the address which forms the first chapter in these pages was given originally before the Nineteenth Century Club of New York City on January 15, 1891, and was written out afterward.
Its title was suggested by that of a remarkable essay contributed many years ago to the Atlantic Monthly
, by my friend David Atwood Wasson
and entitled, ‘The New World and the New Man.’
I am indebted to the proprietors of the Century
, the Independent
, the Christian Union
, and Harper's Bazar
for permission to reprint such of the remaining chapters as appeared in their respective columns.
Nothing is farther from the present writer's wish than to pander to any petty national vanity, his sole desire being to assist in creating a modest and reasonable self-respect.
The civil war bequeathed to us Americans
, twenty-five years ago, a great revival of national feeling; but this has been followed in some quarters, during the last few years, by a curious relapse into something of the old colonial and apologetic attitude; enhanced, no doubt, by the vexations and humiliations of the long struggle for international copyright.
This is the frame of mind which is deprecated in this volume, because it is the last source from which any strong or self-reliant literary work can proceed.
In the words of Thoreau
, ‘I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up.’