Mayne Reid was the great writer of books of out-of-door adventure. He was forever extolling the hunters and field-observers of living animals’ habits, and keeping up a fire of invective against the “closet naturalists,” as he called them, the collectors and classifiers, and handlers of skeletons and skins. . . . What is their deduction of metaphysical attributes but a shuffling and matching of pedantic dictionary-adjectives, aloof from morals, aloof from human needs, something that might be worked out from the mere word “God” by one of those logical machines of wood and brass which recent ingenuity has contrived as well as by a man of flesh and blood. They have the trail of the serpent all over them. . . . Verbality has stepped into the place of vision, professionalism into that of life.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson