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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-01-14 21:18:08
Typefacelarge in Small
They show too much deference to public opinion, and are too eagerly drawn after the vulgar prizes of public pursuit,—money and social position,—to the comparative neglect of personal reflection and culture, personal honor, and detachment in a self-sustaining insight of principles. They think too subserviently of what is established, powerful, fashionable,—the very vice from which the founders of the country fled hither. They think too meanly and haltingly of the truth and good which are not yet established and fashionable, but ought to be so,—thus turning their backs on the very virtue which heaven and earth command them in especial to cultivate, namely, the virtue of an unflinching spirit of progress in obedience to whatever is right and desirable as against whatever wrongfully continues to govern. The best critics from abroad, and the wisest observers at home, agree that the most distinctive vice in the American character is described by the terms complacent rashness and assumption, crude impertinence, disrespect to age, irreverence towards parents, contempt for whatever does not belong to itself. This rampant democratic royalty in everybody has proved sadly detrimental to that spirit of modesty and docility which, however set against oppression and falsehood, is profoundly appreciative of everything sacred or useful and sits with veneration at the feet of the past to garner up its treasures with gratitude. The American who improves instead of abusing his national privileges will maintain his private convictions and not bend his knee slavishly to public opinion, but he will treat the feelings of others with tenderness, bow to all just authority, and reverently uncover his heart before everything that he sees to be really sacred.

Whose ancient pillars rear their marble heads,

Romans, forgive this agony of grief,—

To fear I may be otherwise than kind."

"You see I still date from the gay metropolis of France. The fascinations of Paris have held me longer than I intended; but I mean to break from them by the first of next month, and cross into Italy. I have read the President's admirable message: it breathes a spirit worthy of himself, worthy of the occasion, worthy of my country. I refer particularly, of course, to his views relative to France. His energetic and manly sentiments have had the effect here of once more Americanizing Americans, and revived within them that love of country which the pageantry

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easy enough," he answered, "if one is but complete master of himself, of his weapon, and of the situation, cool as personified mathematics. I always shoot, on an exact calculation, just enough quicker than my adversary for my ball to strike him as he fires, and so disorder his aim."


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