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“  science, and the feeling of a people has been sooner developed than its understanding. With us this order has been reversed. The national understanding is fully ripe, but the feeling, the imagination of the people, has found as yet no adequate expression. We have our men of science, our Franklins, our Bowditches, our Cleavelands; we have our orators, our statesmen; but the American poet, the American thinker, is yet to come. A deeper culture must lay the foundation for him who shall worthily represent the genius and utter the life of this continent. A severer discipline must prepare the way for our Dantes, our Shakespeares, our Miltons. ‘ He who would write an epic,’ said one of these, ‘must make his life an epic.’ This touches our infirmity. We have no practical poets,--no epic lives. Let us but have sincere livers, earnest, whole-hearted, heroic men, and we shall not want for writers and for literary fame. Then shall we see springing up, in every part of these Republics, a literature such as the ages have not known,--a literature commensurate with our idea, vast as our destiny, and varied as our theme.”
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