Emerson at Home and Abroad

By Moncure Daniel Conway | Go to book overview

XXVI. "THE COMING MAN."

THIS phrase became the cant of tabernacle-builders in the transcendental movement, and passed away with their tabernacles -- why they never knew, for their eyes were heavy under the splendour of the transfiguration before them; but, in reality, the man had come, only with heart matched with the need of a world, by no means with the need of any socialist or other sect striving to grow amid ruins imported from the past, or imitations of them.

At Paris, on the opening of the International Exposition of 1867, I found many Americans ashamed of the poor display made by their country. The department seemed a wilderness, broken only by a few unopened boxes that promised little. But I could not share their chagrin. Indeed, I was rather glad to have my countrymen taught, even at cost of some humiliation, that Protectionists cannot change the order of the world nor make America excel in works that can be done; better and more elsewhere. Not for fine cloths and cutlery would I see duplicates of Sheffield, of Manchester, and the Black Country in America. Let the banner of stars float over empty spaces in exhibitions until it can wave over original products instead

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