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[77] they are more or less in conflict with the present, point to a better future. Individuals of this kind I make no doubt at all that there are in American society as well as here. The writer in the Atlantic Monthly himself, unfavorable as is his judgment on his country's civilization in general, admits that he can find a certain number of “enthusiastic individuals conscious of cultivated tastes and generous desires.” Of these “rather highly civilized individuals” there are, he says, “a few in each of our great cities and their environs.” His rebuker in the Boston newspaper says that these centres of sweetness and light are rather in the small towns than in the large ones; but that is not a matter of much importance to us. The important question is: In what numbers are they to be found? Well, there is a group of them, says the Boston newspaper, in almost any small town of the northern, middle, and southwestern states. This is indeed civilization. A group of lovers of the humane life, an “elegant and simple social order,” as its describer calls it, existing in almost every small town of the northern, middle, and southwestern states of America, and this in addition to circles in New York and other great cities with “a social life as dignified, as elegant, and as noble as any in the world” --all this

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