for its masterpieces can be carried round the world in one's pockets.
We need to go to Europe
to see the great galleries, to hear the music of Wagner
, but the boy who reads Aeschylus
and Horace and Shakespeare
by his pine-knot fire has at his command the essence of all universities, so far as literary training goes.
But were this otherwise, we must remember that libraries, galleries, and buildings are all secondary to that great human life of which they are only the secretions or appendages.
‘My Madonnas’—thus wrote to me that recluse woman of genius, Emily Dickinson
—‘are the women who pass my house to their work, bearing Saviours in their arms.’
Words wait on thoughts, thoughts on life; and after these, technical training is an easy thing.
‘The art of composition,’ wrote Thoreau
, ‘is as simple as the discharge of a bullet from a rifle, and its masterpieces imply an infinitely greater force behind them.’
What are the two unmistakable rifle-shots in American literature thus far?
's speech in the court-room and Lincoln
's Gettysburg address.
Yielding to no one in the desire to see our