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Westminster Abbey (search for this): chapter 19
XVIII The Westminster Abbey of a book catalogue the American visitor enters Westminster Abbey prepared to be hushed in awe before the multitude of great names. To his amazement he finds himseoets' Corner itself through avenues of Browns, Joneses, and Robinsons. It seems that even Westminster Abbey affords no test of greatness, nor do any of the efforts to ascertain it by any other test great Library of American Literature of Stedman and Hutchinson aims to furnish a sort of Westminster Abbey or Valhalla, where the relative value of different writers may be roughly gauged by the nu under a hereditary aristocracy their high position may be a curse to the community. This Westminster Abbey of the newspapers excites no such feelings as Heine confesses himself to have experienced among the graves of the crowned heads at Westminster Abbey in London. He tells us that he did not grudge the eighteen pence he had paid to see them; but told the verger that he was delighted with h
XVIII The Westminster Abbey of a book catalogue the American visitor enters Westminster Abbey prepared to be hushed in awe before the multitude of great names. To his amazement he finds himself vexed and bored with the vast multiplicity of small ones. He must approach the Poets' Corner itself through avenues of Browns, Joneses, and Robinsons. It seems that even Westminster Abbey affords no test of greatness, nor do any of the efforts to ascertain it by any other test succeed much better. The balloting in various newspapers for the best hundred authors or the forty immortals has always turned out to be limited by the constituency of the particular publication which attempted the experiment; or sometimes even by the action of jocose cliques, combining to force up the vote of pet candidates. As regards American authors, the great Library of American Literature of Stedman and Hutchinson aims to furnish a sort of Westminster Abbey or Valhalla, where the relative value of diffe
Bayard Taylor (search for this): chapter 19
d enumerated in the Cleveland catalogue. The actual works of the author himself are not included. The list is as follows:— Washington.48 Emerson, Lincoln (each)41 Franklin 37 Webster34 Longfellow33 Hawthorne25 Jefferson23 Grant22 Irving21 Clay19 Beecher, Poe, M. F. Ossoli (each)16 Theodore Parker, Lowell (each)15 John Adams, Sumner (each)14 Cooper, Greeley, Sheridan, Sherman (each)12 Everett11 John Brown, Channing, Farragut (each)10 Garrison, Hamilton, Prescott, Seward, Taylor (each) 9 Thoreau7 Bancroft6 Allston5 Edwards, Motley (each)5 This list certainly offers to the reader some surprises in its details, but it must impress every one, after serious study, as giving a demonstration of real intelligence and catholicity of taste in the nation whose literature it represents. When, for instance, we consider the vast number of log cabins or small farmhouses where the name of Lincoln is a household word, while that of Emerson is as unknown as that of Aeschy
Henry Ward Beecher (search for this): chapter 19
iographical and critical literature is largest. The actual table, arranged in order of pre-eminence, is as follows, the number following each name representing the number of books, or parts of books, referring to the person named, and enumerated in the Cleveland catalogue. The actual works of the author himself are not included. The list is as follows:— Washington.48 Emerson, Lincoln (each)41 Franklin 37 Webster34 Longfellow33 Hawthorne25 Jefferson23 Grant22 Irving21 Clay19 Beecher, Poe, M. F. Ossoli (each)16 Theodore Parker, Lowell (each)15 John Adams, Sumner (each)14 Cooper, Greeley, Sheridan, Sherman (each)12 Everett11 John Brown, Channing, Farragut (each)10 Garrison, Hamilton, Prescott, Seward, Taylor (each) 9 Thoreau7 Bancroft6 Allston5 Edwards, Motley (each)5 This list certainly offers to the reader some surprises in its details, but it must impress every one, after serious study, as giving a demonstration of real intelligence and catholicity of t
f these catalogues—the large quarto volume which enumerates the English books in the Cleveland (Ohio) public library. This selection is made partly because of the thoroughness and excellence of the work itself, and partly because, as Emerson once said, Europe stretches to the Alleghanies, and, by going west of them, we at least rid ourselves of any possible prejudices of the Atlantic border. I have carefully counted the list of entries in this catalogue under the names of many prominent Americans not now living; and the results have been such as to surprise not merely the present writer, but all with whom he has compared notes. No person to whom he has put the question has yet succeeded in hitting, at a guess, the first four names upon the list presently to be given; the list, that is, of those under whose names the entry of biographical and critical literature is largest. The actual table, arranged in order of pre-eminence, is as follows, the number following each name represent
T. H. Huxley (search for this): chapter 19
