Lectures Delivered in America in 1874

Lectures Delivered in America in 1874

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Lectures Delivered in America in 1874

Lectures Delivered in America in 1874

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Excerpt

REVERENCE for age, at least so it has long seemed to me, reverence for age, I say, is a fair test of the vigour of youth; and, conversely, insolence toward the old and the past, whether in individuals or in nations, is a sign rather of weakness than of strength. And the cause, I think, is this. The rich and strong young natures, which feel themselves capable of original thought and work, have a corresponding respect for those who, in the generations gone by, have thought and worked as they hope to do hereafter. And this temper, understand me, so far from being servile, or even merely conservative, usually accompanies true independence of spirit. The young athlete, like the young race-horse, does not despise, but emulate, his sire; even though the old victor be long past his prime. The young soldier admires the old general . . .

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