really think, on looking into the matter, that their civilization is much more satisfactory than ours.
And in case they should come to the conclusion, after due thought, that neither the one civilization nor the other is in a satisfactory state, let me end by propounding a remedy which really it is heroic in me to propound, for people are bored to death, they say, by me with it, and every time I mention it I make new enemies and diminish the small number of friends that I have now. Still, I cannot help asking whether the defects of American civilization, if it is defective, may not probably be connected with the American
people's being, as Mr. Lowell
says, “the most common-schooled and the least cultivated people in the world.”
A higher, larger cultivation, a finer lucidity, is what is needed.
The friends of civilization, instead of hopping backwards and forwards over the Atlantic
, should stay at home a while, and do their best to make the administration, the tribunals, the theatre, the arts, in each state, to make them become visible ideals to raise, purge, and ennoble the public sentiment.
Though they may be few in number, the friends of civilization will find, probably, that by a serious apostolate of this kind they can accomplish a good deal.
But the really fruitful reform to be looked