the newspaper critics seem to me mistaken in attributing the favorable reception of Mr. Bryce
's admirable book on the ‘American Commonwealth’ to a diminished national sensitiveness.
It is certain that this sensitiveness has greatly diminished, and certain also that Mr. Bryce
gives us plenty of praise.
But the main difference seems to lie in this, that Mr. Bryce
treats us as a subject for serious study, and not as a primary class for instruction in the rudiments of morals and grammar.
The usual complaint made by us against English writers is the same now as in the days of Dickens
, that they come here chiefly to teach and not to inquire.
No man had so many foreign visitors in his time as the late Professor Longfellow
, and there never lived a man in whom the element of kindly charity more prevailed;