He usually began to lose his faith, his courage, his toleration,--in short, his Americanism,--when he left the ranks of the uninstructed.
That time is past; and the literary class has now come more into sympathy with the popular heart.
It is perhaps fortunate that there is as yet but little esprit de corps among our writers, so that they receive their best sympathy, not from each other, but from the people.
Even the memory of our most original authors, as Thoreau, or Margaret Fuller Ossoli, is apt to receive its sharpest stabs from those of the same guild.
When we American writers find grace to do our best, it is not so much because we are sustained by each other, as that we are conscious of a deep popular heart, slowly but surely answering back to ours, and offering a worthier stimulus than the applause of a coterie.
If we once lose faith in our audience, the muse grows silent.
Even the apparent indifference of this audience to culture and high finish may be in the
other; and her queenly critic had herself learned to read Thucydides, harder Greek than Callimachus, before she was fourteen.
And so down to our own day, who knows how many mute, inglorious Minervas may have perished unenlightened, while Margaret Fuller Ossoli and Elizabeth Barrett Browning were being educated like boys.
This expression simply means that they had the most solid training which the times afforded.
Most persons would instantly take alarm at the very words; that is, they have son to her aid, and the mechanical means for her emancipation are ready also.
No use in releasing her till man, with his strong arm, had worked out his preliminary share in civilization.
Earth waits for her queen, was a favorite motto of Margaret Fuller Ossoli; but it would be more correct to say that the queen has waited for her earth, till it could be smoothed and prepared for her occupancy.
Now Cinderella may begin to think of putting on her royal robes.
Everybody sees that the times are