Page 1


FROM THE PERSONAL LIBRARY OF JAMES BUELL MUNN 1890- 1967

BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

9f

ri'f

ll^A


iltibet^itie (gtiition

essays: first series EEING VOLUME

II.

OF

EMERSON'S COMPLETE WORKS


ESSAYS BY

RALPH WALDO EMERSON

FIRST SERIES

jReto anU KetJtseti ©Uittott

BOSTON HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY New

York

:

11 East Seventeenth Street

1897


fsiwo

Copyright, 1865 and 1876,

By TICKNOR

&

FIELDS and RALPH

WALDO EMERSON.

Copyright, 1883,

By

EDWARD

W. EMERSON.

AU rights

reserved.

The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass U. S. A. Company. Electrotyped and Printed by H. 0. Houghton ,

&


CONTENTS. »

PAGE I.

11.

III.

History

»

Self-Reliance

,

o

.

,

=

.

.

.

.

.

Compensation

IV. Spiritual

VII. VIII.

IX.

89

Laws

159

Friendship

Prudence Heroism

181

....

The Over-Soul

o

.

207 c

o

».

231

249 279

X. Circles

301

XI. Intellect XII. Art.

45

123

V. Love

VL

7

.

.

.

o

325


:

HISTORY.

There is no great and no small To the Soul that maketh all And where it cometh, all things And it Cometh everywhere.

are

|


I

am owner

of the sphere,

Of

the seven stars

Of

Caesar's hand,

Of Lord

and the

solar year,

and Plato's

Christ's heart,

brain.

and Shakspeare's

strain.


L

HISTORY.

Theee

He

of the same. of reason

What

is

is

an

that

is

he

may

same and

of the whole estate.

may

feel

what

;

think

at

mind

or can be done, for this

is

what a

Who

a party to

the only

is

;

any time has

man, he can understand.

access to this universal

to all

once admitted to the right

made a freeman

saint has felt,

to all individual

inlet to the

Plato has thought, he

befallen any

is

common

one mind

is

Every man

men.

all

hath that

and sovereign

agent.

Of

the works of this

Its genius is illustrated

Man tory. spirit

is

explicable

mind history by the entire

by nothing

less

Without hurry, without

is

the record.

series of days.

than

all his his-

rest,

the hiunan

goes forth from the beginning to

embody

every faculty, every thought, every emotion which belongs to is

it,

in appropriate events.

always prior to the fact

mind

;

aU the

But the thought facts of history

Each law

in turn is

made by circumstances predominant, and

the limits

preexist in the

as laws.


HISTORY.

10 of is

nature give power to but one at a time.

A man

The

creation

the whole encyclopaedia of facts.

of a thousand forests

is

in one acorn,

and Egypt,

Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain, America, already in the

first

Epoch

man.

lie

folded

camp,

after epoch,

kingdom, empire, republic, democracy, are merely

man-

the application of his manifold spirit to the ifold world.

This read

it.

human mind wrote The Sphinx must

If the whole of history

is

history,

and

solve her

man,

in one

turies of time.

my

book

is

life

be

to

There

is

a

and the cen-

the air I breathe

is

drawn

repositories of nature, as the light

from the great on

As

riddle.

it is all

explained from individual experience. relation between the hours of our

must

this

own

yielded by a star a hundred millions

my

of miles distant, as the poise of

body depends

on the equilibrimn of centrifugal and centripetal forces, so the hours should

be instructed by the ages

and the ages explained by the hours. sal

mind

nation.

new

each individual All

its

man

is

properties consist in him.

Each

fact in his private experience flashes a light

what gTcat bodies of men

first

on

have done, and the crises

of his life refer to national crises.

was

Of the univer-

one more incar-

Every revolution

a thought in one man's mind, and when

the same thought occurs to another man,

key to that

era.

it

is

the

Every reform was once a private


HISTORY. opinion,

and when

again

will solve the

it

fact narrated

shall

it

be a private opinion

The

problem of the age.

must correspond

to be credible or

11

We,

intelligible.

me

something in

to

as

must become Greeks, Romans, Turks,

we

read^

and

priest

king, martyr and executioner; must fasten these

images to some reality in our secret experience, or

we

What

shall learn nothing rightly.

drubal or Csesar Borgia of the mind's powers

lets

ture hide

much an

As-

befell

illustration

and depravations as what has Stand before each of

has meaning for you. say,

as

Each new law and political movement

befallen us.

and

is

'

Under

this

its

tab-

mask did my Proteus

na-

This remedies the defect of our

itself.'

too great nearness to ourselves.

This throws our

and as

crabs, goats, scor-

actions into perspective pions, the balance

;

and the waterpot

lose their

mean-

when hung as signs in the zodiac, so I can see own vices without heat in the distant persons of

ness

my

Solomon, Alcibiades, and Catiline. It is the universal nature

particular

men and

taining this,

hedge

it

is

things.

which gives worth to

Human

life,

as con-

mysterious and inviolable, and

round with penalties and laws.

derive hence their ultimate reason or less distinctly some limitable essence.

command

;

all

we

All laws

express more

of this supreme,

Property also holds of the

covers great spiritual facts, and instinctively

il-

soul,

we

at


HISTORY.

12 first

hold to

with swords and laws and wide and

it

The obscure

complex combinations. of this fact

claims ity

;

;

consciousness

the light of all our day, the claim of

is

the plea for education, for justice, for char-

the foundation of friendship and love and of

the heroism and grandeur which belong to acts of seK-reliance.

It

is

remarkable that involuntarily

we always read as superior beings. tory, the poets, the romancers,

pictures,

liest

—

in

the

Universal his=

do not

sacerdotal,

in their state-

the imperial

palaces, in the triumphs of will or of genius,

anywhere

we

lose our ear,

intrude, that this

is it

anywhere make us

is

for better

men

true that in their grandest strokes

slip of

we feel most

a boy that reads in the corner feels

to be true of himself.

moments

feel that

but rather

All that Shakspeare says of the king,

at home.

yonder

;

—

We

sympathize in the great

of history, in the great discoveries, the

great resistances, the great prosperities of

men

;

—

because there lav was enacted, the sea was searched, the land was found, or the blow was struck, for us, as

we

ourselves in that place would have done or

applauded.

We acter.

have the same interest in condition and char-

We honor the rich because they have exter-

nally the freedom, power, and grace which to be proper to man, proper to

said of the wise

man by

us.

So

we

feel

all that is

Stoic or Oriental or

modern


13

HISTORY. essayist, describes to

each reader his owu idea, de-

All Kt-

scribes his unattained but attainable self.

erature writes the character of the wise man.

monuments,

Books,

pictures, conversation, are portraits in

which he finds the lineaments he

is

The

forming.

and the eloquent praise him and accost him, and he is stimulated wherever he moves, as by per-

silent

A

sonal allusions.

true aspirant therefore never

needs look for allusions personal and laudatory in discourse. self, but,

He

hears the commendation, not of him-

more

sweet, of that character he seeks, in

every word that

said concerning character, yea

is

further in every fact and circumstance,

—

running river and the rustling corn.

Praise

looked, ture,

homage tendered,

love flows,

from the mountains and the

in the is

from mute na-

lights of the

fir-

mament. These

hints,

dropped as

it

were from sleep and

night, let us use in broad day.

The student

read history actively and not passively

own life the Thus compelled, his

cles, as

selves.

text,

the

;

is

to

to esteem

and books the commentary.

Muse of history who do not

never to those

will utter ora-

respect them-

I have no expectation that any

man

will

read history aright who thinks that what was done in a remote

sounded

far,

doing to-day.

age,

by men whose names have

has any deeper sense than what he

reis


;

HISTORY.

14

The world There

is

exists for the education of

no age or

state of society or

tion in history to which there

responding in his

Every thing tends

life.

all history in his

at

He

virtue to him.

own

of ac-

not somewhat cor-

is

wonderful manner to abbreviate

own

each man.

mode

itself

in a

and yield

its

should see that he can live

He must

person.

home, and not suffer himself

to

sit

solidly

be bullied by

know that he is greater than all

kings or emj)ires, but

the geography and all the government of the world

he must transfer the point of \dew from which tory

is

commonly

London, that he

read,

is

from Rome and Athens and

and not deny

to hunself,

and

the court,

not, let

them forever be

and maintain that their secret sense,

The

his conviction

England

if

have any thing to say to him he if

his-

or

Egypt

will try the case

He must

silent.

lofty sight

where

;

attain

facts yield

and poetry and annals are

alike.

instinct of the mind, the purpose of nature, be-

we make of the signal narraTime dissipates to shining ether

trays itself in the use tions of history.

No

the solid angularity of facts.

anchor, no cable,

no fences avail to keep a fact a passing already into the Sim standing

forward to was,

fiction.

still

Who

when we have made a

Rome

The Garden

in Gibeon,

all nations.

Babylon,

fact.

Troy, Tyre, Palestine, and even early

is

cares

of

are

Eden,

poetry thence-

what the

constellation of

fact it

to


HISTORY. hang

London and

in heaven an immortal sign ?

New York must

Paris and

"

15

What

said Napoleon, " but a fable

history,"

is

agreed upon ?

"

go the same way.

This

life

of ours is stuck round

with Egypt, Greece, Gaul, England,

War,

Coloni-

zation, Church, Court and Commerce, as with so

many

flowers

in Eternity.

and the

and

— the genius and

of all eras, in

history in

verifying

them

;

I believe

creative princi-

my own

mind.

up with the emphatic our private experience and

are always coming

facts of

tive

of them.

I can find Greece, Asia, Italy, Spain

Islands,

ple of each

We

and wild ornaments grave and gay.

make more account

I will not

here.

All history becomes subjec-

in other words there is properly no history,

Every mind must know the whole

only biography. lesson for itself,

What

it

— must go over the whole

does not

not know.

see,

What

what

it

does not

ground.

live, it will

the former age has epitomized

into a formula or rule for manipular convenience, it

will lose all the

means

good of verifying for

of the wall of that rule.

itself,

by

Somewhere, some-

wiU demand and find compensation for Ferguson disthat loss, by doing the work itself. covered many things in astronomy which had long been known. The better for him. History must be this or it is nothing. Every law which the state enacts indicates a, fact in human time,

it


HISTORY.

16 nature

;

that

We must in ourselves

is all.

— see

necessary reason of every fact,

and must private

be.

work

;

Thomas More, ;

of Sidney, of

martyrdom

of Sir

Marmaduke Robin-

;

before a fanatic Revival and

Animal Magnetism

in Paris, or in Providence.

We assume that we under like influence alike affected,

aim

could

before a French Reign of Terror, and a Salem

hanging of witches the

it

So stand before every public and before an oration of Burke, before a

victory of Napoleon, before a

son

how

see the

and should achieve the

should be

like

to master intellectually the steps

;

and we

and reach

the same height or the same degradation that our fellow, our

proxy has done.

All inquiry into antiquity,

curiosity respect-

all

ing the Pyramids, the excavated

cities,

the Ohio Circles, Mexico, Memphis, sire to

is

the de-

do away this wild, savage, and preposterous

There or Then, and introduce in

and the Now.

its

place the

Here

Belzoni digs and measures in the

mummy-pits and pyramids see the

Stonehenge,

—

of

Thebes until he can

end of the difference between the monstrous

work and in general

himself.

and

When

he has

in detail, that

it

satisfied himself,

was made by such

a person as he, so armed and so motived, and to ends to which he himself should also have worked, the problem

is

solved

;

his thought lives along the

whole line of temples and sphinxes and catacombs,


HISTORY. passes through live

them

with satisfaction, and they

all

again to the mind, or are now.

A Gothic cathedral affirms us and not done by us.

we

17

find

it

that

Surely

it

We put ourselves We re-

to the history oÂŁ its production.

member

and

of the builder.

state

the forest-dwellers, the

adherence to the

was done by

But we apply ourselves

not in our man.

into the place

it

was by man, but

first

temples, the

and the decoration of

first type,

as the wealth of the nation increased

which

is

;

it

the value

given to wood by carving led to the carv-

ing over the whole mountain of stone of a cathe-

When we

dral.

have gone through this process,

and added thereto the Catholic Church, music,

its

worship,

its processions, its Saints' days

we have

made

the minster

must

be.

The

by

;

we have

We have the

seen

how

it

man

that

could and

sufficient reason.

men is in their principle Some men classify objects by color

size

and other accidents of appearance

intrinsic likeness, or

and

and image-

were been the

it

cross,

difference between

of association.

and

as

its

effect.

by the

The progress

;

others

relation of cause

of the intellect

is

to the

clearer vision of causes, which neglects surface differences.

To

the poet, to the philosopher, to the

saint, all things are friendly

and

profitable, all days holy, all

men

eye

is

VOL.

fastened on the II.

2

life,

and

sacred, all events divine.

For the

slights the circum*


;

HISTORY.

18

Every chemical substance, every

stance.

every animal in

plant,

growth, teaches the unity of

its

cause, the variety of appearance.

Upborne and surrounded as we are by this allcreating nature, soft and fluid as a cloud or the air, why should we be such hard pedants, and mag-

Why

nify a few forms ?

make account ? The soul

should we

of time, or of magnitude, or of figure

knows them

how

and genius, obeying

not,

to play with

them

as a

the

by

from one

through the

of things

Genius watches

masks as he performs

all his

the metempsychosis of

womb

orb, that diverge,

infinite diameters.

monad through

knows

Genius studies the

causal thought, and far back in the

ere they fall,

law,

young child plays with

graybeards and in churches.

sees the rays parting

its

Genius detects

nature.

through the caterpillar, through

fly,

the grub, through the egg, the constant individual

through countless individuals the fixed species

through

many species

the steadfast type

ganized

life

;

the genus ; through all genera

through

ble cloud which is always casts the

all

the eternal unity.

the kingdoms of or-

Nature

a muta-

same thought into troops of forms, as a

poet makes twenty fables with one moral. the bruteness spirit

is

and never the same. She

bends

all

mant streams

Through

and toughness of matter, a subtle things to

its

own

into soft but precise

will.

The

ada-

form before

it,


;

HISTORY. and whilst I look

at

it its

changed again.

Nothing

yet never does

quite

it

19

outline

deny

and texture are

so fleeting as

is

In

itself.

form

man we

trace the remains or hints of all that

badges of servitude in the lower races

;

still

we esteem yet in him

they enhance his nobleness and grace; as lo, in

^schylus, transformed to a cow, offends the imagination

;

but

how changed when as Isis in Egypt woman with noth-

she meets Osiris-Jove, a beautiful

ing of the metamorphosis as the splendid

The

left

I

identity of history is equally intrinsic, the

There

diversity equally obvious. infinite variety of things

in which

;

we

at the surface,

is,

at the centre there is sim-

How many

plicity of cause.

man

but the lunar horns

ornament of her brows

are the acts of one

recognize the same character!

Observe the sources of our information in respect to the

Greek

"We have the

genius.

civil history of

that people, as Herodotus, Thucydides,

and Plutarch have given

it

;

a very

Xenophon,

sufficient ac-

count of what manner of persons they were and

what they

did.

We

have the same national mind

expressed for us again in their literature^ in epic

and

lyric

poems, drama, and philosophy

complete form.

Then we have

it

;

a very

once more in

their architecture^ a beauty as of temperance itseK,

limited to the straight line and the square,

builded geometry.

Then we have

it

—a

once again in


HISTORY.

20

sculpture, the " tongue on the balance of expression," a multitude of

of action ity

;

forms in the utmost freedom

and never transgressing the

like votaries

ideal seren-

performing some religious dance

before the gods, and, though in convulsive pain or

mortal combat, never daring to break the figure

and decorum

Thus of the genius we have a fourfold represenses what more unlike than

of their dance.

of one remarkable peoj)le

sentation:

and

to the

an ode of Pindar, a marble centaur, the peristyle of the Parthenon,

and the

last actions of

Every one must have observed

faces

which, without any resembling feature,

impression on the beholder. or copy of verses,

if

it

A

Phocion ?

and forms

make a

like

particular picture

do not awaken the same

train of images, will yet superinduce the

same

sen-

timent as some wild mountain walk, although the

resemblance occult

is

nowise obvious to the senses, but

and out of the reach

Nature

is

an endless combination and repetition of

a very few laws.

through

is

of the understanding.

She hums the old well-known

air

innumerable variations.

Nature

is

fidl

of a

sublime

family likeness

throughout her works, and delights in startling us with resemblances in the most unexpected quarters. I

have seen the head of an old sachem of the

est

for-

which at once reminded the eye of a bald moun-

tain summit,

and the furrows of the brow suggested


HISTORY. the strata of the rock.

21

There are men whose man-

ners have the same essential splendor as the simple

and awful sculpture on the and the remains

friezes of the

Greek

of the earliest

Parthenon

And

art.

there are compositions of the same strain to be

found in the books of

What

all ages.

Guido's

is

Rospigliosi

Aurora but a morning thought, as the

horses in

are only a morning cloud

it

If

?

any one

will but take pains to observe the variety of actions

which he

to

is

how deep

is

moods of

equally inclined in certain

mind, and those to which he

averse, he will see

is

the chain of affinity.

A painter told me that nobody could draw a tree without in some sort becoming a tree child

—

by studying the outlines of by watching for a time

but,

its

;

or

draw a

form merely,

his motions

and

plays, the painter enters into his nature

and can

then draw him at will in every attitude.

So Roos

"entered into the inmost nature of a sheep."

I

knew a draughtsman employed in a public survey who found that he could not sketch the rocks until their geological structure

him.

was

first

In a certain state of thought

is

explained to the

common

origin of very diverse works.

It is the spirit

not the fact that

By

is

identical.

hension, and not primarily

by a painful

of

many manual

of

awakening other souls to a given

skills,

and

a deeper appreacquisition

the artist attains the power activity.


HISTORY.

22 It has

been said that " common souls pay with

what they

do, nobler soids with that

And why

are."

which they

Because a profound nature

?

awakens in us by

its actions and words, by its very and manners, the same power and beauty

looks

that a gallery of sculpture or of pictures addresses. Civil

and natural

of literature, history, or

but us,

history, the history of art

must be explained from individual

must remain words.

There

is

college, tree, horse, or iron shoe,

the roots of all things are in man.

and the

Dome

of St. Peter's are

Santa Croce

Strasburg Cathedral

a divine model.

true

poem

is

a material

is

and

mind

;

Steinbach.

the true ship

is

In the man, could we lay him

the ship-builder.

we should

the poet's

—

lame copies after

counterpart of the soul of Erwdn of

open,

nothing

related to us, nothing that does not interest

is

— kingdom,

The

and

see the reason for the last flourish

tendril of his

work

;

as every spine

and

tint in

the sea-shell preexist in the secreting organs of the

The whole

fish.

courtesy.

of heraldry

A man of fine

and of chivalry

manners

shall

your name with aU the ornament that bility

is

in

pronounce

titles of

no-

could ever add.

The

trivial

experience of every day

is

always

verifying some old prediction to us and converting into things the

words and signs which we had heard

and seen without heed.

A

lady with

whom

I was


HISTORY.

me

riding in the forest said to

ways seemed

farer

that the woods al-

;

a thought which poetry

has celebrated in the dance of the off

man who

in-

way-

their deeds until the

had passed onward

breaks

who

to her to loait, as if the genii

them suspended

habit

23

fairies,

on the approach of human

moon break

has seen the rising

which

The

feet.

out of the

clouds at midnight, has been present like an arch-

angel at the creation of light and of the world.

remember one summer day

in the fields

me

panion pointed ou^ to

my

I

com-

a broad cloud, which

might extend a quarter of a mile parallel to the horizon, quite accurately in the

as painted over centre,

which

it

churches, — a

was easy

form

of a cherub

round block in the

to animate with eyes

and

mouth, supported on either side by wide-stretched symmetrical wings.

What

mosphere may appear

appears once in the

often,

and

it

at-

was undoubt-

edly the archetype of that familiar ornament.

I

have seen in the sky a chain of summer lightning

which

at once

showed

to

me

that the Greeks

drew

from nature when they painted the thunderbolt in the

hand

of Jove.

I have seen a snow-drift along

the sides of the stone wall which obviously gave the idea of the

common

architectural scroU to abut

a tower.

By

surrounding ourselves with the original

cir-

cumstances we invent anew the orders and the or-


HISTORY.

24

naments of architecture, as we see how each people merely decorated

its

primitive abodes.

The

Doric temple preserves the semblance of the wooden

The Chinese The Indian and pagoda is Egyptian temples still betray the mounds and sub" The custerranean houses of their forefathers. tom of making houses and tombs in the living cabin in which the Dorian dwelt. plainly a Tartar

tent.

rock," says Heeren in his Researches on the Ethiopians,

" determined very naturally the principal

character of the Nubian Egyptian architecture to the colossal form which

it

assumed.

In these cav-

by nature, the eye was acdweU on huge shapes and masses, so

erns, already prepared

customed to that

when

art

came

could not move itself.

What

to the assistance of nature

it

on a small scale without degrading

would statues of the usual

size,

or

neat porches and wings have been, associated with those gigantic halls before which only Colossi could sit

as

watchmen or lean on the

pillars of the inte-

rior

The Gothic church

plainly originated in a rude

adaptation of the forest trees, with to a festal or solemn arcade

the cleft pillars tied them.

No

still

;

all their

boughs,

as the bands about

indicate the green withes that

one can walk in a road cut through

pine woods, without being struck with the architectural appearance of the grove, especially in winter,


HISTORY.

when

25

the barrenness of all other trees shows the

In the woods in a winter

low arch of the Saxons.

afternoon one will see as readily the origin of the stained glass window, with which the Gothic cathedrals are adorned, in the colors of the western sky

seen through the bare and crossing branches of the forest.

Nor can any

piles of

Oxford and the English cathedrals, with-

lover of nature enter the old

out feeling that the forest overpowered the the builder, still

and that

reproduced

his chisel, his

spikes of flowers, its

its ferns, its

locust, elm, oak, pine, fir

The Gothic cathedral

mind of

saw and plane

and spruce. is

a blossoming in stone

subdued by the insatiable demand of harmony in

The mountain

man.

of

granite blooms into an

eternal flower, with the lightness

and

as well as the aerial proportions

and perspective of

delicate finish

vegetable beauty.

In

like

manner aU public

facts are to be indi-

vidualized, all private facts are to be generalized.

Then

at once History

becomes

Biography deep and sublime. tated in the slender shafts tecture the stem

and

and flower

fluid

As

and

true,

and

the Persian imi-

capitals of his archi-

of the lotus

and palm,

60 the Persian court in its magnificent era never

gave over the nomadism of

its

barbarous

tribes,

but travelled from Ecbatana, where the spring was spent, to winter.

Susa in summer and to Babylon for the


HISTORY.

26

In the early history of Asia and Africa, Nomadism and Agriculture are the two antagonist

The geography

of Asia

life.

of all those

whom

was a

and

terror

to build towns.

Agriculture

religious injunction, because of the

perils of the state late

of Africa necessitated

the soil or the advantages of a

market had induced therefore

and

But the nomads were the

a nomadic

facts.

from nomadism.

civil countries of

these propensities

still

And

in these

England and America

fight out the old battle, in

The nomads of wander, by the attacks

the nation and in the individual.

Africa were constrained to

mad, and so

of the gad-fly, which drives the cattle

compels the tribe to emigrate in the rainy season

and

to drive off the cattle to the higher

sandy

re-

The nomads of Asia follow the pasturage from month to month. In America and Europe the nomadism is of trade and curiosity a progress, certainly, from the gad-fly of Astaboras to the Angions.

;

glo and Italo-mania of Boston Bay. to

Sacred

cities,

which a periodical religious pilgrimage was en-

joined, or stringent laws

and customs tending

to

invigorate the national bond, were the check on the

old rovers

;

and the ciunulative values

of long res-

idence are the restraints on the itinerancy of the present day.

The antagonism

of the

two tenden-

cies is not less active in individuals, as the love of

adventure or the love of repose happens to predom-


HISTORY.

A man of

inate.

27

rude healtli and flowing

spirits

has the faculty of rapid domestication, lives in his

wagon and roams through all latitudes as easily as a Calmuc. At sea, or in the forest, or in the snow, he sleeps as warm, dines with as good appetite, and associates as happily as beside his own chim-

Or

neys.

perhaps his facility

deeper seated, in

is

the increased range of his faculties of observation,

which yield him points of objects

meet

his eyes.

The

interest

needy and hungry to desperation lectual

nomadism,

wherever fresh

pastoral nations were ;

and

this intel-

bankrupts the mind

in its excess,

through the dissipation of power on a miscellany of

The home-keeping wit, on

objects. is

the other hand,

that continence or content which finds all the

elements of

own

life in its

perils of

own soU

monotony and

;

and which has

its

deterioration, if not

stimulated by foreign infusions.

Every thing the individual

sees without

him

cor-

responds to his states of mind, and every thing in turn intelligible to him, as his ing:

leads

him

is

onward think-

into the truth to which that fact or

series belongs.

—

the Fore- World, as the The primeval world, I can dive to it in myself as well Germans say,

—

as grope for

combs,

it

libraries,

of ruined villas.

with researching fingers in cata-

and the broken

reliefs

and torsos


HISTORY.

28

What

men

the foundation of that interest all

Greek

and poetry,

in all

periods from the Heroic or Homeric age

down

feel in its

is

history, letters, art

to the domestic life of the Athenians

four or five centuries later

man

every

What

but

this, that

passes personally through a Grecian pe-

The Grecian

riod.

?

and Spartans,

state is the era of the bodily

nature, the perfection of the senses,

—

of the spirit-

ual nature unfolded in strict unity with the body.

In

it

existed those

human forms which

supplied the

sculptor with his models of Hercules, Phoebus,

Jove of

;

and

not like the forms abounding in the streets

modern

cities,

wherein the face

is

a confused

blur of features, but composed of incorrupt, sharply defined and symmetrical features, whose eye-sockets are so

formed that

it

would be impossible for

such eyes to squint and take furtive glances on this side

head. fierce.

and on

that,

but they must turn the whole

The manners of The reverence

that period are plain

exhibited

is

for

and

personal

qualities; courage, address, self-command, justice,

strength, swiftness, a loud

voice,

a broad chest.

Luxury and elegance are not known. A sparse population and want make every man his own valet, cook, butcher

ing his

and

own needs

performances.

Diomed

of

soldier,

and the habit

of supply-

educates the body to wonderful

Such are the Agamemnon

Homer, and not

far different

is

and

the pic-


HISTORY. ture

29

crossed

and his compatriTen Thousand. " After the river Teleboas in Arme-

much

snow, and the troops lay mis=

Xenophon

gives o£ himself

ots in the Eetreat of the

the

army had

nia, there fell

erably on the ground covered with

phon arose naked, and taking an

wood

it.

axe,

But Xeno

began

to split

whereupon others rose and did the

;

Throughout

his

army

They quarrel

speech.

like."

exists a boundless liberty of

for plunder, they wrangle

with the generals on each new order, and Xenophon is

as sharp-tongued

as

any and sharper-tongued

Who

than most, and so gives as good as he gets. does not see that this

is

a gang of great boys, with

such a code of honor and such lax discipline as great boys have

The

costly

deed of

all

?

charm

of the ancient tragedy,

the old literature,

speak simply,

— speak

as persons

good sense without knowing flective habit

it,

and

who have

Greeks are not

reflective,

of the antique

is

not

The

but perfect in their senses

in their health, with the finest physical organ-

ization in the world. plicity

and grace

tragedies ^

great

before yet the re-

admiration of the old, but of the natural.

and

in-

that the persons

has become the predominant habit of

Our admiration

the mind.

is

— that

and

is,

in

Adults acted with the sim-

of children.

They made

vases,

statues, such as healthy senses should,

good

taste.

Such things have con-


HISTORY.

30 tinned to be

made

in all ages,

ever a healthy physique exists

and are now, wherbut, as a class,

;

their superior organization, they

They combine the energy

of

manhood

gaging unconsciousness of childhood.

manners

tion of these

and are known once a child uals

who

;

is

to every

all.

\Ndth the en-

The

attrac-

that they belong to

man

from

have surpassed

man,

in virtue of his being

besides that there are always individ-

A person

retain these characteristics.

childlike genius

and inborn energy

and revives our love

of the

Muse

is still

of

a Greek, I ad-

of Hellas.

mire the love of nature in the Philoctetes.

In read-

ing those fine apostrophes to sleep, to the stars,

and waves, I

rocks, mountains

away

as

an ebbing

sea.

The Greek had it The sun and as I.

the identity of his thought.

seems the same fellow-beings

moon, water and

fire,

they meet mine.

Then

time passing

feel

I feel the eternity of man,

met

his heart

precisely as

the vaunted distinction be-

tween Greek and English, between Classic and Romantic

When

schools,

seems

superficial

and pedantic.

a thought of Plato becomes a thought to me,

— when a truth that mine, time

is

fired the soul of

no more.

When

Pindar

I feel that

fires

we two

meet in a perception, that our two souls are tinged with the same hue, and do as

why

it

were run into one,

should I measure degrees of latitude,

should I count Egyptian years

?

why


HISTORY.

The student his own age of

31

by

interprets the age of chivalry chivalry,

and the days

of maritime

adventure and circumnavigation by quite parallel

To

miniature experiences of his own. history of the world he has the

the sacred

same key.

When

the voice of a prophet out of the deeps of antiquity

merely echoes to him a sentiment of his infancy, a prayer of his youth, he then pierces to the truth

through aU the confusion of tradition and the caricature of institutions.

Kare, extravagant spirits come by us at intervals, I see that disclose to us new facts in nature. men of God have from time to time walked among men and made their commission felt in the heart

who

and soul of the commonest hearer.

Hence

evi-

dently the tripod, the priest, the priestess inspired

by the divine

afflatus.

Jesus astonishes and overpowers sensual people.

They cannot unite him with themselves. tuitions

As

and aspire

to history, or reconcile

him

they come to revere their

to live holily, their

own

in-

piety

explains every fact, every word.

How

easily these old worships of Moses, of Zo-

roaster, of

Menu,

of Socrates, domesticate ther^i-

selves in the mind.

them.

I cannot find any antiquity

They are mine

I have seen the

first

as

much

as theirs.

monks and

out crossing seas or centuries.

iij

anchorets, with-

More than once


HISTORY.

32

some

incli\aclual

ligence of labor tion,

of

has appeared to

me

Witt such neg-

and such commanding contempla-

a haughty beneficiary begging in the

name

God, as made good to the nineteenth century

Simeon the

Stylite, the Thebais,

and the

Ca-

first

puchins.

The

priestcraft of the

East and West, of the

Magian, Brahmin, Druid, and Inca, the individual's private

is

expounded in

The cramping on a young cliild,

life.

ence of a hard formalist

influ-

in re-

pressing his spirits and courage, paralyzing the understanding, and that without producing indigna^ tion,

but only fear and obedience, and even

sympathy with the tyranny, — plained to the child

is

a familiar

much

fact, ex-

when he becomes a man, only

by seeing that the oppressor

of his youth

is

himself

a child t}T?annized over by those names and words

and forms

of

whose influence he was merely the

or-

The fact teaches him how Belus was worshipped and how the Pyramids were built, better than the discovery by Champollion of the names of all the workmen and the cost of every He finds Assyria and the Mounds of Cholula tile.

gan to the youth.

at his door,

and himself has

laid the courses.

Again, in that protest which each considerate person makes against the superstition of his times,

he repeats step for step the part of old reformers,

and

in the search after truth finds, like them,

new


HISTORY. perils to virtue. is

He

33

what moral vigor

learns again

needed to supply the girdle of a superstition.

A great licentiousness treads ormation.

on the heels of a

How many times

ref-

in the history of the

world has the Luther of the day had to lament the decay of piety in his own household

!

" Doctor,'*

said his wife to Martin Luther, one day, it

"how

is

we prayed so often now we pray with the

that whilst subject to papacy

and with such

fervor, whilst

utmost coldness and very seldom ?

The advancing man

discovers

erty he has in literature, all history.

He

—

"

how deep a

prop-

in all fable as well as in

finds that the poet

was no odd

fel-

low who described strange and impossible situations, but that universal sion true for one

man

wrote by his pen a confes-

and true

for

all.

His own secret

biography he finds in lines wonderfidly

intelligi-

down before he was born. One after another he comes up in his private adventures with every fable of ^sop, of Homer, of Hafiz, of Ariosto, of Chaucer, of Scott, and verifies them with his own head and hands. The beautiful fables of the Greeks, being proper

ble to him, dotted

creations of the imagination

are universal verities.

and not of the fancy,

What

a range of meanings

and what perpetual pertinence has the metheus!

Beside

its

story of Pro-

primary value as the

first

chapter of the history of Europe, (the mythology


HISTORY.

84 tliinly veiling

authentic facts, the invention of the

mechanic arts and the migration of colonies,)

it

gives

the history of religion, with some closeness to the

Prometheus

faith of later ages.

He

old m}i;hology.

is

is

the Jesus of the

man;

the friend of

stands

between the unjust " justice " of the Eternal Pather

and the race

of mortals,

things on their account.

and readily

But where

it

suffers

all

departs from,

the Calvinistic Christianity and exhibits

him

as the

mind which readily appears wherever the doctrine of Theism is taught in a crude, objective form, and which seems defier of Jove,

it

represents a state of

the self-defence of

man

against this untruth,

namely

a discontent with the believed fact that a God ists,

is

and a

onerous.

ex-

feeling that the obligation of reverence It

would

steal if

Creator, and live apart from

it

could the

fire of

the

him and independent

The Prometheus Vinctus is the romance Not less true to all time are the skepticism.

of him. of

details of that stately apologue.

flocks of

Admetus, said the

poets.

Apollo kept the

When

come among men, they are not known. not

;

Socrates

and Shakspeare were

was suffocated by the gripe

not.

the gods

Jesus was

Antaeus

of Hercules, but every

time he touched his mother earth his strength was

renewed.

Man

is

the broken giant, and in all his

weakness both his body and his mind are orated by habits of conversation with nature.

invig-

The


HTSTORY. power of music, as

it

tlie

35

power of poetry, to unfix and

were clap wings to

the riddle of Orpheus.

solid nature, interprets

The

philosophical percep-

tion of identity through endless mutations of

What

makes him know the Proteus.

who laughed

or wept yesterday,

like a corpse,

and

this

what see I on any the

name

creature

of

is

And

side but the transmigrations of

my

any creature, of any

man

I

slept last night

morning stood and ran ?

I can spnbolize

Proteus?

who

form

am

else

agent or patient.

thought by using because every

fact,

Tantalus

Tantalus means

a name for you and me.

possibility of drinking the waters of

is

but

the im-

thought which

are always gleaming and waving within sight of

The transmigration

the soul.

1 would

it

;

but

of souls

men and women

Every animal

human. and the

were

is

no

fable.

are only half

of the barn-yard, the field

forest, of the earth

and of the waters that

are under the earth, has contrived to get a footing

and

to leave the print of its features

and form in

some one or other of these upright, heaven-facing speakers.

Ah

brother, stop the ebb of thy soul,

!

—

ebbing downward into the forms into whose habits thou hast now for proper to us

who was

many

said to

sit

to every passenger.

ehe swallowed

years

slid.

As near and

also that old fable of the Sphinx,

is

him

in the road-side If the

alive

man

and put riddles

could not answer,

If he could solve the


HISTORY.

