previous next
[32] toward European literary work is to test the author on some ground with which we in America cannot help being familiar. It is this which makes a book of travels among us, or even a lecturing trip, so perilous for a foreign reputation; and among the few who can bear this test —as De Tocqueville, Von Holst, the Comte de Paris—it is singularly rare to find an Englishman. If the travellers have been thus unfortunate, how much more those who have risked themselves on cis-Atlantic themes without travelling. No living English writer stood higher in America than Sir Henry Maine until we watched him as he made the perilous transition from ‘Ancient Law’ to modern ‘Popular Government,’ and saw him approaching what he himself admits to be the most important theme in modern history, with apparently but some halfdozen authorities to draw upon,—the United States Constitution, the Federalist, and two or three short biographies. Had an American written on the most unimportant period of the most insignificant German principality with a basis of reading no larger, we should have wished that his nationality had been kept a secret. It is

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Maine (Maine, United States) (1)
Europe (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
De Tocqueville (1)
Von Holst (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: