In America the geography is sublime, but the men are not; the inventions are excellent, but the inventors one is sometimes ashamed of.
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- We are a puny and fickle folk. Avarice, hesitation, and following are our diseases.
- I hate this shallow Americanism which hopes to get rich by credit, to get knowledge by raps on midnight tables, to learn the economy of the mind by phrenology, or skill without study, or mastery without apprenticeship.
- The arts and inventions of each period are only its costume, and do not invigorate men.
- Man is a shrewd inventor, and is ever taking the hint of a new machine from his own structure, adapting some secret of his own anatomy in iron, wood, and leather, to some required function in the work of the world.
- Only an inventor knows how to borrow, and every man is or should be an inventor.
- By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote. In fact it is as difficult to appropriate the thoughts of others as it is to invent.