86

was

riddle, the Spliinx

an endless

Wliat

slain.

winged

flight of

is

our

life

but

In

facts or events?

splendid variety these changes come, all putting

human

questions to the

Those men who

spirit.

cannot answer by a superior wisdom these facts or Facts encumber

questions of time, serve them.

them, tyrannize over them, and

men

routine, the

of se?ise, in

make

whom

a

the

men

of

literal obe-

dience to facts has extinguished every spark of that light is

by which man

is

truly

But

man.

if

the

man

true to his better instincts or sentiments, and re-

fuses the dominion of facts, as one that comes of a

higher race

;

remains fast hj the soul and sees the

principle, then the facts fall aptly

their places est of

them

;

they

know their

glorifies

and supple into

master, and the mean-

him.

See in Goethe's Helena the same desire that every word should be a thing.

would

These

say, these Cliirons, Griffins,

and Leda, are somewhat, and do exert a fluence on the mind. entities, as

Much

So

he

specific in-

far then are they eternal

real to-day as in the first

revolving them

figures,

Phorkyas, Helen

he writes out

Olympiad. freely

his

to his own imagination. poem be as vague and fantastic it much more attractive than the

humor, and gives them body

And

although that

as a dream, yet

is

more regular dramatic the reason that

it

pieces of the

same author, for

operates a wonderful relief to the


HISTORY.

mind from

37

the routine of customary images,

—

awakens the reader's invention and fancy by the wild freedom of the design, and by the unceasing succession of brisk shocks of surprise.

The

universal nature, too strong for the petty

nature of the bard,

through his hand

;

on his neck and writes

sits

so that

when he seems

to vent

a mere caprice and wild romance, the issue

Hence Plato

exact allegory.

is

an

said that " poets utter

great and wise things which they do not themselves

Age

All the fictions of the Middle

understand."

explain themselves as a masked or frolic expression

mind

of that which in grave earnest the

period toiled to achieve.

Magic and

all

of that

that

is as-

it is

a deep presentiment of the powers of

science.

The

shoes of swiftness, the sword of sharp-

ness, the

power of subduing the elements, of using

cribed to

the secret virtues of minerals, of understanding the voices of birds, are the obscure efforts of the in a right direction.

mind

The preternatural prowess

of

the hero, the gift of perpetual youth, and the like, are alike the endeavor of the

human

spirit " to

bend

the shows of things to the desires of the mind."

In Perceforest and Amadis de Gaul a garland

and a rose bloom on the head ful,

of her

who

is

faith-

and fade on the brow of the inconstant.

the story of the

reader

may

Boy and

In

the Mantle even a mature

be surprij^ed with a glow of virtuous


;

HISTORY.

38

pleasure at the triumj)]! of the gentle Genelas

indeed

all

fairies

do not like to be named

;

find true in Concord,

;

and

that their gifts

are capricious and not to be trusted seeks a treasure must not speak

;

— that the

the postulates of elfin annals,

that

;

and the

like,

who

—I

however they might be in

Cornwall or Bretagne. Is

it

otherwise in the newest romance

the Bride of is

a

mask

Lammermoor.

for a vulgar

Castle a fine

name

for

We

Ashton

temptation, Ravenswood

proud poverty, and the

Bunyan

eign mission of state only a

honest industry.

I read

?

Sir William

may

shoot a wild bull

all

that would toss the good and beautiful,

by fighting

down

the unjust and sensual.

Lucy Ashton

other

name

is

and always

for fidelity, which

for-

disguise for

an-

is

always beautiful

liable to calamity in this world.

But along with the

civil

and metaphysical

his-

tory of man, another history goes daily forward, that of the external world, — strictly implicated.

he

is

He

is

in

the

which he

compend

also the correlative of nature.

is

not less

of time

His power

consists in the multitude of his affinities, in the fact that his life is intertwined with the

whole

chain of organic and inorganic being.

Rome

the public roads beginning at the

In old

Forum proceeded

north, south, east, west, to the centre of every prov-


-

HISTORY. ince of the empire,

39

making each market -town

and Britain pervious

Persia, Spain of the capital

so out of the

:

of

to the soldiers

human

heart go as

it

were highways to the heart of every object in nature, to reduce it

man

is

under the dominion of man.

a bundle of relations, a knot of roots, whose

and fruitage

flower

fer to natures out of

water

him and

faculties re-

predict the world he

foreshow that

wings of an eagle in the Qgg He cannot live without a world.

exists, or the

presuppose

air.

Put Napoleon find

His

the world.

is

inhabit, as the fins of the fish

is to

A

no men

in

an island prison,

to act on,

no Alps

let his faculties

to climb,

and he would beat the

to play for,

air,

no stake

and appear

Transport him to large coimtries, dense

stupid.

population, complex interests and antagonist power,

and you that

is

shall see that the

by such a

tual Napoleon.

man

profile

and

This

but Talbot's shadow

is

" His substance

For what you see

And

is

outline, is not the vir-

is

is

;

—

not here.

but the smallest part

least proportion of

humanity

But were the whole frame It

Napoleon, bounded

;

here,

of such a spacious, lofty pitch.

Your

roof were not sufficient to contain

it."

Henry VI.

Columbus needs a planet to shape his course Newton an I Laplace need myriads of age

upon.


HISTORY.

40

and thick-strewn

areas.

celestial

gravitating solar system

is

Not

the nature of Newton's mind.

brain of

Davy

exploring the

or of

One may

affinities

and repulsions of

human embryo predict

sound

?

Do

Does not the ?

the ear

harmonic

of

not the constructive fingers of Watt,

Fulton, Whittemore, Arkwright, predict ble,

particles,

the light

Handel predict the witchcraft

of

does the

less

Gay-Lussac, from childhood

anticipate the laws of organization.

eye of the

say a

already prophesied in

the

fusi-

hard, and temperable texture of metals, the

properties of stone, water, and lovely attributes of the

wood?

Do

not the

maiden child predict the

re-

finements and decorations of civil society?

Here we are reminded of the action of man on man. mind might ponder its thoughts for ages and

also

A

not gain so

much

love shall teach

it

self-knowledge as the passion of in a day.

Who

knows himself

before he has been thrilled with indignation at an outrage, or has heard an eloquent tongue, or has

shared the throb of thousands in a national exulta-

No man

tion or alarm ?

ence, or guess shall unlock,

what faculty or feeling a new object

any more than he can draw to-day the

face of a person

the

first

can antedate his experi-

whom

he shall see to-morrow for

time.

I will not

now go behind

the general statement to

explore the reason of this correspondency.

Let

it


HISTORY.

41 two

suffice that in the light of these

that the

miad

is

ative, history is to

Thus

in all

namely,

facts,

One, and that nature

correl-

is its

be read and written.

ways does the soul concentrate and for each

He

reproduce

its

shall pass

through the whole cycle of experience.

He

treasures

shall collect into a focus

pupil.

too

the rays of nature.

History no longer shall be a dull book.

It shall

You me by languages and titles a catalogue You shall make me of the volumes you have read. feel what periods you have lived. A man shall be

walk incarnate in every shall not

the

just

and wise man.

tell

Temple

of

Fame.

He

shall walk, as the poets

have described that goddess, in a robe painted

all

—

his

over with wonderful events and experiences

own form and shall

features

by

be that variegated

the Foreworld

;

;

their exalted intelligence

vest.

I shall find in liim

in his childhood the

Age

of Gold,

the Apples of Knowledge, the Argonautic Expedition, the calling of

Abraham, the building

of the

Temple, the Advent of Christ, Dark Ages, the Revival of Letters, the Reformation, the discovery of

new

lands, the opening of

regions in man.

He

new

sciences

and new

shall be the priest of

Pan,

and bring with him into humble cottages the blessing of the morning stars, and efits of

all

the recorded ben-

heaven and earth.

Is there

somewhat overweening

in this claim?


HISTORY.

42

Then

I reject all I have written, for what

use of pretending to

But

is

it

the fault of

the

is

know what we know not? our rhetoric that we cannot

strongly state one fact without seeming to belie

some

I hold our actual knowledge very

other.

Hear the

cheap.

rats in the wall, see the lizard

on

the fence, the fungus under foot, the lichen on the

What

log.

do I know sympathetically, morally, of

As

either of these worlds of life ?

man, — perhaps

casian

older,

old as the Cau-

— these

creatures

have kept their counsel beside him, and there

is

no

record of any word or sign that has passed from

one to the other.

What

show between the

fifty or sixty

and the

historical eras?

connection do the books

yet record of the metaphysical

What ity ?

annals of

shed on those mysteries whiclt

the

names Death and Immortal-

Yet every history should be written

dom which

divined the range of our

looked at facts as symbols.

what a shallow

How many

man?

it

light does

we hide under

chemical elements

Nay, what does history

in a wis*

affinities

I am ashamed

and

to see

village tale our so-called History is

we must say Rome, and Paris, and Constantinople! What does Rome know of rat

and

times

lizard ?

What

are Olympiads and Consu-

lates to these neighboring systems of

being ?

Nay,

what food or experience or succor have they the

Esquimaux

seal-hunter, for the

Kanaka

for

in his


HISTORY. canoe, for

tlie

43

fisherman, the stevedore, the

]3or-

ter?

Broader and deeper we must write our annals,

from an

ethical reformation,

from an

ever new, ever sanative conscience, trulier express our central

—

if

we would

and wide-related nature,

instead of this old chronology of selfishness

pride to which

we have

too long lent our eyes.

ready that day exists for

us, shines in

way

child

into nature.

The

idiot,

and Al-

on us at un-

awares, but the path of science and of letters the

is

not

the Indian, the

and unschooled farmer's boy stand nearer

the light

by which nature

dissector or the antiquary.

—

influx of the

is

to

to be read, than the


SELF-RELIANCE. '

'*

Man

is

his

Ne

own

te qusesiveris extra.'

star

;

and the

soul that

Render an honest and a perfect

can

man

Commands

all light, all influence, all fate

Nothing

him

Our Our

to

acts our angels are, or fatal

Epilogue

to

;

falls early or too late.

good or

shadows that walk by us Beaumont and

ill,

still."

Fletcher's Honest Man''s Fortune,


Cast the bantling on the rocks, Suckle him with the she-wolf's teat, "Wintered with the hawk and fox, Power and speed be hands and feet.


II.

SELF-KELIANCE.

I

READ

the other day some verses written

by an

eminent painter which were original and not conventional.

The

soul always hears an admonition

in such lines, let the subject be

sentiment cney

thought they

instil

may

is

of

contain.

To

Speak your

genius.

true for you in

latent conviction,

be the universal sense

;

— that

and

for the inmost in

becomes the outmost, and our

own

believe your is

true for all men,

is

The

may.

it

more value than any

thought, to believe that what

your private heart

what

first

is

it shall

due time

thought

is

ren-

dered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgment.

Familiar as the voice of the mind

the highest merit

Milton tions,

is

we

is

to each,

ascribe to Moses, Plato

and

that they set at naught books and tradi-

and spoke not what men, but what they

thought.

A man

should learn to detect and watch

that gleam of light which flashes across his

from within, more than the of bards

and

sages.

lustre of the

mind

firmament

Yet he dismisses without no-


;

SELF-RELIANCE.

48

because

tice his thought,

of genius

we

In every work

is his.

it

recognize our

own

rejected thoughts

they come back to us with a certain alienated maj-

Great works of art have no more affecting

esty.

lesson for us than

They teach

tliis.

by

us to abide

our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility

then most when the whole cry of voices

on the other

Else to-morrow a stranger will

side.

we

say with masterly good sense precisely what

have thought and

is

felt all the time,

forced to take with shame our

and we

own

shall

be

opinion from

another.

There

is

a time in every man's education when

he arrives at the conviction that envy that imitation

is

suicide

;

that he

is

self for better for

worse as his portion

the wide universe

is

ishing corn can

full of good,

come

to

to

new

in nature,

till.

;

that though

him but through

The power which

;

no kernel of nour-

bestowed on that plot of ground which

him

ignorance

must take him*

is

his toil

given to

resides in

him

and none but he knows what that

is is

which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried. fact,

none.

Not

for nothing one face, one character, one

makes much impression on him, and another This sculpture in the

out preestablished harmony.

where one ray should of that particular ray.

fall,

memory is not withThe eye was placed

that

We but

it

might

testify

half express our*


SELF-RELIANCE.

49

and are asliamed of that divine idea which

selves,

each of us represents.

It

may be

safely trusted as

proportionate and of good issues, so

imparted, but

God

will not

when he has his best

j)ut his

f aitlif idly

relieved

and gay

heart into his work and done

but what he has said or done otherwise

;

shall give

him no

does not deliver. serts

be

have his work made

A man is

manifest by cowards.

it

him

;

j)eace.

It is a deliverance

which

In the attempt his genius de-

no muse befriends

;

no invention, no

hope.

Trust thyself

every heart vibrates to that iron

:

Accept the place the divine providence has

string.

found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events.

done

so,

Great men have always

and confided themselves

childlike to the

genius of their age, betraying their perception that the absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart,

working through their hands, predominating in

And we

their being.

cept in the highest

are

mind

now men, and must

all

ac-

the same transcendent

destiny; and not minors and invalids in a protected corner, not cowards fleeing before a revolution, but guides, redeemers

mighty

effort

and benefactors, obeying the Al-

and advancing on Chaos and the

Dark.

What

pretty oracles nature yields us on this text

in the face vol.

II.

and behavior of children, babes, and 4


SELF-RELIANCE.

50 even brutes

That divided and rebel mind, that

!

distrust of a sentiment because our arithmetic ha-s

computed the strength and means opposed

Their mind being whole,

purpose, these have not.

their eye is as yet unconquered,

we are

in their faces

forms to nobody

conform

babe commonly makes four or

who

and play

prattle

and when we look Infancy con-

disconcerted.

all

;

to

to

it

So God has armed

it.

own piquancy and charm, and made stand by

its

Do

less

with

its

enviable and if it will

not think the youth has no

he cannot sj)eak to you and me.

Hark

!

clear

and emphatic.

room

in the next

It

his voice

know how

to

is

sufficiently

seems he knows how to

speak to his contemporaries. he will

it

claims not to be put by,

itself.

force, because

so that one

;

five out of the adults

youth and puberty and manhood no

gracious and

to our

make

Bashful or bold then, us seniors very unnec-

essary.

The nonchalance ner,

who are sure of a dinmuch as a lord to do or

of boys

and would disdain

as

say aught to conciliate one, of

human

nature.

pit is in the

is

the healthy attitude

A boy is in the parlor what the

playhouse

;

independent, irresponsible,

looking out from his corner on such people and facts as pass by,

he

tries

and sentences them on

their merits, in the swift, siunmary

good, bad, interesting,

silly,

way

of boys, as

eloquent, troublesome.


SELF-RELIANCE.

He

51

cumbers himself never about

about interests

;

consequences,

he gives an independent, genuine

you.

You must But the man

by his

consciousness.

or spoken with

him

court

verdict.

is

as

it

As

jail

soon as he has once acted

he

eclat

he does not court

;

were clapped into

is

a committed person,

watched by the sympathy or the hatred of hundreds, whose affections must count.

There

now

no Lethe for

is

enter into his ac-

Ah, that he

this.

could pass again into his neutrality

thus avoid

all

!

Who

can

pledges and, having observed, ob-

serve aeain from the same unaffected, unbiased, unbribable, unaffrighted innocence,

He would

formidable.

ing

affairs,

— must always be

utter opinions on all pass-

which being seen

to be not private but

necessary, would sink like darts into the ear of

and put them

men

in fear.

These are the voices which we hear in

solitude,

but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. against the

Society

is

Society everywhere

manhood

is

in conspiracy

of every one of its

members.

a joint-stock company, in which the

mem-

bers agree, for the better securing of his bread to

each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and ture of the eater.

conformity.

The

cul-

virtue in most request

Self-reliance

is its

aversion.

is

It loves

Uot realities and creators, but names and customs.

Whoso would

be a mail, must be a nonconform'


SELF-BELIANCE.

62

He who would

ist.

gather immortal palms must

not be hindered by the explore

if it

name

be goodness.

but the integrity of your to yourself,

and you

must

of goodness, but

Nothing

at last sacred

is

own mind.

Absolve you

have the suffrage of the

shall

remember an answer which when quite was prompted to make to a valued adviser

world.

I

young I

who was wont

me with the dear old On my saying, " What

importune

to

doctrines of the church.

have I to do with the sacredness of traditions, " But these impulses

may

be from below, not from

I replied, "

above."

be such

;

but

if

They do not seem

am

I

but that of

my

No

is

Good and bad

nature.

what

only wrong what

is

is

my

after

against

are but

to that or this

constitution

A

it.

man

is

himself in the presence of all opposition as

to think

and names,

how

easily

we

to large societies

is

the

;

the

if

every I

institutions.

right.

affects

I ought to go

upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in ways.

If malice

and vanity wear the coat of

lanthropy, shall that pass

?

am

capitulate to badges

and dead

Every decent and well-spoken individual and sways me more than

;

to carry

thing were titular and ephemeral but he.

ashamed

to

law can be sacred to

names very readily transferable only right

me

to

the Devil's child, I will live

then from the Devil."

me

I

my friend suggested, —

wholly from within ?

live

if

"

If

all

phi-

an angry bigot

as*


;;

SELF-RELIANCE. smnes to

63

and comes

this bountiful cause of Abolition,

me

why

witb his last news from Barbadoes,

should I not say to him,

thy wood-chopper

have that grace

'

Go

love thy infant ; love

be good - natured and modest

;

and never varnish your hard, un-

;

charitable ambition with this incredible tenderness for black folk a thousand miles

Rough and

home.'

is spite at

such greeting, but truth

it,

—

graceless

love afar

would be

handsomer than the

a:^-

Your goodness must have some none. The doctrine of ha-

fectation of love.

edge to

is

Thy

off.

else

it is

tred must be preached, as the counteraction of the

when

doctrine of love,

that pules

and whines.

I

shun father and mother and wife and brother when

my

I would write on the lintels

genius calls me.

Whim.

of the door-post.

better than

whim

at last,

seek or

why

it

Expect me not

day in explanation.

why I

I hope

is

somewhat

but we cannot spend the

I exclude

to

show cause

company. Then again,

ligation to put all

man did to-day, of my obpoor men in good situations.

Are they my poor ?

I tell thee thou foolish philan-

do not

tell

me, as a good

thropist that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the

cent I give to such

and

to

"persons

men

whom I do not to whom by

bought and sold need be

;

;

for

belong. all

me

as do not belong to

There

spiritual

them I

will

is

a class of

affinity

I

am

go to prison

if

but your miscellaneous popular charities


SELF-RELTANCE.

54

the education at college of fools

the bdilding ol

;

meeting-houses to the vain end to which stand

Societies

;

— though

I confess with shame I some-

times succumb and give the dollar, dollar,

many now

and the thousand-fold Relief

alnis to sots,

;

which by and by I

shall

a wicked

it is

have the manhood

to withhold.

Virtues are, in the popular estimate, rather the

There

exception than the rule.

Men

virtues.

some piece

do what

of

would pay a

is

is

the

much

as

they

of daily non-appear-

Their works are done as an apol-

ance on parade.

ogy or extenuation of their living in the world, as invalids

My I

life

much

lower strain, so it

I do not wish

penances.

live.

spectacle.

—

and the insane pay a high board. Their

virtues are

but to

his

good action, as

called a

courage or charity,

fine in expiation

man and

it

prefer that

it

to

expiate,

and not for a

for itself

is

should be of a

be genuine and equal, than that

should be glittering and unsteady.

I wish

it

t")

be sound and sweet, and not to need diet and bleeding.

I ask primary e\ddence that

and refuse I

know

this appeal

you are a man,

from the man

that for myself

it

to his actions.

makes no

difference

whether I do or forbear those actions which are reckoned excellent.

I cannot consent to

privilege where I have intrinsic right.

mean

as

my

gifts

may

be, I actually

pay for a

Few and am, and do


SELF-RELIANCE.

55

mj own assurance or the assurance my fellows any secondary testimony. What I must do is all that concerns me, not

not need for of

what the people think. in actual

and

This rule, equally arduous

in intellectual

life,

may

serve for the

whole distinction between greatness and meanness. harder because you will always find those

It is the

who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion

own

ter our

;

;

it is

easy in solitude to live

but the great

man

is

af-

he who in the

midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

The

objection to conforming to usages thc,t have

become dead It loses

you

to

is

that

it

your

scatters

force.

your time and blurs the impression of your If

character.

you maintain a dead church, contrib-

ute to a dead Bible-society, vote with a great party either for the

table

like

government or against

base housekeepers,

it,

spread your

— under

these

all

screens I have difficulty to detect the precise

you are

:

and of course

from your proper shall

know

inforce

Do

you.

yourself.

blindman's-buff

know your

life.

so

much

force

is

man

withdrawn

But do your work, and I

your work, and you shall

A man

is this

game

sect I anticipate

re-

must consider what a of conformity.

your argument.

If I

I hear

a preacher announce for his text and topic the

eX'


SELF-RELIANCE.

66

pediency of one of the institutions of his churcK

Do

know beforehand that not possibly can he new and spontaneous word ? Do I not know

I not

say a

that with all

ostentation

this

of

examininsf the

grounds of the institution he will do no such thing

Do

I not

know

that he

is

?

pledged to himself not to

look but at one side, the permitted side, not as a

man, but as a parish minister

and these

attorney,

est affectation.

airs of the

Well, most

He

?

is

a retained

bench are the empti-

men have bound

their

eyes with one or another handkerchief, and attached

themselves to some one of these communities of

This conformity makes them not false in

opinion.

a few particulars, authors of a few all particulars.

Their every truth

Their two

is

real four

so that every

;

lies, is

but false in

not quite true.

not the real two, their four not the

and we know not where

Meantime nature

is

word they say chagrins us to begin to set

right.

not slow to equip us in the

prison-uniform of the party to which

We come to wear

them

we

adhere.

one cut of face and figure, and

acquire by degrees the gentlest asinine expression.

There

is

a mortifying experience in particular,

which does not

fail to

eral history

mean "

;

I

wreak

the forced smile which

we do

itself also in

the gen-

the foolish face of praise,"

we put on

in

company where

not feel at ease, in answer to conversation

which does not interest

us.

The

muscles, not spon-


SELF-RELIANCE. taneously fulness,

57

moved but moved by a low usurping

grow

tight about the

outline of

wil-

the face,

with the most disagreeable sensation.

For nonconformity the world whips you with

And

displeasure.

The

to estimate a sour face.

its

man must know how

therefore a

by-standers look ask=

ance on him in the public street or in the friend's parlor.

and

If this aversation

had

with a sad countenance

cause, but are put on

and

a newspaper directs.

origin in contempt

home

well go

but the sour faces of the

;

faces,

have no deep

off as the

wind blows and

their sweet

multitude, like

its

own he might

resistance like his

Yet

is

the discontent of the

multitude more formidable than that of the senate

and the

It is easy

college.

who knows

enough for a J&rm man

the world to brook the rage of the culti-

vated classes.

Their rage

is

decorous and prudent,

for they are timid, as being very vulnerable themselves.

But when

to their feminine rage the indig-

nation of the people

is

added,

when

the ignorant

and the poor are aroused, when the unintelligent brute force that

made

to

lies

at the

growl and mow,

it

bottom of society

nanimity and religion to treat of

is

needs the habit of mag^ it

godlike as a

trifle

no concernment.

The other

terror that scares us

our consistency

;

from

a reverence for our

word because the eyes

of others have

self-trust is j)ast

act or

no other data


SELF-RELIANCE.

68

computing our orbit than our past

for

acts,

and we

are loath to disappoint them.

But why should you keep your head over your shoulder

memory,

Why

?

lest

drag about this corpse of your

you contradict somewhat you have

stated in this or that public place

should contradict yourseK

wisdom never

to be a rule of

?

Suppose you

what then ?

;

to rely

It seems

on your mem-

ory alone, scarcely even in acts of pure memory, but to bring the past for judgment into the thousand-eyed present, and live ever in a

new

In

day.

your metaphysics you have denied personality to

when the devout motions of the soul to them heart and life, though they

the Deity, yet

come, yield

should clothe

God

with shape and color.

Leave

your theory, as Joseph his coat in the hand of the harlot,

A

and

flee.

foolish consistency

minds, adored by

and

divines.

little

With his

the hobgoblin of

little

consistency a great soul has

simply nothing to do.

Mmself with

is

statesmen and philosophers

He may

shadow on the

as well concern

wall.

Speak what

you think now in hard words and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it

so

— Ah, misunderstood.' —

contradict every thing you said to-day.

you

shall

be sure to be

so bad then to

be misunderstood?

'

Is it

Pythagoras

was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and


SELF-RELIANCE.

59

Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton,

and every pure and wise

To be

great

is

took

flesh.

can violate his nature.

All

spirit that ever

to be misunderstood.

I suppose no

man

by the law of Andes and Him-

the sallies of his will are rounded in his being, as the inequalities of

nialeh are insignificant in the curve of the sphere.

Nor does

it

matter

character

is

like

— read

it

<

spells the

my

A

try him.

forward, backward, or across,

same

wood-life which

by day

how you gauge and

an acrostic or Alexandrian stanza; In

thing.

God

it

still

this pleasing contrite

allows me, let

me

record day

honest thought without prospect or re-

trospect, and, I cannot doubt,

metrical, though I

mean

it

it

will

be found sym-

not and see

it

not.

My

book should smell of pines and resound with the

hmn

of

insects.

The swallow over

my window

should interweave that thread or straw he carries in his bill into are.

my web

also.

We pass for what

Character teaches above our

wills.

Men

we im-

agine that they communicate their virtue or vice

only by overt actions, and do not see that virtue or vice emit a breath every

There

will

moment.

be an agreement in whatever variety

of actions, so they be each honest their hour.

For

and natural

of one will, the actions will be

harmonious, however unlike they seem. rieties

in

are lost sight of at a

little

These va-

distance, at a little


SELF-RELIANCE.

60

One tendency

height of thought.

The voyage

of the best ship

See the line from a

hundred tacks.

and

tance,

sufficient dis-

action will explain itself and

Your con

your other genuine actions.

^ill explain

all.

straightens itself to the average ten-

it

Your genuine

dency.

them

unites

a zigzag line of a

is

Act

xormity explains nothing.

you have already done singly

singly,

to

you now.

If I can be firm

Greatness appeals to the future.

enough to-day

and what

will justify

do right and scorn eyes, I must

me

have done so much right before as to defend

Be

now.

how

it

it

do right now.

will,

scorn appearances and you always may. of character

All the foregone days

cumulative.

is

work

of virtue

Always The force

What makes

their health into this.

the majesty of the heroes of the senate field,

which so

fills

the

imagination

sciousness of a train of great days

They shed an united

behind.

ing actor.

ham's

He

That

angels.

voice,

and America cient virtue.

ot of to-day.

cause is

it

is

con-

victories

on the advanc-

which throws thunder into Chat-

and dignity into

The

?

and

attended as by a visible escort of

is it

to us because

13

is

light

and the

into Washington's port,

Adams's

it is

Honor is venerable

eye.

no ephemera.

We worship We love

it

it

It is always an-

to-day because

and pay

it

it

homage

is

be-

not a trap for our love and homage, but

seK-dependent, self-derived, and therefore of an


SELF-RELIANCE. old immaculate pedigree, even

if

61

shown

young

in a

person. I

these days

lioj)e in

we have heard

conformity and consistency. zetted

and ridiculous henceforward.

gong for dinner, Spartan more.

Instead of the

us hear a whistle from the

Let us never bow and apologize

fife.

A

let

the last of

Let the words be ga^

great

man

is

coming

I do not wish to please him

wish to please me.

;

to eat at

my

house.

I wish that he should

I will stand here for humanity,

and though I would make

it

kind, I would

make

it

Let us affront and reprimand the smooth

true.

mediocrity and squalid contentment of the times,

and hurl

in the face of custom

the fact which there

is

is

and trade and

office,

the upshot of all history, that

a great responsible Thinker and Actor

working wherever a man works

;

that a true

belongs to no other time or place, but

is

man

the centre

Where he is, there is nature. He measyou and all men and all events. Ordinarily,

of things.

ures

every body in society reminds us of somewhat or of some other person.

minds you

of nothing else

whole creation.

must make true

man

is

all

else,

Character, reality, re;

it

takes place of the

The man must be

so

much

circumstances indifferent.

that he

Every

a cause, a country, and an age ; requires

infinite spaces

and numbers and time fully

complish his design

;

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and

to ac-

posterity seem to fol-


;

SELF-RELIANCE.

62

low his steps as a train of is

A man

clients.

Csesat

we have a Eoman Em^ and millions of minds so grow

born, and for ages after

Christ

pire.

and cleave

born,

is

confounded with

to his genius that he is

An

and the possible of man.

virtue

man

the lengthened shadow of one

as,

;

institution is

Monachism,

Hermit Antony the Reformation,

of the

;

Quakerism, of Fox

Clarkson.

of

lition,

Rome

height of

;

"

Luther

of

Methodism, of Wesley

;

Scipio,

and

all

;

Abo-

Milton called "the

history resolves itself

very easily into the biography of a few stout and earnest persons.

Let a

man

under his

then

feet.

know

up and down with the tard, or

the

man

when he looks on

'

no worth

marble god,

To him a

these.

poor

feels

palace, a statue,

book have an alien and forbidding

like a

Who

exists for

in the street, finding

which corresponds to the force which

in liimself

or a costly

or skulk

steal,

air of a charity-boy, a bas-

built a tower or sculptured a

much

and keep things

an interloper in the world which

But

him.

his worth,

Let him not peep or

gay equipage, and seem to say

are you, Sir ?

Yet they

'

all

air,

like that,

are his, suitors

for his notice, petitioners to his faculties that they will

come out and take

waits

for

my

but I

am

to

verdict; settle

its

popular fable of the

possession. it is

not to

claims sot

to

The

picture

command me, j^i'^ise.

That

who was picked up


SELF-RELIANCE. dead-drunk in the

63 to tlie duke's

carried

street,

house, washed and dressed and laid in the duke's bed, and, on his waking, treated with all obsequious

ceremony

and assured that he had

like the duke,

been insane, owes

its

popularity to the fact that

symbolizes so well the state of man,

world a sort of

sot,

ercises his reason

Our reading

is

but

and

who

in the

now and then wakes

up, ex-

finds himself a true prince.

mendicant and sycophantic.

lordship,

power and

house and life

common

work

day's

are the same to both

the same.

Why all this

a gaudier vo-

estate, are

Edward

cabulary than private John and

the

;

In

Kingdom

history our imagination plays us false.

and

in a small

but the things of

;

sum

total of

both

;

is

deference to Alfred and

Scanderbeg and Gustavus ? Suppose they were tuous

it

is

did they wear out virtue

As

?

vir-

great a stake

depends on your private act to-day as followed their public and renowned steps.

When

private

men

shall act with original views, the lustre will be trans-

ferred from the actions of kings to those of gen-

tlemen.

The world has been

instructed

by

its

kings,

have so magnetized the eyes of nations.

who

It has

been taught by this colossal symbol the mutual reverence that

is

ful loyalty with %i3red

due from

man

to

man.

The

joy-

which men have everywhere sut

the king, the noble, or the great proprietor to


SELF-RELIANCE.

64

walk among tliem by a law of

own

men and

scale of

pay for

roglyphic

own, make his

things and reverse

benefits not with

and represent the law

his

tlieirs,

money but with honor,

in his person,

was the

hie-

by which they obscurely signified their own right and comeliness^

consciousness of their

the right of every man.

is

The magnetism which all original action exerts when we inquire the reason of self-

explained

Who

trust.

nal

is

What

the Trustee ?

is

the aborigi-

on which a universal reliance

Self,

What

grounded ?

is

may

be

the nature and power of that

science-baffling star, without parallax, without cal-

culable

elements, which shoots

even into

mark

and impure

trivial

a ray of beauty

actions, if the least

of independence appear ?

The inquiry

leads

us to that source, at once the essence of genius, of virtue, stinct.

and

of

We

life,

which we

call

Spontaneity or In-

denote this primary wisdom as Intui-

tion, whilst all

later

teachings

In

are tuitions.

that deep force, the last fact behind which analysis

cannot go,

all

things find their

common origin. For we

the sense of being which in calm hours rises,

know not how, from

in the soul,

space, from- light,

is

not diverse from things,

from time, from man, but

one with them and proceeds obviously from the

same source whence ceed.

We

first

their life

share the

life

and being

also pro-

by which things

exist


SELF-RELIANCE. and afterwards

see

them

65

as appearances in nature

and forget that we have shared

their cause.

Here

the fountain of action and of thought.

Here

are the lungs of that inspiration which giveth

man

is

wisdom and which cannot be denied without im-

and organs tice,

We lie in

and atheism.

piety

intelligence,

discern truth,

absence

its

is all

its

we seek

this comes, if

that causes, all philosophy

immense its

is

beams.

of our-

If

we ask

pry into the soul

to

Its presence

at fault.

Every man

we can affirm.

criminates between the voluntary acts of his

and

truth

discern jus-

we do nothing

but allow a passage to

whence or

When we

of its activity.

when we

selves,

the lap of

which makes us receivers of

dis-

mind

and knows that

his involuntary perceptions,

to his involuntary perceptions a perfect faith is due.

He may

err in the expression of them, but he

that these things are

My

be disputed. are but roving native emotion,

;

so, like

and

wilful actions

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the

knows

day and night, not to acquisitions

idlest reverie, the faintest

command my

curiosity

and

respect.

Thoughtless people contradict as readily the

state-

ment

much

of perceptions as of opinions, or rather

more readily

;

for they do not distinguish between

perception and notion.

They fancy

see this or that thing.

But perception

sical,

but

see

after me,

it

VOL.

11.

fatal.

If I see a trait,

and h

ic course of

that I choose to

my

time

is

not whim-

children will all

mankind,


SELF-RELIANCE.

66

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; although

it

may

chance that no one has seen

my

For

before me.

perception of

is

it

as

it

much

a fact as the sun.

The

relations of the soul to the cli\dne

so pure that It

it is

are

sj^irit

profane to seek to interpose helps.

must be that when God speaketh he should com-

municate, not one thing, but the world with his voice

things

all

;

should

fill

;

should scatter forth light,

nature, time, souls, from the centre of the present

and new Whenever a mind

thought

new

date and

;

is

wisdom, old things pass away, texts,

temples

and future

made

fall

;

it

lives

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; means, teachers,

now, and absorbs past All things are

into the present hour.

sacred by relation to

other.

create the whole.

simple and receives a divine

it,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; one as much as an-

All things are dissolved to their centre by

their cause,

and

in the universal miracle petty

and

If therefore a

man

particular miracles disapj)ear.

claims to

backward

know and speak

of

God and

to the phraseology of

carries

you

some old mould-

ered nation in another country, in another world, believe

him

not.

Is the acorn better than the

w^hich is its fulness

and completion

ent better than the child into

ripened being past

?

The

?

Whence

whom

?

oak

Is the par-

he has cast his

then this worship of the

centuries are conspirators against the

sanity and authority of the soul.

Time and space

are but physiological colors which the eye makes.


SELF-RELIANCE. but the soul was,

is

an injury

light

is

night if

where

:

and history

;

right

;

is

my

'

my

w^indow

are

they exist with

every

moment

has burst,

is

no

less.

nature in

God

;

life

no more

;

all

moments ;

'

up-=

but

I am,'

These

rose.

reference to for-

they are for what they

There

to-day.

acts

;

it is

;

is

no time

perfect in

Before a leaf-bud the full-blown

in

in the leafless root there

and

Its nature is satisfied

or remembers

no longer

ashamed before

simply the rose

whole

is

is

is

of its existence.

its

flower there

is

he

make no

roses or to better ones

There

;

think,'

blowing

grass or the

of

mer ;

I

He

quotes some saint or sage.

to them.

it

being and becoming,

he dares not say

roses under

where

;

an impertinence and

timid and apologetic

the blade

clay

it is, is

is

be any thing more than a cheerful

it

apologue or parable of

Man

67

alike.

he does not

it

satisfies

But man postpones

live in the present,

with reverted eye laments the past,

or,

but

heedless of

the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. til

He

cannot be happy and strong un-

he too lives with nature in the present, above time.

