Tu Maxumus ille es,
unus qui nobis cunctando restituis rem.
Excudent alii spirantia mollius aera,
credo equidem, vivos ducent de marmore voltus,
orabunt causas melius, caelique meatus
describent radio, et surgentia sidera dicent:
tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento;
hae tibi erunt artes; pacisque imponere morem,
parcere subiectis, et debellare superbos.
While I was wandering around the Land of the Rising Sun, these lines kept running through my mind. Whereas I had felt ashamed to be an American when confronted by the majesty of old Europe, my experience in Japan actually served to resuccitate, a little, my pride as natus patriae. I suppose it's the difference between going to Athens or Pergamum, on the one hand, and going to Carthage or Alexandria, on the other.