the standards and traditions of much smaller countries.
If it be true, as was said the other day by our eloquent English-born clergyman in New York, Dr. Rainsford
, that America
is a branch which is rapidly becoming the main stem, then the fact may as well be recognized.
As in our political system, so in literature, we may need a new plan of structure for that which is to embrace a continent—a system of coordi-nate states instead of a centralized empire.
Our literature, like our laws, will probably proceed not from one focus, but from many.
To one looking across from London
this would seem impossible, for while living in a great city you come to feel as if that spot were all the world, and all else must be abandoned, as Cherbuliez
's heroine says, to the indiscreet curiosity of geographers.
But when you again look at that city from across the ocean, you perceive how easily it may cramp and confine those who live in it, and you are grateful for elbow-room and fresh air. Nothing smaller than a continent can really be large enough to give space for the literature of the future.
It is to be considered that in this age great