, and Bailey
No English poem, it was said, ever sold through so many American editions as ‘Festus
;’ nor was Tupper
's ‘Proverbial Philosophy’ far behind it. Translators and publishers quarrelled bitterly for the privilege of translating Frederika Bremer
's novels; but our young people, who already stand for posterity, hardly recall her name.
I asked a Swedish commissioner at our Centennial Exhibition
in 1876, ‘Is Miss Bremer
still read in Sweden
He shook his head; and when I asked, ‘Who has replaced her?’
he said, ‘Bret Harte
and Mark Twain
It seemed the irony of fame; and there is no guaranty that this reversed national compliment will, any more than our recognition of her, predict the judgment of the future.
If this uncertainty exists when the New World judges the Old
, of which it knows something, the insecurity must be greater when the Old World judges the New
, of which it knows next to nothing.
If the multiplicity of translations be any test, Mrs. Stowe
's contemporary fame, the world over, has been unequalled in literature; but will any one now say that it