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Dublin (Irish Republic) (search for this): chapter 4
t far more interesting than the similar shelves in home-made garments behind him. He is not cured until he is some day startled with the discovery that there are cultivated foreigners to whom his own world is foreign, and therefore fascinating; men who think the better of him for having known Mark Twain, and women who are unwearied in their curiosity about the personal ways of Longfellow. Nay, when I once mentioned to that fine old Irish gentleman, the late Richard D. Webb, at his house in Dublin, that I had felt a thrill of pleasure on observing the street sign, denoting Fishamble Lane, at Cork, and recalling the ballad about Misthress Judy McCarty, of Fishamble Lane, he pleased me by saying that he had felt just so in New York, when he saw the name of Madison Square, and thought of Miss Flora McFlimsey. So our modest continent had already its storied heroines and its hallowed ground! There are, undoubtedly, points in which Europe, and especially England, has still the advantage
ivated gentlemen to those belonging to the same club. It is not until a man knows himself to be writing for a hundred thousand readers that he is compelled to work out his abstrusest thought into clearness, just as a sufficient pressure transforms opaque snow into pellucid ice. In our great American magazines, history and science have commonly undergone this process, and the reader may be gratified, not ashamed, at comprehending them. The best remedy for too profound a deference toward European literary work is to test the author on some ground with which we in America cannot help being familiar. It is this which makes a book of travels among us, or even a lecturing trip, so perilous for a foreign reputation; and among the few who can bear this test —as De Tocqueville, Von Holst, the Comte de Paris—it is singularly rare to find an Englishman. If the travellers have been thus unfortunate, how much more those who have risked themselves on cis-Atlantic themes without travelling. N
Cork (Irish Republic) (search for this): chapter 4
l he is some day startled with the discovery that there are cultivated foreigners to whom his own world is foreign, and therefore fascinating; men who think the better of him for having known Mark Twain, and women who are unwearied in their curiosity about the personal ways of Longfellow. Nay, when I once mentioned to that fine old Irish gentleman, the late Richard D. Webb, at his house in Dublin, that I had felt a thrill of pleasure on observing the street sign, denoting Fishamble Lane, at Cork, and recalling the ballad about Misthress Judy McCarty, of Fishamble Lane, he pleased me by saying that he had felt just so in New York, when he saw the name of Madison Square, and thought of Miss Flora McFlimsey. So our modest continent had already its storied heroines and its hallowed ground! There are, undoubtedly, points in which Europe, and especially England, has still the advantage of America; such, for instance, as weekly journalism. In regard to printed books there is also still
Plymouth (United Kingdom) (search for this): chapter 4
od, that Maine should inform us that the majority of the present State governments were formed before the Union, and that only half the original thirteen colonies held slaves. So Mr. John A. Doyle, writing an extended history of American colonization, put into his first volume a map making the lines of all the early grants run north and south instead of east and west; and this having been received with polite incredulity, gave us another map depicting the New England colonies in 1700, with Plymouth still delineated as a separate government, although it had been united with Massachusetts eight years before. When a lady in a London drawing-room sends, by a returning New Yorker, an urgent message to her cousin at Colorado Springs, we rather enjoy it, and call it only pretty Fanny's way; she is not more ignorant of North American geography than we ourselves may be of that of South America. But when we find that English scholars of established reputation betray, when on ground we know,
Napoleon (Ohio, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
ll see much of the old deferential attitude prevailing. Prince Albert said of Germany, in 1859, that its rock ahead was self-sufficiency. In our own country, as to literature and science, to say nothing of art, our rock ahead is not selfsuffi-ciency, but self-depreciation. Men still smile at the Congressman who said, What have we to do with Europe?but I sometimes wish, for the credit of the craft, that it had been a literary man who said it. After all, it was only a rougher paraphrase of Napoleon's equally trenchant words: Cette vieille Europe m'ennuie. The, young American who goes to London, and finds there the most agreeable literary society in the world, because the most centralized and compact, can hardly believe at first that the authors around him are made of the same clay with those whom he has often jostled on the sidewalk at home. He finds himself dividing his scanty hours between celebrated writers on the one side, and great historic remains on the other; as I can rem
Maine (Maine, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
