“In our Mechanics’ Fair, there must be not only bridges, ploughs, carpenters’ planes, and baking troughs, but also some few finer instruments — rain gauges, thermometers, and telescopes;
And in society, besides farmers, sailors, and weavers, there must be a few persons of purer fire kept specially as gauges and meters of character; Persons of a fine, detecting instinct, who note the smallest accumulation of wit and feeling in the bystander.
Perhaps too there might be room for the exciters and monitors; collectors of the heavenly spark, with power to convey the electricity to others.
Or, as the storm-tossed vessel at sea speaks the frigate or ‘line packet’ to learn its longitude, so it may not be without its advantage that we should now and then encounter rare and gifted men,
To compare the points of our spiritual compass, and verify our bearings from superior chronometers.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his essay titled , The Transcendentalist