ian romances of Cooper, the philosophy of Emerson and Thoreau, the novels of Hawthorne, Longfellow's Evangeline, Miles Standish, and Hiawatha were responses to this encouragement of the game — to the nation's willing an expression of its new American consciousness.
Against the full rigour of the demand for an independent national literature there was, by the middle of the last century, a wholesome reaction represented in Rufus Wilmot Griswold's introduction to his Prose writers of America (1847). Since this old demand is still reasserted from year to year, it may not be amiss to reprint here Griswold's admirable reply to it. Some critics in England, he says, expect us who write the same language, profess the same religion, and have in our intellectual firmament the same Bacon, Sidney, and Locke, the same Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton, to differ more from themselves than they differ from the Greeks and Romans, or from any of the modems.
This would be harmless, but that many perso