Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/88

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When your Principal asked me to select a topic for a lecture, I replied, in a moment of weakness, that I would speak of Matthew Arnold. The choice was partly suggested by an observation made on a recent visit to the United States. It struck me that Arnold's merits were even more fully recognised there than in his own country; though I hope that here, too, they do not lack appreciation. American opinion is probably not infallible. Still, fame on the other side of the Atlantic establishes a certain presumption of excellence. It proves that a man's influence was not created by, and may sometimes indicate that it has been partly obscured by, our local prejudices. At any rate, the observation suggested some thoughts, which, it occurred to me, might be worth submitting to an English audience.

  1. A lecture delivered at the Owens College, Manchester, 13th November 1893.