For the sake of explaining myself to the non-philosophic reader, I beg him to consider what is the sort of feeling with which he regards an ancient river-god, or the presiding nymph of a fountain. The impression which he receives is pretty much like that from the monumental figure of some allegoric being, such as Faith or Hope, Fame or Truth.
Puritanism and what radiates from it must always be mention'd by me with respect; then I should say, for this vast and varied Commonwealth, geographically and artistically, the puritanical standards are constipated, narrow, and non-philosophic. In the main I adhere to my positions in "Democratic Vistas," and especially to my summing-up of American literature as far as to-day is concern'd.
Yet we must remember that it was philosophers who first descried those currents in the world of events which the non-philosophic, borrowing the name from them, call Progress, who first attempted to determine their direction and the possible goal of their convergence, and laboured to clear their own and others' minds in regard to the meaning, to capture which the name was thrown out as a net into the ocean of experience.