david anthony Southern Illinois University ``Gone Distracted'' ``Sleepy Hollow,'' Gothic Masculinity, and the Panic of 1819 [L]egerdemain tricks upon paper can produce as solid wealth as hard labor in the earth, [making it impossible] to reason Bedlam to rights. --Thomas Jefferson, 1819 So that when we see a wise people, embracing phantoms for realities, and running mad, as it were, in schemes of refinement, taste, pleasures, wealth and power, by the sole aid of this civil hocus pocus; when we contemplate paper gold, and paper land, paper armies and revenues; a paper government and a paper legislature; we are apt to regard the Fairy Tales, the Travels of Gulliver, and the Arabian Nights Entertainment, as grave relations, and historical facts. In truth, we live in a mere enchanted island, and an individual may almost doubt, from the strong propensity there is now towards paper, whether he himself is made of any better materials . . . We have heard of the Golden, Silver, and Iron ages of the poets; the present, to mark its frivolity, may be called the Paper Age. --Niles Weekly Register, 1819 Like vast numbers of his contemporaries, the Washington Irving of The Sketch Book
Early American Literature – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Feb 17, 2005
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