This was in his student days in 1833; and it would now seem less appropriate were it not that our barbarous tariff on works of art is still continued; and a later complaint, in 1851, that our American rivers are ‘deaf and dumb’ for want of literary associations1
is rapidly growing obsolete.
The habitual and still lingering indifference of Europeans to all matters in the New World had already struck Motley
in 1852, at the time of Daniel Webster's death, when he found scarcely any one on the European
continent who had ever heard his name, although one literary lady had an impression that he was one of our principal poets.
Nobody in England
supposed that he was in any way to be ranked with their public men—such as Lord Brougham, for instance.
‘The fact is,’ he adds, ‘no interest is felt in America
or American institutions among the European
America is as isolated as China
Nobody knows or cares anything about its men, or its politics, or its conditions.
It is, however, known and felt among the lower classes that it is a place to get to out ’