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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Women and Men, chapter 19 (search)
XIX. on a certain humility in Americans. It has always seemed to me that Lowell's paper on the condescension of foreigners should be followed by one on the humility of Americans. It may be that we do not make that quality obtrusive when travelling abroad, for there we are frequently stung and goaded out of this fine constitutional trait. My dear young lady, said the kind English clergyman to a certain American traveller in Europe, Let me urge you not to make use of that word unless you nation have more to learn, in many ways, than to teach. The nations of Europe are the elder sons of Time; but the youngest-born are also sons. It was not mere imitation that gave us Morse's telegraph, or Bell's telephone, or Emerson's books, or Lowell's speeches, or the American trotting horse, or those illustrated magazines that are printed for two continents. I heard the most eminent of English electricians say, a few years ago, that he had learned more of the possible applications of elect