are equal in the sense of being equally men, but not equal in their gifts as men. It is curious to see how the social falsities of English society tell on educated Englishmen, so surely as they grow old enough to shed the generous impulses of youth. It was in vain that Tennyson wrote Clara Vere de Vere, and Froude The Nemesis of Faith, and Ruskin Modern Painters, and Swinburne the Song in Time of Order: let them once reach middle life and they are all stanch Tories and accept dukes; and now Huxley follows in their train. But here in America we find no difficulty in selecting our natural leaders, sooner or later, and owning them; they do not have to fight for recognition, in most cases; it comes by a process like the law of gravitation. In our colonial town records the object of the meeting was often stated as being to know the Town's Mind on certain questions; the Town's Mind being always written with capitals and mentioned with reverence, as if it were a distinguished person, ha
J. A. Froude (search for this): chapter 19
recognized for what they have given. The result is a tribute to that natural inequality of men which is as fully recognized, in a true republic, as their natural equality; that is, they are equal in the sense of being equally men, but not equal in their gifts as men. It is curious to see how the social falsities of English society tell on educated Englishmen, so surely as they grow old enough to shed the generous impulses of youth. It was in vain that Tennyson wrote Clara Vere de Vere, and Froude The Nemesis of Faith, and Ruskin Modern Painters, and Swinburne the Song in Time of Order: let them once reach middle life and they are all stanch Tories and accept dukes; and now Huxley follows in their train. But here in America we find no difficulty in selecting our natural leaders, sooner or later, and owning them; they do not have to fight for recognition, in most cases; it comes by a process like the law of gravitation. In our colonial town records the object of the meeting was oft
Abraham Lincoln (search for this): chapter 19
h name representing the number of books, or parts of books, referring to the person named, and enumerated in the Cleveland catalogue. The actual works of the author himself are not included. The list is as follows:— Washington.48 Emerson, Lincoln (each)41 Franklin 37 Webster34 Longfellow33 Hawthorne25 Jefferson23 Grant22 Irving21 Clay19 Beecher, Poe, M. F. Ossoli (each)16 Theodore Parker, Lowell (each)15 John Adams, Sumner (each)14 Cooper, Greeley, Sheridan, Sherman (each)12 one, after serious study, as giving a demonstration of real intelligence and catholicity of taste in the nation whose literature it represents. When, for instance, we consider the vast number of log cabins or small farmhouses where the name of Lincoln is a household word, while that of Emerson is as unknown as that of Aeschylus or Catullus, one cannot help wondering that there should have been as many books written—so far as this catalogue indicates—about the recluse scholar as about the mar<
Anna Seward (search for this): chapter 19
amed, and enumerated in the Cleveland catalogue. The actual works of the author himself are not included. The list is as follows:— Washington.48 Emerson, Lincoln (each)41 Franklin 37 Webster34 Longfellow33 Hawthorne25 Jefferson23 Grant22 Irving21 Clay19 Beecher, Poe, M. F. Ossoli (each)16 Theodore Parker, Lowell (each)15 John Adams, Sumner (each)14 Cooper, Greeley, Sheridan, Sherman (each)12 Everett11 John Brown, Channing, Farragut (each)10 Garrison, Hamilton, Prescott, Seward, Taylor (each) 9 Thoreau7 Bancroft6 Allston5 Edwards, Motley (each)5 This list certainly offers to the reader some surprises in its details, but it must impress every one, after serious study, as giving a demonstration of real intelligence and catholicity of taste in the nation whose literature it represents. When, for instance, we consider the vast number of log cabins or small farmhouses where the name of Lincoln is a household word, while that of Emerson is as unknown as that o
John Ruskin (search for this): chapter 19
en. The result is a tribute to that natural inequality of men which is as fully recognized, in a true republic, as their natural equality; that is, they are equal in the sense of being equally men, but not equal in their gifts as men. It is curious to see how the social falsities of English society tell on educated Englishmen, so surely as they grow old enough to shed the generous impulses of youth. It was in vain that Tennyson wrote Clara Vere de Vere, and Froude The Nemesis of Faith, and Ruskin Modern Painters, and Swinburne the Song in Time of Order: let them once reach middle life and they are all stanch Tories and accept dukes; and now Huxley follows in their train. But here in America we find no difficulty in selecting our natural leaders, sooner or later, and owning them; they do not have to fight for recognition, in most cases; it comes by a process like the law of gravitation. In our colonial town records the object of the meeting was often stated as being to know the To
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