Atlantic Monthly

Atlantic Monthly
Vol. 1, no. 3, January 1858

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Atlantic Monthly
Vol. 1, no. 3, January 1858

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Book Excerpt

sion in the House.

Now as these conditions are not our conditions, the attempt to build fine houses is an attempt to import an effect where the cause has not existed. Our position is that of a perpetually shifting population,--the mass shifting and the individuals shifting, in place, circumstances, requirements. The movement is inevitable, and, whether desirable or not, we must conform to it. So we naturally build cheaply and slightly, that the house be not an incumbrance rather than a furtherance to our life. It is agreeable to the feelings to be well rooted and established, and the results in outward appearance are agreeable. But it is not desirable to be so niched into the rock, that a change of fortune, or even a change in the direction of a town-road, shall leave us high and dry, like the fossils of the Norwegian cliffs, but rather, like the shell-fish of our beaches, free to travel up and down with the tide.

The imitating of foreign examples comes from no real, heart-felt demand, but only from a f

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