n upon the distribution of elementary knowledge, but upon the high-water mark of its educated mind.
Before the permanent tribunal, copyists and popularizers count for nothing, and even the statistics of common schools are of secondary value.
So long as the sources of art and science are mainly Transatlantic, we are still a province, not a nation.
For these are the highest pursuits of man, -higher than trades or professions, higher than statesmanship, far higher than war. Jean Paul said: Schiller and Herder were both destined for physicians, but Providence said, No, there are deeper wounds than those of the body,--and so they both became authors.
It is observable that in English books and magazines everything seems written for some limited circle,--tales for those who can use French phrases, essays for those who can understand a Latin quotation.
But every American writer must address himself to a vast audience, possessing the greatest quickness and common-sense, with but little
ove his art, as the painter must love painting, out of all proportion to its rewards; or rather, the delight of the work must be its own reward.
Any praise or guerdon hurts him, if it bring any other pleasure to eclipse this.
The reward of a good sentence is to have written it; if it bring fame or fortune, very well, so long as this recompense does not intoxicate.
The peril is, that all temporary applause is vitiated by uncertainty, and may be leading you right or wrong.
Goethe wrote to Schiller, We make money by our poor books.
The impression is somehow conveyed to the young, that there exists somewhere a circle of cultivated minds, gifted with discernment, who can distinguish at a glance between Shakespeare and Tupper.
One may doubt the existence of any such contemporary tribunal.
Certainly there is none such in America.
Provided an author says something noticeable, and obeys the ordinary rules of grammar and spelling, his immediate public asks little more; and if he attem