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XV The perils of American humor nothing strikes an American more, on his first visit to England, than the frequent discussion of American authors who are rarely quoted at home, except in stumpspeeches, and whose works hardly have a place as yet in our literary collections, and who still are taken seriously among educated persons in England. The astonishment increases when he finds the almanacs of Josh Billings reprinted in Libraries of American Humor, and given an equal place with the writings of Holmes and Lowell. Finally he is driven to the conclusion that there must be very little humor in England, where things are seriously published in book form which here would only create a passing smile in the corner of a newspaper. He finds that the whole department of American humor was created, so to speak, by the amazed curiosity of Englishmen. It is a phrase that one rarely hears in the United States; and if we have such a thing among us, although it may cling to our garments,