the land, who do the same sort of thing; they are the most essentially indigenous and American type we have, and their strength is in this, that they find their standard of action not abroad, but at home; they take their nation seriously.
Yet this, which should be the thing that most appeals to every foreign observer, is, on the contrary, the very thing which the average foreign observer finds most offensive.
‘Do not tell me only,’ says Matthew Arnold
, ‘. . . of the great and growing number of your churches and schools, libraries and newspapers; tell me also if your civilization—which is the grand name you give to all this development—tell me if your civilization is interesting.’
Set aside the fact of transfer across an ocean; set aside the spectacle of a self-governing people; if there is no interest in the spectacle of a nation of sixty million people laboring with all its might to acquire the means and resources of civilized life, then there is nothing interesting on earth.
A hundred years hence, the wonder will be, not that we Americans
attached so much importance, at this stage, to these