side of the Atlantic have seriously cared whether Mr. Gosse thought that contemporary England had produced a poet? The reason why the criticisms of these two Englishmen have attracted such widespread notice among us is that they have the accumulated literary weight—the ex oriente lux—of London behind them. We accept them meekly and almost reverently; just as we even accept the criticisms made on Grant and Sheridan by Lord Wolseley, who is, compared to either of these generals, but a carpet knight. It
Charles Darwin (search for this): chapter 15
not to be made a reproach against America that men like Tennyson or Darwin have not been born there. Surely not; nor is it a reproach againstproposition would have been different? It occurs to him to specify Darwin and Tennyson, but the two men who above all others represent creati be greater than that of the two Englishmen he names. Greater than Darwin's, from the more lasting quality of literary than of scientific eminence. Darwin was great, as he was certainly noble and lovable; but he was not greater, or at least held greater, than Newton:— Nature an and all was light. More than this could surely not be said for Darwin; and yet how vague and dim is now the knowledge, even among educateoy as to Pope, who wrote the lines just quoted. The mere record of Darwin's own life shows how large a part of man's highest mental action beefly lived; while, on the other hand, the tendencies and results of Darwin's thought were always an object of interest to Emerson. When we
But if this last is true, why did it not occur to Mr. Bryce to say it; and had he said it, is it not plain that the whole tone and statement of his proposition would have been different? It occurs to him to specify Darwin and Tennyson, but the two men who above all others represent creative intellectual power, up to this time, in America, are not so much as named in his whole chapter of thirteen pages. Of course it is too early for comparison, but it is undoubtedly the belief of many Americans —at any rate, it is one which I venture to entertain—that the place in the history of intellect held a hundred years hence by the two Americans he forgets to mention will be greater than that of the two Englishmen he names. Greater than Darwin's, from the more lasting quality of literary than of scientific eminence. Darwin was great, as he was certainly noble and lovable; but he was not greater, or at least held greater, than Newton:— Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night, God sa<
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