Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals
, Vol. IX: 1856-1863
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1913), p. 89 (1857):
Because our education is defective, because
we are superficial and ill-read, we are forced to
make the most of that position, of ignorance.
Hence America is a vast know-nothing party,
and we disparage books, and cry up intuition.
With a few clever men we have made a reputable thing of that, and denouncing libraries and
severe culture, and magnifying the mother-wit
swagger of bright boys from the country colleges, we have even come so far as to deceive
everybody, except ourselves, into an admiration
of un-learning and inspiration, forsooth.