— are those of authors who never visited Europe
, or under such circumstances as to form but a trivial part of their career.
Who can doubt that, fifty years hence, the disproportion will be far greater than now?
After all is said and done, the circle of American writers who established our nation's literature, half a century ago, were great because they were first and chiefly American; and of the Americans
who have permanently transplanted themselves for literary purposes it is pretty certain that James and Bret Harte
would have developed more lasting power had they remained at home.
Transplanting helps tulips, but it is a doubtful aid to human intellects.
Why is it not as great a thing to be fellow-countrymen of Emerson
as of Tennyson
Even of these last names, it is to be remembered that Tennyson
lived the life of a recluse, and Browning
lived so much out of England
that the fact was urged strongly by a brother author, James Payn
, as a source of objection to his being buried in Westminster Abbey