it is singularly rare to find an Englishman. If the travellers have been thus unfortunate, how much more those who have risked themselves on cis-Atlantic themes without travelling. No living English writer stood higher in America than Sir Henry Maine until we watched him as he made the perilous transition from Ancient Law to modern Popular Government, and saw him approaching what he himself admits to be the most important theme in modern history, with apparently but some halfdozen authoritiesHad an American written on the most unimportant period of the most insignificant German principality with a basis of reading no larger, we should have wished that his nationality had been kept a secret. It is not strange, on such a method, that Maine should inform us that the majority of the present State governments were formed before the Union, and that only half the original thirteen colonies held slaves. So Mr. John A. Doyle, writing an extended history of American colonization, put into
South America (search for this): chapter 4
ceived with polite incredulity, gave us another map depicting the New England colonies in 1700, with Plymouth still delineated as a separate government, although it had been united with Massachusetts eight years before. When a lady in a London drawing-room sends, by a returning New Yorker, an urgent message to her cousin at Colorado Springs, we rather enjoy it, and call it only pretty Fanny's way; she is not more ignorant of North American geography than we ourselves may be of that of South America. But when we find that English scholars of established reputation betray, when on ground we know, defects of method that seem hopeless, what reverence is left for those who keep on ground that we do not know? In time, the shadow of Europe must lose something of its impressiveness. Dr. Creighton, in his preface to the English Historical Review, counts in all Americans as merely so manly outlying English; but it is time to recognize that American literature is not, and never again can
New England (United States) (search for this): chapter 4
t is not strange, on such a method, that Maine should inform us that the majority of the present State governments were formed before the Union, and that only half the original thirteen colonies held slaves. So Mr. John A. Doyle, writing an extended history of American colonization, put into his first volume a map making the lines of all the early grants run north and south instead of east and west; and this having been received with polite incredulity, gave us another map depicting the New England colonies in 1700, with Plymouth still delineated as a separate government, although it had been united with Massachusetts eight years before. When a lady in a London drawing-room sends, by a returning New Yorker, an urgent message to her cousin at Colorado Springs, we rather enjoy it, and call it only pretty Fanny's way; she is not more ignorant of North American geography than we ourselves may be of that of South America. But when we find that English scholars of established reputati
Massachusetts (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
formed before the Union, and that only half the original thirteen colonies held slaves. So Mr. John A. Doyle, writing an extended history of American colonization, put into his first volume a map making the lines of all the early grants run north and south instead of east and west; and this having been received with polite incredulity, gave us another map depicting the New England colonies in 1700, with Plymouth still delineated as a separate government, although it had been united with Massachusetts eight years before. When a lady in a London drawing-room sends, by a returning New Yorker, an urgent message to her cousin at Colorado Springs, we rather enjoy it, and call it only pretty Fanny's way; she is not more ignorant of North American geography than we ourselves may be of that of South America. But when we find that English scholars of established reputation betray, when on ground we know, defects of method that seem hopeless, what reverence is left for those who keep on gro
Colorado Springs (Colorado, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
erican colonization, put into his first volume a map making the lines of all the early grants run north and south instead of east and west; and this having been received with polite incredulity, gave us another map depicting the New England colonies in 1700, with Plymouth still delineated as a separate government, although it had been united with Massachusetts eight years before. When a lady in a London drawing-room sends, by a returning New Yorker, an urgent message to her cousin at Colorado Springs, we rather enjoy it, and call it only pretty Fanny's way; she is not more ignorant of North American geography than we ourselves may be of that of South America. But when we find that English scholars of established reputation betray, when on ground we know, defects of method that seem hopeless, what reverence is left for those who keep on ground that we do not know? In time, the shadow of Europe must lose something of its impressiveness. Dr. Creighton, in his preface to the English
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