country, has not lived in vain, nor to himself alone.’1
He goes on to argue, perhaps needlessly, in vindication of poetry for its own sake and for the way in which it combines itself with the history of the nation, and expresses the spirit of that nation.
He then proceeds to a direct appeal in behalf of that very spirit.
Addressing the poets of America
he says, ‘To those of them who may honor us by reading our article, we would whisper this request,—that they should be more original, and withal more national.
It seems every way important, that now, whilst we are forming our literature, we should make it as original, characteristic, and national as possible.
To effect this, it is not necessary that the war-whoop should ring in every line, and every page be rife with scalps, tomahawks, and wampum.
Shade of Tecumseh
forbid!—The whole secret lies in Sidney
's maxim,— “Look in thy heart and write.”
He then points out that while a national literature strictly includes ‘every mental effort made by the inhabitants of a country through the medium of the press,’ yet no literature can be national in the highest sense unless it ‘bears upon it the stamp of national character.’
This he illustrates by calling attention to certain local