Yet

This should be plain enough. strong intellects dare not yet hear less

God

see

what

himself un-

he speak the phraseology of I know not what

David, or Jeremiah, or Paid.

ways lives.

set so great a price

We are

like

We

on a few

children

who

shall

texts,

not

al-

on a few

repeat by rote


SELF-RELIANCE.

68

the sentences of grandames and tutors, and, as tliey

grow

men

older, of the

they chance to

of

and character

talents

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; painfully

see,

recollecting the ex-

when they come into the point of view which those had who uttered these sayings, they understand them and are willing act words they spoke

to let the

words go

;

;

afterwards,

for at an}^ time they can use

words as good when occasion comes. truly,

we

strong

weak.

shall

man

to

see

be strong, as

When we

is

it is

ures as old rubbish.

weak

for the

memory

live

to

be

When

a

of its hoarded treas-

man

be as sweet as the

shall

we

If

easy for the

as

have new perception, we shall

gladly disburden the

his voice

It

truly.

lives

with God,

murmur

of

the

brook and the rustle of the corn.

And now

at last the highest truth

remains unsaid that

we say

is

,-

on

this subject

probably cannot be said

for

;

aU

the far-off remembering of the intui-

That thought by what I can now nearest ap-

tion.

proach to say

it, is

this.

When

good

when you have life in yourself, known or accustomed way; you the footprints of any other face of

man you ;

;

you

shall not hear

is

near you,

is

not by any

shall

not discern

it

shall not see the

any name

;

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the

way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange

and new.

You

It

take the

shaU exclude example and experience.

way from man, not

sons that ever existed are

its

to

man.

All per-

forgotten ministers.


SELF-RELIANCE.

69

Fear and hope are alike beneath

somewhat low even there

is

There

it.

is

In the hour of vision

in hope.

nothing that can be called gratitude, nor

The

properly joy.

holds identity and self-existence of

soul

over passion be-

raised

eternal causation, perceives the

Truth and Right, and calms

with knowing that

all

things go well.

itself

Vast spaces

of nature, the Atlantic Ocean, the South Sea intervals of time, years, centuries, are of

;

long

no account.

This which I think and feel underlay every former state of life

and circumstances,

my

and what

present,

is

as

called

it

does underlie

and what

life

is

called death.

Power

Life only avails, not the having lived. ceases in the instant of repose

ment

of transition

;

resides in the

it

from a past

new

to a

mo-

state, in

the shooting of the gulf, in the darting to an aim.

This one fact the world hates

that

the soul he-

comes ; for that forever degrades the

past, turns all

riches to poverty, all

;

reputation to a shame, con-

founds the saint with the rogue, shoves Jesus and

Why then

Judas equally

aside.

self-reliance ?

Inasmuch

as

do we prate of

the

soul

is

present

there will be power not confident but agent. talk of reliance

Speak rather and

is.

is

a poor external

of that

Who

which

way

relies

To

of speaking.

because

it

works

has more obedience than I masters

me, though he should not raise his

finger.

Kound


SELF-RELIANCE.

70

him

I

We

fancy

must revolve by rhetoric

it

We do not yet

virtue.

graidtation

tlie

when we speak see that virtue

and that a man or a company permeable

men,

who

poets,

This

is

reach on all into

all

cities,

Height,

men, plastic and of nature

must

nations, kings, rich

we

the ultimate fact which

on every

the ever-blessed

One.

SeK-existence

by the degree All

ters into all lower forms.

so quicldy

topic, the resolution of

Supreme Cause, and

the measure of good

much

is

spirits.

eminent

are not.

this, as

attribute of the

so

of

by the law

to principles,

overpower and ride

of of

it

in

is

constitutes

which

it

tilings real are so

virtue as they contain.

the

en-

by

Commerce, hus-

bandry, hunting, whaling, war, eloquence, personal weight, are somewhat, and engage

examples of

its

my

respect as

presence and impure action.

I see

the same law working in nature for conservation

Power

and growth. measure of

main

right.

is,

in

nature, the

essential

Nature suffers nothing to

kingdoms which cannot help

in her

The

genesis

and

orbit, the

and maturation bended

re-

itself.

its

poise

tree recovering itself

from

of a planet,

the strong wind, the vital resources of every animal

and vegetable, are demonstrations of the ficing

and therefore

Thus at

all

concentrates

home with

self-suf-=

self-relying soul.

the cause.

:

let

us not rove

;

let

us

sit

Let us stun and astonish


SELF-RELIANCE. fcLe

men and books and

intruding rabble of

by a simple declaration

tions

71

of the divine fact.

Bid tbe invaders take tke shoes from for

God

is

institu-

off their feet,

Let our simplicity judge

here within.

them, and our docility to our

own law demonstrate

the poverty of nature and fortune beside our native riches.

But now we are a mob. awe

of

man, nor

is

Man

does not stand in

admonished

his genius

to stay

at home, to put itself in communication with the in-

ternal ocean, but

it

goes abroad to beg a cup of wa-

ter of the urns of other

We

men.

must go

alone.

I like the silent church before the service begins,

How

better than any preaching.

how

far

off,

how

cool,

chaste the persons look, begirt each one with a

precinct or sanctuary

should

we assume

!

So

us always

let

or father, or child, because

they

hearth, or are said to have the

men have my

Why

sit.

the faults of our friend, or wife,

blood and I have

sit

around our

same blood all

men's.

?

All

Not

for

that will I adopt their petulance or folly, even to

the extent of being tion

must be to

ashamed of

it.

But your

isola-

must not be mechanical, but spiritual, that elevation.

At

isÂť

times the whole world seems

be in conspiracy to importune you with emphatic Friend, client, child, sickness, fear, want,

trifles.

charity, all say,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

'

knock

Come

at once at thy closet door

out unto

us.'

and

But keep thy state;


SELF-RELIANCE.

72

The power men possess to annoy me I give them by a weak curiosNo man can come near me but through my ity. come not

What we

"

act.

into their confusion.

love that

we

we bereave ourselves of the If we cannot at once rise dience and tions

;

let

faith, let

by

have, but

love." to the sanctities of obe-

us at least resist our tempta-

war and wake

us enter into the state of

Thor and Woden, courage and constancy, Saxon

This

breasts.

is

and lying

affection.

in our

done in our smooth

to be

Check

times by speaking the truth. pitality

desire

this lying hos-

Live no longer to the

expectation of these deceived and deceiving people

with

whom we

mother,

converse.

O

wife,

lived with

you

forward I

am

O

to them,

Say

brother,

O

'

O

friend,

after appearances hitherto.

the truth's.

Be

it

father,

I

have

Hence-

known unto you

that henceforward I obey no law less than the eter-

nal law.

I will have no covenants but proximities.

1 shall endeavor to nourish

my

my

parents, to support

family, to be the chaste husband of one wife,

but these relations I must precedented way.

must be myself. for you, or you.

am, we

shall

fill

my

new and

un= I

I cannot break myself any longer If

you can love If

be the happier.

will still seek to deserve that

not hide

after a

I appeal from your customs.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

me

for

you should.

tastes or aversions.

what I

you cannot, I I

wiU

I will so trust


SELF-RELIANCE. what

that

deep

is

holy, that I will do strongly

is

moon whatever

before the sun and

me and

the heart appoints.

will love

you

you are

if

;

not selfishly

is

;

I will seek

and mine, and

interest,

lies,

by your nature

follow the truth

last.'

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; But

so

it

you

you are

sell

my

save their sensibility.

moments

I do thi^

own.

It is alike

men's, however

all

Does

will soon love

as well as mine,

what

and

liberty

and

my

power, to

Besides, all persons have

of reason,

when they look out ;

into

then will they justify

the same thing.

The populace think

that your rejection of popu-

lar standards is a rejection of all standard,

mere antiaomianism use the

if

give these friends pain.

the region of absolute truth

me and do

my

will bring us out safe at

may you

Yes, but I cannot

their

If

to live in truth.

You

sound harsh to-day ?

dictated

we

attentions.

but humbly and truly.

long we have dwelt in this

you are noble, I

If

but not in the same truth with me, cleave to

your companions your

inly rejoices

not, I will not hurt

and myself by hypocritical true,

73

name

;

and the bold

sensualist

of philosophy to gild his crimes.

and

wiU But

the law of consciousness abides.

There are two

confessionals, in one or the other of

which we must

be shriven.

You may

by clearing yourself way.

fulfil

your round of duties

in the direct^ or in the reflex

Consider whether you have

satisfied

your

re-


SELF-RELIANCE.

74

lations to father, motlier, cousin, neighbor, town,

cat

and dog

whether any of these can upbraid

;

But I may

you.

me

and absolve

also neglect this reflex standard

claims and perfect circle.

many

duty to

its

debts

with the popular code.

law

my own

It denies the

is lax, let

it

If

him keep

enables

me

stern

name But

offices that are called duties.

I can discharge

this

I have

to myself.

of if

to dispense

any one imagines that its

commandment one

day.

And

truly

it

demands something godlike

in

him

who has cast off the common motives of humanity and has ventured to trust himself for a taslanaster. High be his heart, faithful his will, clear his sight, that he

may

in

good earnest be doctrine,

law, to himself, that a simple purpose

him

may be

as strong as iron necessity is to others

If is

te

!

any man consider the present aspects of what

called

by

he wiU see the need The sinew and heart of man seem and we are become timorous, de-

distinction society^

of these ethics. to be

drawn

out,

sponding whimperers.

We

are

afraid of fortune, afraid of death

afraid of truth,

and afraid

of each

yields no great and perfect perwant men and women who shall renoand our social state, but we see that most

Our age

other. sons.

society,

We

vate life

natures are

insolvent,

cannot satisfy their

own

wants, have an ambition out of all proportion to


SELF-RELIANCE.

and do lean and beg day and

their practical force

Our housekeeping

niglit continually.

our

We

us.

We

where strength

prises they lose all heart.

men

say he

shun the rugged

in their first enter-

young merchant

If the finest genius

and

is

not installed in

within one year afterwards in the cities or

suburbs of Boston or friends

relig-

born.

If the

ruined.

is

studies at one of our colleges office

is

young men miscarry

If our

an

mendicant,

chosen, but society has chosen for

are parlor soldiers.

battle of fate,

fails,

is

our occupations, our marriages, our

arts,

we have not

ion

75

and

New

to liimself that

York, he

is

seems to his

it

right in being dis-

heartened and in complaining the rest of his

A

New Hampshire

sturdy lad from

who

in turn tries all the professions,

farms

it,

life.

or Vermont,

who teams

it,

i^^ddles, keeps a school, preaches, edits a

newspaper, goes to Congress, buys a township, and so forth, in successive years, falls

on his

He

dolls.

feet, is

and always

worth a hundred of these

walks abreast with his days and

shame in not

'

a cat

like

city

feels

no

studying a profession,' for he does

not postpone his

life,

open the resources of

He

but lives already.

one chance, but a hundred chances.

man and

tell

has not

Let a Stoic

men they are

not

leaning willows, but can and must detach themselves

;

that with the exercise of self

powers shall appear

;

that a

man

is

-

new made

trust,

the word


SELF-RELIANCE.

76

born to shed healmg to the nations

flesh,

;

that he

should be ashamed of our compassion, and that the

moment he

acts

from himseK, tossing the laws, the

books, idolatries and customs out of the window,

we

pity

him no more but thank and revere him

;â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

man

to

and that teacher splendor and

shall restore the life of

make Ms name dear

to all history.

must

It is easy to see that a greater self-reliance

work a revolution

men

in their religion

;

pursuits

;

their

modes

in their property 1.

in all the offices

relations of

in their education

;

of living

;

;

in their

their association

;

in their speculative views.

;

In what prayers do men allow themselves

That which they

call

brave and manly. for

and

a holy

office is

not so

much

!

as

Prayer looks abroad and asks

some foreign addition

to

come through some

foreign virtue, and loses itself in endless mazes of

natural and supernatural, and mediatorial and miraculous. ity, is

Prayer that craves a particular commod-

anything

less

than

all

good,

is vicious.

the contemplation of the facts of

highest point of view.

It supposes dualism

consciousness.

As

end

is

But prayer meanness and

and not unity

soon as the

God, he wiU not beg.

a be-

It is the spirit of

pronouncing his works good. to effect a private

from the

It is the soliloquy of

holding and jubilant soul.

means

life

Prayer

He

man

as

at

a

theft.

in nature is

God

and

one with

will then see prayer in


SELF-RELIANCE.

The prayer

all action.

weed

his field to

it,

77

of the farmer kneeling in

the prayer of the rower kneel-

ing with the stroke of his oar, are true prayers

heard throughout nature, though for cheap endsr

when admonished

Caratach, in Fletcher's Bonduca,

mind

to inquire the

" His hidden meaning

Our

Another Discontent

god Audate, replies,â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

of the

our endeavors

lies in

;

.

valors are our best gods."

sort of false prayers are our regrets.

the want of self-reliance

is

Regret calamities

ity of will.

help the sufferer

:

it is

infirm-

you can thereby

own work and Our symthem who weep

attend your

if not,

;

if

already the evil begins to be repaired.

pathy

We

just as base.

is

foolishly

and

sit

to

down and cry

stead of imparting to

rough

come

for

company,

in-

them truth and health

in

them once more

in

electric shocks, putting

communication with their own reason. of fortune to gods all

is

joy in our hands.

and men

is

the self-helping man.

doors are flung wide

honors crown, love goes out to

did not need

it.

all

The secret Welcome evermore

;

him

all

For him

tongues greet,

eyes follow with

desire.

all

Our

him and embraces him because he

We

solicitously

and apologetically

him because he held on his way and scorned our disapprobation. The gods " To the perse love him because men hated him. caress and celebrate


SELF-RELIANCE.

78

vering mortal," said Zoroaster, "the blessed Im-

mortals are swift."

As men's

prayers are a disease of

tlie will,

with those foolish Israelites,

'

so

They say

are their creeds a disease of the intellect.

Let not God speak

we die. Speak thou, speak any man and we will obey.' Everywhere I am hin-

to us, lest

with us,

dered of meeting shut his

God

in

my brother, because

own temple doors and

he has

recites fables

mere-

God.

ly of his brother's, or his brother's brother's

Every new mind

is

a

new

If

classification.

it

prove

a mind of uncommon actiAaty and power, a Locke,

a Lavoisier, a Hutton, a Bentham, a Fourier, poses

its classification

system.

and

on other men, and

In proportion

so to the

number

and brings within reach cency.

But

to the

of

lo

!

it

a

im-

new

depth of the thought,

the objects

of the pupil,

is

it

touches

his compla-

chiefly is this apparent in creeds

and

churches, which are also classifications of some powerful

mind acting on the elemental thought

and man's

relation to the Highest.

vinism, Quakerism,

of duty

Such

The

Swedenborgism.

Cal-

is

pupil

takes the same delight in subordinating every thing to

the

new terminology

learned botany in seeing sons thereby.

It

who has a new earth and new as a girl

wiU happen

sea^

for a time that the

pupil will find his intellectual power has the study of his master's mind.

just

But

in

grown by aU unbal-


SELF-RELIANCE. anced minds the

79

classification is idolized, passes for

the end and not for a speedily exhaustible means, so that the walls of the system blend to their eye

in the remote horizon with the walls of the uni-

verse

the luminaries of heaven seem to

;

on the arch their master ine

how you

you can

see

aliens ;

the light from us.'

They do not

light, unsystematic,

into theirs.

and

own.

and

vanish, ful,

will

new

into

and do and

young and

joy-

and the immortal

is

break

pinfold wiU be too

light, all

million-orbed, million-colored, will

It

stole

low, will crack, will lean, will rot

the universe as on the 2.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; how

Let them chirp awhile

If they are honest

well, presently their neat strait

see,

yet perceive that

indomitable,

any cabin, even call it their

They cannot imag-

have any right to

must be somehow that you

It

'

built.

them hung

for

first

want of

stition of Travelling,

land, Egypt, retains

ted Americans.

beam over

morning.

self-culture that the super-

whose its

idols are Italy,

Eng-

fascination for all educa-

They who made England,

Italy,

or Greece venerable in the imagination, did so

by

sticking fast where they were, like an axis of the

In manly hours we feel that duty is our The soul is no traveller the wise man stays at home, and when his necessities, his duties, on any occasion call him from his house, or into foreign lands, he is at home still and shall make men earth.

place.

;


SELF-RELIANCE.

80

by the expression

sensible

of his countenance that

he goes, the missionary of wisdom and virtue, and visits cities

and men

an interloper or a

like a sovereign

and not

like

valet.

1 have no churlish objection to the circumnavigation of the globe for the purposes of art, of study,

and benevolence,

so that the

man

is

domesti-

first

cated, or does not go abroad with the

hope of finding

somewhat greater than he knows.

He who

travels

somewhat wliich he does

to be amused, or to get

not carry, travels away from himself, and grows old

even in youth among old things.

In Thebes, in

Palmyra, his will and mind have become old and

He

dilapidated as they.

Travelling

is

carries ruins to ruins.

Our

a fool's paradise.

first

neys discover to us the indifference of places.

home

I

dream that

Home,

at Naples, at

jour-

At

I can be in-

toxicated with beauty and lose

my

my

friends,

embark on the sea

in Naples,

and there beside me

trunk, embrace

and is

at last

wake up

my

the stern fact, the sad

cal, that

I fled from.

I pack

unrelenting, identi-

I seek the Vatican

and the

I affect to be intoxicated with sights

palaces.

suggestions, but I

goes with 3.

self,

sadness.

me

am

not intoxicated.

and

My giant

wherever I go.

But the rage

of travelling

is

a symptom of a

deeper unsoundness affecting the whole intellectual action.

The

intellect is

vagabond, and our system


SELF-RELIANCE.

Our minds

travel

bodies are forced to stay at home.

We

of education fosters restlessness.

when our imitate

and what

;

taste

;

ments

is

imitation but the travelling of

Our houses

mind?

the

81

built with

are

foreign

our shelves are garnished with foreign orna;

our opinions, our

tastes,

our faculties, lean,

The

and follow the Past and the Distant.

soul cre-

ated the arts wherever they have flourished. in his It

own mind

It

was

that the artist sought his model.

was an application of

his

own thought

to the

thing to be done and the conditions to be observed.

And why model ?

need we copy the Doric or the Gothic

Beauty, convenience, grandeur of thought

and quaint expression are and

if

as near to us as to any,

mil study with hope

the American artist

and love the

precise tiling to be done

sidering the climate, the

soil,

by him, con-

the length of the day,

the wants of the people, the habit

and form of the

government, he will create a house in which these will find themselves fitted,

timent will be satisfied Insist gift

on yourself

;

and

taste

and

all

sen-

also.

Your own

never imitate.

you can present every moment with the cumu-

lative force of a

whole

life's

cultivation

;

but of the

adopted talent of another you have only an extem-

poraneous half possession.

do

best,

man

yet

That which each can

none but his Maker can teach him.

knows what

it is,

nor can,

till

No

that person


SELF-RELIANCE.

82 exhibited

lias

Where

it.

have taught Shakspeare

who could have ton, or

that

Where

who could

the master

is

Washing-

instructed Franldin, or

Bacon, or Newton

Every great man

?

The Scipionism

a unique.

the master

is

?

of Scipio

part he could not borrow.

Shakspeare will

Do

never be made by the study of Shakspeare. that which too

much

ment

assigned you, and you cannot hope

is

There

or dare too much.

for you

is

precisely

is

is

mo-

at this

an utterance brave and grand as that

of the colossal chisel of Phidias, or trow^el of the

Egyptians, or the pen of Moses or Dante, but

Not possibly

ferent from all these. all rich, all eloquent,

with thousand-cloven tongue,

deign to rej)eat itseK; but

if

you can hear what

these patriarchs say, surely you can reply to in the

same pitch of voice

;

for the ear

tongue are two organs of one nature. the simple and noble regions of thy

heart and

thou

dif-

will the soul,

shalt

them

and the

Abide

life,

in

obey thy

reproduce the Fore world

again. 4.

As

our Eeligion, our Education, our Art look

abroad, so does our spirit of society.

plume themselves on the improvement

All

men

of society,

and no man improves. Society never advances.

one side as

it

It recedes as fast

gains on the other.

continual changes

;

it is

barbarous,

It

on

undergoes

it is civilized, it


SELF-RELIANCE.

83

is christianized, it is rich, it is scientific

change is

is

and

arts

is

but this

For every thing that

not amelioration.

given something

;

Society acquires

taken.

What

loses old instincts.

new

a contrast be-

tween the well -clad, reading, writing, thinking American, with a watch, a pencil and a

bill of ex-

New

Zea-

a club, a spear, a

mat

change in his pocket, and the naked lander, whose property

is

and an undivided twentieth der

you

of a shed to sleep un-

But compare the health

!

shall see that the white

riginal strength.

of the two

man

men and

has lost his abo-

If the traveller tell us truly,

strike the savage with a

broad axe and in a day or

two the

and heal

flesh shall unite

the blow into soft pitch,

as if

you struck

and the same blow

shall

send the white to his grave.

The

civilized

man has

the use of his feet.

but lacks so fine

He

built a coach, but has lost

much support

Geneva watch, but he

the hour

supported on crutches,

is

by the

sun.

A

of muscle.

He

has a

fails of the skill to tell

Greenwich nautical alma-

nac he has, and so being sure of the information

when he wants it, the man in the street does not know a star in the sky. The solstice he does not observe the equinox he knows as little and the ;

;

whole bright calendar of the year in his mind.

is

without a dial

His note-books impair

his libraries overload his wit

;

his

memory

;

the insurance-office


SELF-RELIANCE.

84 increases the

number

of accidents

and

;

it

may be

a

question whether machinery does not encumber;

whether we have not

lost

by refinement some

by a Christianity entrenched

ergy,

in

ments and forms some vigor of wild every Stoic was a Stoic is

en-

establish-

For

\drtue.

but in Christendom where

;

the Christian?

There

is

no more deviation

moral standard

in the

No

than in the standard of height or bulk.

A singular equality

men are now than ever were. may be observed between the

great

and

all

of the last ages

ligion,

;

nor can

and philosophy

men

of the first

the science, art, re-

of the nineteenth century

avail to educate greater roes, three or four

greater

men than

Plutarch's he-

Not

and twenty centuries ago.

in time is the race progressive.

Phocion, Socrates,

Anaxagoras, Diogenes, are great men, but they leave

no

class.

He who

is

really of their class will

not be called by their name, but will be his

man, and in his turn the fomider of a arts

and inventions

own The

of each period are only its cos-

tume and do not invigorate men.

The harm

improved machinery may compensate

Hudson and Behring

accomiDlished

their fishing-boats as to astonish lin,

sect.

so

its

of the

good.

much

in

Parry and Frank-

whose equipment exhausted the resources of

science

and

art.

Galileo, with

an opera-glass,

dis-

covered a more splendid series of celestial phenom-


SELF-RELIANCE. ena

tlian

World

any one

in

85

Columbus found

since.

an undecked boat.

New

tlie

It is curious to see

the periodical disuse and perishing of

means and

machinery which were introduced with loud laudation a

The

few years or centuries before.

genius returns to essential man.

great

We reckoned the

improvements of the art of war among the

umphs

of

science,

tri-

and yet Napoleon conquered

Europe by the bivouac, which consisted

of falling

back on naked valor and disencumbering

it

The Emperor held it impossible perfect army, says Las Casas, " without

make a

aids.

to

of all

abolishing

our arms, magazines, commissaries and carriages,

Roman

until, in imitation of the

custom, the soldier

should receive his supply of corn, grind

it

in his

hand-mill and bake his bread himself." Society

a wave.

is

The wave moves onward,

but the water of which

The same the ridge.

persons die,

and

And reliance

want of

it

is

composed does

particle does not rise Its unity is

The

only phenomenal.

who make up a nation

not.

from the valley to to-day, next year

their experience dies with them.

so the reliance on Property, including the

on governments which protect self-reliance.

Men

it,

is

the

have looked away from

themselves and at things so long that they have

come

to esteem the religious, learned

stitutions as

and

civil in-

guards of property, and they depre-


;

SELF-RELIANCE.

86

cate assaults on these, because they feel tliem to be

on property.

assaults

Tbey measure

their

es-

teem of each other by what each has, and not by what each

But a

is.

man becomes

cultivated

new

ashamed

of his property, out of

nature.

Especially he hates what he has

that

or it

it is

gift,

accidental,

or crime

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; came

to

him by

then he feels that

;

respect for his

it is

if

he see

inheritance,

not having

does not belong to him, has no root in him and

merely takes

lies

it

there because no revolution or no robber

away.

But that which a man is, does and what the man

ways by necessity acquire

quires, is living property,

beck of

rulers, or

;

al-

ac-

which does not wait the

mobs, or revolutions, or

fire,

or

storm, or bankruptcies, but perpetually renews itself

wherever the

man

"

breathes.

of life," said the Caliph Ali, "

Thy

is

lot or portion

seeking after thee

therefore be at rest from seeking after

it."

Our

dependence on these foreign goods leads us to our slavish respect for

The

numbers.

meet in numerous conventions

;

political parties

the greater the con-

new uproar of announcement, The delegation from Essex The Democrats from New Hampshire The Wliigs of Maine the young patriot feels himself stronger than before by a new

course and with each

!

!

!

thousand of eyes and arms. formers

summon

in multitude.

In

like

manner the

re-

conventions and vote and resolve

Not

so

O

friends!

will the

God


SELF-RELIANCE.

87

deign to enter and inhabit you, but by a method It is only as a

precisely the reverse. all

man

puts off

foreign support and stands alone that I see

to be strong

and

town

?

He

to prevail.

recruit to his banner.

Is not a

Ask nothing

is

him

weaker by every

man

better than a

of men, and, in the endless

mutation, thou only firm column must presently ap-

pear the upholder of

who knows

all that

that power

is

He

surrounds thee.

weak behim and else-

inborn, that he

cause he has looked for good out of

is

where, and, so perceiving, throws himself unhesitatingly on his thought, instantly rights himself, stands

commands his limbs, works miracles just as a man who stands on his feet is stronger than a man who stands on his head. So use all that is caUed Fortune. Most men in the erect position, ;

gamble with wheel

rolls.

her,

and gain

all,

and

But do thou leave

lose all, as her

as unlawful these

winnings, and deal with Cause and Effect, the chancellors of

God.

In the

WiU work

and

acquire,

and

thou hast chained the wheel of Chance, and shalt hereafter out of fear from her rotations.

A

sit

politi-

cal victory, a rise of rents, the recovery of your sick

or the return of your absent friend, or some other

favorable event raises your spirits, and you think

good days are preparing for you. it.

Do

not believe

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.

Notliing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.


COMPENSATION.

The

wings of Time are black and white,

Pied with morning and with night.

Mountain

tall

and ocean deep

Trembling balance duly keep. In changing moon, in

Glows the feud

Gauge

of

tidal

less

and pencil

lonely Earth

wave,

Want and Have.

more and

Electric star

The

of

through space plays.

amid the

balls

That hurry through the eternal

A makeweight flying to the Supplemental asteroid.

Or compensatory

halls,

void,

spark.

Shoots across the neutral Dark.


:

;

Man 's

the elm, and Wealth the vine,

Stanch and strong the tendrils twine

Though the frail ringlets thee deceive, None from its stock that vine can reave. Fear

not, then, thou child infirm,

There

's

no god dare wrong a worm.

Laurel crowns cleave to deserts

And power

to

him who power

Hast not thy share ?

Lo

!

And

it

exerts

On winged

rushes thee to meet

all

that

Nature made thy own,

Floating in air or pent in stone.

Will rive the

And,

like

hills

;

feet,

and swim the sea

thy shadow, follow thee.


m. COMPENSATION

Ever

since I

was a boy I have wished to write a

discourse on Compensation

when very young of theology

their

for

seemed

it

to

me

and the people knew more than the

The documents

preachers taught. the doctrine

;

that on this subject life was ahead

is

to be drawn,

endless variety,

even in sleep

;

too

charmed

from which

my

fancy by

and lay always before me,

for they are the tools in our hands,

the bread in our basket, the transactions of the street, the

farm and the dwelling-house

and

relations, debts

acter, the nature

seemed

to

me

;

greetings,

credits, the influence of char-

and endowment

also that in

it

of all

men.

It

might be shown men

a ray of divinity, the present action of the soul of this world, clean

so the heart of

from

all vestige of tradition

man might be bathed by an

;

and

inun-

dation of eternal love, conversing with that which

he knows was always and always must be, because it

really is now.

It

appeared moreover that

if this

doctrine could be stated in terms with any resem-


;

COMPENSATION.

92

blance to those bright intuitions in which this truth is

sometimes revealed to

many dark

would be a

us, it

star in

hours and crooked passages in our jour-

ney, that would not suffer us to lose our way.

I was lately confirmed in these desires by hear-

The

ing a sermon at church.

preacher, a

man

es=

teemed for his orthodoxy, unfolded in the ordinary

manner the doctrine

that the wicked are successful

miserable

;

this

world

that the good are

;

and then urged from reason and from

Scripture a compensation to be ties in the

He

of the Last Judgrhent.

assumed that judgment is not executed in

next

No

life.

made

to both par-

offence appeared to be

As

taken by the congregation at this doctrine. as I could observe

far

when the meeting broke up they

separated without remark on the sermon.

Yet what was the import of did the preacher

mean by saying

miserable in the present

and

this teaching ?

life ?

What

that the good are

Was it

that houses

lands, offices, wine, horses, dress, luxury, are

had by unprincipled men, whilst the and despised

;

to these last hereafter,

fications

another day,

pensation intended

;

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; bank-stock and

for

?

Why,

to be

made

like grati-

doubloons,

This must be the com-

what

else ?

are to have leave to pray and praise

men ?

is

by giving them the

venison and champagne

^erve

saints are poor

and that a compensation

Is

it

? to

that they can do

that they love

now.

and

The


COMPENSATION. legitimate inference the disciple '

We

'

;

You

sin

now,

if

'

sin

would draw was,

are to have such a good time as the sinners

have now

93

or, to

now, we we could

push

it

to its

shall sin

extreme import,

by and by we would ;

not being successful

;

we

ex-

pect oar revenge to-morrow.'

The

immense concession

fallacy lay in the

the bad are successful

The blindness

;

that justice

is

that

not done now.

of the preacher consisted in defer-

ring to the base estimate of the market of what constitutes

a manly success, instead of confronting and

convicting the world from the truth; announcing the presence of the soul will ill,

and

;

;

the omnipotence of the

so establishing the standard of

of success

good and

and falsehood.

I find a similar base tone in the popular religious

works of the day and the same doctrines assumed

by the

literary

related topics.

men when

occasionally they treat the

I think that our popular theology

has gained in decorum, and not in principle, over the superstitions

it

has displaced.

better than their theology.

But men are

Their daily

life

gives

Every ingenuous and aspiring soul leaves the doctrine behind him in his own experience, and it

the

all

lie.

men

feel

sometimes the falsehood which they

cannot demonstrate.

For men are wiser than they

know. That which they hear in schools and pulpits without afterthought,

if

said in conversation would


COMPENSATION.

94

probably be questioned in silence.

If a

man

dog-

matize in a mixed company on Providence and the divine laws, he

answered by a silence which con-

is

veys well enough to an observer the dissatisfaction of the hearer, but his incapacity to

make

own

his

statement.

I shall attempt in this and the following chapter

some

to record

facts that indicate the path of the

law of Compensation tion

if

I shall truly

my

happy beyond

;

expecta-

draw the smallest arc

of this

circle.

Polarity, or action and every part of nature heat and cold

in the ebb

;

male and female

;

and quality in the systole

and

ical affinity.

;

the other end.

in ;

in

animal body

in the

;

and

cen-

galvanism, and chem-

Superinduce magnetism at one end

magnetism takes place

at

If the south attracts, the north re-

To empty

here,

you must condense

there.

inevitable dualism bisects nature, so that each

thing it

in

and expiration

in the centrifugal

of a needle, the opposite

An

of waters

;

diastole of the heart ; in the undulations

tripetal gravity ; in electricity,

pels.

light

in the equation of quantity

fluids of the

and of sound

of fluids

;

we meet

and

and flow

in the inspiration

and animals

of plants

reaction,

in darkness

;

is

a half, and suggests another thing to

whole

;

as,

spirit,

matter

;

man, woman

;

make odd,


COMPENSATION. even; subjective, objective; motion, rest

;

out; upper, under;

in,

yea, nay.

Whilst the world

The

its parts.

95

is

thus dual, so

is

every one of

entire system of things gets repre-

sented in every particle.

There

is

somewhat that

resembles the ebb and flow of the sea, day and

man and woman,

night,

in a single needle of the

pine, in a kernel of corn, in each individual of every

animal

tribe.

ments,

is

The

reaction, so

grand in the

ele-

repeated within these small boundaries.

For example,

in the animal

kingdom the

physiolo-

observed that no creatures are favorites,

gist has

but a certain compensation balances every gift and

A

every defect.

surplusage given to one part

is

paid out of a reduction from another part of the

same

If the

creature.

head and neck are enlarged,

the trunk and extremities are cut short.

The theory ample.

of the mechanic forces

What we

the converse. of the planets of climate

The

and

gain in power

The is

is

is lost

another ex-

and

in time,

periodic or compensating errors

another instance.

soil in political

cold climate invigorates.

The

influences

history are another.

The barren

soil

does

not breed fevers, crocodiles, tigers or scorpions.

The same dualism underlies the nature and conman. Every excess causes a defect every every defect an excess. Every sweet hath its sour dition of

;

;

evil its good.

Every faculty which

is

a receiver of


COMPENSATION.

96

pleasure has an equal penalty put on

its

moderation with

its

answer for

is to

its

every grain of \dt there

is

a grain of

abuse.

It

life.

For

folly.

For

every thing you have missed, you have gained something else

and for every thing you

;

gain,

you

If riches increase, they are increased

something.

that use them.

much,

If the gatherer gathers too

man what

Nature

takes out of the

chest

swells the estate, but kills the owner.

;

lose

she puts into his

of the sea do not

Na-

The waves

ture hates monopolies and exceptions.

more speedily seek a

level

from

their loftiest tossing than the varieties of condition

tend to equalize themselves.

There

levelling circumstance that puts

is

down

always some the overbear-

ing, the strong, the rich, the fortunate, substantially

on the same ground with aU

Is a

others.

man

too

strong and fierce for society and by temper and position a

bad

citizen,

dash of the pirate in

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a morose â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Nature

ruffian,

him ?

troop of pretty sons and daughters

with a

sends him a

who

are getting

along in the dame's classes at the village school,

and love and fear to courtesy.

for

them smooths

Thus she

his

grim scowl

contrives to intenerate the

granite and felspar, takes the boar out

the

lamb

in

and keeps her balance

and puts

true.

The farmer imagines power and place are fine But the President has paid dear for his things. White House. It has commonly cost him aU his


COMPENSATION. peace, and the best of his

97

manly

To

attributes.

preserve for a short time so conspicuous an appear-

ance before the world, he fore the real masters

Or do men

throne.

is

content to eat dust be-

who stand

desire the

erect behind the

more

permanent grandeur of genius ? Neither has

He who

immunity. is

by force of

and

substantial

will or of

this

an

thought

great and overlooks thousands, has the charges of

new danger.

