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[278] along the whole mighty flood of the waters as they rushed over, that was a thing of inconceivable brilliancy. . . . .

I enclose you a few notions about international copyright. . . . You can send them to Mr. Webster; adding that I am always at his service. . . . .

In the matter of international copyright three things, I suppose, are to be considered,—the rights of the author, the interests of the manufacturer of books as marketable commodities, and the interests of the public as consumers.

On the rights of the author you will find a discussion worth looking at, by Dr. Johnson, in ‘Boswell,’—somewhere, I think, in the first half of the book,—and a more ample, but a more prejudiced examination of it, in a little volume by Talfourd. . . . . This, however, relates only to the rights of the author in his book, within the limits of his own country, or, in other words, the common question of copyright; but this, it should be observed, is the foundation of the whole matter so far as the author is concerned. It is his right of property in the book he has written, the thing he has created. Now, it does not seem to me clear, why this author is not, in the nature of things, entitled to a protection of his property in his book, as far as a merchant may rightfully claim it in his bale of goods; for, after all, a book is peculiarly its author's work, since without him it would not exist, and nothing, therefore, as it seems to me, should control or limit his right of property in it, except that high public expediency which, like the right of eminent domain, overrides other rights and takes the property of one for the benefit of all; not, however, in any case without compensation, which compensation, in the case of authorship, is to be found in the copyright law, whose peculiar provisions are regarded as a remuneration to the author for the right of property, which he loses when that law no longer protects him. The author, therefore, it seems to me, is entitled to the privilege of following his book—his property—into a country not his own, and claiming a part of his compensation wherever this property is used; one reason in favor of it being that nowhere, either at home or abroad, can he receive compensation except exactly in proportion as he confers benefit, for where his book is not sold he can receive nothing from it.

This I take to be the moral view of the case, and I think it is a strong one for the author, especially when you consider that nine authors out of ten fail utterly, and sacrifice their lives to the public and the world for nothing; so that the few prizes open to their class

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