It must always be remembered that the kingdom in which Germany
then ruled was not then, as now, a kingdom of material force and business enterprise, but as Germans themselves claimed, a kingdom of the air; and into that realm Hyperion gave to Americans
the first glimpse.
The faults and limitations which we now see in it were then passed by, or visible only to such keen critics as Orestes A. Brownson
, who wrote thus of it in ‘The Boston Quarterly Review,’ then the ablest of American periodicals except ‘The Dial:’ ‘I do not like the book.
It is such a journal as a man who reads a great deal makes from the scraps in his table-drawer.
Yet it has not the sincerity or quiet touches which give interest to the real journals of very common persons.
It is overloaded with prettinesses, many of which would tell well in conversation, but being rather strown over than woven into his narrative, deform where they should adorn.
You cannot guess why the book was written, unless because the author were tired of reading these morceaux to himself, for there has been no fusion or fermentation to bring on the hour of utterance.
Then to me the direct personal relation in which we are brought to the author is unpleasing.
Had he but idealized his tale, or put on the veil of poetry!
But as it is, we are embarrassed by his extreme communicativeness, ’