Essays, Volumes 1-2

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Houghton Mifflin, 1903 - American literature - 613 pages
5 Reviews
A collection of 20 essays by Emerson including Self-Reliance, The OverSoul, Experience, and Nature
 

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Review: Essays: First and Second Series

User Review  - Bob Couchenour - Goodreads

If you are an American, and have stepped outside the puritanical bubble, you will probably get something out of this. Read full review

Review: Essays: First and Second Series

User Review  - Aldine Lockett - Goodreads

Great writing. Read full review

Contents

I
1
II
43
III
91
IV
129
V
167
VI
189
VII
219
VIII
243
XII
349
XIII
1
XIV
43
XV
87
XVI
117
XVII
157
XVIII
167
XIX
197

IX
265
X
299
XI
323

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Page 403 - By the struggling moonbeam's misty light And the lantern dimly burning. No useless coffin enclosed his breast, Not in sheet nor in shroud we wound him ; But he lay like a warrior taking his rest, With his martial cloak around him.
Page 407 - A servant with this clause Makes drudgery divine : Who sweeps a room, as for Thy laws, Makes that and th
Page 391 - A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall.
Page 45 - A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
Page 57 - In your metaphysics you have denied personality to the Deity, yet when the devout motions of the soul come, yield to them heart and life, though they should clothe God with shape and color.1 Leave your theory, as Joseph his coat in the hand of the harlot, and flee. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
Page 57 - Why drag about this corpse of your memory lest you contradict somewhat you have stated in this or that public place ? Suppose you should contradict yourself ; what then?
Page 46 - There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.
Page 53 - It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion ; it is easy in solitude to live after your own ; but the great man is he who, in the midst of the crowd, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
Page 67 - These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones ; they are for what they are; they exist with God to-day.
Page 341 - He in whom the love of repose predominates will accept the first creed, the first philosophy, the first political party he meets, — most likely his father's. He gets rest, commodity and reputation ; but he shuts the door of truth.

About the author (1903)

Known primarily as the leader of the philosophical movement transcendentalism, which stresses the ties of humans to nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet and essayist, was born in Boston in 1803. From a long line of religious leaders, Emerson became the minister of the Second Church (Unitarian) in 1829. He left the church in 1832 because of profound differences in interpretation and doubts about church doctrine. He visited England and met with British writers and philosophers. It was during this first excursion abroad that Emerson formulated his ideas for Self-Reliance. He returned to the United States in 1833 and settled in Concord, Massachusetts. He began lecturing in Boston. His first book, Nature (1836), published anonymously, detailed his belief and has come to be regarded as his most significant original work on the essence of his philosophy of transcendentalism. The first volume of Essays (1841) contained some of Emerson's most popular works, including the renowned Self-Reliance. Emerson befriended and influenced a number of American authors including Henry David Thoreau. It was Emerson's practice of keeping a journal that inspired Thoreau to do the same and set the stage for Thoreau's experiences at Walden Pond. Emerson married twice (his first wife Ellen died in 1831 of tuberculosis) and had four children (two boys and two girls) with his second wife, Lydia. His first born, Waldo, died at age six. Emerson died in Concord on April 27, 1882 at the age of 78 and is buried in Sleepy Hollow.

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