American magazine will command no respect,’ he said, ‘or it must be better than Blackwood
, which is an absurd supposition.’
But either of our great illustrated magazines has now more readers in England
had then in America
; and to this extent Willis
's prediction is unfulfilled, and the shadow of Europe
is lifted, not deepened, over our literature.
But in many ways the glamour of foreign superiority still holds; and we still see much of the old deferential attitude prevailing.
Prince Albert said of Germany
, in 1859, that its rock ahead was self-sufficiency.
In our own country, as to literature and science, to say nothing of art, our rock ahead is not selfsuffi-ciency, but self-depreciation.
Men still smile at the Congressman
who said, ‘What have we to do with Europe
?’but I sometimes wish, for the credit of the craft, that it had been a literary man who said it. After all, it was only a rougher paraphrase of Napoleon
's equally trenchant words: ‘Cette vieille Europe
The, young American who goes to London
, and finds there the most agreeable literary society in the world, because the most centralized