brought away a great social reputation, on the strength of the stories in one old ‘Farmer's Almanac’ which he had put in his trunk to protect some books on leaving home.
The very excess or congestion of intellect in a great city seems to defeat itself; there is no time or strength left for anything beyond the most superficial touch-and-go intercourse; it is persiflage carried to the greatest perfection, but you get little more.
A great metropolis is moreover disappointing, because, although it may furnish great men, its literary daily bread is inevitably supplied by small men, who revolve round the larger ones, and who are even less interesting to the visitor than the same class at home.
There is something amusing in the indifference of every special neighborhood to all literary gossip except its own. For instance, one might well have supposed that the admiration of Englishmen for Longfellow
might inspire an intelligent desire to know something of his daily interests, of his friendships and pursuits; yet when his Memoirs appeared, all English critics pronounced these things exceedingly uninteresting; while much