Title: Untitled [In Matthew Arnold's last criticism]

Periodical: Omaha Daily Bee

Date: May 20, 1888

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In Matthew Arnold's [1] last criticism on America, he warned his countrymen with elaborate assurances that the people of the United States were, as a nation, uninteresting. One would suppose that such an unfavorable recommendation would inspire Englishmen with no desire of visiting us. But the effect is likely to be opposite from what might have been expected on the English mind. It is currently reported that the Prince of Wales is coming over to see how uninteresting we are, while hundreds of Englishmen are preparing to make a descent upon America before another year. It is to be hoped that they will carry back some impressions of America not altogether as bad as Mr. Arnold painted them. Ever since "Buffalo Bill" went to England and captured the British heart and pocket, Englishmen have had their eyes opened on one phase of American life.

The cowboy and the "wild west" show were certainly sufficiently picturesque and interesting to excite the British imagination. Thanks to Colonel Cody, the Englishman has now a vivid picture in his mind of "western civilization." Some of his rose-tinted impressions may possibly be exaggerated. But his appetite has been whetted. He is coming over to America, in spite of Mr. Arnold's warning, to satisfy his curiosity. He may be disappointed in not finding here all the features so dramatically produced in the wild west show. But if he returns to England after paying us a long visit, and sets us down as an uninteresting, prosy nation, he will out-Arnold Matthew Arnold in his lack of appreciation of American civilization.

Note 1: Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), a British poet and literary, social, and religious critic. [back]

Title: Untitled [In Matthew Arnold's last criticism]

Periodical: Omaha Daily Bee

Date: May 20, 1888

Topic: European Tours

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