Granting that taste and decorum are less important than logic and precision, it seems as if even these last qualities must have become a little impaired when we read in the Saturday Review such curious lapses as this: At home we have only the infinitely little, the speeches of infinitesimal members of Parliament. . . . In America matters yet more minute occupy the press.
More minute than the infinitely little and the infinitesimal!
It will be a matter of deep regret to all thoughtful Americans should there ever be a distinct lowering of the standard of literary workmanship in England.
The different branches of the English-speaking race are mutually dependent; they read each other's books; they need to co-operate in keeping up the common standard.
It is too much to ask of any single nation that it should do this alone.
Can it be that the real source of the change, if it is actually in progress, may be social rather than literary?
It is conceivable that the higher status of th
o discuss our weakest side.
This must always be remembered in digesting the criticisms of Englishmen.
Dickens, Carlyle, Ruskin, Arnold, have said nothing about Americans more unpleasant than they had previously said about their own countrymen; and why should we expect to fare any better?
It is only in foreign countries that even we Americans stand up resolutely for our own land.
I lived for some time with a returned fellow-countryman of very keen wit, who, after long residence in Europe, found nothing to please him at home.
One day, meeting one of his European companions, I was asked, How is ——? Does he stand up for everything American, through thick aeen defeated, Urquhart says, the Mohammedans would have overrun all Europe, and then even we English should have been gentlemen.
Of all the points on which we Americans are apt to satirize ourselves, the much-discussed American girl is the most available.
There is not in this wide land a journalist so callow as not to be able,