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 sometimes drives their friends half to despair. Recent greatness is always apt to be sensitive and self-assertive; let us remember Dr. Hermann Grimm on Goethe. German literature, as a power, does not begin before Lessing; if Germany had possessed a great literature for six centuries, with names in it like Dante, Montaigne, Shakespeare, probably Dr. Hermann Grimm would not have thought it necessary to call Goethe the greatest poet that has ever lived. But the Americans in the rage for comparison-making beat the world. Whatever excellence is mentioned, America must, if possible, be brought in to balance or surpass it. That fine and delicate naturalist, Mr. Burroughs, mentions trout, and instantly he adds: “British trout, by the way, are not so beautiful as our own; they are less brilliantly marked and have much coarser scales, there is no gold or vermilion in their colouring.” Here superiority is claimed; if there is not superiority there must be at least balance. Therefore in literature we have “the American Walter Scott,” the “American Wordsworth” ; nay, I see advertised The Primer of American Literature. Imagine the face of Philip or Alexander at hearing of a Primer of Macedonian Literature! Are we to have a Primer of Canadian Literature too, and
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