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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- 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.
- We are a puny and fickle folk. Avarice, hesitation, and following are our diseases.
- The arts and inventions of each period are only its costume, and do not invigorate men.
- There is then creative reading as well as creative writing. When the mind is braced by labor and invention, the page of whatever book we read becomes luminous with manifold allusion. Every sentence is doubly significant, and the sense of our author is as broad as the world.
- 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.
- We rail at trade, but the historian of the world will see that it was the principle of liberty; that it settled America, and destroyed feudalism, and made peace and keeps peace; that it will abolish slavery.