With every influx of light comes Has he light ? he must bear witness

to the

and always outrun that sympathy

that eminence.

light,

which gives him such keen ity to

new

by

satisfaction,

must hate father and mother, wife and he

all

his fidel-

He

revelations of the incessant soul.

Has

child.

that the world loves and admires and covets

?

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; he

must cast behind him their admiration, and

afflict

them by

and become

faithfulness to his truth,

a byword and a hissing. This law writes the laws of is

cities

and nations.

It

in vain to build or plot or combine against

Things refuse to be mismanaged long.

evil appear, the

If the safe.

government If

nothing.

checks

is cruel,

and

If

to

a

will appear.

you tax too high, the revenue

is

not

will yield

you make the criminal code sanguin-

private vengeance comes II.

exist,

the governor's life

ary, juries will not convict.

VOL.

Res nolunt

Though no checks

diu male admiiiistrari.

new

it.

7

in.

If the law If the

is

too mild,

government

is


;

COMPENSATION.

98 a

terrific

democracy, the pressure

is

The

with a fiercer flame. tions of

man seem

by an

resisted

over-charge of energy in the citizen, and

life

and

true life

glows

satisfac-

to elude the utmost rigors or feli-

condition and to establish themselves with

cities of

great indifferency under all varieties

Under

stances.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; in

Turkey and in

Under

the primeval de-

character remains the same,

New England about

circum-

of

governments the influence of

all

alike.

man make him.

spots of Eg}T^)t, history honestly confesses that

must have been as

free as culture could

These appearances indicate the fact that the universe

represented in every one of

is

Every

its

particles.

thing in nature contains all the powers of

Every thing

nature.

is

made

of one hidden stuff

as the naturalist sees one t}^pe under every meta-

morphosis, and regards a horse as a running man,

a

fish as

a

swimming man, a bird as a flying man, Each new form repeats

a tree as a rooted man.

not only the main character of the

tjrpe,

but part

for part all the details, all the aims, furtherances,

and whole system

hindrances, energies

Every

other.

of

every

occupation, trade, art, transaction,

is

a compend of the world and a correlative of every

Each one

other. life

;

of its

course and

good and its

end.

accommodate the destiny.

an entire emblem of

is

ill,

And whole

its

trials, its

human

enemies,

its

each one must somehow

man and

recite

all

his


COMPENSATION.

99

globes itself in a drop of dew.

The

microscope cannot find the animalcule wliich

is less

The world

perfect for being

Eyes, ears, taste, smell,

little.

motion, resistance, appetite, and organs of repro-

duction that take hold on eternity,

ence

is

every that

The

act.

God

parts in

all his

The value

of the universe

contrives to throw itself into every point.

good

so is the evil

is there,

repulsion

Thus

if

;

is

is

If the

the affinity, so the

All things are moral.

the universe alive. is

a sentiment, outside of

We feel its inspiration

a law.

history

if

;

the force, so the limitation.

That soul which within us us

room

true doctrine of omnipres-

reappears with

every moss and cobweb.

all find

So do we put our

to consist in the small creature. life into

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

we can

see its

fatal strength. " It

made by

world, and the world was

A

not postponed.

it."

is

all parts of life.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The

dice of

Ot

KuySot

Ai6s det

are always loaded.

in the

Justice

perfect equity adjusts

ance in

God

out there in

;

its

is

bal-

ei^TrtVrouo-i,

The world

looks like a multiplication-table, or a mathematical equation, which, turn

Take what nor

figure

less, stiU

every crime

it

hov/ you will, balances

you will,

its

returns to you. is

itself.

exact value, nor more

Every

secret is told,

punished, every virtue rewarded,

every wrong redressed, in silence and certainty.

What we

call retribution is the universal necessity

by which the whole appears wherever a part ap=


COMPENSATION.

100 pears.

you see smoke, there must be

If

you see a hand or a limb, you know

tliat

fire.

If

the trunk

wbicb

it

Every

act rewards itself, or in other words inte-

to

grates

belongs

itself,

is

there behind.

manner

in a twofold

or in real nature

;

;

first in

the thing,

and secondly in the circumstance,

Men

or in apparent nature.

call the

circumstance

The causal retribution is in the thing and is seen by the soul. The retribution in the circumstance is seen by the imderstanding it is the retribution.

;

inseparable from the thing, but

is

often spread over

a long time and so does not become distinct until after

many

The

years.

late after the offence,

specific stripes

may foUow

but they follow because they

Crime and punislmient grow out

accompany

it.

one stem.

Punishment

is

of

a fruit that unsuspected

ripens within the fiower of the pleasure which con-

cealed

and

it.

fruit,

Cause and

means and

effect,

cannot be severed

;

ends, seed

for the effect already

blooms in the cause, the end preexists in the means, the fruit in the seed.

Whilst thus the world

will

to be disparted,

we

to appropriate

for example,

we

;

be whole and refuses

seek to act partiaUy, to sunder,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

to gratify the senses

sever the pleasure of the senses from the needs

of the character.

The ingenuity of man has always

been dedicated to the solution of one problem,

how to detach

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

the sensual sweet, the sensual strong,


;

COMPENSATION. the sensual bright,

from the moral sweet, the

etc.,

moral deep, the moral

fair; that

bottomless

it

The

other end.

The

feast.

to get

;

soul says,

soid says,

'

The

all

'

a one end^ without an

; '

'

soul says,

soul strives

all things.

shall be

edge,

somebody

to

;

;

offices,

good ;

may

Men

be seen.

is

ends.

and work through

to live

All things

fact.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; power,

;

pleasure, knowl-

and, in particulars, to ride

to dress that he

eat

;

and

to possess

may be

dressed

to govern, that

seek to be great

;

wealth, power and fame.

be great

own

;

ride

to eat that he

the body would

'

its

The particular man aims to be set up for himself to truck and hig-

gle for a private

may

it,

shall

Have dominion over

'

would be the only

It

beauty.

that he

amain

added unto

the body would

the body would join the

have the power over things to

to

;

Eat

things to the ends of virtue

The

again, to con-

The man and woman

be one flesh and one soul flesh only.

is,

upper surface so thin as

trive to cut clean off this

to leave

101

he

may

they would have

They think

one side of

that

nature, â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the

sweet, without the other side, the bitter.

This dividing and detaching acted.

Up

jector has

to this

day

it

steadily counter-

must be owned no pro-

had the smallest

water reunites behind

is

success.

our hand.

The parted Pleasure

is

taken out of pleasant things, profit out of profitable things,

power out of strong

things, as soon as Wi>


COMPENSATION.

102

We

seek to separate them from the whole.

can

no more halve things and get the sensual good, by itself,

than we can get an inside that shall have no " Drive out

outside, or a light without a shadow.

Nature with a fork, she comes rimning back." Life invests

itself

with inevitable

conditions,

which the unwise seek to dodge, which one and another brags that he does not know, that they do not

touch

him

;

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but

the brag

ditions are in his soid.

is

on his

lips,

the con-

them

If he escapes

one

in

part they attack him in another more vital part. If

he has escaped them in form and in the appear-

ance,

it is

because he has resisted his

from himself, and the retribution

So

signal

is

the failure of all attempts

is

life

so

and

fled

much death. to make this

separation of the good from the tax, that the exper-

iment would not be

mad,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but

tried,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

since to try

for the circumstance that

it is

when

to

be

the dis-

ease began in the will, of rebellion and separation,

the intellect ceases to see

is at

once infected, so that the

God whole

in each object, but is able to

see the sensual allurement of

the sensual hurt

3

not the dragon's that which he

not have.

"

man

an object and not see

he sees the mermaid's head but tail,

and thinks he can cut

off

would have from that which he would

How

secret art thou

the highest heavens in silence,

O

who

dwellest in

thou only great

God, sprinkling with an unwearied providence

cer-


COMPENSATION. fcain

103

penal blindnesses upon such as have unbridled

desires

!

"

^

The human

soul

the

in

true to these facts

is

painting of fable, of history, of law, of proverbs, of It finds a tongue

conversation.

Thus

awares.

Mind many

;

in

un-

literature

Supreme

the Greeks called Jupiter,

but having traditionally ascribed to him

base actions, they involuntarily

made amends

by tpng made as helpless as a king of England. Prometheus knows one secret which Jove must bar-

up the hands of so bad a god.

to reason

He

is

gain for; Minerva, another.

own thunders " Of

all

;

He

cannot get his

Minerva keeps the key

the gods, I only

That ope the

know

of

them

:

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

the keys

solid doors within

whose vaults

His thunders sleep."

A plain confession of the in-working of the All and of

its

The Indian mythology ends

moral aim.

the same ethics

any fable

and

;

to be

invented and get any currency

which was not moral. for her lover, is old.

Aurora forgot

and though Tithonus

Achilles

in

would seem impossible for

it

is

is

to ask

youth

immortal, he

not quite invulnerable

;

the sa-

cred waters did not wash the heel by which Thetis held him.

Siegfried, in the Nibelungen,

immortal, for a leaf

fell

is

not quite

on his back whilst he was

bathing in the dragon's blood, and that spot which 1

St.

Augustine, Confessions, B.

L


COMPENSATION.

104

And

it

covered

is

a crack in every thing

mortal.

is

seem there

so

God

must

it

There

be.

has made.

It

would

always this vindictive circumstance

is

stealing in at unawares even into the wild poesy in

which the human fancy attempted holiday and to shake

this back-stroke, this kick of

that the law

is

be given,

things are sold.

This

all

is

fatal

;

justice,

nothing can

that ancient doctrine of Nemesis,

unchastised.

The Furies they

and

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

the gun, certifying

that in nature

keeps watch in the universe and

on

make bold

to

the old laws,

itself free of

lets

who

no offence go

said are attendants

the sun in heaven should trans-

if

The

poets

and iron swords and

leath-

gress his path they would punish him. related that stone walls

ern thongs had an occult sympathy with the wrongs of

their owners

;

that

the

belt

which Ajax gave

Hector dragged the Trojan hero over the

field at

the wheels of the car of Achilles, and the sword

which Hector gave Ajax was that on whose point

Ajax

fell.

erected

They recorded

that

games, one of his rivals went to

deavored to throw at last

when the Thasians

a statue to Theagenes, a victor in the

he moved

it

it

it

by night and

down by repeated from

crushed to death beneath

its

en-

blows, until

pedestal

and was

its fall.

This voice of fable has in

it

somewhat

came from thought above the

will of

divine.

It

the writer.


COMPENSATION. That

the best part of each writer which has noth-

is

ing private in

it

that which he does

;

that which flowed out of

from

105

his too active invention

know

not

;

and not

his constitution

that which in the

;

study of a single artist you might not easily find,

many you would

but in the study of

them

spirit of

of

man

Phidias

all.

not, but the

The name and circumstance

however convenient for

history,

Phidias,

embarrass when we

We

to the hio:hest criticism.

of

work would

in that early Hellenic world that I

know.

come

it is

abstract as the

are to see that

which man was tending to do in a given period, and

was hindered,

or, if

you

will,

modified in doing, by

the interfering volitions of Phidias, of Dante, of

Shakspeare, the organ whereby

man

moment

at the

wrought.

more striking

Still

is

the expression of this fact

in the proverbs of all nations,

which are always the

literature of reason, or the statements of

lute truth without

an abso-

Proverbs, like

qualification.

the sacred books of each nation, are the sanctuary of the intuitions.

That which the droning world,

chained to appearances, will not allow the realist to say in his

own words,

it

will suffer

proverbs without contradiction.

And

laws, which the pulpit, the senate

deny,

is

hourly preached in

all

him

to say in

this

law of

and the college

markets and work-

shops by flights of proverbs, whose teaching true

and as omnipresent as that

of birds

and

is

as

flies.


compensations'.

106

All things are double, one against another. -* Tit for tat

;

an eye for an eye

blood for blood love.

;

— Give, and

;

a tooth for a tooth

measure for measure it

shall

be given you.

watereth shall be watered himself.

you have

?

quoth

God

;

pay for

it

love

;

— He that

— What

and take

— Thou

Nothing venture, nothing have.

;

for

will

it.

shalt be

paid exactly for what thou hast done, no more, no

— Who doth not work not — Curses always harm him who imprecates them. — head shall

less.

watch,

catch.

eat.

— Harm

recoil

of

on the

you put a

If

chain around the neck of a slave, the other end fastens itself

around your own.

founds the adviser.

— The Devil

It is thus written, because

action will

is

— Bad is

it is

counsel con-

an

ass.

thus in

life.

Our

overmastered and characterized above our

by the law

of nature.

We

aim

at a petty

end

quite aside from the public good, but our act ar-

ranges

itself

by

irresistible

magnetism

in a line

with the poles of the world.

A With

man

cannot speak but he judges himself.

draws his por-

his will or against his will he

trait to the

eye of his companions by every word.

Every opinion thread-ball

reacts on

him who

utters

it.

It is a

thrown at a mark, but the other end

remains in the thrower's bag.

Or

rather

harpoon hurled at the whale, unwinding, as a coil of cord in the boat, and,

if

it

is

a

it flies,

the harpoon

is


COMPENSATION. not goocl, or not well thrown,

107 go

will

it

nigli to cut

the steersman in twain or to sink the boat.

"

You cannot do wrong without suffering wrong. No man had ever a point of pride that was not The

injurious to him," said Burke.

fashionable self

exclusive in

does not see that he excludes him-

from enjoyment, in the attempt

The

it.

life

to appropriate

exclusionist in religion does not

see

that

he shuts the door of heaven on himself, in striving

men

Treat

to shut out others.

pawns and

as

If you

pins and you shall suffer as well as they. leave out their heart, senses

shall lose

your own. The

would make things of

of children, of the will get is

you

it

from

nine-

all persons of women, The vidgar proverb, " I

poor.

;

his purse or get

it

from

his skin,"

sound philosophy. All infractions of love and equity in our social

relations

are speedily punished.

ished by fear. to

my

We

two currents of

pun-

in meet-

meet as water meets water, or as air

mix, with perfect diffusion and

But

interpenetration of nature.

as soon as there

any departure from simplicity and attempt

halfness, or

my

good for me that

neighbor feels the wrong

as far as I have shrunk

longer seek mine is

are

Wliilst I stand in simple relations

fellow-man, I have no displeasure

ing him.

is

They

hate in

;

him and

there

;

is

not good

he shrinks from

from him is

;

his

eyes

war between us

fear in me.

at

for him,

;

me no

there


COMPENSATION.

103

All the old abuses in society, universal and par* ticular, all unjust

accumulations of property and

power, are avenged in

tlie

same manner.

Fear

an instructor of great sagacity and the herald of revolutions.

One

thing he teaches, that

and though you there

is

see not well

death somewhere.

there is

He is a carrion

rottenness where he appears.

crow,

what he hovers

Our property

is

all

is

for,

timid,

our laws are timid, our cultivated classes are timid.

Fear for ages has boded and mowed and gibbered over government and property.

wrongs which must be

Of

the like nature

is

That obscene bird

He

not there for nothing.

is

great

indicates

revised.

that expectation of change

which instantly follows the suspension of our voluntary activity.

The

terror of cloudless noon, the

emerald of Polycrates, the awe of prosperity, the instinct

on

which leads every generous soul to impose

itself

tasks of a noble asceticism

and vicarious

virtue, are the tremblings of the balance of justice

through the heart and mind of man.

Experienced that

it is

men

of the world

know very

and that a man often pays dear for a small ity.

man

well

best to pay scot and lot as they go along,

The borrower runs

in his

own

debt.

frugal-

Has a

gained any thing who has received a hundred

favors

and rendered none ?

Has he gained by borÂŤ

rowing, through indolence or cunning, his neigb


COMPENSATION. bor's wares, or horses, or

the deed the instant

money

?

109 There

acknowledgment of

the one part and of debt on the other

and

periority in the

every

The

inferiority.

;

arises

on

benefit

on

that

of su-

is,

transaction remains

memory of himself and his neighbor and new transaction alters according to its nature ;

He may

their relation to each other.

had

to see that he

soon come

better have broken his

own bones

than to have ridden in his neighbor's coach, and that " the highest price he can

ask for

A wise

man

it

your time, your

you and

must pay will

but

justice,

just

demand on Always

your heart.

you must pay your entire debt.

may

Persons and events

you

it is

stand for a time between

own

at last your

debt.

If

you are wise

Benefit

is

base,

who

great

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

verse,

is

is

for

levied.

confers the most benefits.

that

He

is

the one base thing in the uni-

and render none. In the we cannot render benefits to those

to receive favors

order of nature

from

But

the end of nature.

every benefit which you receive, a tax is

You

only a postponement.

dread a prosperity which only loads you

with more.

He

to

the part of prudence to

talents, or

for first or last

;

is

and pay every

face every claimant

pay

is

will extend this lesson to all parts of

and know that

life,

pay for a thing

it."

whom we

the benefit

we

receive them, or only seldom. receive

must be rendered again,

But line


;

no

COMPENSATION. deed for deed, cent for

for line,

somebody.

cent, to

Beware of too much good staying in your hand. will fast corruj^t

and worm worms.

Pay

it

It

away

quickly in some sort.

Labor

is

watched over by the same

Cheapest, say the prudent,

What we buy is

It is best to

dener, or to in

your

of

pay

wagon, a knife,

good sense

to a

common

in your land a skilful gar-

buy good sense applied

sailor,

pitiless laws.

the dearest labor.

in a broom, a mat, a

some application

want.

is

good sense applied

to

gardening

to navigation

;

in

the house, good sense applied to cooking, sewing,

serving; in your agent, good sense ai^plied to ac-

counts and ence,

affairs.

But because labor as in

of the dual constitution of things, in

life

from himself.

self.

For the

real price of labor

is

knowledge and

whereof wealth and credit are signs.

signs, like stolen,

The thief The swindler swindles him-

there can be no cheating.

steals

virtue,

So do you multiply your pres-

or spread yourself throughout your estate.

paper money,

may

These

be counterfeited or

but that which they represent, namely, knowl-

edge and virtue, cannot be counterfeited or

stolen.

These ends of labor cannot be answered but by real exertions of the mind, and in obedience to pure tives.

The

mo-

cheat, the defaulter, the gambler, can-

not extort the knowledge of material and moral naÂŤ ture which his honest care

and pains yield

to the


COMPENSATION. The law

operative.

you

of nature

have the power

shall

;

Ill

Do

is,

the thing, and

but they who do not the

thing have not the power.

Human

labor,

through

sharpening of a stake or an epic,

is

all

forms, from the

its

to the construction

The

compensation of the universe.

fect

of a city

one immense illustration of the perabsolute

balance of Give'and Take, the doctrine that every thing has

its

price,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and

if

that price

not that thing but something else that

it

not paid,

and

obtained,

impossible to get any thing without

is

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

price,

is

is

is

its

not less sublime in the columns of a

leger than in the budgets of states, in the laws of light

and darkness, in

nature.

each

all

the action and reaction of

1 cannot doubt that the high laws which

man

which he

sees implicated in those processes with is

conversant,

the

stern

ethics

which

sparkle on his chisel-edge, which are measured out

by

his

plumb and

foot-rule,

which stand as mani-

fest in the footing of the shop-bill as in the history

of a state,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; do

recommend

to

him

his trade,

and

though seldom named, exalt his business to his imagination.

The league between all

virtue

and nature engages

things to assume a hostile front to vice.

beautiful laws cute

and substances

and whip the

traitor.

are arranged for truth

and

The

of the world perse-

He

finds that things

benefit,

but there

is

no


COMPENSATION.

112 den in the

world to hide a

vAdiQ

crime, and the earth

crime, and

it

is

seems as

made

if

Commit a Commit a

rogiie.

of glass.

a coat of snow

fell

on the

ground, such as reveals in the woods the track of every partridge and fox and squirrel and mole.

You

cannot recall the spoken word, you cannot

wipe out the foot -track, you cannot draw up the ladder, so as to leave no inlet or clew.

ing circumstance always transpires. substances of nature, tion,

— become

On

the other

Some damnThe laws and

— water, snow, wind, gravita-

penalties to the thief.

hand the law holds with equal sureLove, and you shall be

ness for all right action.

All love

loved.

is

mathematically

just, as

has absolute good, which like

thing to

own

its

any harm

;

and from enemies became

:

him

but as the royal armies sent against Nacast

down

their colors

friends, so disasters of

all kinds, as sickness, offence, poverty,

factors

turns every

nature, so that you cannot do

when he approached

poleon,

fire

as

The good

the two sides of an algebraic equation.

man

much

prove bene-

" Winds blow and waters

roll

Strength to the brave an^-I^^^r^nd deity,

Yet

The good defect.

in

themselves are nothing."

are befriended even

As no man had

by weakness and

ever a point of pride that

was not injurious to him, so no man had ever a

de-


;

COMPENSATION. feet tliat

113

was not somewhere made useful

stag in the fable admired his horns

The

when

his feet, but

to him.

and blamed

the hunter came, his feet saved

him, and afterwards, caught in the thicket, his

horns destroyed

Mm.

Every man

in his lifetime

As no man

needs to thank his faults.

thoroughly

understands a truth until he has contended against it,

no

so

man

has a thorough acquaintance with the

men

hindrances or talents of

until he has suffered

from the one and seen the triumph of the other over his

own want

temper that he

unfits

him

is

Thereby

and

;

thus, like the

wounded

oys-

he mends his shell with pearl.

Our

does not awaken until sorely assailed. little.

sits

with secret forces

itself

we

are pricked and stung

A great man

Whilst he

he goes to

tages,

The

strength grows out of our weakness.

indignation which arms

be

defect of

to live in society ?

driven to entertain himself alone and acquire

habits of self-help ter,

Has he a

of the same.

is

and

always willing to

on the cushion of advan-

When

sleep.

he

is

pushed, tor-

mented, defeated, he has a chance to learn something

;

he has been put on his

he has gained facts

;

of the insanity of conceit real skill.

side of his it is

theirs

VOL.

II.

wits,

on his manhood

learns his ignorance ;

;

is

cured

has got moderation and

The wise man throws himself on the assailants. It is more his interest than to find his weak point. The wound cicar 8


COMPENSA TION.

114 and

trizes

from

falls off

dead skin and

liim like a

when tkey woidd triumph, lo he has passed on inBlame is safer than praise. I hate to vulnerable. !

As

be defended in a newspaper. is

said

is

But

ance of success.

praise are spoken for

as soon as

me

As

into himself, so

we

we gain

mark

enemy he

passes

kills

and fraud.

protect us from disaster, us, if

Men

of wisdom.

we

will,

from

self-

and bars are not the

Bolts

best of our institutions, nor

a

a benefac-

the strength of the temp-

and enmity, defend

ishness

is

resist.

The same guards which defect

In general, every

the Sandwich Islander believes that the

strength and valor of the

tation

that

honeyed words of

which we do not succumb

evil to

all

I feel as one that lies

unprotected before his enemies.

tor.

long as

said against me, I feel a certain assur-

is

shrewdness in trade

suffer all their life long

under the foolish superstition that they can be cheated.

But

as impossible for a

it is

man

to

be

cheated by any one but himself, as for a thing to be

and not silent

to be at the

party to

all

same time.

our bargains.

There

is

a third

The nature and

soul of things takes on itself the guaranty of the

fulfilment of every contract, so that honest service

cannot come to

loss.

If

you serve an ungrateful

master, serve

him

Every stroke

shall be repaid.

the more.

Put God in your debt. The longer the pay


COMPENSATION. ment

is witliliolden,

pound

interest

115

the better for you; for com-

on compound interest

is

the rate and

usage of this exchequer.

The

history of persecution

a history of en-

is

deavors to cheat nature, to

make water run up

to twist a rope of sand.

It

whether the actors be

many

makes no

difference

or one, a tyrant or a

A mob is a society of bodies

mob.

hill,

voluntarily be-

reaving themselves of reason and traversing

The mob

work.

is

man

to the nature of the beast. is

ing

fire

fit

It persecutes a principle

stitution.

a right

Its

hour of activity

Its actions are insane, like

night.

it

;

its

voluntarily descending

would tar and feather

;

its

whole con-

it

would whip

justice,

by

inflict-

and outrage upon the houses and persons of

who have these. It resembles the prank of boys, who run with fire-engines to put out the ruddy aurora streaming to the stars. The inviolate spirit turns their spite against the wrongdoers. The marthose

tyr cannot be dishonored.

tongue of fame

;

Every lash

inflicted is

a

every prison a more illustrious

abode

;

every burned book or house enlightens the

world

;

every suppressed or expunged word rever-

berates through the earth from side to side. of sanity

Hours

and consideration are always arriving to

communities, as to individuals,

when

Been and the martyrs are justified.

the truth

is


;

COMPENSATION.

116

Thus do

all

things preach the indifferency of

cir-

The man is all. Every thing has two sides, a good and an evil. Every advantage has its tax. I learn to be content. But the doctrine cumstances.

of compensation

The

not the doctrme of indifferencyo

is

thoughtless say, on hearing these representa-

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; What boots

tions,

pay for

it

;

all actions

There

is

if

;

do well? there

to

it

event to good and evil

is

one

I gain any good I must

if

I lose any good I gain some other

are indifferent.

a deeper fact in the soul than compensar

tion, to wit, its

own

The

nature.

The

j)ensation, but a life.

soul

soul

is

not a com-

Under

is.

all this

running sea of circumstance, whose waters ebb and flow with perfect balance,

or a part, but the whole. tive,

lies

the aboriginal abyss

Essence, or God,

of real Being.

Being

is

is

not a relation

the vast affirma^

excluding negation, self-balanced, and swal-

lowing up itself.

thence.

same.

all relations,

parts

and times within

Nature, truth, virtue, are the influx from

Vice

is

the absence or departure of the

may

Nothing, Falsehood,

indeed stand as

the great Night or shade on which as a background the living universe paints itself forth, but no fact is

It

begotten by

it

;

it

cannot work, for

cannot work any good

harm.

It

is

be than to be.

;

harm inasmuch

it

is

not.

it

cannot work any

as

it

is

worse not

to


COMPENSATION. VVe feel defrauded of

117

retribution due to evil

tlie

because the criminal adheres to his vice and

acts,

contumacy and does not come to a

ment anywhere

in

nature.

visible

judg-

crisis or

There

and

Has he

angels.

Inasmuch

men

therefore outwitted the law ?

as he carries the malignity

and the

with him he so far deceases from nature.

manner there

will

this

lie

In some

be a demonstration of the wrong

to the understanding also it,

no

is

stunning confutation of his nonsense before

;

but, should

we not

see

deadly deduction makes square the eternal

account.

Neither can

it

be

said,

on the other hand, that

the gain of rectitude must be bought

There

dom

is

no penalty to virtue

world

to the

In a

vir-

add

I plant into deserts conquered

;

Chaos and Nothing and on the

am ;

none

to

from

see the darkness receding

limits of the horizon.

cess to love,

loss.

to wis-

in a virtuous act I

they are proper additions of being.

;

tuous action I properly

when

by any

no penalty

;

There can be no

ex-

knowledge, none to beauty,

these attributes are considered in the purest

sense.

The

and always affirms

soul refuses limits,

an Optimism, never a Pessimism.

His

life

is

a progress, and not a station.

instinct is trust.

Our

instinct uses "

" less " in application to

the soul^

and not

His more " and

man, of the 'presence of

of its absence

3

the brave

man

is


COMPEXSA TION.

118 greater than the wise,

is

coward

tlie

the true, the benevolent,

;

more a man and not

and knave.

There

God

for that is the incoming of lute existence, without

good has

and

its tax,

it

But

away.

virtue,

himself, or abso-

Material

came without desert or

if it

and the next wind

the good of nature

all

and may be had

soul's,

than the fool

any comparative.

sweat, has no root in me,

blow

less,

no tax on the good of

is

if

will

the

is

paid for in nature's law-

by labor which the heart and the

ful coin, that

is,

head

I no longer wish to meet a good I do

allow.

not earn, for examj^le to find a pot of buried gold,

knowing that

brings with

it

new burdens.

it

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; neither

not wish more external goods, sions,

gain

I do posses-

The

nor honors, nor powers, nor persons.

is

apparent

the tax

;

is certain.

But there

no tax on the knowledge that the compensation ists

and that

Herein I

it is

not desirable to dig up treasui-e.

rejoice with a serene

contract the boundaries

learn the

wisdom

of

eternal

possible

of St. Bernard,

work me damage except myself

;

by

my own

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " Nothing the

harm

is

the inequalities of condition.

Less.

am

I I

can

that I

a real

fault."

In the nature of the soul

of nature

peace.

mischief.

sustain I carry about with me, and never sufferer but

is

ex-

the compensation for

The

radical tragedy

seems to be the distinction of More and

How

can Less not feel the pain

;

how

not


COMPENSATION,

More

towards

indignation or malevolence

feel

119

who have less faculty, and one Look sad and knows not well what to make of it. at those

almost shuns their eye

What

God. justice.

He

he fears they will upbraid

;

should they do

But

?

feels

It seems a great in^

?

see the facts nearly

and these moun*

Love reduces them as The heart the sun melts the iceberg in the sea.

tainous inequalities vanish.

and soul of

all

His and Mine brother and

my

men

being one, this bitterness of

His

ceases.

brother

is

is

mine.

I

am my

If I feel overshad-

me.

owed and outdone by great neighbors, I can yet I can still receive and he that loveth maketh

love his

;

;

own

the grandeur he loves.

the discovery that

ing for

me

estate I so

my

brother

is

Thereby I make

my

guardian, act-

with the friendliest designs, and the

admired and envied

the nature of the soul to

is

my

own.

appropriate

aU

It is

things.

Jesus and Shakspeare are fragments of the soul,

and by love I conquer and incorporate them

own

conscious domain.

mine

?

His

wit,

also

is

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

His

if it

virtue,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

is

in

my

not that

cannot be made mine,

it is

not wit.

Such

the

natural history of calamity.

The changes which break up prosperity of

whose law

is

men

at short intervals the

are advertisements of a nature

growth.

Every soul

sic necessity quitting its

is

by

this intrin-

whole system of things,

its


COMPEXSA TION.

1 20 friends and

home and laws and

fish crawls out of its beautiful

cause

it

no longer admits of

forms a new house.

its

faith, as the shell-

but stony case, begrowth, and slowly

In proportion to the vigor of

the individual these revolutions are frequent, until

some happier mind they are incessant and

in

all

worldly relations hang very loosely about him, be-

coming as

were a transparent

it

through which the living form

is

fluid

seen,

membrane and

not, as

most men, an indurated heterogeneous fabric of

in

many dates and of no settled character, in which the man is imprisoned. Then there can be enlargement, and the man of to-day scarcely recognizes And such should be the the man of yesterday. outward biography of man in time, a putting off of dead circumstances day by day, as he renews raiment day by day. tate, resting,

But

his

to us, in our lapsed es-

not advancing, resisting, not cooperat-

ing with the divine expansion, this growth comes

by shocks.

We let

cannot part with our friends.

our angels go.

We

go out that archangels

We

cannot

do not see that they only

may come

in.

We

are idol-

ators of the old.

We

of the soul, in

proper eternity and omnipresence.

We do

its

do not believe in the riches

not believe there

is

any force in to-day

to

rival or recreate that beautiful yesterday.

We lin-

ger in the ruins of the old tent where once

we had


;

COMPENSATION.

121

bread and shelter and organs, nor believe that the

We

can feed, cover, and nerve us again.

spirit

cannot again find aught so dear, so sweet, so grace-

But we

ful.

and weep

sit

the Almighty saith,

more will

!

'

we

We cannot

'

Up

stay

new

rely on the

;

in vain.

The

voice of

and onward for ever-

amid the and

so

Neither

ruins.

we walk ever with who look back-

reverted eyes, like those monsters

wards.

And

yet the compensations of calamity are

apparent to the understanding vals of time.

A fever,

also, after

made

long inter-

a mutilation, a cruel disap-

pointment, a loss of wealth, a loss of friends, seems at the

moment unpaid

loss,

and unpayable.

But

the sure years reveal the deep remedial force that

The death

underlies all facts.

vation,

somewhat

guide or genius tions in our

;

way

later

for of

of a dear friend,

which seemed nothing but

wife, brother, lover,

it

life,

pri-

assumes the aspect of a

commonly operates

revolu-

terminates an epoch of in-

fancy or of youth which was waiting to be closed, breaks up a wonted occupation, or a household, or style of living,

and allows the formation of new

ones more friendly to the growth of character.

permits or constrains the formation of quaintances and the reception of that prove of the

fii'st

new

new

It ac-

influences

importance to the next years

and the man or woman who would have remained


122

COMPENSATION.

a sunny garden-flower, with no room for

and too much of the walls and the neglect sunshine for

its

of the gardener is

the banian of the forest, yielding shade

wide neighborhoods of men.

its

roots

head, by the falling

and

made

fruit to


;

SPIRITUAL LAWS.

The

living

House

Heaven thy prayers

at once

and

respect,

architect,

Quarrying man's rejected hours, Builds there with eternal towers

;

Sole and self-commanded works,

Fears not undermining days.

Grows by

decays.

And, by the famous might that lurks In reaction and

Makes flame

recoil.

to freeze

and

ice to boil

Forging, through swart arms of Offence,

The

silver seat of

Innocence.


;

IV.

SPIEITUAL LAWS.

When

tlie

act of reflection takes place in the

mind, when we look at ourselves in the light of

we

thought,

discover that our life

Behind

beauty.

us, as

we

is

embosomed

go, all things

pleasing forms, as clouds do far

Not

off.

in

assume only-

things familiar and stale, but even the tragic and terrible are

comely as they take their place in the

pictures of

memory.

The

river-bank, the

weed

at

the water-side, the old house, the foolish person,

however neglected in the passing, have a grace in the past.

Even

the corpse that has lain in the

chambers has added a solemn ornament to the house. pain.

The

soul will not

know

either deformity or

If in the hours of clear reason

we should

speak the severest truth, we should say that we had never

made a

sacrifice.

In these hours the mind

seems so great that nothing can be taken from us that seems much.

All

loss, all pain, is

particular

the imiverse remains to the heart unhurt.

Neither


SPIRITUAL LAWS.

126

No man

vexations nor calamities abate our trust.

Allow

ever stated his griefs as lightly as he might. for exaggeration in the

most patient and sorely

den hack that ever was driven. finite that lies

For

The

intellectual

man

if

may

life

be kept clean and

will live the life of nature

import into his mind

No man need

his.

him any

Our young

which are none of

difficulties

strictly

though very ignorant of books, yield

belongs to him, and

his nature shall not

and doubts.

intellectual obstructions

people are diseased with the theological

problems of original

and the

like.

cal difficulty to

sin, origin of evil,

predestina-

These never presented a practi-

any man,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; never darkened

any man's road who did not go out of seek them.

and not

be perplexed in his speculations.

Let him do and say what

sles

only the

the infinite

;

stretched in smiling repose.

healthful

tion

is

it

has wrought and suffered

rid-

These are the

across

way

his

to

mumps and mea-

soul's

and whooping-coughs, and those who have not

caught them cannot describe their health or prescribe the cure.

these enemies.

A

simple

mind

will not

It is quite another thing

know

that he

should be able to give account of his faith and ex-

pound

to another the theory of his self-union

freedom.

This requires rare

this self-knowledge there

and

gifts.

may be

integrity in that which he

instincts

and a

fevf plain rules

'

Yet without

a sylvan strength

is. '

and

''A few strong

suffice us.


SPIRITUAL LAWS.

My will never gave rank they now take.

me

my mind

the images iu

The

the years of academical

have not yielded

127

and professional education

better facts than

some

that which

call

we

education

is

We

call so.

