Lectures and Biographical Sketches

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Houghton, Mifflin, 1883 - Character - 463 pages
CONTENTS Demonology Aristocracy Perpetual Forces Character Education The Superlative The Sovereignty of Ethics The Preacher The Man of Letters The Scholar Plutarch Historic Notes of Life and Letters in New England Chardon Street Convention Ezra Ripley, D. D. Mary Moody Emerson Samuel Hoar Thoreau Carlyle George L. Stearns Notes
 

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Page 79 - THOUGH love repine, and reason chafe, There came a voice without reply, — "'Tis man's perdition to be safe, When for the truth he ought to die.
Page 13 - Man is all symmetry, Full of proportions, one limb to another, And all to all the world besides : Each part may call the farthest, brother : For head with foot hath private amity, And both with moons and tides. Nothing hath got so far, But Man hath caught and kept it, as his prey His eyes dismount the highest star He is in little all the sphere. Herbs gladly cure our flesh, because that they Find their acquaintance there.
Page 369 - The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or, perchance, a palace or temple on the earth, and, at length the middle-aged man concludes to build a wood-shed with them.
Page 78 - But for those first affections, Those shadowy recollections, Which, be they what they may, Are yet the fountain light of all our day, Are yet a master light of all our seeing; Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make Our noisy years seem moments in the being Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake, To perish never...
Page 365 - I hearing get, who had but ears, And sight, who had but eyes before; I moments live, who lived but years, And truth discern, who knew but learning's lore.
Page 363 - California to learn it." Occasionally, a small party of Penobscot Indians would visit Concord, and pitch their tents for a few weeks in summer on the river-bank. He failed not to make acquaintance with the best of them; though he well knew that asking questions of Indians is like catechizing beavers and rabbits. In his last visit to Maine he had great satisfaction from Joseph Polis, an intelligent Indian of Oldtown, who was his guide for some weeks. He was equally interested in every natural fact....
Page 359 - Pole, for the coincident sunrise and sunset, or five minutes' day after six months : a splendid fact, which Annursnuc had never afforded him. He found red snow in one of his walks, and told me that he expected to find yet the Victoria regia in Concord. He was the attorney of the indigenous plants, and owned to a preference of the weeds to the imported...
Page 368 - the blockheads were not born in Concord; but who said they were? It was their unspeakable misfortune to be born in London, or Paris, or Rome; but, poor fellows, they did what they could, considering that they never saw Bateman's Pond, or...
Page 351 - ... exercise. It cost him nothing to say No; indeed, he found it much easier than to say Yes. It seemed as if his first instinct on hearing a proposition was to controvert it, so impatient was he of the limitations of our daily thought. This habit, of course, is a little chilling to the social affections ; and though the companion would in the end acquit him of any malice or untruth, yet it mars conversation. Hence, no equal companion stood in affectionate relations with one so pure and guileless....
Page 288 - If the assembly was disorderly, it was picturesque. Madmen, madwomen, men with beards, Dunkers, Muggletonians, Come-outers, Groaners, Agrarians, Seventh-day Baptists, Quakers, Abolitionists, Calvinists, Unitarians, and Philosophers, — all came successively to the top and seized their moment, if not their hour, wherein to chide, or pray, or preach, or protest.

About the author (1883)

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 due to pneumonia and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.