Quotation by F. Scott Fitzgerald

France was a land, England was a people, but America, having about it still that quality of the idea, was harder to utter—it was the graves at Shiloh and the tired, drawn, nervous faces of its great men, and the country boys dying in the Argonne for a phrase that was empty before their bodies withered. It was a willingness of the heart.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940), U.S. author. repr. in Bits of Paradise, eds. Matthew J. Bruccoli and Scottie Fitzgerald Smith (1973). "The Swimmers," Saturday Evening Post (New York, Oct. 19, 1929).

The passage also appeared in The Crack-Up, "Notebook O" (ed. Edmund Wilson, 1945).
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