land filled with libraries, with galleries, with museums, with fine buildings, I must still maintain that all those things are secondary to that vigorous American life, which is destined to assimilate and digest them all. We are still in allegiance to Europe
for a thousand things; —clothes, art, scholarship.
For many years we must yet go to Europe
as did Robinson Crusoe
to his wreck, for the very materials of living.
But materials take their value from him who uses them, and that wreck would have long since passed from memory had there not been a Robinson Crusoe
I am willing to be censured for too much national self-confidence, for it is still true that we, like the young Cicero
, need that quality.
's world-literature is, no doubt, the ultimate aim, but a strong national literature must come first.
The new book must express the spirit of the New World.
We need some repressing, no doubt, and every European
newspaper is free to apply it; we listen with exemplary meekness to every little European
lecturer who comes to enlighten us, in words of one syllable, as to what we knew very well before.
We need something of repression, but