And

education often wastes

to thwart is

and balk

more precious than

form no guess,

time of receiving a thought, of

its

like

magnetism, which

this natural

it.

manner our moral nature

any interference

at the

comparative value. effort in attempts

its

sure to select what belongs to

In

idle

What

books under the bench at the Latin School.

we do not

the

regular course of studies,

vitiated

is

People represent

of our will.

by vir-

tue as a struggle, and take to themselves great airs

upon

their attainments,

and the question

where vexed when a noble nature whether the

man

temptation.

But there

Either

God

is

not better

is

is

who

is

every-

commended, strives

with

no merit in the matter.

is

there or he

is

not there.

We

love

characters in proportion as they are impulsive and

The

spontaneous.

man

a

less

thinks or knows

about his virtues the better we like him. on's victories are the best victories,

Timole-

which ran and

When

flowed like Homer's verses, Plutarch said.

we

see a soul

whose acts are

pleasant as roses,

things can be and are,

angel and say

'

all regal,

graceful and

we must thank God

Crump

grunting resistance to

that such

and not turn sourly on the is

all

a better

man

with his

his native devils.'


;

SPIRITUAL LAWS.

128

Not

less

conspicuous

preponderance of na-

is tlie

ture over will in all practical

we

tention in Mstory than

There

life.

ascribe to

it.

is less in-

We impute

and Napoleon

deep-laid far-sighted plans to Caesar

but the best of their power was in nature, not in them.

Men

of an extraordinary success, in their

honest moments, have always sung not unto

'

Not unto

us,

According to the faith of their times

us.'

they have built altars to Fortune, or to Destiny, or

Their success lay in their parallelism

to St. Julian.

to the course of thought,

unobstructed channel

;

which found in them an

and the wonders of which

they were the visible conductors seemed to the eye

Did

their deed. It is

the wires generate the galvanism?

even true that there was

less in

they could reflect than in another a

pijDe is to

ternally seemed will

ness

and

;

be smooth and hollow.

them on which as the virtue of

That which

and immovableness was

self-annihilation.

a theory of Shakspeare

?

ex-

willing-

Could Shakspeare give Could ever a man of

prodigious mathematical genius convey to others any

methods?

insight into his

cate that secret

it

If he could

would instantly

communi-

lose its exagger-

ated value, blending with the daylight and the vital

energy the power to stand and to go.

The

lesson

forcibly taught

is

by these observa-

tions that our life

might be much easier and simpler

than we make

that the world might be a happier

it

;


SPIRITUAL LAWS. place than

it is

that there

;

and

convulsions,

is

129

no need of struggles,

despairs, of the wringing of the

hands and the gnashing of the teeth create our

mism

own

ground of the

we

We interfere

evils.

of nature

;

mind

past, or of a wiser

are able to discern that

we

mis-

with the opti-

whenever we get

for

we

that

;

this vantage-

in the present,

are begirt with laws

which execute themselves.

The

face of external nature teaches the

same

les-

and fume.

She

does not like our benevolence or our learning

much

Nature

son.

will not

have us

fret

and wars.

better than she likes our frauds

we come out

When

the caucus, or the bank, or the

of

Abolition-convention, or the Temperance-meeting,

or the

Transcendental club into the

woods, she says to us,

We are

full of

my

So hot ?

'

and

fields

little Sir."

We

mechanical actions.

needs intermeddle and have things in our

must

own way,

and virtues of society are odious. Love should make joy but our benevolence is ununtil the sacrifices

;

happy.

Our Sunday-schools and churches and

We

pauper-societies are yokes to the neck.

ourselves to please

ways of arriving

at the

same ends

aim, but do not arrive.

work

in one

give dollars ? folk,

Why

and the same way

?

at

II.

which these

should

Why

all virtue

should

all

It is very inconvenient to us country

and we do not think any good

VOL.

pain

There are natural

nobody.

9

will

come

of

it.


;

SPIRITUAL LAWS.

130

We have

not dollars, mercliants have

Farmers

give them. sing

women

;

will

sew

will give corn ;

them

let

poets will

;

hand

laborers will lend a

the children will bring flowers. this

;

And why

drag

dead weight of a Sunday-school over the whole

Christendom?

It

childhood should teach; but

when they

it is

natural and beautifid that

is

and

inquire

Do

are asked.

should

not shut up the young

people against their will in a children to ask

maturity

time enough to answer questions

them questions

pew and

for

force the

an hour against

their will.

If

we look

letters

wider, things are all alike

Our

esty of truth.

derous

society

is

aqueducts which the

Romans

the

trav-

endless

and

built over hill

by the discovery of

the law that water rises to the level of is

laws and

encumbered by pon-

machinery, which resembles

dale and which are superseded

It

;

and creeds and modes of living seem a

its

source.

a Chinese wall which any nimble Tartar can

leap over. peace.

It is a standing army, not so

good as a

It is a graduated, titled, richly appointed

when town-meetings

empire, quite superfluous

found to answer just as

are

well.

Let us draw a lesson from nature, which always works by short ways. falls.

The

When

the fruit

circuit of

When is

the fruit

is

ripe, it

despatched, the leaf

the waters

is

mere

falling.

falls.

The


SPIRITUAL LAWS.

man and

walking of

All

ward.

our

all

animals

manual

131

is

a falling for-

and

labor

works

of

and

strength, as prying, splitting, digging, rowing so forth, are

done by dint of continual

and

falling,

the globe, earth, moon, comet, sun, star, fall for

ever and ever.

The

simplicity of the universe

very different

is

He who

from the simplicity of a machine.

sees

moral nature out and out and thoroughly knows

how knowledge is acquired and character formed, a pedant. The simplicity of nature is not that

is

may

which

The

easily be

last analysis

of a man's

read, but

is

inexhaustible.

We

can no wise be made.

wisdom by

his hope,

judge

knowing that the

perception of the inexhaustibleness of nature

is

an

The wild fertility of nature is comparing our rigid names and reputations

immortal youth. felt in

with our fluid consciousness.

and

for sects

we

We pass in the world

schools, for erudition

are all the time jejune babes.

well

how Pyrrhonism grew

that he

may be is old,

is

up.

and

piety,

One

Every man

he

is

young, he

He

is

very wise, he

is

altogether

There

is

manent wise man except in the figment

We

He

hears and feels what you say of the

seraphim, and of the tin-peddler.

Stoics.

sees

that middle point whereof every thing

affirmed and denied with equal reason.

ignorant.

and

sees very

side

no perof

the

with the hero, as we read op


SPIRITUAL LAWS.

132

paint, against the

coward and the robber

;

but we

have been ourselves that coward and robber, and shall be again,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not in the

low circumstance, but

in comparison with the grandeurs possible to the soul.

A little

consideration of what takes place around

us every day would show us that a higher law than that of our will regulates events labors are unnecessary

and

;

that our painful

fruitless

;

that only in

our easy, simple, spontaneous action are we strong,

and by contenting ourselves mth obedience we become divine. Belief and love, a believing love

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

O my broth-

will relieve us of a vast load of care. ers,

God

exists.

There

a soul at the centre of

is

nature and over the will of every man, so that

none of us can wrong the universe. fused

its

It has so in-

we and when we

strong enchantment into nature that

when we accept its advice, wound its creatures our hands are glued our sides, or they beat our own breasts. The

prosper

struggle to to

whole course of things goes to teach us

need only obey. us,

and by lowly

word.

Why

There

listening

we

shall hear the right

need you choose so painfidly your

place and occupation and associates and action

and

We

faith.

guidance for each of

is

of entertainment

possible right for

?

modes

Certainly there

you that precludes the need

balance and wilful election.

For you there

is

of

is

a

a of

re-


SPIRITUAL LAWS. ality,

a

fit

1S3

place and congenial duties.

self in the

Place your-

middle of the stream of power and wis-

dom which

animates

all

whom

and you are

it floats,

without effort impelled to truth, to right and a per-

Then you put

fect contentment.

Then you

the wrong.

all

gainsayers in

are the world,

ure of right, of truth, of beauty.

If

the meas-

we would not

be mar-plots with our miserable interferences, the work, the society,

letters, arts, science, religion

men would go on

of

and the

far better than now,

heaven predicted from the beginning of the world,

and

still

predicted from the bottom of the heart,

would organize air

and the

itself,

as do

now

the rose and the

sun.

I say, do not choose

;

but that

is

a figure of

speech by which I would distinguish what

monly

called choice

is

com-

among men, and which

is

a

partial act, the choice of the hands, of the eyes, of

the appetites, and not a whole act of the man. that which I call right or goodness,

my

constitution

;

and that which I

and inwardly aspire

my

in all

my

faculties.

after, is

my

stance desirable to

which I

is

the

constitution

years tend to do,

We

call

state ;

But

the choice of

heaven,

or circum-

and the action is

the

work

must hold a man amenable

for to

reason for the choice of his daily craft or profession.

It is not

an excuse any longer for his deeds

tuat they are the custom of his trade.

What

busi-


SPIRITUAL LAWS.

134

ness has he with an evil trade ?

Has he

not a colt

ing in his character ?

Each man has the is

There

call.

own

;

side but one,

on that side

all

He

is

like a ship

obstruction

serenely

channel into an infinite

sea.

depend on

This talent and this

organization, or the

his

itself

He

is

inclines to

and good when

He

consults his his

work

has no

own

exhibit

ambition

The height power

him

rival.

For the more truly he

powers, the more difference will

from the work of any

of the pinnacle

to

in

him.

man

breadth of the base. the

in

easy to

exactly proportioned to

is

mode

done, but which no other

do something which it is

taken

is

over a deepening

which the general soul incarnates

can do.

is

space

he rmis against obstructions on every

away and he sweeps call

talent all

has facidties silently inviting

thither to endless exertion.

in a river

The

vocation.

one direction in which

He

open to him.

him

his is

is

other.

His

powers.

his

determined by the

Every man has

this call of

do somewhat unique, and no

man

has

The pretence that he has another call, a summons by name and personal election and outward " signs that mark him extraordinary and any other

call.

not in the roll of

common men,"

is

fanaticism,

betrays obtuseness to perceive that

mind

in all the individuals,

sons therein.

there

and no respect

is

and one

of per-


SPIRITUAL LAWS.

By

doing

Ms work

135

he makes the need

felt

which

he can supply, and creates the taste by which he enjoyed. It

self.

By is

the vice of our public speaking that

orator but every

man

of all the reins

should find or

;

it

Somewhere, not only every

has not abandonment.

should

let

out

all

the length

make a frank and

hearty expression of what force and meaning

The common experience

him.

is

doing his own work he unfolds him-

is

that the

in

is

man

fits

himself as well as he can to the customary details of that

work

or trade he falls into,

a dog turns a

chine he moves

manage

to

full stature

vocation.

Then

spit. ;

the

is lost.

He must

ing and character

as

it

Until he can

and proportion, he does not yet

If the labor

knows and

man

and tends

he a part of the ma-

communicate himseK to others in

his

find his

find in that an outlet for his

character, so that he eyes.

is

is

may

justify his

mean,

make

it

work

to their

him by his thinkWhatever he liberal. let

thinks, whatever in his apprehension

is

will

him communicate, or men Foolnever know and honor him aright.

ish,

whenever you take the meanness and formality

worth doing, that

of that thing

let

you do, instead of converting

the obedient spiracle of your character and

We like only such

it

into

aims.

actions as have already long

had the praise of men, and do not perceive that any thing man can do may be divmely done. We


SPIRITUAL LAWS.

136

think greatness entailed or organized in some places or duties, in certain offices or occasions, and do not see that Paganini can extract rapture gut,

from a

cat-

and Eulenstein from a jews-harp, and a nimble-

fingered lad out of shreds of paper with his scissorSj

jand Landseer out of swine, and the hero out of the

and company in which he was

pitiful habitation

What we

hidden.

call

society is that condition

obscure condition or vulgar

and

whose poetry is

society

not yet written, but which you shall presently as enviable let

and renowned

tality,

In our estimates

as any.

The

us take a lesson from kings.

make

parts of hospi-

the connection of families, the impressiveness

of death,

and a thousand other

things, royalty

own estimate of, and a royal mind make habitually a new estimate, that is

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

What

a

man

does, that he has.

do with hope or fear?

Let him regard no good as in his nature

solid

is

To

elevation.

What

In himself

makes

will.

its

has he to

his might.

but that which

is

and which must grow out of him as

The goods of fortune may come and go like summer leaves let him scatter them on every wind as the momentary signs of his infin-

long as he

exists.

;

ite

productiveness.

He may

have his own.

quality that differences liim

A

man's genius, the

from every

other, the

susceptibility to one class of influences, the selec-

tion of

what

is fit

for him, the rejection of

what

is


SPIRITUAL LAWS.

determines for liim the character of the uni-

unfit,

A man is

verse.

ment

137

a method, a progressive arrange-

a selecting

;

him wherever he

princij^le,

He

goes.

gathering his like to

takes only his

own out

and circles round booms which are set

of the multiplicity that sweeps

He

him.

is

like one of those

out from the shore on rivers to catch drift-wood, or

amongst

like the loadstone facts,

splinters of steel.

words, persons, which dwell in his

Those

memory

without his being able to say why, remain because

they have a relation to him not less real for being

They

as yet unapprehended. to

him

are symbols of value

as they can interpret parts of his conscious-

ness which he would vainly seek words for in the

conventional images of

What

attracts

go to the

my

books and other minds.

attention shall have

man who knocks

my

at

thousand persons as worthy go by give no regard.

It is

A

speak to me.

as I will

it,

door, whilst

a

whom

I

it,

to

enough that these particulars

few anecdotes, a few

traits

of

character, manners, face, a few incidents, have an

emphasis in your memory out of their apparent significance

the ordinary standards.

Let them have

them and

their

great.

all

The

soul's

proportion to

you measure them by

They

relate to

your

weight, and do not

cast about for illustration

usual in literature. is

if

What

and

gift.

reject

facts

more

your heart thinks great^

emphasis

is

always right.


SPIRITUAL LAWS.

138

Over

all

things

tliat

are agreeable to his nature

and genius the man has the highest where he may take what belongs tate,

to his spiritual es=

nor can he take anything else though

were open, nor can

him from taking

so

all

the

much.

Every-

right.

force of

all

men

doors

hinder

It is vain to attempt to

keep a secret from one who has a right to know

That mood

It will tell itself.

can bring us

is

his

into

dominion over

To

us.

the

thoughts of that state of mind he has a right. the secrets of that state of

This

is

All

mind he can compel.

a law which statesmen use in practice.

the terrors of the French

All

Republic, which held

Austria in awe, were unable to

plomacy.

it.

which a friend

But Napoleon sent

to

command

her

di-

Vienna M. de Nar-

bonne, one of the old noblesse, with the morals,

manners and name of that was indispensable

Europe men

interest, saying that it

to send to the old aristocracy of

of the

same connection, which in

constitutes a sort of free-masonry.

fact

M. de Narboune

in less than a fortnight penetrated all the secrets of

the imperial cabinet.

Nothing seems so easy as to speak and derstood.

Yet a man may come

strongest of defences

understood

may come bonds.

;

and of

ties,

to

be un-

to find that the

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that he has been

and he who has received an opinion to

find

it

the

most inconvenient of


SPIRITUAL LAWS. If a teacher have

139

any opinion which he wishes to

conceal, his pupils will

become as

fully indoctri-

nated into that as into any which he publishes.

you pour water into a vessel twisted into angles,

feel

and

vain to say, I will pour

is

it

this or that

;

the

act

it

will find its level in

it

coils

If

and

only into all.

Men

consequences of your doctrine

without being able to show

how they

follow.

Show

us an arc of the curve, and a good mathematician

whole

will find out the

figure.

We are

soning from the seen to the unseen.

always rea-

Hence the

perfect intelligence that subsists between wise

A man

of remote ages. so deep in his

book but time and like-minded men Plato had a secret doctrine, had

will find them.

he ?

What

Bacon

?

of

men

cannot bury his meanings

secret can

Montaigne

he conceal from the eyes of ?

Kant ? Therefore ArisThey are published and

of

totle said of his works, "

not published."

No man

can learn what he has not preparation

for learning, however near to his eyes

A chemist

ject.

to a carpenter,

may

and he

tell his

shall

is

the ob-

most precious secrets

be never the wiser, —»

the secrets he would not utter to a chemist for an estate.

ideas.

God screens us evermore from premature Our eyes are holden that we cannot see

things that stare us in the face, until the hour arrives

when

the

mind

is

ripened; then we behold


!

SPIRITUAL LAWS.

140

them, and the time when we saw them not

like a

is

dream.

Not

in nature but in

worth he

man

The world

sees.

is

is

all

the beauty

very empty, and

and

is in-

debted to this gilding, exalting soul for all its " Earth fills her lap with splendors " not pride. her

o^vTi.

The

vale of

Tempe, Tivoli and

earth and water, rocks and sky.

Rome are

There are as good

earth and water in a thousand places, yet

how

un-

affecting

People are not the better for the sun and moon, the horizon and the trees

Roman

the keepers of

;

as

it is

not observed that

galleries or the valets of

painters have any elevation of thought, or that

brarians are wiser

men

than others.

li-

There are

graces in the demeanor of a polished and noble per-

son which are lost upon the eye of a churl.

These

are like the stars whose light has not yet reached us.

He may

see

of the night bear

the day.

some proportion

We

are

visions

to the visions of

see our evil affections

bodied in bad physiognomies.

fied to

The

waking knowledge.

Hideous dreams are exaggerations of the

sins of the day.

traveller

Our dreams

what he maketh.

the sequel of our

On

em-

the Alps the

sometimes beholds his own shadow magni-

a giant, so that every gesture of his hand

terrific.

"

My

children," said an old

man

is

to his


SPIRITUAL LAWS.

141

"my

boys scared by a figure in the dark entry, children,

you

will never see anything worse than

As

yourselves."

in dreams, so in the scarcely less

fluid events of the colossal,

world every

man

without knowing that

it

is

sees himself in

The

himself.

good, compared to the evil which he sees,

is

as his

own good to his own evil. Every quality of his mind is magnified in some one acquaintance, and every emotion of his heart in some one.

a quincunx of

trees,

north, or south acrostic.

;

which counts

five,

or an initial, medial,

And why

not

?

He

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

He

is

like

east, west,

and terminal

cleaves to one per-

son and avoids another, according to their likeness or unlikeness to himself, tridy seeking himself in his associates

and moreover

in his trade

and habits

and gestures and meats and drinks, and comes last to

at

be faithfully represented by every view you

take of his circumstances.

He may skilful

man

What

can we see

You have

observed a

read what he writes.

or acquire but what

we

are

reading Virgil.

?

Well, that author

thousand books to a thousand persons.

book into your two hands and read your eyes you

will never find

what I

find.

If

is

a

Take the out,

any ingenious

reader would have a monopoly of the wisdom or delight he gets, he

Englished, as tongue.

if it

is

as secure

now

the book

is

were imprisoned in the Pelews'

It is with a

good book as

it is

with good


;

SPIRITUAL LAWS.

142

company.

men,

Introduce a base person

Every

;

and

lie

among

gentle^

not their fellow.

lie is

The company

society protects itself.

fectly safe,

body

no purpose

to

it is all

is

per-

not one of them, though his

is

in the room.

is

What

avails

it

to fight with the eternal laws of

mind, which adjust the relation of

persons to

all

each other by the mathematical measure of their havings and beings ? Gertrude

how

liigh,

how

and manners

!

to live with

and no purchase

moved

are

is

too gTcat

to that end.

is

enamored of Guy

how Roman

aristocratic,

;

his

mien

him were life indeed, and heaven and earth

Well, Gertrude has

Guy

but what now avails how high, how aristocratic, how Roman his mien and manners, if his heart and

aims are in the senate, in the theatre and in the

and she has no aims, no conversation

billiard-room,

that can enchant her graceful lord

He

have his own

shall

nothing but nature.

?

society.

We

can love

The most wonderful

talents,

the most meritorious exertions really avail very tle

with us

how

but nearness or likeness of nature,

;

beautiful

approach

us,

is

the ease of

the hour result.

victory

!

gifts

;

sure

wonder

for

they dedicate their whole

and the company,

To be

all

it

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; with

would be

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Persons

famous for their beauty, for their

complishments, worthy of

charms and

its

lit-

ac-

their skill to

very imperfect

ungi-ateful in us not


SPIRITUAL LAWS. to praise

them

Then, when

loudly.

143 all is clone,

a

person of related mind, a brother or sister by nature,

comes to us so

intimately, as

we

veins, that

if

;

and

easily, so nearly

some one was gone, instead

come

it is

;

we

are utterly relieved

ety,

We

a sort of joyful solitude.

foolishly think in our days of sin that

by compliance

court friends

and

were the blood in our proper

it

feel as if

of another having

and refreshed

softly

we must

to the customs of soci-

to its dress, its breeding,

and

its

estimates.

counter on the line of

my my own

wliich I do not decline

and which does not decline

But only

to

that soul can be

me, but, native of the same

peats in

its

own

forgets himself

man

of the

all

my

friend which I en-

march, that soul to

celestial latitude, re-

The

experience.

scholar

and apes the customs and costumes

of the world to deserve the smile of

beauty, and follows some giddy girl, not yet taught

by

religious passion to

all

that

is

know

serene, oracular

Let him be great, and love ing

is

more

affinities

the noble

and beautiful

woman

with

in her soul.

shall follow him.

Noth-

deeply punished than the neglect of the

by which alone

and the insane

society should be formed,

levity of choosing associates

by

oth-

ers' eyes.

He may

set his

own

ance he takes.

It is a maxim worthy man may have that allow-

rate.

of all acceptation that a

Take the place and

attitude which


SPIRITUAL LAWS.

144

belong to you, and

must be

unconcern, to set it

all

men

liis

own

own measure

mtb

profound

Hero or

driveller,

man,

rate.

meddles not in the matter.

cept your

The world

acquiesce.

It leaves every

just.

It will certainly ac-

of your doing

and being,

whether you sneak about and deny your own name, or whether you see your

work produced

to the con-

cave sphere of the heavens, one with the revolution of the stars.

The same

man may

pervades

reality

The

teaching.

all

teach by doing, and not otherwise.

If he

can communicate himself he can teach, but not by

He

words.

teaches

There

receives.

is

who

gives,

and he learns who

no teaching until the pupil

is

brought into the same state or principle in which

you are

a transfusion takes place

;

you are he

;

then

is

a teaching,

;

he

is

you and

and by no unfriendly

chance or bad company can he ever quite lose the

But your propositions run out

benefit.

We

as they ran in at the other.

that

Mr. Grand

of July,

their

If

it

advertised

and we do not go

thither, because

we

that these gentlemen will not communicate

own

character and experience to the company.

we had reason

should go through

The

see

an oration on the Fourth

and Mr. Hand before the Mechanics' As-

sociation,

know

will deliver

of one ear

sick

to expect such a confidence all

we

inconvenience and opposition.

would be carried in

litters.

But a

public


SPIRITUAL LAWS. oration

145

an escapade, a non-committal, an apology,

is

a gag, and not a communication, not a speech, not

a man.

A

Nemesis presides

like

We

works.

itself,

all

intellectual

have yet to learn that the thing

tered in words affirm

over

not therefore affirmed.

is

ut-

must

It

or no forms of logic or of oath can

it evidence. The sentence must also contain own apology for being spoken. The effect of any writing on the public mind is

give its

mathematically measurable by

How much to think,

water does

it

its

draw ?

you from your

if it lift

depth of thought. If

it

awaken you

feet with the great

voice of eloquence, then the effect is to be wide,

slow, permanent, over the

you

pages instruct

The way

hour.

to speak

go out of fashion

minds of men

;

the

if

not, they will die like flies in the

is to

and write what

shall not

speak and write sincerely.

The argument which has not power to reach my own practice, I may well doubt will fail to reach yours. " Look in thy heart, But take Sidney's maxim :

and

He

write."

eternal public.

made to

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

that writes to himself writes to an

That statement only

public which you have

satisfy

come

your own curiosity.

is

fit

to

be

at in attempting

The

writer

who

takes his subject from his ear and not from his heart, should

know

that he has lost as

much

as he

seems to have gained, and when the empty book VOL.

II.

10


SPIRITUAL LAWS.

146 has gathered '

What

make

!

what genius

That only

fire.

Life alone can impart burst

and haK the people

all its praise,

poetry

There

is

hour when

is profitable.

and though we should

;

we make

as

no luck in

They who make up book are not the

which

ourselves

literary reputation.

the final verdict

upon every

and noisy readers

partial

say,

needs fuel to

it still

'

profits life

we can only be valued

valuable.

!

of the

appears, but a court as of angels, a

it

public not to be bribed, not to be entreated and not

upon every man's

to be overawed, decides

fame. to last.

Only

those books

title

to

come down which deserve

Gilt edges, vellum and morocco,

and

pres-

entation-copies to all the libraries will not preserve

a book in circulation beyond

It

all

Walpole's Noble and Royal Au-

its fate.

Blackmore, Kotzebue, or Pollok

must go with thors to

its intrinsic date.

may endure

for a night, but

stand for ever.

Moses and Homer

There are not in the world at any

one time more than a dozen persons who read and imderstand Plato,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; never

edition of his works

come duly down, as

if

;

enough

yet to every generation these

The permanence

effort, friendly

eific

"

in his hand.

said Bentley, " was ever written

no

pay for an

for the sake of those few persons,

God brought them

itself."

to

of all books

or hostile, but

No

book,"

down by any but by

is

their

fi:xed

own

gravity, or the intrinsic importance of

by

spe-

their


SPIRITUAL LAWS. contents to the constant trouble yourseK too

mind

of

much about

147

man.

"

Do

not

the light on your

Michael Angelo to the young sculptor;

statue," said

" the light of the public square will test

In like manner the

effect of

its

every action

value." is

meas-

ured by the depth of the sentiment from which

The

proceeds. great.

appear. it

great

man knew

It took a century or

What

it

not that he was

two for that fact to

he did, he did because he must

;

was the most natural thing in the world, and

But

grew out of the circumstances of the moment. now, every thing he did, even to the finger related,

eating of bread, looks large,

or the

and

is

lifting of his all-

called an institution.

These are the demonstrations in a few particulars of the genius of nature

drop

its

they show the direction is

Truth has not single

is alive.

things are

;

But the stream

of the stream.

organs,

but errors and

lies.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not

blood

;

every

victories

;

aU

only dust and stones,

The laws

of disease, phy-

sicians say, are as beautiful as the laws of health.

Our

philosophy

is

affirmative

and readily accepts

the testimony of negative facts, as every shadow points to the fact in nature

Human

sun. is

By

a divine necessity every

constrained to offer

its

character evermore publishes

most fugitive deed and word, the mere

testimony. itself.

air of

The doing

a thing, the intimated purpose, expresses character.


SPIRITUAL LAWS.

148 If

you act you show character

you

sleep,

you show

you

if

;

You

it.

sit still,

if

think because you

have spoken nothing when others spoke, and have given no opinion on the times, on the church, on slavery, ties,

on marriage, on socialism, on secret

on the

your verdict

socie-

on parties and persons, that

college,

expected with curiosity as a re-

is still

served wisdom.

Far otherwise

swers very loud.

You have no

;

your silence an-

oracle to utter,

and

your fellow-men have learned that you cannot help

Doth not Wisdom cry

them; for oracles speak.

and Understanding put forth her voice Dreadful limits are of dissimulation.

set in

Truth tyrannizes over the unwill-

ing members of the body. said.

No man

Faces never

lie, it is

need be deceived who will study the

When

changes of expression. truth in the

?

nature to the powers

spirit of

as the heavens.

a

man

truth, his

When

speaks falsely, the eye

eye

speaks the is

as

clear

he has base ends and is

muddy and sometimes

asquint.

I have heard an experienced counsellor say that

he never feared the

who does not ousfht to it

have a verdict.

his unbelief will

his protestations,

This

is

effect

upon a jury

of a lawyer

believe in his heart that his client If he does not believe

appear to the jury, despite

and

will

that law whereby a

become

work

all

their unbelief.

of art, of whatever


SPIRITUAL LAWS. kind, sets us in artist

tlie

same

state of

was when he made

149

mind wherein the

That which we do

it.

not believe we cannot adequately say, though

may

repeat the words never so often.

It

was

we this

Swedenborg expressed when he

conviction which

described a group of persons in the spiritual world

endeavoring in vain to articulate a proposition

which they did not believe

but they could not,

;

though they twisted and folded their

even to

lips

indignation.

A man passes for that he is all curiosity

us,

and

all

If a

so.

Very

worth.

idle is

concerning other people's estimate of

fear of remaining

man know

that he can do

unknown any one

better than

it

is

not less

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201D; he

do any thing,

that he can

else,

has a pledge of the acknowledgment of that fact

by

all

days, in

persons.

and

The world

is

full

of judgment-

into every assembly that a

every action he attempts, he

is

man

enters,

gauged and

In every troop of boys that whoop and

stamped.

run in each yard and square, a new-comer

is

as

well and accurately weighed in the course of a few

days and stamped with his right number, as

had undergone a formal and temper.

A

trial of his strength,

if

he

speed

stranger comes from a distant

school, with better dress, with trinkets in his pockets,

with

airs

to himself,

'

It

and pretensions 's

of

;

no use ; we

an older boy says shall find

him out


SPIRITUAL LAWS.

150 to-morrow.'

'

What

has he done

'

A

the divine

is

men and fop may sit

question which searches

every false reputation.

?

transpierces

any chair

in

of the world nor be distinguished for his hour

Homer and Washington

any doubt concerning the respective

man act.

may

Pretension

beings.

from

but there need never be

;

sit

ability of hu^

still,

but cannot

Pretension never feigned an act of real greatPretension never wrote an Iliad, nor drove

ness.

back Xerxes, nor christianized the world, nor abolished slavery.

As much virtue much goodness as commands.

as there

there

is,

is,

much appears as much reverence it The respect virtue. so

;

so

All the devils

high, the generous, the self-devoted sect will always

and command mankind.

instruct

cere

word

he

is

it

What

he

face,

on his form, on

light.

Concealment

nothing.

There

is

some heart

is

A

unexpectedly.

worth.

is

man

pression.

His

sin

to greet

avails

fell

and

passes for that

engraves

itself

his fortunes, in

on his

letters

of

him nothing, boasting

confession in the glances of our

eyes, in our smiles, in salutations,

hands.

sin-

Never a magnanimity

utterly lost.

to the ground, but there

accept

Never was a

and the grasp

bedaubs him, mars

Men know

not

why

mean

good im-

they do not trust

him, but they do not trust him. his eye, cuts lines of

all his

of

His vice

glasses

expression ia his cheek,


SPIRITUAL LAWS.

mark

pinches the nose, sets the

back of the head, and writes

151

of the beast

O

fool

!

fool

!

on the on the

forehead of a king. If

you would not be known

never do

of a desert, but every grain of see.

do any thing,

to

A man may play the fool in the

it.

He may

drifts

sand shall seem to

be a solitary eater, but he cannot

A broken

keep his foolish counsel.

complexion, a

swinish look, ungenerous acts and the want of due

knowledge,

all

blab.

Can a

cook, a Cliiffinch,

an lachimo be mistaken for Zeno or Paul ? exclaimed, — " How

fucius

cealed

On

How

?

can a

man be

can a

Con-

man be

concealed ?

the other hand, the hero fears not that

withhold the avowal of a just and brave act

himself,

— and

is

pledged by

it

to

if

it

One knows

go unwitnessed and unloved.

con-

"

he

will

it,

sweetness of

peace and to nobleness of aim which will prove in the end a better proclamation of

ing of the incident. tion to the

things

Virtue

is

it

than the

nature of things, and the nature of

makes

it

prevalent.

It consists in

ual substitution of being for seeming,

lime propriety

The

relat-

the adherence in ac-

God

is

a perpet-

and with sub-

described as saying, I

AM.

lesson which these observations convey

Be, and not seem.

Let us acquiesce.

is,

Let us take

Dur bloated nothingness out of the path of the divine circuits.

Let us unlearn our wisdom

of the


SPIRITUAL LAWS.

152

Let us

world. learn If

low in the Lord's power and

truth alone

tliat

you

lie

visit

makes

for not having visited him,

deface your o^vQ act?

its

with

by

assisted

and waste

his time

and

him now. Let him has come to see him, in

secret self-reproaches that

him

or complimented

and salutations heretofore ?

gifts

Be a

him gift

Shine with real light and not

and a benediction.

with the borrowed reflection of

men

great.

Or why need you torment

lowest organ.

yourself and friend

you have not

and

Visit

feel that the highest love

thee

rich

your friend, why need you apologize

are apologies for

Common

gifts.

men; they bow the head,

excuse themselves with prolix reasons, and accumulate appearances because the substance is not.

We are full of

these superstitions of sense, the

We call the poet

worship of magnitude. because he

is

inactive,

not a president, a merchant, or a por-

ter.

We adore an institution,

it is

founded on a thought which we have.

real action

our

a

life

side as tire

But

The epochs

moments.

in silent

see that

of

are not in the visible facts of our choice of

calling,

and the

is

and do not

our marriage, our acquisition of an

like,

manner

done, but

it

silent

thought by the way-

in a thought

which revises our en-

but in a

we walk

;

office,

and

says,

were better

thus.'

of life

years, like menials, serve

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

'

Thus hast thou

And

and wait on

all

our after

this,

and

a<>


SPIRITUAL LAWS. cording to their ability execute visal or correction is

153 This

its will.

a constant force, which, as a

The

tendency, reaches through our lifetime. ject of the

make

man, the aim of these moments,

of his doing your eye

falls it shall report truly of his character,

be his

Now

he

not homogeneous, but heterogeneous, and the ray

does not traverse

;

are no thorough lights,

there

but the eye of the beholder

is

many

life

unlike tendencies and a

Why

should

modesty

we make

tented.

I love

to love the

A good man is con-

to us ?

and honor Epaminondas, but I do

he was the

still

love

you,

by

if

I

'

is

more

it

true, excite

He

man

I take

large,

him if

for,

his lot

when

just

Why

to the sit-

the need

Epaminondas,

would have

sat

had been minCo

and affords space for

fortitude.

me

acted and thou

be also good.

with joy and peace,

and

am

saying,

sitting still to

Heaven

I hold

I see action to be good,

still.'

and

are and that

world of this hour than the world of his

Nor can

least uneasiness test

not yet at one.

man we

not wish to be Epaminondas.

hour.

puzzled, detecting

a point with our false

it

to disparage that

form of being assigned

if

whether

forms, his so-

diet, his house, his religious

ciety, his mirth, his vote, his opposition.

is,

to

whole being without obstruction, so

what point soever

that on

is

ob-

is

daylight shine through him, to suffer the law

to traverse his

it

re-

all

modes of

should we be busybodies


;

SPIRITUAL LAWS.

154

and superserviceable

Action and inaction are

?

One

alike to the true.

piece of the tree

cut for a

is

weathercock and one for the sleeper of a bridge the virtue of the

wood

is

apparent in both.

The

I desire not to disgrace the soul. I

am

here certainly shows

of an organ here.

me that the

fact that

had need

soul

Shall I not assume the post?

Shall I skulk and dodge and duck with

my

unsea-

sonable apologies and vain modesty and imagine

my

being here impertinent?

Epaminondas or Homer being there the soul did not

know

its

than

less pertinent

and that

?

own needs?

Besides,

without any reasoning on the matter, I have no

The good soul nourishes me and unnew magazines of power and enjoyment to

discontent.

locks

me

every day.

I will not

meanly decline the im-

mensity of good, because I have heard that

come

Besides,

Action ?

