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V

A cosmopolitan standard

It has lately become the fashion in the United States to talk of the cosmopolitan standard as the one thing needful; to say that formerly American authors were judged by their own local tribunals, but henceforth they must be appraised by the world's estimate. The trouble is, that for most of those who reason in this way, cosmopolitanism does not really mean the world's estimate, but only the judgment of Europe—a judgment in which America itself is to have no voice. Like the trade-winds which so terrified the sailors of Columbus, it blows only from the eastward. There is no manner of objection to cosmopolitanism, if the word be taken in earnest. There is something fine in the thought of a federal republic of letters, a vast literary tribunal of nations, in which each nation has a seat; but this is just the kind of cosmopolitanism which these critics do not seek. They seek merely a far-off judgment, and this

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