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[82] smaller gossip about much smaller people, in the Hayward Memoirs, was found by these same critics to be an important addition to the history of the times. It is an absolute necessity for every nation, as for every age, to insist on setting its own standard, even to the resolute readjustment of well-established reputations. So long as it does not, it will find itself overawed and depressed, not as much by the greatness of some metropolis, as by its littleness. It is the calamity of a large city that its smallest men appear to themselves important simply because they dwell there; just as Travers, the New York wit, explained his stuttering more in that city than in Baltimore, on the ground that it was a larger place. The London literary journals seem to an American visitor to be largely filled with Epistoloe obscurorum virorum; and when I attended, some years since, the first meetings of the Association Litteraire Internationale in Paris, it was impossible not to be impressed by the multitude of minor literary personages, among whom a writer so mediocre as Edmond About towered as a giant. But no doubts of their own supreme

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