We

why 'T

know

should

we be cowed by

a trick of the senses,

is

the

has

name

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; no

any thing unless

some Gentoo

diet, or

it

is

coat,

a

to itself

have an outside badge,

Quaker

of

more.

that the ancestor of every action

The poor mind does not seem

thought. to be

it

to others in another shape.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

or Calvinistic

prayer-meeting, or philanthropic society, or a great donation, or a high

office,

or,

any how, some wild

contrasting action to testify that

The ture.

rich

mind

To

lies in

think

is

it

is

the sun and sleeps,

to act.

somewhat.

and

is

Na-


SPIRITUAL LAWS. Let

own

us, if

we must have

All action

so.

is

great actions,

an

of

155

make our

infinite elasticity,

and

the least admits of being inflated with the celestial air until it eclipses the

sun and moon.

Let

seek one peace by fidelity.

Why

Let us

me heed my duties.

need I go gadding into the scenes and philos°

ophy of Greek and Italian history before I have justified

myself to

my

benefactors

How

?

dare I

read Washington's campaigns when I have not an-

swered the letters of

my own

correspondents

much

not that a just objection to

?

Is

of our reading ?

work to gaze Byron says peeping.

It is a pusillanimous desertion of our

after our neighbors.

of

Jack Bunting, "

He knew

It is

not what to say, and so he swore."

may say it of our preposterous use of books, knew not what to do, and so Tie read. I can I

of nothing to

fill

my

think

time with, and I find the Life

It is a very extravagant

of Brant.

— He

compliment to

pay to Brant, or to General Schuyler, or to General

Washington.

their time,

— my

My time facts,

my

should be as good as

net of relations, as good

as theirs, or either of theirs.

work

so

compare find

it

weU

my

that other idlers

Rather if

me do my choose may

let

they

texture with the texture of these and

identical with the best.

This over-estimate of the possibilities of Paul and


SPIRITUAL LAWS.

156

Pericles, this under-estimate of our own,

comes from

a neglect of the fact of an identical nature.

Bona-

knew but one merit, and rewarded in one and the same way the good soldier, the good astronomer, the good poet, the good player. The parte

poet uses the names of Caesar, of Tamerlane, of

Bonduca, of Belisarius

the painter uses the con-

;

ventional story of the Virgin Mary, of Paul, of Peter.

He

does not therefore defer to the nature

of these accidental men, of these stock heroes.

the poet write a true drama, then he

not the player of Caesar

;

is

Caesar,

If

and

then the seKsame strain

of thought, emotion as pure, wit as subtle, motions as swift, mounting, extravagant,

of

its

solid

love

and hope can

and precious

uplift all that is

— — marking

in the world,

money, navies, kingdoms,

;

— these

all

it

own

its

casts

in-

on these

are his, and by the power

of these he rouses the nations. in

reckoned

palaces, gardens,

comparable worth by the slight

gauds of men

and a heart as

which on the waves

great, self-sufficing, dauntless,

Let a

man

believe

God, and not in names and places and persons.

Let the great soul incarnated in some woman's form, poor and sad and single, in some Dolly or Joan, go out to service and sweep chambers and scour floors,

and

its

effulgent

hid, but to

daybeams cannot be muffled or

sweep and scour

supreme and beautiful

will instantly appear

actions, the top

and radiance


SPIRITUAL LAWS. of

human

brooms

;

shrined

life,

and

until, lo

itself in

1

all

people will get

157

mops and

suddenly the great soul has en-

some other form and done some

other deed, and that

is

now

the flower and head

of all living nature.

We leaf

are the photometers,

and

tinfoil that

the subtle element.

we

the irritable gold-

measure the accumulations of

We know the

authentic effects

of the true fire through every one of its million disguises.


;

LOVE.

*'

I was as a

Me my

gem

concealed

burning ray revealed."

Koran,


V.

LOVE.

Every BIments

;

promise of the soul has innumerable each of

its

joys ripens into a

ful*

new want.

Nature, uncontainable, flowing, forelooking, in the first

sentiment of kindness anticipates already a

benevolence which shall lose in its general light.

is

the enchantment of

like a certain divine rage

man

introduction to this felic-

a private and tender relation of one to one,

ity is in

which

The

regards

all particular

at one period

human

life

and enthusiasm,

;

which,

seizes

and works a revolution in

on his

mind and body unites him to his race, pledges him to the domestic and civic relations, carries him with new sympathy into nature, enhances the power ;

of the senses, opens the imagination, adds to his

character heroic and sacred attributes, establishes*

marriage and gives permanence to

The

human

society.

natural association of the sentiment of love

with the heyday of the blood seems to require that in order to portray it in vivid tints,

which every

Youth and maid should confess to be true to their VOL.

II.

11


LOVE.

162

throbbing exj^erience, one must not be too old. The delicious fancies of youth reject the least savor of

a mature philosophy, as chilling with age and ped-

And

antry their purple bloom.

therefore I

know

I incur the imputation of unnecessary hardness

who compose

stoicism from those

But from

Parliament of Love.

censors I shall appeal to

my

and

the Court and

these formidable

For

seniors.

it is

to

be considered that this passion of which we speak,

though

it

begin with the young, yet forsakes not the

old, or rather suffers no one

grow less

old,

is

servant to

its

but makes the aged participators of

it

not

than the tender maiden, though in a different

and nobler first

who

sort.

For

it is

a

fire

that kindling

its

embers in the narrow nook of a private bosom,

caught from a wandering spark out of another vate heart, glows and enlarges until

beams upon multitudes

of

the universal heart of

all,

whole world and

all

warms and

men and women, upon and

nature with

It matters not therefore

it

pri-

so lights

its

up the

generous flames.

whether we attempt to deÂŤ

scribe the passion at twenty, thirty, or at eighty

He who

years. lose

some of

some of that

its

paints

its later,

it

at the first period will

he who paints

earlier traits.

Only

it

it is

at the last, to

be hoped

by patience and the Muses' aid we may

to that

inward view of the law which

attaiij

shall describe

a truth ever young and beautiful, so central that h


XOT^.

commend

shall

163

the eye at whatever angle

itself to

beholden.

And

the

too close

first

condition

the sentiment as

Each man

own

sees his

man

disfigured, as the life of

agination.

we must

to facts,

leave a

and study

apj^eared in hope, and not in

it

For each man

history.

and

that

is

and lingering adherence

own

sees over his

defaced

life

not to his im=

is

experience

a certain stain of error, whilst that of other

Let any man go back

looks fair and ideal. delicious life,

men

to those

which make the beauty of

relations

his

which have given him sincerest instruction and

nourishment, he will shrink and moan.

know

Alas

!

I

not why, but infinite compunctions embitter

in mature life the

remembrances of budding

and cover every beloved name.

joy,

Every thing

is

beautiful seen from the point of the intellect, or as truth. tails

But

all is

sour

are melancholy

In the actual world

and place

;

if

is

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; dwell care and canker and

rose of joy.

Round

grief cleaves to

all

immortal

Muses

the

of time

With

fear.

hilarity, the

sing.

names and persons and the

interests of to-day

But

partial

and yesterday.

The strong bent which

it

is

De-

seemly and noble.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the painful kingdom

thought, with the ideal,

tion

seen as experience.

the plan

of nature

is

seen in the propor=

this topic of personal relations usurps in

the conversation of society.

What

do we wish

to


LOi^.

164

know

of

any worthy person

so mucli as

sped in the history of this sentiment

when

books

How we

in the cii'culating library circulate ?

over these novels of passion,

how he has

What

?

the story

with any spark of truth and nature fastens attention, in the intercourse of

glow told

is

And what

!

like

life,

any

passage betraying affection between two parties

?

Perhaps we never saw them before and never shall

But we

meet them again.

see

them exchange a

glance or betray a deep emotion, and longer strangers.

We

we are no

understand them and take

the warmest interest in the development of the ro-

All mankind love a lover.

mance.

The

earliest

demonstrations of complacency and kindness are nature's most winning pictures.

It is the

and grace in the coarse and

civility

rude village boy teases the house door

;

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but

girls

dawn of The

rustic.

about the school-

to-day he comes running into

the entry and meets one fair child disposing her

he holds her books to help her, and

satchel

;

stantly

it

from him

Among

seems to him as infinitely,

if

in-

she removed herself

and was a sacred

precinct.

the throng of girls he runs rudely enough,

but one alone distances him

;

and these two

little

neighbors, that were so close just now, have learned to respect each other's personality.

Or who

can

avert his eyes from the engaging, half -artful, half artless

ways of

school-girls

who go

into the countrj


165

LOVE.

shops to buy a skein of silk or a sheet of paper, and talk half an hour about nothing with the broadfaced, good-natured shop-boy.

In the village they

are on a perfect equality, which love delights in,

and without any coquetry the happy,

The

affectionate

woman flows out in this pretty gossipo may have little beauty, yet plainly do

nature of girls

they establish between them and the good boy the

most agreeable, confiding relations

;

what with

their

fun and their earnest, about Edgar and Jonas and Almira, and who was invited to the party, and

who

danced at the dancing-school, and when the singingschool would begin,

and other nothings concerning

which the parties cooed.

By and by

that boy wants

a wife, and very truly and heartily will he

where

to find a sincere

know

and sweet mate, without any

risk such as Milton deplores as incident to scholars

and great men. I have been told that in some public discourses of

mine

my

reverence for the intellect has

unjustly cold to the personal relations.

made me

But now I

almost shrink at the remembrance of such disparaging words.

For persons are

love's world,

and the

coldest philosopher cannot recount the debt of the

young soul wandering here of love, without being

in nature to the

power

tempted to unsay, as treason-

able to nature, aught derogatory to the social instincts.

For though the

celestial rapture falling


;

LOVE.

166

out of heaven seizes only upon those of tender age,

and although a beauty overpowering

or

all analysis

comparison and putting us quite beside ourselves

we can seldom

see after thirty years, yet the

brance of these visions outlasts brances,

and

brows.

But here

many men,

is

other

remem-

remem-

a wreath of flowers on the oldest is

a strange fact

it

;

may seem

to

in revising their experience, that they

have no fairer page in their licious

all

memory

of

life's

book than the de-

some passages wherein

affection

contrived to give a witchcraft, surpassing the deep attraction of its

own

truth, to a parcel of accidental

and

trivial circumstances.

they

may

In looking backward

find that several things

which were not

the charm have more reality to this groping

memory

than the charm itseK which embalmed them.

be our experience in particulars what

it

But

may, no man

ever forgot the visitations of that power to his heart

anew which was dawn in him of music, poetry and art which made the face of nature radiant with purple light, and

brain, which created all things

;

the

;

the morning and the night varied enchantments

when a

single tone of one voice could

make

the

heart bound, and the most trivial circumstance associated with one

form

is

put in the amber of

mem-

ory when he became all eye when one was present, and all memory when one was gone when the ;

;

youth becomes a watcher of windows and studious


"

;

LOVE.

167

of a glove, a veil, a ribbon, or the wheels of

riage

;

silent

a car-

when no place is too solitary and none too for him who has richer company and sweeter

conversation in his

new thoughts than any

old

though best and purest, can give him | for

friends,

the figures, the motions, the words of the beloved object are not, like other images, written in water, but, as Plutarch said, "enamelled in fire,"

the study of midnight "

Thou Thou

:

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

and make

art not gone being gone, where'er thou art, leav'st

m him thy watchful eyes, in

him thy loving

heart." life we still throb when happiness was not

In the noon and the afternoon of at the recollection of days

happy enough, but must be drugged with the of pain

and fear

who

matter

;

relish

for he touched the secret of the

said of love,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

" All other pleasures are not worth

its

pains:

and when the day was not long enough, but the night too must be consumed in keen recollections

when

the head boiled all night on the pillow with

the generous deed light

it

resolved on

and the flowers ciphers and the song

and

;

when

all

the

the streets,

all

when the moon-

;

was a pleasing fever and the

stars

air

letters

business seemed an impertinence,

men and women running mere

were

was coined into

pictures.

to

and fro

in


;

168

LOVE.

The passion makes

all

rebuilds the world for the youth.

things

alive

now

and

to his heart

The

are almost articulate.

The

looks on them.

;

waving

grown

intelli-

which they seem

and sympathizes. dearer

notes

trees of the forest, the

and he almost fears

secret

The

soul.

clouds have faces as he

grass and the peeping flowers have

gent

It

Nature

significant.

Every bird on the boughs of the

grows conscious. tree sings

and

to trust

them with the

Yet nature soothes

to invite.

In the green solitude he finds a

home than with men

:

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

" Fountain-heads and pathless groves, Places wliich pale passion loves,

Moonlight walks, when

Are

all

the fowls

safely housed, save bats

A midnight bell,

and owls,

a passing groan,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

These are the sounds we feed upon."

Behold there in the wood the is

he

fiue

madman

a palace of sweet sounds and sights is

twice a

he soliloquizes

man ;

veins

he

He

he walks with arms akimbo

;

he accosts the grass and the trees

;

;

he feels the blood of the lily in his

;

!

dilates

;

and he

violet, the clover

and the

talks with the brook that

wets his foot.

The

heats that have opened his perceptions of

natural beauty have

made him love music and verse. men have written

It is a fact often observed, that

good verses under the inspiration of passion, who cannot write well under any other circumstances.


L0\^.

The

like force has the passion over all his nature.

It

expands the sentiment

tle

and gives the coward and abject

iful

it

the beloved object.

more gives him

with

new

it

;

makes the clown genInto the most pit-

heart.

will infuse a heart

defy the world, so only

still

169

it

and courage to

have the countenance of

In giving him

He

it

a

new man,

new and keener

purposes,

to himself.

perceptions,

to another is

and a religious solemnity of character and aims.

He

does not longer appertain to his family and

ciety

he

;

is

somewhat

;

Ae

is

a person

;

he

sois

a

soul.

And

here let us examine a

ture of that influence which

is

little

nearer the na-

thus potent over the

human youth. Beauty, whose revelation to man we now celebrate, welcome as the sun wherever it pleases to shine, which pleases everybody with

and with themselves, seems lover cannot paint his solitary.

Like a

maiden

to his fancy poor

tree in flower, so

ding, informing loveliness

she teaches his eye

is

why Beauty was

all

makes the world

rich.

soft,

society for itself

Loves and Graces attending her tence

much

it

The

sufficient to itself.

;

and

bud-

and

pictured with

steps.

Though

Her

exis-

she extrudes

other persons from his attention as cheap and

unworthy, she indemnifies him by carrying out her

own being

into

somewhat impersonal,

dane, so that the maiden stands to

him

large,

mun-

for a repre-


LOVE.

170

sentative oÂŁ all select things

and

vi:i;ues.

For

that

reason the lover never sees personal resemblances in his mistress to her kindred or to others.

His

friends i&nd in her a likeness to her mother, or her sisters,

The lover summer evenings

or to persons not of her blood.

no resemblance except

sees

and diamond mornings,

to

to

rainbows and the song

of birds.

The

ancients called beauty the flowering of vir-

Who

tue.

can analyze the nameless charm which

glances from one and another face and form are touched with emotions of tenderness

placency, but

we cannot

?

We

and com-

find whereat this dainty

emotion, this wandering

gleam, points.

It is de-

stroyed for the imagination by any attempt to refer it

Nor does it point to any relaknown and described in

to organization.

tions of friendship or love society, but, as it

seems to me, to a quite other and

unattainable sphere, to relations of transcendent delicacy

and sweetness,

nature

is

cellent things,

defying

What

Herein

which

Its

all

it

resembles the most ex-

have

rainbow charac-

this

attempts at appropriation and use.

all

else did

Jean Paul Eichter

said to music, " of things

violets hint

cannot approach beauty.

like opaline doves'-neck lustres, hovering

and evanescent.

ter,

what roses and

to

We

and foreshow.

Away away

which in

!

all

my

!

signify,

when he

thou speakest to

endless

life

me

I have not


ZOT^. found and shall not

171

The same

find."

fluency may-

be observed in every work of the plastic

when

statue is then beautiful

when

prehensible,

it is

it

The

arts.

begins to be incom-

passing out of criticism and

can no longer be defined by compass and measuring-wand, but demands an active imagination to go

with

and

it

The god

to say

what

it

is

in the act of doing.

or hero of the sculptor

is

always repre-

sented in a transition y)'om that which able to the senses, to that which it

And

painting.

when

tonishes

fires

it

is

like

end;

when

when it

us with

satisfies,

of at-

as-

it

new endeavors

after the

Landor

inquires

it

and existence."

itself

it

not

is

but when

manner, personal beauty

charming and

first

not to be referred to some purer

state of sensation

In

and

Concerning

unattainable.

" whether

of poetry the success

it lulls

and

Then

The same remark holds

ceases to be a stone.

tained

represent-

is

is not.

when

is

it dissatisfies

then

first

us with any

becomes a story without an end;

suggests gleams and visions and not eartlily

when it makes the beholder feel his unworthiness when he cannot feel his right to it, though he were Caesar he cannot feel more right satisfactions

;

;

;

to

it

than to the firmament and the splendors of a

sunset.

Hence arose the that to

you

?

"

saying, " If I love you,

We

sa^^

so because

we

what

is

feel that


LOVE.

172

what we love is

is

not in your

will,

but above

not you, but your radiance.

It is tbat

It

it.

which

you know not in yourself and can never know. This agrees well with that high philosophy of

Beauty which the ancient writers delighted in

for

;

they said that the soul of man, embodied here on earth,

went roaming up and down

other world of

own

its

in quest of that

out of which

it

came

into

but was soon stupefied by the light of the nat-

this,

ural sun, and unable to see any other objects than those of this world, which are but shadows of real things.

Therefore the Deity sends the glory of

youth before the

soul, that it

beautiful bodies as aids to celestial

good and

fair

its

may

avail itself of

recollection of the

and the man beholding

;

such a person in the female sex rims to her and finds the highest joy in contemplating the form,

movement and it

intelligence of this person, because

him the presence of that which inwithin the beauty, and the cause of the

suggests to

deed

is

beauty. If however,

from too much conversing with ma-

terial objects, the soul

was

gross,

and misplaced

its

satisfaction in the body, it reaped nothing but sor°

row

;

body being unable

beauty holds out

;

but

to fulfil the if,

promise which

accepting the hint of

these visions and suggestions which beauty to his mind, the soul passes through the

makes

body and


LOVE, falls to

173

admire strokes of character, and

lovers

tlie

contemplate one another in their discourses and their actions, then they pass to the true palace of

beauty,

by

more and more inflame

their love of

it,

and

this love extinguishing the base affection, as the

sun puts out fire by shining on the hearth, they become pure and hallowed. By conversation with that which

and

lowly,

in

is

just,

itself

loving

magnanimous,

the lover comes to a

of these nobilities,

them.

excellent,

warmer love

and a quicker apprehension of

Then he passes from loving them in one to them in all, and so is the one beautiful soul

only the door through which he enters to the ety of all true and pure souls. society of his

mate he

any

from

this world,

this with

attains a clearer sight of

any

which her beauty has contracted

spot,

taint

soci-

In the particular

and

is

able to point

it

mutual joy that they are now

out,

and

able, with-

out offence, to indicate blemishes and hindrances in each other,

and give

fort in curing the same.

to each all help

And

beholding in

souls the traits of the divine beauty,

in each soul that

which

it

which

is

and com-

many

and separating

divine from the taint

has contracted in the world, the lover

as-

cends to the highest beauty, to the love and knowl-

edge of the Divinity, by steps on this ladder of 3reated souls.

Somewhat

like this

have the truly wise told us of


LOVE.

174

The

love in all ages.

new.

doctrine

not old, nor

is it

and Apuleius taught

If Plato, Plutarcli

so have Petrarch,

is

Angelo and Milton.

truer unfolding in opposition

it,

It awaits a

and rebuke

to that

subterranean prudence which presides at marriages

with words that take hold of the upper world, whilst

one eye

is

prowling in the cellar

discourse has a savor of

Worst, when

;

so that its gravest

hams and powdering-tubso

this sensualism intrudes into the ed-

ucation of young women, and withers the hope and affection of

human

nature by teaching that mar-

riage signifies nothing but a housewife's thrift,

that

woman's

But

this

life

dream

has no other aim.

though beautiful,

of love,

one scene in our play. soul

only

it

enlarges

its

circles

thrown into the pond, or the

from an

orb.

alight first on things nearest, toy,

is

In the procession of the

from within outward,

ever, like the pebble light proceeding

and

The

rays of the soul

on every utensil and

on nurses and domestics, on the house and yard

and passengers, on the ance, on politics

circle of

household acquaint-

and geography and

history.

But

things are ever grouping themselves according to

higher or more interior laws.

Neighborhood,

size,

numbers, habits, persons, lose by degrees their

power over

us.

Cause and

effect, real affinities, tlie

longing for harmony between the soul and the

cirÂť

cumstance, the progressive, idealizing instinct, pre*


LOVE. dominate

and the

later,

175

step

higher to the lower relations

even love, which

is

backward from is

the deification of persons, must

become more impersonal every day. Of it

no

gives

Little

hint.

maiden who are

tlie

Thus

impossible.

this at first

think the youth and

glancing at each other across

crowded rooms with eyes so

mutual

full of

intel-

ligence, of the precious fruit long hereafter to pro-

ceed from this new, quite external stimulus.

work

The

of vegetation begins first in the irritability of

From exchanging

the bark and leaf-buds.

glances,

they advance to acts of courtesy, of gallantry, then to fiery passion, to plighting troth

Passion beholds

its

soul is wholly embodied,

souled "

:

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Her pure and Spoke

and marriage.

object as a perfect unit.

and the body

is

The

wholly en-

eloquent blood

in lier cheeks,

and so

distinctly

wrought.

That one might almost say her body thought."

Romeo,

make

if

dead, shoidd be cut up into

the heavens fine.

little stars

to

Life, with this pair, has

no

other aim, asks no more, than Juliet,

meo.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; than Ro-

Night, day, studies, talents, kingdoms, relig-

ion, are all

this soul

contained in this form fidl of soul, in

which

is all

form.

The

lovers delight in

endearments, in avowals of love, in comparisons of their regards.

When alone, they

solace themselves

with the remembered image of the other.

Does


LOVE.

176

other see the same star, the same

that

cloud, read the

that

now

affection,

same book,

delights

me ?

feel the

They

and adding up

try

melting

same emotion,

and weigh

their

costly advantages, friends,

opportunities, projDerties, exult in discovering that willingly, joyfully, they

would give

all as

a ransom

for the beautiful, the beloved head, not one hair of

which is

shall

them

But the

be harmed.

on these children.

lot of

humanity

Danger, sorrow and pain

ar-

Love prays. It makes covenants with Eternal Power in behalf of this dear mate. The union which is thus effected and which adds a new value to every atom in nature for it rive to

as to

all.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

transmutes every thread throughout the whole web of relation into a golden ray,

a new and sweeter element state.

Not always can

testations,

and bathes the

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

is

soul in

yet a temporary

flowers, pearls, poetry, pro-

nor even home in another heart, content

the awful soul that dwells in clay. self at last

It arouses

from these endearments, as

toys,

it-

and

puts on the harness and aspires to vast and universal aiDis.

The

soul which

is

in the soul of each,

craving a perfect beatitude, detects incongruities, defects

and disproportion

in the behavior of the

Hence arise surprise, expostulation and pain. Yet that which drew them to each other was signs of loveliness, signs of virtue and these virtues are there, however eclipsed. They appeal other.

;


LOVE.

and reappear and continue

177 to attract

;

but the

re-

gard changes, quits the sign and attaches to the This repairs the wounded affection.

substance.

Meantime, as

life

wears

(3n,

proves a

it

permutation and combination of

employ

tions of the parties, to

game

oi

all possible posi=

the resources of

all

each and acquaint each with the strength and weak-

For

ness of the other.

it is

the nature and end of

this relation, that they should represent the

race to each other. is

All that

or ought to be known,

the texture of man, of "

The person

is

human

in the world,

is

which

cunningly wrought into

woman

:

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

love does to us

fit,

Like mamia, has the taste of

all in it."

The world rolls the circiun stances vary every The angels that inhabit this temple of the ;

hour.

body appear vices also.

at the

By

all

windows, and the gnomes and the virtues they are united.

known

there be virtue, all the vices are

they confess and is

flee.

If

as such;

Their once flaming regard

sobered by time in either breast, and losing in

violence

what

gains in extent,

it

ough good understanding.

it

They

without complaint to the good

resign each other

offices

and woman are severally appointed time,

which man

to discharge in

and exchange the passion which once could

not lose sight of

its object,

furtherance, whether VOL

becomes a thor-

II.

12

for a cheerful disengaged

present or absent,

of

each


LOVE.

178 other's designs.

At last they

discover that all which

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; those

once sacred

features, that magical play of charms,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; was decid-

at first

uous,

drew them

together,

had a prospective end,

which the house was built

;

and the

purification of

the intellect and the heart from year to year real marriage, foreseen

by

like the scaffolding

the

is

and prepared from the

first,

and wholly above their consciousness.

Looking

these aims with which two persons, a

man and a

woman,

so variously

and correlatively

at

gifted, are

shut up in one house to spend in the nuptial society forty or fifty years, I do not

wonder

emphasis

at the

with which the heart prophesies this

crisis

from

early infancy, at the profuse beauty with which

the instincts deck the nuptial bower, and nature and intellect

and

art emulate each other in the gifts

and

the melody they bring to the epithalamium.

Thus are we put in training for a love which knows not sex, nor person, nor partiality, but w^hich seeks virtue and wisdom everywhere, to the end of increasing virtue and wisdom. observers,

manent

and thereby

state.

learners.

We

by nature

are

That

But we are often made

is

our per-

to feel that

our affections are but tents of a night.

Though

slowly and with pain, the objects of the affections

change, as the objects of thought do.

There are

moments when man and make

on a

the affections rule and absorb the his happiness dejDendent

jier


LOVE.

But

Bon or persons. again, â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

seen

its

in health the

mind

is

and the warm

fears that swept over us as clouds

their finite character their

own

presently

overarching vault, bright with

galaxies of immutable lights,

and

17?

perfection.

must

and blend with God,

loves lose

to attain

But we need not fear that

we can lose any thing by the progress of the soul. The soul may be trusted to the end. That which is so beautiful

and

attractive as these relations,

be succeeded and supplanted only by what beautiful,

and

so

on for

ever.

is

must

more


;

;

FRIENDSHIP.

A RUDDY drop

of

manly blood

The surging sea outweighs The world uncertain comes and The lover rooted stays. I fancied he was

And,

after

many

goes.

iied,

a year,

Glowed unexhausted

kindliness

Like daily sunrise there.

My careful heart was free O friend, my bosom said,

again,

Through thee alone the sky Through

thee the rose

is

is

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

arched,

red,

All things through thee take nobler form

And

look beyond the earth,

The

mill-round of our fate appears

A

sun-path in thy worth.

Me

too thy nobleness has taught

To master my The fountains

despair of

Are through thy

my

hidden

life

friendship fair*


VI.

FRIENDSHIP.

We have a great deal more kindness than Maugre aU

spoken.

human

east winds the world, the whole

bathed with an element of love like a

How many

persons

honor us

!

we meet

whom

scarcely speak to,

yet

How many we

we

!

tion

is

and

in

effect of the

who

see in the street, or sit silently,

we warmly

The heart knoweth. human

indulgence of this

affec-

In poetry

speech the emotions of benevolence

and complacency which are

felt

towards others are

likened to the material effects of

much more

is

whom we

honor, and

a certain cordial exhilaration.

common

family

Read the language of these

wandering eye-beams.

The

ever

fine ether.

in houses,

with in church, whom, though rejoice to be with

is

the selfishness that chills like

swift,

more

active,

these fine inward irradiations.

fire

;

so swift, or

more cheering, are

From

the highest

degree of passionate love to the lowest degree of good-will, they

make

the sweetness of

life.


FRIENDSHIP.

184

Our

and

intellectual

The

our affection.

active powers increase with

and him with

scholar sits clown to write,

all his years of meditation do not furnish

one good thought or happy expression necessary to write a letter to a friend,

;

but

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and

it is

forth-

with troops of gentle thoughts invest themselves, on every hand, with chosen words.

where virtue and

any house

See, in

self-respect abide, the palpitation

which the approach of a stranger causes.

mended

stranger

is

A

com-

expected and announced, and

an uneasiness betwixt pleasure and pain invades

all

His arrival almost brings

the hearts of a household.

fear to the good hearts that would welcome him.

The house

is

the old coat

dusted, all things fly into their places, is

exchanged for the new, and they

must get up a dinner only the good and to us for

new

humanity.

Of a commended

they can.

if

good report

stranger, only the

heard by

is

He

is

is

told

by

us.

He

what we wish.

others,

stands

Having

imagined and invested him, we ask how we should stand related in conversation and action with such a

man, and are uneasy with

fear.

we

are wont.

memory, and our dumb the time.

idea ex-

talk better than

devil has taken leave for

For long hours we can continue a

of sincere, graceful, rich

from the

The same

We We have the nimblest fancy, a richer

alts conversation with him.

series

communications, drawn

oldest, secretest experience, so that they


;

FRIENDSHIP.

who

sit

by, of our

own

185

kinsfolk and acquaintance,

shall feel a lively surprise at our unusual powers.

But

as soon as the stranger begins to intrude his

partialities, his definitions, his defects into the con-

versation, last

it is all

and best he

stranger now.

He has

over.

will ever

heard the

hear from

first,

He

us.

is

the

no

Vulgarity, ignorance, misapprehen-

Now, when he comes, the dress and the dinner,

sion are old acquaintances.

may

he

get the order,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

but the throbbing of the heart and the communica-

no more.

tions of the soul,

What

pleasant as these jets of affection

is so

me

which make a young world for so delicious as a just

a thought, in a feeling

How

?

What

again ?

and firm encounter

of two, in

beautiful,

on their

approach to this beating heart, the steps and forms of the gifted

and the true

!

The moment we

dulge our affections, the earth there

is

is

no winter and no night

ennuis vanish,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

all duties

even

;

;

proceeding eternity but the forms loved persons.

it

metamorj^hosed all tragedies, all

nothing all

fills

the

radiant of be-

Let the soul be assured that some-

where in the universe

and

in-

it

should rejoin

its

friend,

would be content and cheerful alone for a

thousand years. I awoke this mornins^ with devout thanks o^ivin 2: for call

my

friends, the old

God

the Beautiful,

and the new.

who

Shall I not

daily showeth himself


FRIENDSHIP.

186 SO to

me

I cliide society, I embrace

in his gifts ?

and yet I am not

solitude,

and the noble-minded, as

see the wise, the lovely

from time

so ungrateful as not to

my

to time they pass

gate.

Who

me, who understands me, becomes mine,

Nor

session for all time.

me

gives

is

Nature so poor but she

this joy several times,

social threads of our

hears

— a pos-

and thus we weave

own, a new web of relations

;

many thoughts in succession substantiate themselves, we shall by and by stand in a new world of our own creation, and no longer strangers and and, as

My friends

pilgrims in a traditionary globe.

come

to

to me.

have

me unsought. The great God gave them By oldest right, by the divine affinity of

virtue with itself, I find them, or rather not I but

me and

the Deity in

in

them derides and cancels

the thick walls of individual character, relation, age, sex, circumstance, at

which he usually connives, and

now makes many one. High thanks I owe you, excellent lovers, who carry out the world for me to new and noble depths, and enlarge the meaning of all my thoughts. These are new poetry of the first Bard,

— poetry without

poetry still.

still

not

— hymn, ode and

epic,

and the Muses chanting

Will these too separate themselves from

again, or it

stop,

flowing, Apollo

;

some of them

for

my

?

relation to

I

know

them

is

me

not, but I fear

so pure that

hold by simple affinity, and the Genius of

my

we life


FRIENDSHIP. being thus

same

social, the

energy on whomsoever

is

187

affinity will exert its

as noble as these

and women, wherever I may

men

be.

I confess to an extreme tenderness of nature on

almost dangerous to me to " crush the sweet poison of misused wine " of the affec= this point.

It is

tions.

A

hinders

me from

cies

is

to

me

a great event and

I have often

sleep.

about persons which have given

hours

;

but the joy ends in the day

Thought

fruit. little

new person

is

not born of

I must feel

modified.

accomplishments as

engaged maiden. of our friend.

me

delicious

it

;

warmly when he

when he hears applause

We

is

of his

over-estimate the conscience

His goodness seems better than our

goodness, his nature finer, his temptations

Every thing that dress,

no

yields

my action is very pride in my friend's it

I feel as

praised, as the lover

fine fan-

they were mine, and a prop-

if

erty in his virtues.

;

had

is his,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

his

books and instruments,

less.

name, his form, his

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; fancy

Our own thought sounds new and

enhances.

larger from his

mouth.

Yet the

systole

and

diastole of the heart are not

without their analogy in the ebb and flow of love. Friendship, like the immortality of the soul,

good to be believed.

The

maiden, half knows that she

which he worships

;

is

is

too

beholding his

lover,

not verily that

and in the golden hour

oi


FRIENDSHIP.

188

we are surprised with shades of suspi* We doubt that we bestow on our hero the virtues in which he shines, and afterwards worship the form to which we have ascribed

friendship

cion and imbelief.

this divine inhabitation.

not respect ence

all

men

as

it

In strictness, the soul does

respects

itself.

In

strict sci-

persons underlie the same condition of an

infinite remoteness.

Shall

we

fear to cool our love

by mining for the metaphysical foundation of Elysian temple? things I see

them

for

Shall I not be as real as the

If I

?

what they

am, I shall not fear to know are.

Their essence

is

beautiful than their appearance, though

The

finer organs for its apprehension.

plaut lets

is

this

not less it

needs

root of the

not misightly to science, though for chap-

and festoons we cut the stem

must hazard the production

these pleasing reveries, though

Egyptian skull

short.

And

I

of the bald fact amidst

at our banquet.

it

should prove an

A man

who stands

united with his thought conceives magnificently of himself.

He

conscious of a universal success,

is

even though bought by uniform particular

No

failures.

advantages, no powers, no gold or force, can be

any match for him. I cannot choose but rely on

my

own poverty more than on your wealth. I cannot make your consciousness tantamount to mine. Only the star dazzles ray.

;

the planet has a faint, moon-like

I hear what you say of the admirable parts


FRIENDSHIP. and

189

temper of the party you

tried

praise, but I see

well that, for all his purple cloaks, I shall not like

him, unless he

cannot deny

is

immensity,

painted

whom

all else is

Truth

is,

as Justice

a picture and

me

lately,

Is

cloak.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; thee is,

effigy of that.

and already thou it

and

compared with

also,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; thou

I of

also in its pied

Thou

shadow.

me,

shadow

like

friend, that the vast

Phenomenal includes thee

the

Greek

at last a poor

O

it,

art not Being, as

art not

Thou

my

soul,

hast

but

come

art seizing thy hat

to

and

not that the soul puts forth friends as

the tree puts forth leaves, and presently, by the

germination of new buds, extrudes the old leaf?

The law of nature is alternation for evermore. Each electrical state superinduces the opposite. The soul environs itself with friends that it may enter into a

and

it

grander

self-acquaintance

goes alone for a season that

conversation or society.

it

or solitude

may

i

exalt its

This method betrays

itself

along the whole history of our personal relations.

The

instinct of afPection revives the

hope of union

with our mates, and the returning sense of insulation recalls us

from the chase.

Thus every man

passes his life in the search after friendship, and

he should record

liis

a letter like this to each love

:

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

if

true sentiment, he might write

new candidate

for his


FRIEXDSHIP.

