Excerpt from The Living Authors of America: First Series Comprising Cooper, Willis, Longfellow, Bryant, Dana, Mrs. Osgood, Emerson, Poe, Prescott, Halleck, Sparks, Mrs. Kirkland, Margaret Fullet
Accustomed for many years to associate with the most distinguished men in English literature, the conclusions we have formed upon various subjects may rather be considered theirs than our own.
Youth is so imitative that we often become the unconscious plagiarists of others, even of men whom we secretly despise, and whose decision we should refuse to accept, when the truth is that we ourselves are uttering their sentiments, modified by our own egotism.
The origin of every thought is so obscure, that it may be doubted whether any man living can claim the individuality of his opinions, however firmly he may exclusively consider them his own.
American literature has of late years been a favorite subject of discussion with the critical circles of London, and the works of the best authors of the Great Republic are as familiar to the well-informed classes of England as the writings of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and their contemporaries, to the enlightened Americans.
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