190

Dear Friend, If I to

was sure of

thee, sure of thy capacity, sure

my mood

with thine, I should never think

match

again of

trifles in relation to

am

I

ings.

tainable,

not very wise

;

thy comings and go-

my moods

and I respect thy genius

yet unfathomed

;

and

Thine

delicious torment.

it

are quite at is

to

me

as

presume in thee a

yet dare I not

perfect intelligence of me,

;

me

so thou art to

a

ever, or never.

Yet these uneasy pleasures and

fine pains are for

They

are not to be in-

cm-iosity

and not for

dulged.

This

Our

is

to

life.

weave cobweb, and not

friendships hurry to short

sions, because

we have made them a texture

and dreams, instead of the tough

man

cloth.

and poor conclu' of

wine

fibre of the hu-

The laws of friendship are austere and of one web with the laws of nature and of But we have aimed at a swift and petty

heart.

eternal,

morals.

benefit, to

suck a sudden sweetness.

We

snatch at

the slowest fruit in the whole garden of God, which

many summers and many

winters must ripen.

We

seek our friend not sacredly, but with an adulterate passion which woidd appropriate

In vain.

We

are

armed

all

tagonisms, which, as soon as

and translate all

all

him

to ourselves^

over with subtle an

we meet, begin

poetry into stale prose.

people descend to meet.

to play,

Almost

All association must


I

I

FRIENDSHIP. b^ a compromise, and, what flower and

aroma

191 very

worst, the

is

of the flower of each of the beau-

natures disappears as they approach each other.

tiful

What

a perpetual disappointment

even of the virtuous and gifted

is

actual society,

After interviews

!

have been compassed with long foresight we must be tormented presently by baffled blows, by sudden, unseasonable apathies, by epilepsies of wit and of

animal

spirits,

Our

thought.

in

the heyday of friendship and

faculties

do not play us

true,

and

both parties are relieved by solitude. I ought to be equal to every relation.

makes

It

no difference how many friends I have and what content I can find in conversing with each,

whom

be one to

I

am

If I have shrunk

not equal.

unequal from one contest, the joy I find in rest

becomes mean and cowardly.

myself,

lum

:

if

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

then I made

my

there

if

all

the

I should hate

other friends

my

asy-

" The valiant warrior f amoused for fight,

After a hundred Is

And

all

icate

once foiled,

the rest forgot for which he toiled."

Our impatience fulness

victories,

from the book of honor razed quite

is

thus sharply rebuked.

and apathy are a tough husk

organization

ripening.

It

is

would be

protected lost if it

in

from

knew

Bash-

which a

del-

premature

itself

before

any of the best souls were yet ripe enough to know


FRIENDSHIP.

192

and own

Respect the naturlang samheit which

it.

hardens the ruby in a million years, and works in duration in which Alps and Andes come and go as rainbows.

which

is

The good

spirit of

our

life

has no heaven

Love, which

the price of rashness.

essence of God,

is

worth of man.

Let us not have

is

the

not for levity, but for the total this childish lux-

ury in our regards, but the austerest worth

;

let

us

approach our friend with an audacious trust in the truth of his heart, in the breadth, impossible to be

overturned, of his foundations.

The sisted,

attractions of this subject are not to

and I

be

re-

leave, for the time, all account of sub-

ordinate social benefit, to speak of that select and

sacred relation which

a kind of absolute, and

is

which even leaves the language of love suspicious

and common, so

much I

so

much

is this

purer, and nothing

is

divine.

do not wish

to treat friendships daintily, but

with roughest courage.

When

they are real, they

are not glass threads or frostwork, but the solidest

we know. For now, after so many ages of exwhat do we know of nature or of ourselves? Not one step has man taken toward the

thing

perience,

solution of the

problem of

his destiny.

In one con-

demnation of folly stand the whole universe of men.

But the sweet sincerity of joy and peace which I

draw from

this alliance with

my

brother's soul

is


FKIENDSHIP. and

the nut itseK whereof all nature

but the husk and shelters a friend

It

bower or arch,

festal

Happier,

if

and honor

its

law

!

He who

is

built, like

him a

a

single day.

offers himself

comes up,

games where the

He

are the competitors. tests

might well be

to entertain

thought

all

the house that

is

he know the solemnity of that relation

date for that covenant to the great

Happy

shell. !

193

like

an Olympian,

first-born of the

is

victor

world

proposes himself for con-

where Time, Want, Danger, are

and he alone

a candi-

who has

the

in

lists,

truth enough in his

constitution to preserve the delicacy of his beauty

from the wear and tear of fortune

of

the

may

be

all

present

or

absent,

speed in that contest depends

nobleness and the contempt of

The

these.

on

gifts

but

all

intrinsic

There are

trifles.

two elements that go to the composition of friendship,

each so sovereign that I can detect no superi-

ority in either,

named.

whom

I

man

One is may be I

aloud.

no reason why either should be

am

so real

A friend is

truth. sincere.

first

a person with

Before him I

may

think

arrived at last in the presence of a

and equal that I may drop even those

undermost garments of dissimulation, courtesy, and second thought, which deal with

him with

men

never put

the simplicity

off,

and may

and wholeness

with which one chemical atom meets another. cerity is the luxury allowed, like VOL.

11.

13

Sin-

diadems and au-


FRIENDSHIP.

194 tliority,

only to

tlie

highest rank

;

that being per-

mitted to speak truth, as having none above

Every man alone

court or conform unto.

At

is

it

to

sincere.

the entrance of a second person, hypocrisy be-

We parry and fend the approach of our

gins.

fel-

low-man by compliments, by gossip, by amusements,

by

We

affairs.

cover up our thought from

under a hundred

I

folds.

him

knew a man who under

a certain religious frenzy cast off this drapery, and omitting

compliment and commonplace, spoke

all

to the conscience of every person

he encountered,

At

and that with great insight and beauty. he was resisted, and

But

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

persisting

for

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

all

men

first

agreed he was mad.

as indeed he could not help doing

some time in

this course,

advantage of bringing every

he attained to the

man

tance into true relations with him.

of his acquain-

No man would

think of speakmg falsely with him, or of putting

him

off

with any chat of markets or reading-rooms.

But every man was constrained by so much sincerity to the like plaindealing, and what love of nature, what poetry, what symbol certainly

shows not

show him. its

To stand in is

go

worth a erect.

some

face

and

of truth he had, he did

But

true relations with

fit

most of us society

to

eye, but its side

of insanity,

is it

men

not

?

and

its

back.

in a false age

We can seldom

Almost every man we meet requires

civility,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; requires

to be

humored

;

he has


FRIENDSHIP, Bome fame, some

talent,

philanthrop}'^ in his

and which friend

195

some whim of

head that

is

religion or

not to be questioned,

My

but me.

man who exercises not my ingenuity, friend gives me entertainment with-

my j^art. A friend

out requiring any stipulation on therefore

a sort of paradox in nature.

is

who

alone am, I

see nothing in nature

height, variety ;

and

my

who

I

whose

exist-

my

ence I can affirm with equal evidence to

behold now the semblance of

form

But a

with him.

spoils all conversation

a sane

is

own,

being, in all

its

curiosity, reiterated in a foreign

so that a friend

may

well be reckoned the

masterpiece of nature.

The

We

by

hate,

pride,

much so

When

character can love.

pure that a

fear,

tenderness.

every sort of

by hope, by

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but we can

trifle,

draw us by

we

by

is

lucre,

tie,

by

by

lust,

by admiration, by every circumstance and

badge and so

men by

are holden to

blood,

by

other element of friendship

scarce believe that in

subsist

another as to

Can another be so we can offer him

man becomes

the goal of fortune.

me

dear to

I find very

blessed

and

tenderness

?

I have touched little

written di-

And

rectly to the heart of this matter in books.

yet I have one text which I cannot choose but re-

member. faintly

and

My

author

says,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

^

" I

offer

myself

bluntly to those whose I effectually am,

and tender myself

least to

him

to

whom

I

am

the


FRIENDSHIP.

196

I wish that friendship should have

most devoted."

feet, as well as eyes

and eloquence.

on the ground, before

itself

moon.

I wish

it

We

chide the citizen because

he makes love a commodity. loans

gifts, of useful

;

and quite

;

this disguise of a sutler, yet

forgive the poet

romance by the municipal virtues of

name

and worldly

I

much

justice,

I hate the prostitu-

of friendsliip to signify

alliances.

prefer the

and tin-peddlers

of ploughboys

on he

if

and does not substantiate

punctuality, fidelity and pity. tion of the

it

But though we cannot

we cannot

spins his thread too fine his

;

and

loses sight of the delicacies

god under

the other hand

an exchange of

holds the pall at the fu-

it

nobility of the relation.

find the

It is

good neighborhood

it is

;

watches with the sick neral

over the

vaults

it

to be a little of a citizen, before

quite a cherub.

it is

must plant

It

modish

company

to the silken

perfumed amity which celebrates

and

days of en-

its

counter by a frivolous display, by rides in a curricle

and dinners

friendship

is

a commerce the most

homely that can be joined which we have experience. fort

through

and death. gifts

and

The end

at the best taverns.

all

;

more

strict

strict

of

and

than any of

It is for aid

and com-

the relations and passages of life

It is

fit

for serene days

country rambles, but

and graceful

also

for rough

roads and hard fare, shipwreck, poverty and persei


FRIENDSHIP. It

ciition.

keeps company with the

and the trances

wit

197

We

of religion.

and embellish

life,

it

are to dignify

offices of

man's

by courage, wisdom and

unity.

each other the daily needs and

to

and

It should never fall into something usual tled,

Friendship

and

to

may

costly,

what was drudgery.

be said to require natures so

each so well tempered and so hap-

adapted, and

pily

set-

but should be alert and inventive and add

rhyme and reason J?are

the

sallies of

withal

so

circumstanced (for

even in that particular, a poet says, love demands that the parties be altogether paired), that isfaction can very

seldom be assured.

some of those who are

subsist in its perfection, say

learned in this

more than two.

warm I

not quite so

terms, perhaps because I have never

a fellowship as others.

more with a

heart, betwixt

of the

lore

am

I please

circle of godlike

known

my

one

a lofty intelligence. to

vari-

whom

find this

sub-

law of

one peremptory for conversation, which

the practice

not

so high

imagination

men and women

But I

my

in

strict

ously related to each other and between sists

sat-

its

It cannot

Do

and consummation of friendship.

mix waters

good and bad.

too much.

You

The

shall

best

mix

as

is

ill

as

have very useful and

cheering discourse at several times with two several

men, but shall not

let all three of

you come together and you

have one new and hearty word.

Two


FRIENDSHIP.

198

may

talk

and one may hear, but

tliree

cannot take

part in a conversation of the most sincere and

In good company there

searching sort.

is

never

such discourse between two, across the table, as takes place

when you

company the a

them

leave

individuals

merge

In good

alone.

their egotism into

social soul exactly co-extensive with the several

consciousnesses there present.

No

partialities of

friend to friend, no fondnesses of brother to ter, of

quite othermse. sail

Only he may then speak who can

on the common thought of the party, and not

Now

poorly limited to his own.

this convention,

which good sense demands, destroys the high

dom

of gi'eat conversation,

solute

running of two souls into one.

No two men

but being

left

alone with each other

Yet

it is affinity

determines which two shall converse. give

little

We

manent property

is

Unrelated

talk sometimes of

a great talent for conversation, as

is

in

if it

were a per-

some individuals.

an evanescent relation,

They accuse

as they

word

Conversa-

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; no more.

reputed to have thought and eloquence

not, for all that, say a cle.

that

joy to each other, will never suspect

the latent powers of each.

tion

free-

which requires an ab-

enter into simpler relations.

men

sis-

wife to husband, are there pertinent, but

A man ;

he can-

to his cousin or his un-

his silence with as

much

reason

would blame the insignificance of a dial

in

^


FRIENDSHIP. In the sun

shade.

the

Among

who enjoy

those

199

will

it

mark

the hour.

his thought he will regain

his tongue.

Friendship requires that rare

mean betwixt

and unlikeness that piques each with the

ness

like-

pres=

ence of power and of consent in the other partjo

Let

me

be alone to the end of the world, rather

than that

my friend

should overstep, by a word or a

look, his real sympathy.

I

am

equally balked

antagonism and by compliance.

an instant

to

be himself.

his being mine,

is

by

Let him not cease

The only joy I have in mine is mine. I a manly furtherance or at to find a mush of conces-

that the not

hate,

where I looked for

least

a manly resistance,

Better be a nettle in the side of your friend

sion.

The

than his echo.

demands

ship

high

is

condition which high friend-

ability to

do without

great

requires

office

and

it.

sublime

That parts.

There must be very two, before there can be very

Let

one.

it

be an alliance of two large, formidable

natures, mutually beheld, mutually feared, before

yet they recognize the

deep identity which, be-

lieath these disparities, unites

He mous

only ;

is fit

who

is

;

who

dle with his fortunes. this.

who

is

magnani-

sure that greatness and goodness

are always economy

with

them.

for this society

Leave

to the

is

not swift to intermed-

Le'^

him not intermeddle

diamond

its

ages to grow,


FRIENDSHIP.

200

uor expect to accelerate the births of the eternal

We

Friendship demands a religious treatment.

talk of choosing our friends, but friends are selfelected.

Reverence

is

a great part of

Treat

it.

your friend as a spectacle. Of course he has merits that are not yours, and that you cannot honor

you must needs hold him Stand aside

close to

give those merits

;

Are you

mount and expand.

room

heart he will

may come

he

Leave

ground.

them

let

To a

great

be a stranger in a thousand par-

still

that

;

the friend of your

friend's buttons, or of his thought?

ticulars,

if

your person.

it

to girls

near in the holiest

and boys

to regard a

friend as property, and to suck a short and all-con-

founding pleasure, instead of the noblest benefit.

Let us buy our entrance probation.

Why

should

to this guild

we

by a long and

desecrate noble

Why insist on rash personal relations with your friend? Why beautiful souls

go to

by intruding on them?

his house, or

know

Why be

his

mother and brother

by him

sisters ?

Are

these things material to our covenant?

this touching spirit.

visited

and clawing.

A message,

own? Leave

at your

and

Let him be

to

from him, I want, but not news, nor pottage. get politics

my

a

I can

and chat and neighborly conveniencea

from cheaper companions. of

me

a thought, a sincerity, a glance

friend be to

me

Should not the

societ}'

poetic, pure, imiversal

and


FRIENDSHIP. great as nature itself

?

201

Ouglit I to feel

our

tliat

tie

profane in comparison with yonder bar of cloud

is

that sleeps on the horizon, or that

grass that divides the brook?

but raise

it

clump

of

waving

Let us not

vilify,

That great defying

to that standard.

eye, that scornful beauty of his

mien and

action,

do not pique yourself on reducing, but rather

for=

tify and enhance. Worship his superiorities wish him not less by a thought, but hoard and tell them all. Guard him as thy counterpart. Let him be ;

enemy, untama-

to thee for ever a sort of beautiful

devoutly revered, and not a trivial conveniency

ble,

to be soon

outgrown and cast

The hues

aside.

of

the opal, the light of the diamond, are not to be

seen

if

letter

the eye

you a

to

gift,

is

too near.

and from him little.

It

To my

friend I write a

me.

suffices

It is

a spiritual

me

to receive.

worthy of him to give and of

It profanes

In these warm

nobody.

will trust itself, as

That seems

I receive a letter.

it

lines the heart

will not to the tongue,

and

pour out the prophecy of a godlier existence than all

the annals of heroism have yet

made

good.

Respect so far the holy laws of this fellowship as not to prejudice

its

perfect flower

We

tience for its opening. fore

we can be

another's.

by your impa-

must be our own

There

is

satisfaction in crime, according to the

erb

;

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; you can speak

to

be-

at least this

Latin prov-

your accomplice on even


— FRIENDSHIP.

202

Crimen quos inquinat^ ceqnat. To admire and love, at first we cannot.

terms.

those

whom we

Yet

my

the least defect of self-possession vitiates, in

There can never be

judgment, the entire relation.

deep peace between two

spirits,

never mutual

re-

spect, until in their dialogue each stands for the

whole world.

What

is

so great as friendship, let us carry with

what grandeur so

of spirit

we may hear

not interfere.

we

can.

Let us be

the whisper of the gods.

Who

set

No

ter

how

graceful

aught

is

to

be

Wait

speak.

how

to say

any

matter how ingenious, no mat-

and bland.

ble degrees of folly

Let us

you to cast about what you

should say to the select souls, or thing to such ?

silent,

There are innumera-

and wdsdom, and for you

to say

Wait, and thy heart shall

frivolous.

and everlasting

until the necessary

overpowers you, until day and night avail them-

The only reward

selves of your lips.

virtue

You

the only

;

shall not

way

of his eye. ;

of virtue is is

to be one.

come nearer a man by getting

from you, and you

late,

have a friend

into

If unlike, his soul only flees the faster

his house.

pel us

to

We

why

shall never catch a true glance

see the noble afar off

should

we

intrude

?

and they

re-

Late, — very

— we perceive that no arrangements, no

intro-

ductions, no consuetudes or habits of society would

be of any avail to establish us in such relations


FRIENDSHIP. we

with them as

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but

desire,

solely the uprise of

nature in us to the same degree

we meet

shall

we

are already they.

we

shall not

In the

Men

from other men.

names with

own

their friends, as if they

the style

as

we

We

if

we

want them, worthiness

dreams and

soul.

of friendship, of

with flesh and

it

walk alone in the world.

desire are

and

then

would signify

own

we demand

course the less easy to establish blood.

;

have sometimes exchanged

that in their friend each loved his

The higher

them

last analysis, love

only the reflection of a man's

is

in

it is

as water with water;

should not meet them then, for

203

fables.

Friends such

But a sublime

hope cheers ever the faithful heart, that elsewhere, in other regions of the universal power, souls are

now

acting, enduring

and which we can

and daring, which can love us

love.

We may

congratulate our-

selves that the period of nonage, of

ders and of shame,

we

are finished

heroic hands.

is

follies, of

blun-

passed in solitude, and when

men we

shall grasp heroic

hands in

Only be admonished by what you

already see, not to strike leagues of friendship with

cheap persons, where no friendship can be. impatience betrays us into rash

which no god attends.

though you forfeit the

You

By

and

Our

foolish alliances

persisting in your path,

little

you gain the

great.

demonstrate yourself, so as to put yourseK out

of the

reach of false relations, and you draw to you


FRIENLSEIP.

204

first-born of the world,

tlie

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; those

rare pilgrims

whereof only one or two wander in nature at once,

whom

and before

the vulgar great show as spectres

and shadows merely.

making our

It is foolish to be afraid of spiritual, as if so

Whatever from

we could

and though

seem

it

be sure to bear us out

Let us

We

all in us.

persons, or

we read

that these will call

Beggars

all.

it

Who

are

out and reveal us to ourselves.

no more.'

Ah

!

we

are such as

Let us drop

farewell,

;

the ;

this idolatry.

Euthe

Let

Let us even bid our

and defy them, saying

Unhand me

you ?

we

go to Europe, or we pursue

us give over this mendicancy.

'

will the

garment of dead persons

books, their ghosts.

dearest friends

we

are sure that

books, in the instinctive faith

The persons

rope, an old faded

in,

joy, will re-

feel if

We

absolute insulation of man.

have

some

to rob us of

pay us with a greater.

lovCo

we make

correction of our popular views

insight, nature will

ties too

any genuine

lose

;

seest thou not,

I will be dependent

O

brother, that thus

we part only to meet again on a higher platform, and only be more each other's because we are more our own ? A friend is Janus - faced he looks to ;

the past

and the

future.

He

is

the child of all

my

foregoing hours, the prophet of those to come, and the harbinger of a greater friend.

I do then with

my

friends as I do with

my books.


FRIENDSHIP. I would have

them where

We

seldom use them.

own

205

I can find them, but I

must have

terms, and admit or exclude

it

If he

friend.

on the slightest

makes me

great he

is

I cannot descend to converse.

presentiments hover before

so great that

In the great days,

me

in the firmament.

I ought then to dedicate myself to them. that I

may

them.

them, I go out that I

seize

I fear only that I

brighter light.

may

I cannot afford to talk with

own.

may

are only a patch of

my

friends,

them and study It

seize

their

would indeed give

a certain household joy to quit this lofty seek-

astronomy or search of

ing, this spiritual

come down I

my

I go in

them receding

Then, though I prize

visions, lest I lose

me

lose

now they

into the sky in which

on our

much with my

I cannot afford to speak

cause.

society

know

my

to

stars,

and

warm sympathies with you but then ;

well I shall

mighty gods.

mourn always It is true,

the vanishing of

next week I shall

have languid moods, when I can well afford to occupy myself with foreign objects

;

then I shall re-

gret the lost literature of your mind,

were by

you

my

will

side again.

fill

my mind

But

if

and wish you

you come, perhaps

only with

new

visions

;

not

with yourseK but with your lustres, and I shall not

be able any more than

So I

will

course.

owe

to

my

now

to converse with you.

friends this evanescent inter-

I will receive from

them not what they


FRIENDSHIP.

206 have but what

tliey are.

They

me

shall give

that

which properly they cannot give, but which ema-

But they

nates from them.

any relations as though

less subtile

we met

not,

me by

shall not hold

We

and pure.

meet

will

and part as though we parted

not.

It has

seemed to

me

lately

more

possible than 1

knew, to carry a friendship greatly, on one

I

cumber myself with

not capacious

?

should

regrets that the receiver is

It never troubles the

of his rays fall wide

mth-

side,

Why

out due correspondence on the other.

and vain

and only a small part on the

sun that some

into ungrateful space,

Let

reflecting planet.

your greatness educate the crude and cold companion.

If he is unequal he will presently pass

but thou art enlarged by thy

own

shining,

away;

and no

longer a mate for frogs and worms, dost soar and

burn with the gods of the empyrean.

It

is

thought

But the great

a disgrace to love unrequited.

see that true love cannot be unrequited.

will

True love

transcends the unworthy object and dwells and

broods on the eternal, and when the poor interposed

mask crmnbles, much earth and

it

is

not sad, but feels rid of so

feels its

independency the surer.

Yet these things may hardly be said without a of treachery to the relation.

ship It

is

entireness, a total

The

magnanimity and

must not surmise or provide for

treats its object as a god, that

it

sort

essence of friend-

may

trust;

infirmity.

deify both.

li


PRUDENCE,

Theme no

poet gladly sun^.

Fair to old and foul to young

|

Scorn not thou the love of parts,

And

the articles of arts.

Grandeur of the perfect sphere

Thanks the atoms

that cohere.


YII.

PRUDENCE.

What of I have

right have I to write on Prudence, where* little,

and that of the negative

sort ?

My

prudence consists in avoiding and going without, not in the inventing of means and methods, not in I have no

adroit steering, not in gentle repairing. skill to

make money spend

well,

economy, and whoever sees that I must have facts,

and hate

Then

tion.

my

no genius in

Yet

some other garden.

lubricity

my

garden discovers I love

and people without percep-

I have the same

title to

write on pru-

dence that I have to write on poetry or holiness.

We write from aspiration and antagonism, as well as from experience. We paint those qualities which we do not

The poet admires

possess.

energy and tactics

egotistic

you

;

and where a man

shall find

Moreover

praise.

11.

of

it

14

is

not vain

what he has not by his

would be hardly honest in me

not to balance these fine lyric words of VOL.

man

the merchant breeds his son for

;

the church or the bar

and

the

Love and


PRUDENCE.

210

Friendslilp with words of coarser sound,

my

debt to

own

it

my

senses

real

is

to

in passing.

Prudence

is

the virtue of the senses.

the inward

God taking thought for oxeno

It is

life.

moves matter

It is the

It is the outmost action of

science of appearances.

It

and whilst

and constant, not

after the laws

of matter.

It is

content to seek health of body by complying with

mind by the laws

physical conditions, and health of of the intellect.

The world

of the senses

does not exist for acter;

itself,

is

a world of shows

owTi office

is

subaltern

and not centre where

when

detached.

It

is

it

it

but has a symbolic char-

and a true prudence or law

of shows recog-

knows

nizes the co-presence of other laws and its

;

;

knows

works.

legitimate

that

it is

Prudence

when

ural History of the soul incarnate,

it is

when

it

that

surface is

false

the Nat-

unfolds

the beauty of laws within the narrow scope of the senses.

There are of the world.

all

degrees of proficiency in knowledge

It is sufficient to our present purpose

to indicate three.

One

class live to the utility of

the symbol, esteeming health and wealth a final

good.

Another

class live

above this mark to the

beauty of the symbol, as the poet and the naturalist and live

man

of science.

A

artist

and

third class

above the beauty of the symbol to the beauty


PRUDENCE. of the thing signified

and the time, a

;

sense

the second, taste

;

Once the whole scale, and

third, spiritual perception.

man

traverses

The

these are wise men.

common

have

first class

211

;

in a long sees

and

enjoys the symbol solidly, then also has a clear eye for its beauty,

on

and

lastly, whilst

he pitches his tent

this sacred volcanic isle of nature, does not offer

to build houses

and barns thereon,

God which

splendor of the

the

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; reverencing

he sees bursting

through each chink and cranny.

The world

is

and winkings

filled

with the proverbs and acts

which

of a base prudence,

tion to matter, as

if

we

is

a devo-

possessed no other faculties

than the palate, the nose, the touch, the eye and ear

a prudence which adores the Rule of Three,

;

which never subscribes, which never

gives,

which

seldom lends, and asks but one question of any project,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Will

it

bake bread?

This

a thickening of the skin until the destroyed.

But

of the apparent

of the

man

as health

is

a disease like

vital

organs are

culture, revealing the high origin

world and aiming at the perfection

as the end, degrades every thing else,

and bodily

life,

into means.

It sees pru-

dence not to be a several faculty, but a name for

wisdom and virtue conversing with the body and its

wants.

BO,

as

if

Cultivated

men

always feel and speak

a great fortune, the achievement of a

civil

or social measure, great personal influence, a grace-


PRUDENCE.

212 ÂŁul

and commanding address, had

proofs of the energy of the his balance

and immerse himself

or pleasures for their

wheel or pin, but he

own

is

comedy.

of all

any trades a good

the senses final,

and

It is nature's joke,

The

lose

not a cultivated man.

the god of sots and cowards,

literature's.

in

man

may be

sake, he

The spurious prudence, making is

their value as

If a

spirit.

is

the subject

and therefore

true prudence limits this sensual-

ism by admitting the knowledge of an internal and real world.

This recognition once made, the

or-

der of the w^orld and the distribution of affairs and times, being studied with the co-perception of their

subordinate place, will reward any degree of attention.

For our

existence, thus apparently attached

in nature to the sun

and the returning moon and

the periods which they mark,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; so

susceptible to

climate and to country, so alive to social good and evil, so

fond of splendor and so tender to hunger

and cold and debt,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; reads

all its

primary lessons

out of these books.

Prudence does not go behind nature and ask

whence

it

is.

It

takes the laws

whereby man's being

is

and keeps these laws that good.

It respects space

sleep, the

of

the

world

conditioned, as they are, it

may

enjoy their proper

and time,

climate, want,

law of polarity, growth and death. There

revolve, to give

bound and period

to his being on


PRUDENCE.

213

sun and moon, the great formalists in

all sides, tlie

the sky: here lies stubborn matter, and will not

swerve

from

chemical

its

routine.

Here

is

a

planted globe, pierced and belted with natural laws

and fenced and distributed externally with straints

civil

and properties which impose new

partitions

re-

on the young inhabitant.

We eat of the bread which grows in the field= We live by the air which blows around us and we are poisoned by the air that

and divine in

peddled into

trifles

and

its

headache

;

;

coming,

is

and

slit

A door is

tatters.

painted, a lock to be repaired.

or meal or salt

too cold or too hot,

Time, which shows so vacant,

too dry or too wet. indivisible

is

to be

want wood or

I

oil,

the house smokes, or I have a

then the tax, and an affair to be trans-

acted with a

man

without heart or brains, and the

stinging recollection of an injurious or very awk-

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; these

eat up the hours. Do what summer will have its flies if we walk in the woods we must feed mosquitos if we go a-fishing we must expect a wet coat. Then climate is a great impediment to idle persons we often resolve to give up the care of the weather, but still we re-

ward word,

we

can,

;

;

;

gard the clouds and the

We

are instructed

rain.

by these petty experiences

which usurp the hours and years.

The hard

soil

and four months of snow make the inhabitant

of


PRUDENCE.

214

the northern temperate zone wiser and abler than his fellow

The

who

enjoys the fixed smile of the tropicSc

may ramble

islander

all

day

at

At

will.

night he maj^ sleep on a mat under the moon, and

wherever a wild date-tree grows, nature has, without a prayer even, spread a oable for his morning

The northerner

meal.

He

must brew, bake,

and

pile

wood and

is

salt

coal.

perforce a householder.

and preserve

But

as

it

his food,

happens that

new

not one stroke can labor lay to without some

acquaintance with nature, and as nature

is

inex-

haustibly significant, the inhabitants of these

mates have always excelled the southerner in

Such

Let him have accurate perceptions.

these. if

he have hands, handle

discriminate

;

let

;

if eyes,

he has, the

him accept and hive every

is

less is

Let

measure and

chemistry, natural history and economics

Time

force.

man who know too much of

the value of these matters that a

is

knows other things can never him,

cli-

;

fact of

the

more

he willing to spare any one.

always bringing the occasions that disclose

their value.

Some wisdom comes out of every natThe domestic man, who

ural and innocent action.

loves no music so well as his kitchen clock airs

hearth, has solaces which others never

The

and the

which the logs sing to him as they burn on the

application of

and the songs

means

to

dream

of.

ends insures victory

of victory not less in a

farm or

a


-

PRUDENCE.

215

The

shop tlian in the tactics of party or of ware

good husband

method

finds

as efficient in the pack-

ing of fire-wood in a shed or in the harvesting of fruits in the cellar, as in Peninsidar

the

files

of the

Department

campaigns or In the rainy

of State.

day he builds a work-bench, or gets his tool-box set in the corner of the

with

barn-chamber, and stored screwdriver and chisel.

nails, gimlet, pincers,

Herein he tastes an old joy of youth and childhood,

and corn-cham-

the cat-like love of garrets, presses bers,

and

of the conveniences of long housekeeping.

His garden or his poultry-yard

One might

pleasant anecdotes.

him many

tells

find

optimism in the abundant flow of

argument for

this saccharine

element of pleasure in every suburb and extremity of the

good world.

any law,

— and There

factions.

Let a

his

way

is

more

man keep

will

the law,

be strown with

satis-

difference in the quality

of our pleasures than in the amount.

On

the other hand, nature punishes any neglect

of prudence. their law.

If

you think the senses

you believe in the

If

at sensual sweetness before of cause

and

deal with

effect.

men

Dr. Johnson

obey

ripe on the slow tree

and imperfect perception.

reported to have said,

child says he looked out of this

looked out of that,

final,

do not clutch

It is vinegar to the eyes to

of loose

is

it is

soul,

— whip

— "If

the

window, when he

him."

Our American


PRUDENCE.

216

marked by a more than average delight accurate perception, which is shown by the cur-

character in

is

rency of the byword,

"No

mistake."

But the

dis-

comfort of unpmictuality, of confusion of thought

about is

of

wants of to-morrow,

facts, inattention to the

no nation.

The

space, once dislocated

and dens.

by our

inaptitude, are holes

If the hive be disturbed

stupid hands, instead of honey

Our words and

A gay and

and

beautiful laws of time

it

must be timely.

actions to be fair

pleasant sound

is

by rash and

will yield us bees.

the whetting of the

scythe in the mornings of June, yet what

is

more

lonesome and sad than the sound of a whetstone or

mower's rifle when it is too late in the season to make hay ? Scatter-brained and " afternoon " men spoil much more than their own affair in spoiling the temper of those who deal with them. I have seen a criticism on some paintings, of which I

reminded when I see the

shiftless

am

and unhappy men

who are not true to their senses. The last Grand Duke of Weimar, a man of superior understanding, "I have sometimes remarked in the presence said, of great works of art, and just now especially in Dresden, how much a certain property contributes

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

to the effect

which gives

life to

the life an irresistible truth. bitting, in all the figures

of gravity.

I

mean

the figures, and to

This property

we draw,

is

the

the right centre

the placing the figures firm


PRUDENCE. upon

217

making tlie hands

their feet,

grasp,

and

fasten-

ing the eyes on the spot where they should look.

Even

lifeless

and

figures, as vessels

them be drawn ever

so correctly

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

stools

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

let

lose all effect so

soon as they lack the resting upon their centre of

and have a certain swimming and

gravity,

The Raphael

ing appearance.

in the

oscillat-

Dresden

gal-

lery (the only great affecting picture which I have

seen)

the quietest and most passionless piece you

is

can imagine

;

a couple of saints who worship the

Virgin and Child.

Nevertheless

awakens a deeper

it

impression than the contortions of ten crucified

For beside

martyrs.

form,

it

all

the resistless beauty of

possesses in the highest degree the property

This

of the perpendicularity of all the figures."

perpendicularity

we demand

of all the figures in

Let them stand on their

this picture of life.

and swing.

Let us know where

feet,

and not

float

them.

Let them discriminate between what they

remember and what they dreamed, spade, give us facts,

with

and honor

call

their

to find

a spade a

own

senses

trust.

But what man prudence

?

shall dare task another with im-

Who

is

prudent ?

The men we caU

greatest are least in this kingdom.

There

is

a cer-

tain fatal dislocation in our relation to nature, dis-

torting our

modes

of living

and making every law

our enemy, which seems at last to have aroused

all


PRUDENCE.

218

and virtue in the world

the wit

We must call the highest prudence

tion of Reform.

and ask why health and beauty and ge-

to counsel,

now be the human nature ?

nius should rule of

to ponder the ques-

exception rather than the

We

do not know the prop-

and animals and the laws of nature,

erties of plants

through our sympathy with the same

mains the dream of

Poetry and prudence

poets.

should be coincident.

but this re-

;

Poets should be lawgivers

;

the boldest lyric inspiration should not chide

that

is,

and

insult,

but should announce and lead the

code and the day's work.

We

seem irreconcilably parted.

upon law

until

civil

But now the two things

we stand amidst

have violated law

ruins,

and when by

chance we espy a coincidence between reason and the phenomena,

we

as sensation

;

but

Beauty should

are surprised.

be the dowry of every

man and woman, rare.

is

it

as invariably

Health or sound

ganization should be universal.

or-

Genius should be

the child of genius and every child should be inspired child, lights,

but

;

it

and nowhere

by

is

not to be predicted of any

is it

pure.

courtesy, genius

money

itself to

may

now

;

talent

;

which

We call partial halfwhich converts

talent

glitters to-day that it

dine and sleep well to-morrow

;

and

society is

by men of parts^ as they are properly and not by divine men. These use their

officered called,

^ift to refine luxury,

not to abolish

it.

Genius

is


s

PRUDENCE.

219

always ascetic, and piety, and love.

a disease, and they find beauty

to the finer souls as

in rites

and bounds that

We have

found out

suality withal, but

The man

Appetite shows

no

resist

it.

names

fine gifts

to cover our sen-

can raise intemperance.

of talent affects to call his transgressions

of the laws of the senses trivial

and

them

to count

nothing considered with his devotion to his

art.

His art never taught him lewdness, nor the love of

had not sowed.

wine, nor the wish to reap where he

His ness,

from

art is less for every deduction

and

On him who

his holi-

common

for every defect of

less

sense.

scorned the world as he

said, the

He

that de-

scorned world wreaks

its

revenge.

spiseth small things will perish

Goethe's Tasso

is

historical portrait,

does not seem to

by

and

little

little.

very likely to be a pretty fair

and that

me

is

true tragedy.

so genuine grief

It

when some

tyrann'^us Richard the Third oppresses

and slays

a score of innocent persons, as when Antonio and Tasso, both

One

apparently right, wrong each other.

living after the

sistent

and true

maxims

of this world

and con-

to them, the other fired with all di-

vine sentiments, yet grasping also at the pleasures of sense, without submitting to their law.

a grief we is

all feel,

a knot

we cannot

untie.

That

is

Tasso'

no unfrequent case in modern biography.

A

tnan of genius, of an ardent temperament, reckless


;

PRUDENCE.

220

of physical laws, self-indulgent, becomes presently

unfortunate, querulous, a " discomfortable cousin,"

a thorn to himseK and to others.

The

scholar shames us

by

something higher than prudence mirable

when common

;

sense

he

is

ad-

wanted, he

is

an

is active,

is

Yesterday, Caesar was not so great

encumbrance.

to-day, the felon at the gallows' foot

is

not more

Yesterday, radiant with the light of an

miserable.

ideal world in

now

Whilst

his bifold life.

which he

lives,

the

first

of

men and ;

oppressed by wants and by sickness, for which

He

he must thank himself. drivellers

whom

resembles the pitiful

travellers describe as frequenting

the bazaars of Constantinople,

who skulk about

day, yellow, emaciated, ragged, sneaking

evening,

when

;

all

and

at

the bazaars are oj)en, slink to the

opium-shop, swallow their morsel and become tranquil

and

glorified seers.

the tragedy of

And who

has not seen

imprudent genius struggling for

years with paltry pecuniary difficulties, at last sinking, chilled,

exhausted and

slaughtered by pins Is

it

fruitless, like

a giant

?

not better that a

man

should accept the

first

pains and mortifications of this sort, which nature is

not slack in sending him, as hints that he must

expect no other good than the just fruit of his labor and self-denial? cial position,

own

Health, bread, climate,

have their importance, and he

so*

will


PRUDENCE.

221

Let him esteem Nature a

give tliem their due.

perpetual counsellor, and her perfections the exact

Let him make the

measure of our deviations.

Let him control

night night, and the day day.

Let him

the habit of expense.

wisdom may

b'^

much

see that as

expended on a private economy as

on an empire, and as much wisdom may be drawn

from

The laws

it.

Mm on every piece is

of the world are written out for

money

of

There

in his hand.

nothing he will not be the better for knowing,

were

it

only the wisdom of Poor Richard, or the

State-Street prudence of buying

by the

foot

;

between whiles, because

stick a tree

whilst he sleeps

husbanding

by the acre

to sell

or the thrift of the agriculturist, to

;

little

strokes of the tool,

will

grow

may

never shut.

the ironmonger's, will rust

;

portions

little

and small

of time, particles of stock

eye of prudence

it

or the prudence which consists in

gains.

Iron,

if

The

kept at

brewed in

beer, if not

the right state of the atmosphere, will sour; timber if laid up high and dry, warp and dry-rot money, if kept by us,

of ships will rot at sea, or will strain,

yields

;

no rent and

is liable

liable to depreciation

stock.

of

to loss

the

;

if

invested, is

kind of

particular

Strike, says the smith, the iron

is

white

;

keep the rake, says the haymaker, as nigh the Bcythe as

you can, and the

Our Yankee

trade

is

cart as nigh the rake.

reputed to be very

much on


PRUDENCE.

222

the extreme of this prudence.

It takes bank-notes,

good, bad, clean, ragged, and saves itseK

speed with which rust,

it

passes

them

nor beer sour, nor timber

off.

rot,

by the

Iron cannot

nor calicoes go

money stocks depreciate, in the moments in which the Yankee suffers

out of fashion, nor

few swift

any one of them

to

remain in his possession.

skating over thin ice our safety

is

In

in our speed.

Let him learn a prudence of a higher

strain.

Let him learn that every thing in nature, even motes and feathers, go by law and not by luck, and that what he sows he reaps.

command

let

By diligence and

him put the bread he

eats at his

seK-

own

may not stand in bitter and false other men for the best good of w^ealth

disposal, that he

relations to is

;

Let him practise the minor

freedom.

How much not

make

of

human

life is lost in

waiting

his fellow-creatures wait.

!

virtues. let

him

How many

words and promises are promises of conversation

Let

his be

words of

When

fate.

and sealed scrap of paper

float

!

he sees a folded

round the globe in

a pine ship and come safe to the eye for which

was written, amidst a swarming population,

it

him

let

likewise feel the admonition to integrate his being

across all these distracting forces,

der

human word among

and keep a

slen-

the storms, distances and

accidents that drive us hither and thither, and, by persistency,

make

the paltry force of one

man

re-


PRUDENCE. appear to redeem

pledge

its

223

months and

after

years in the most distant climates.

We

must not try

to write the laws of

Human

virtue, looking at that only.

no contradictions, but

is

any one

nature loves

The pru-

symmetrical.

dence which secures an outward well-being to

not

is

be studied by one set of men, whilst heroism and

holiness are studied cilable.

by another, but they are recon-

Prudence concerns the present time, per-

sons, property

and existing forms.

But

as every

fact hath its roots in the soul,

and

changed would cease

would become some

other thing,

to be, or

if

the soul were

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the proper administration

of outward

things will always rest on a just apprehension of their cause

and origin

;

that

is,

the good

man

will

be the wise man, and the single-hearted the politic

Every

man.

violation of truth is not only a sort of

suicide in the liar, but

human

society.

On

is

a stab at the health of

the most profitable

lie

the

course of events presently lays a destructive tax

;

whilst frankness invites frankness, puts the parties

on a convenient footing and makes their busiaess a Trust

friendship.

you

;

treat

men and

they will be true to

them greatly and they

will

show them-

selves great,

though they make an exception in

your favor to

all their rules of trade.

So, in regard to tilings,

disagreeable

and formidable

prudence does not consist in evasion or

in


PRUDENCE.

224

but in courage.

flight,

He who

wishes to walk in

the most peaceful parts of life with

must screw himself up

to resolution.

the object of his worst apprehension,

ness will

commonly make

any serenity

Let him front

and

more dangerous

very

little

or at football.

of

men who have

fire

given to

it,

cited

over-

a battle

match

to life than a

Examples are

at

by soldiers

seen the cannon pointed and the

and who have

the path of the ball.

The

drover, the sailor, buffets

stej^ped aside

from

terrors of the storm are

chiefly confined to the parlor

renews

is first

may make

Entire self-jDossession

foils

The

his fear groundless.

Latin proverb says, " In battles the eye

come."

his stout-

The

and the cabin.

it all

day, and his health

vigorous a pulse under the sleet

itself at as

as under the sun of June.

In the occurrence of unpleasant things among neighbors, fear comes readily to heart and magnifies

bad

the consequence of the other party counsellor.

Every man

apparently strong.

also

is

it is

a

weak and To himseK he seems weak to You are afraid of Grim but is

actually

;

others, formidable.

Grim

but

;

;

You

afraid of you.

are solicitous of

the good-will of the meanest person, uneasy at his iU-will.

But the

sturdiest offender of your peace

and of the neighborhood,

and timid

if

as any,

you

rip

up

his claims,

and the peace

of society

is

as thin

h

often kept, because, as children say, one

is

afraid


PRUDENCE. and the other dares

and threaten

;

Far

not.

225

men

ofP,

swell, bully

bring them hand to hand, and they

are a feeble folk. It is a

proverb that

is

to value love for its profit.

fabled to be blind, but kindness

sary to perception water.

courtesy costs nothing'; but

come

calculation might

Love

'

If

love

;

you meet a sectary or a

never recognize the dividing

common ground shines

remains,

fast,

lines,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

and the rain rains

widen very

is

neces-

not a hood, but an eye-

is

if

hostile partisan,

but meet on what

only that the sun

for both

and ere you know

;

the area will

it,

the boundary

mountains on which the eye had fastened have melted into

air.

Paul

and Saint John

will lie

If they set out to contend. Saint will hate.

What

low,

poor, paltry, hypocritical people an argument on religion will

They

make

will shuffle

of the pure

and chosen

and crow, crook and

to confess here, only that they

souls

!

hide, feign

may brag and

con-

quer there, and not a thought has enriched either party,

and not an emotion of bravery, modesty, or

hope.

So neither should you put yourself

position with

in a false

your contemporaries by indulging

a vein of hostility and bitterness.

Though your

views are in straight antagonism to theirs, assume

an identity of sentiment, assume that you are saying precisely that which of wit VOL.

and love n

roll 15

all

think,

and in the flow

out your paradoxes in solid


PRUDENCE.

226

column, with not the infirmity of a doubt. least shall

So

much

natural motions of the soul are so

at

The

you get an adequate deliverance.

better than

the voluntary ones that you will never do yourself

The thought

justice in dispute.

not then taken

is

hold of by the right handle, does not show proportioned and in torted, hoarse,

sent

and

it

its

and half

true bearings, but bears ex-

But assume a

witness.

shall presently

and underneath

itself

con-

be granted, since really

their external diversities, all

men

are of one heart and mind.

Wisdom men on an

will never let us stand with

any man or

We refuse

unfriendly footing.

thy and intimacy with people, as

if

sympa-

we waited

for

some better sj^mpathy and intimacy

to come.

whence and when ?

be like to-day.

Life wastes

Our

friends

To-morrow

itself whilst

we

we say we

approaching

us.

see

die off

from

us.

new men, new women,

We are too old

too old to expect patronage of

tions

But

are preparing to live.

and fellow-workers

Scarcely can

j^owerful.

will

to

regard fashion,

any greater or more

Let us suck the sweetness of those

and consuetudes that gi-ow near

old shoes are easy to the feet.

us.

affec-

These

Undoubtedly we

can easily pick faults in our company, can easily

whisper names prouder, and that ticlde the fancy toore.

Every man's imagination hath

{pid life

its

friends

;

would be dearer with such companions.


PRUDENCE. But

227

you cannot have them on good mutual terms,

if

you cannot have them.

If not the Deity but our

ambition hews and shapes the

new

relations, their

virtue escapes, as strawberries lose their flavor in

garden-beds.

Thus and

all

frankness, courage, love, humility

truth,

the virtues range themselves on the side of

prudence, or the art of securing a present well-be ing.

I do not

know

if

all

matter will be found to

be made of one element, as oxygen or hydrogen, at last,

but the world of manners and actions

wrought of one

stuff,

and begin where we

are pretty sure in a short space to be

ten commandments.

is

will we mumbling our


;

HEROISM.

**

Paradise

under the shadow of swords."

is

Mahomeic,

Ruby

wine

is

Sugar spends

Rose and

drunk by knaves, to fatten slaves,

vine-leaf

deck buffoons

Thunderclouds are Jove's festoons,

Drooping

oft in

wreaths of dread

Lightning-knotted round his head

The hero

is

Daily his own heart he eats

Chambers

And

;

not fed on sweets, ;

of the great are jails,

head-winds right for royal

sailso


VIII.

HEROISM.

In

tlie

elder Englisli dramatists,

Beaumont and

the plays of

and mainly

Fletcher, there

stant recognition of gentility, as

if

in

a con-

is

a noble behavior

were as easily marked in the society of their age as color

is

in our

When

American population.

any

Rodrigo, Pedro or Valerio enters, though he be a stranger, the

gentleman,'

but

all

duke or governor exclaims,

— and

'

This

proffers civilities without

the rest are slag and refuse.

their plays a certain heroic cast of character

as in

Bonduca, Sophocles, the

Lover, the Double Marriage, is so

earnest and cordial

;

In harmony

with this delight in personal advantages there

dialogme,

a

is

end

is

in

and

Mad

— wherein the speaker

and on such deep grounds

of character, that the dialogue,

on the

slightest ad-

ditional incident in the plot, rises naturally into

Among many texts take the following. The Roman Martins has conquered Athens, all but

poetry.

the in\ancible spirits of Sophocles, the duke of Athens,

and Dorigen,

his wife.

The beauty

of

the


HEROISM.

232

and he seeks

latter inflames Martius,

husband

save her

to

but Sophocles will not ask his

;

life,

al-

though assured that a word will save him, and the execution of both proceeds

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

:

Bid thy wife farewell.

Valerius.

My

No, I will take no leave.

Soph.

Dorigen,

Yonder, above, 'bout Ariadne's crown,

My

spirit shall

Dor.

Let not

hover for thee.

Stay, Sophocles, soft nature so

Prithee, haste.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; with

this tie

And lose her gentler sexed humanity. To make me see my lord bleed. So, 't Never one

now

my

Sophocles

sight;

is

well;

Dost know what

Soph.

Thou

't is

to die.

to die ?

dost not, Martius,

And, therefore, not what Is to begin to live. old, stale,

:

Romans how

teach the

Mar.

An

my

object underneath the sun

Will I behold before Farewell;

up

transformed be.

It

't is

is

to

to live; to die

end

weary work and

A newer and a better.

'T

is

to

commence

to leave

Deceitful knaves for the society

Of gods and goodness. Thou thyself must part At last from all thy garlands, pleasures, triumphs,

And

prove thy fortitude what then

Val.

Soph.

But

art not grieved nor

Why should

't

will do.

vexed to leave thy life thus*

I grieve or vex for being sent

To them

I ever loved best ?

But with

my

Now

back toward thee:

I

't is

'11

kneel.

the last duty

This trunk can do the gods.

Mar.

Or

Strike, strike, Valerius,

Martius' heart

^vill

leap out at his mouth.


HEROISM. a man, a woman.

This

is

And

live

O

love

With

My

!

with

all

hand

What

ails

Martins,

Thou now

star of

my

urn,

knot of piety.

this

my brother O Martius, way

hast found a

O

me

Treacherous heart,

shall cast thee quick into

Soph.

Dor.

afflicted

and with beauty.

Ere thou transgress Val.

Kiss thy lord,

the freedom you were wont.

thou doubly hast

virtue

233

Rome

!

?

to conquer

me.

what gratitude can speak

Fit words to follow such a deed as this ?

Mar.

With

This admirable duke, Valerius,

his disdain of fortune

and of death,

Captived himself, has captivated me.

And

though

my arm

hath ta'en

liis

His soul hath subjugated Martius'

By Romulus, he is all He hath no flesh, and

body here, soul.

soul, I think; spirit

cannot be gyved,

Then we have vanquished nothing; he And Martius walks now in captivity." I do not readily

is

free,

remember any poem,

play, ser=

mon, novel or oration that our press vents in the last few years, which goes great

many

flutes

sound of any

fife.

and

to the

same tune.

flageolets,

We

have a

but not often the

Yet Wordsworth's " Laodamia,"

and the ode of " Dion," and some sonnets, have a and Scott will sometimes draw certain noble music ;

Lord Evandale given Thomas Carlyle, with his

a stroke like the portrait of

by Balfour

of Burley.

natural taste for what

is

manly and daring

in char-


HEROISM.

234 acter,

has suffered no heroic trait in his favorites to

drop from his biographical and historical pictures. Earlier, Robert

Burns has given us a song or two.

In the Harleian Miscellanies there

is

an account of

the battle of Lutzen which deserves to be read.

And Simon

Ockley's History of the Saracens

re-

counts the prodigies of individual valor, with admi-

more evident on the part

ration all the

of the narra-

tor that he seems to think that his j^lace in Christian

Oxford requires of him some proper protestations

But

of abhorrence.

Heroism we

if

we

shall quickly

explore the literature of to Plutarch, who is To him we owe the

come

Doctor and historian.

its

Brasidas, the Dion, the Ej)aminondas, the Scipio of

and I must think we are more deeply indebted him than to all the ancient writers. Each of his

old,

to

" Lives "

is

a refutation to the despondency and

cowardice of our religious and political theorists.

A wild courage,

a Stoicism not of the schools but

of the blood, shines in every anecdote,

that book

its

and has given

immense fame.

We need books

of this tart cathartic virtue

more

than books of political science or of private econ*

omy.

Life

is

Seen from

a festival only to the wise.

the nook and chimney-side of prudence,

ragged and dangerous front.

The

it

wears a

violations of the

laws of nature by our predecessors and our contem* poraries are punished in us also.

The

disease and


HEROISM.

235

deformity around us certify the infraction of natural, intellectual

and moral laws, and often violation on

violation to breed such

A

compound misery.

jaw that bends a man's head 'back

to his heels

lock-

hy-

;

drophobia that makes him bark at his wife and babes

makes him

insanity that

;

eat grass

;

war,

plague, cholera, famine, indicate a certain ferocity in nature, which, as

must have

its

it

outlet

had

pily no

man

become

to

and

made himself

so

exists

its inlet

by human

who has

by human crime,

Unhapown person

suffering.

not in his

some amount a stockholder

in the sin,

liable to a share in the ex-

piation.

Our

culture therefore

of the

must not omit the armins:

Let him hear in season that he

man.

born into the

state of war,

own

wealth and his

is

and that the common-

well-being

require

that

he

should not go dancing in the weeds of peace, but

warned, self-collected and dreading the thunder,

and

life

in his hand,

the gibbet and the his speech

let

neither

and with perfect urbanity dare

mob by

the absolute truth of

and the rectitude of

Towards

all

defying nor

him take both reputation

his behavior.

this external evil the

the breast assumes a warlike attitude,

man

within

and affirms

his ability to cope single-handed with the infinite

army soul

of enemies.

we

give the

To this military attitude name of Heroism. Its

of the

rudest


HEROISM.

236 form

the contempt for safety and ease, which

is

makes the

attractiveness of war.

the

wliich slights

plenitude of

harms

it

of

It is a self-trust

prudence, in the

energy and power to repair the

its

may

restraints

suffer.

The hero

is

a

mind

of such

balance that no disturbances can shake his pleasantly and as his

own

it

were merrily he advances to

music, alike in frightful alarms and in the

tipsy mirth

of universal

somewhat not holy

in it

;

There

dissoluteness.

somewhat not philosophical it

in heroism;

it

;

it

it is

the extreme of individual nature.

less

we must profoundly

revere

it.

there

know

seems not to

other souls are of one texture with

what

but

will,

is is

that

has pride

;

Neverthe-

There

is

some-

in great actions which does not allow us to go

Heroism

behind them.

and therefore

is

feels

always right

;

and never reasons, and although a

tellectual activity

dif-

and greater

in-

would have modified or even

re-

ferent breeding, different religion

versed the particular action, yet for the hero that tiling

he does

the highest deed, and

is

is

to the censure of philosophers or divines.

avowal of the unschooled ity in

of

life,

him

that

is

man

w^ill is

It is the

that he finds a qual-

negligent of expense, of health,

of danger, of hatred, of reproach,

that his

not open

and knows

higher and more excellent than aU

actual and all possible antagonists.

Heroism works

in contradiction to the voice of


HEROISM. mankind and

237

in contradiction, for a time, to the

Heroism

and good.

voice of the great

an obedi-

is

ence to a secret impulse of an individual's charac-

Now

ter.

as

man

no other

to

can

Therefore just and wise

any one

else.

umbrage

at his act, until after

then they see

;

All prudent

acts.

it

some

act measures itself

But

it

by

take

time be

see that the action

its

finds its

men

little

to be in unison with their

men

contrary to a sensual prosperity

good.

be supposed

on his own proper path than

to see a little farther

past

wisdom appear

its

man must

does to him, for every

it

;

is clean,

for every heroic

contempt of some external

own

success at last,

and then

the prudent also extol.

SeK-trust

the essence of heroism.

is

state of the soul at war,

and

its

It is the

ultimate objects are

the last defiance of falsehood and wrong, and the

power

to

agents.

bear

that can

all

It speaks the truth

be inflicted by evil

and

it

is just,

gener-

ous, hospitable, temperate, scornful of petty calcula-

and scornful

tions is

of

of being scorned.

be wearied out.

That

life.

and wealth

false is

Its jest is the littleness of

;

body.

What

it

to

common

prudence which dotes on health

the butt and merriment of heroisnio

Heroism, like Plotinus,

and

It persists

an undaunted boldness and of a fortitude not

shall

it

is

almost ashamed of

its

say then to the sugar-plums

cats'-cradles, to the toilet,

compliments, quar-


HEROISM.

238 rels,

cards and custard, wMeli rack

What

society ?

us dear creatures

There seems

!

to be

between greatness and meanness. is

not master of the world, then

Yet the cently,

little

man

works in

tlie

tending on

all

no interval

When the

spirit

is

dupe.

it

its

takes the great hoax so innoso headlong

it

and

belie\4ng, is

born red, and dies gTay, arranging his his

wit of

joys lias kind nature provided for

own

toilet, at-

health, laying traps for sweet

food and strong wine, setting his heart on a horse or a

rifle,

made

tle praise, that

haj^py wdth a

little

gossip or a

the great soul cannot choose but

" Indeed, these

laugh at such earnest nonsense.

humble considerations make me out

What

greatness.

note

how many

lit-

a disgrace

is

it

to

of love with

me

to take

pairs of silk stockings thou hast,

namely, these and those that were the peach-colored ones

;

or to bear the inventory of thy shirts, "

as one for superfluity, and one other for use

!

Citizens, thinking after the laws of arithmetic,

consider the inconvenience of receiving strangers at their fireside, reckon narrowly the loss of time

and the unusual display the soul of a better quality thrusts back the unseasonable economy into the vaults of life, and says, I will obey the God, and ;

the sacrifice

and the

fire

he will provide.

Ibn

Hankal, the Arabian geographer, describes a heroic extreme in the hospitality of Sogd, in Bukharia,


HEROISM. "

When

I was in

239

Sogd I saw a great

building, like

a palace, the gates of which were open and fixed

back to the wall with large

I asked the rea-

nails.

and was told that the house had not been

son,

night or day, for a hundred years.

shut,

Strangers

may

present themselves at any hour and in whatever

number the master has amply provided for the reception of the men and their animals and is never happier than when they tarry for some time. ;

Nothing of the kind have I seen in any other coun-

The magnanimous know very

try."

who ger,

well that they

give time, or money, or shelter, to the stran-

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

so

tion,

be done for love and not for ostenta-

it

do, as

it

were, put

God under

obligation to

them, so perfect are the compensations of the universe.

In some way the time they seem to lose

redeemed and the pains they seem

and

raise the standard of civil virtue

But

mankind.

not for show, or

hospitality it

pulls

sold rates itself too

splendor of it

hath,

its

and

is

remuner-

These men fan the flame of hmnan

ate themselves.

love

to take

all

it

down

and

The brave value itself by the

draperies.

hath, but

among

service

the host.

high to

and

table

must be for

its

It gives

what

own majesty can

lend a better grace to bannocks and fair water than

belong to city feasts.

The temperance same wish

to

of the hero proceeds

do no dishonor

from the

to the worthiness

he


HEROISM.

240

But he

has.

loves

it

for

It seems not

austerity.

emn and denounce with

elegancy, not for

its

worth

its

his while to be sol-

bitterness flesh-eating or

wine - drinking, the use of tobacco, or opium, or

A great

tea, or silk, or gold.

how he

dines,

how he

or precision his living

dresses is

man

scarcely

knows

but without railing

;

John

natural and poetic.

Eliot, the Indian Apostle, drank water, and said of

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;"

wine,

It is

a noble, generous liquor and

should be humbly thankful for ber, water

was made before

it,

but, as I

Better

it."

we

remem-

still is

the

temperance of King David, who poured out on the irround unto the

Lord the water which three

warriors had brought

him

of his

to drink, at the peril of

their lives.

when he

It is told of Brutus, that

fell

on his

sword after the battle of Philippi, he quoted a of Euripides,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " O Virtue

throusfh

and I

life,

find thee at last but a shade."

I doubt not the hero

The

slandered by this report.

The

ception that virtue It does not

ment. abide

its

justice

and

its

It does not ask to dine nicely and to

warm.

sleep

essence of greatness is

enough.

Poverty

is

the per-

is its

orna^

need plenty, and can very well

its loss.

But ii'oic

is

heroic soul does not sell

nobleness.

line

I have followed thee

!

that which takes

class, is the

my

fancy most in the he-

good-humor and

hilarity they ex-


'

HEROISM.

which common duty can

It is a height to

Libit.

241

very well attain, to suffer and to dare with solem-

But these rare

nity.

and

life

souls set

at so cheap a rate

opinion, success,

not

that they will

soothe their enemies by petitions, or the show of

own

sorrow, but wear their

habitual greatness,

Scipio, charged with peculation, refuses to

seK so great a disgrace as to wait for though he had the hands, but tears Socrates's

scroll

do him-

justification,

of his accounts in his

to pieces before the tribunes.

it

condemnation of himself to be main-

tained in all honor in the Prytaneum, during his life,

and Sir Thomas More's playfulness

scaffold, are of the

Fletcher's

strain.

Why,

'

T is

the stout

tells

company, â&#x20AC;&#x201D; slaves,

't is

in our

power to hang

Very

Master. in our powers, then, to be

the

at

In Beaumont and

"Sea Voyage," Juletta

captain and his Jul.

same

ye.

likely,

hanged, and scorn ye.

These replies are sound and whole.

Sport

the

is

bloom and glow of a perfect health. The great condescend to take any thing seriously all

will not

;

must be as gay as the song of a canary, though were the building of

cities

and

and nations which have

foolish churches

or the eradication of old

bered the earth long thousands of years. hearts put all the history

it

and customs of

ciun-

Simple

this

world

behind them, and play their own game in innocent VOL. IL

16


HEROISM.

242

defiance of the Blue-Laws of the world

,*

and such

would appear, could we see the human race assembled in vision, like

little

children

gether, though to the eyes of

frolicking to^

mankind

at large

they wear a stately and solemn garb of works and influences.

The

interest these fine stories

have for

us, the

power of a romance over the boy who grasps the forbidden book under his bench at school, our deÂŤ light in the hero, is the

main

fact to our purpose.

All these great and transcendent properties are If

ours.

the

we

Roman

dilate in beholding the

pride,

it is

that

cating the same sentiment.

we

Greek energy,

are already domesti-

Let us find room for

this great guest in our small

The

houses.

first

step of worthiness will be to disabuse us of our superstitious associations with places

and times, with

number and size. Why should these words, Athenian, Roman, Asia and England, so tingle in the

Where

ear?

the heart

is,

there the muses, there

the gods sojourn, and not in any geogi'aphy

Massachusetts, Connecticut River and Bos-

fame. ton

Bay you think

names here

come

of

we

paltry places, and the ear loves

foreign and classic topography.

of

are

;

and,

if

we

will tarry a little,

to learn that here is best.

thyself

is

here,

friends, angels

and

art

See to

it

we may only that

and nature, hope and

and the Supreme Being

But

fate^

shall not be


HEROISM,

248

absent from the chamber where thou

Epam<

sittest.

inondas, brave and affectionate, does not seem to

us to need

Olympus

sunshine.

He

die upon, nor the Syrian

to

very well where he

lies

The

is.

Jerseys were handsome ground enough for Washing-

London streets for the feet of Milman makes his climate genial in the

ton to tread, and

A great

ton.

imagination of men, and of all delicate spirits.

which

is

the beloved element

That country

the fairest

is

inhabited by the noblest minds.

tures which tions of

its air

fill

The

pic-

the imagination in reading the ac-

Xenophon, Columbus, Bayard,

Pericles,

Hampden, teach us how needlessly mean is that we, by the depth of our living, should deck it with more than regal or national Sidney,

our

life

;

splendor,

and

man and

nature in the length of our days.

We

act

on principles that should interest

have seen or heard of

many

extraordinary

young men who never ripened, or whose perfor-

mance

we

in actual life

see their air

was not extraordinary.

When

and mien, when we hear them

speak of society, of books, of religion, we admire their superiority

;

they seem to throw contempt on

our entire polity and social state of a youthful giant

But they enter an

who

is

theirs is the tone

;

sent to

work

active profession

Colossus shrinks to the

common

revolutions.

and the forming

size of

man.

The

magic they used was the ideal tendencies, which

al-


HEROISM.

244

ways make the Actual ridiculous world had

but the tough

;

revenge the moment they put their

its

horses of the sun to plough in

furrow.

its

They

found no example and no companion, and their

What

heart fainted.

in their first aspirations

is

valor and a purer truth their belief.

Or why

any

historical

self to

who have had

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

yet true

woman, and

De

?

Why

new and unattempted problem the happiest nature

Let the maiden, with erect

not ?

She has a

to solve,

perchance

that

that she

may

all

new

experience,

the objects that solicit her eye,

charm

learn the power and the

new-born being, which

dawn

ever bloomed.

walk serenely on

soul,

her way, accept the hint of each search in turn

think, because

Stael, or the cloistered

and the serene Themis, none

certainly not she

that of

and a better

;

one day organize

shall

genius and cultivation do not

satisfy the imagination

can,

lesson they gave

should a w^oman liken her-

Sappho, or Sevigne, or souls

The

then?

is

the kindling of a

The

in the recesses of space.

repels interference

of her

fair girl

new who

by a decided and proud choice and

of influences, so careless of pleasing, so wilful lofty, inspires

own

every beholder with somewhat of her

nobleness.

The

silent heart

encourages her

friend, never strike sail to a fear

port gTcatly, or sail with

vain you refined

live, for

by the

God

Come

the seas.

every passing eye

vision.

!

is

;

into

Not

in

cheered and


HERdiSM.

The

characteristic of heroism

men have wandering

All

245

by

persistency.

its fits

and

starts

But when you have chosen your

of generosity. part, abide

is

impulses,

it,

and do not weakly try to reconcile

yourself with the world.

The

common, nor the common the

heroic cannot be the

Yet we have

heroic.

the weakness to expect the sympathy of people in those actions whose excellence

sympathy and appeal

is

would serve your brother, because to serve him,

that they outrun

to a tardy justice. is

it

fit

If

you

for

you

do not take back your words when

you find that prudent people do not commend you.

Adhere if

to your

own

act,

and congratulate yourself

you have done something strange and extrava-

gant and broken the monotony of a decorous age. It

was a high counsel that I once heard given to a

young person, to

do."

make an

A

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " Always do what you are

afraid

simple manly character need never

apology, but should regard

its

past action

with the calmness of Phocion, when he admitted that the event of the battle regret his dissuasion

There

is

was happy, yet did not

from the

battle.

no weakness or exposure for which we

cannot find consolation in the thought

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

this is

a

my constitution, part of my relation and ofmy fellow-creature. Has nature convenanted

part of fice to

with

me

that I should never appear to disadvan-

tage, never

make a

ridiculous figure?

Let us be


HEROISM.

246

generous of our dignity as well as of our money.

Greatness once and for ever has done with opinion.

We

our charities, not because we wish to be

tell

praised for them, not because

we think they have

great merit, but for our justification. tal

blimder

;

as

It is a capi-

you discover when another man

re-

oites his charities.

To speak live

the truth, even with some austerity, to

with some rigor of temperance, or some ex-

tremes of generosity, seems to be an asceticism

which common good-nature would appoint

who

and

are at ease

feel a

to those

in plenty, in sign that they

brotherhood with the great midtitude of

And

fering men.

exercise the soul

we breathe and

not only need

by assuming the

suf-

penalties of absti-

nence, of debt, of solitude, of unpopularity,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but

man

to look with a bold eye

into those rarer dangers

which sometimes invade

it

behooves the wise

men, and to familiarize himself with disgusting forms of disease, with sounds of execration, and the vision of violent death.

Times

of heroism are generally times of terror,

but the day never shines in which this element not work.

The circumstances

historically

somewhat better

this

of

man, we

in this country

hour than perhaps ever before.

exists for culture. tsxe at

the

first

It will not

may

say, are

and

at

More freedom

now run

against an

step out of the beaten track of opin.


HEROISM. But whoso

ion.

heroic will always find crises

is

Human

to try his edge.

247

demands her cham-

virtue

pions and martyrs, and the trial of persecution

ways proceeds.

It

al-

but the other day that the

is

brave Love joy gave his breast to the bullets of a

mob, for the rights of

when

died

free speech

was better not

it

and opinion, and

to live.

man

I see not any road of perfect peace which a

can walk, but after the counsel of his own bosom.

Let him quit too much

association, let

him go home

much, and stablish himself in those courses he ap-

The unremitting

proves.

is

hardening the

character to that temper which will

honor,

if

a

man

again

there appear

youth

;

and very

fire,

may

tar

how

fast

of

home

religion.

to his

may

it

newspaper and a

number

sufficient

gib-

mind

temper he can, and

fix his sense of duty,

such penalties, whenever

to

be-

easily in a republic, if

freely bring

he can

scaffold.

men may

and feathers and the

and with what sweetness quire

to

any signs of a decay of

Coarse slander, bet, the

work with

need be in the tumult, or on the

Whatever outrages have happened fall

and

retention of simple

high sentiments in obscure duties

in-

braving

please the next of his neighbors

pronounce his opinions incendiary. It

may calm

the apprehension of calamity in the

most susceptible heart to see how quick a bound Nature has

set to the

utmost

infliction of malice.


HEROISM.

248

We rapidly approacli a brink over whicli no can follow us :

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

" Let

Thou

them rave

:

art quiet in thy grave."

In the gloom of our ignorance of wliat the hour

who

when we

who have

manful endeavor?

their

meanness of our

politics

Washington that he

is

in his grave, the ?

;

seen safely to

Who

that sees the

but inly congratulates

long already

shroud, and for ever safe

gated in him

shall be, in

are deaf to the higher voices,

does not envy those

an end

enemy

that he

^vra232^ed in his

was

laid sweet

hope of humanity not yet subju-

Who

does not sometimes envy the

good and brave who are no more

to suffer

from the

tmnults of the natural world, and await with curious complacency the speedy term of his versation with finite

nature

?

And

own

con-

yet the love

that will be annihilated sooner than treacherous

has already self

made death

impossible,

and affirms

it-

no mortal but a native of the deeps of absolute

and inextinguishable being.


;

THE

"

But

He

OVEEr-SOUL.

own good

souls that of his

loves as his

They They

:

they shall

live,

self

Him He

are to

When

own

;

die,

'11

life

partake,

dear as his eye

;

never them forsake

God

then

:

himself shall die

they live in blest eternity."

Henry More,

Space

is

ample, east and west,

But two cannot go

abreast.

Cannot travel

two

in

it

:

Yonder masterful cuckoo

Crowds every egg out

of the nest,

Quick or dead, except

its

A spell

is

laid on sod

Night and Day

Every

quality

've

and

own stone.

been tampered with.

and pith

Surcharged and sultry with a power

That works

its will

on age and hour.


IX.

THE OYEE-SOUL.

There hour of

Our

a difPerence between one and another

is

authority and subsequent effect.

life in their

comes

faith

Yet there

in

moments

constrains us to ascribe

more

to all other experiences.

ment which

who

is

For

habitual.

reality to

them than

this reason the argu-

conceive extraordinary hopes of man, namely

vain.

We

we

out that

give

hope.

grant that it

is

up the past

He must

and

for ever invalid to the

objector,

and

We

explain this hope.

human life is mean, but how did we find was mean ? What is the ground of this

uneasiness of ours is

is

always forthcoming to silence those

the appeal to experience,

yet

our vice

;

a depth in those brief moments which

is

;

of this old discontent ?

What

the universal sense of want and ignorance, but

the fine innuendo

mous claim ? history of

man

by which the

Why

do men

soul

makes

its

enor^

feel that the natura)

has never been written, but he

is

ab

ways leaving behind what you have said of him, and ^t

becomes

old,

and books of metaphysics worthless ?


;

THE OVER-SOUL.

252

The philosophy

of six thousand years has

not

searched the chambers and magazines of the soul.

In

experiments there has always remained, in

its

the last analysis, a residuum

Man is

is

a stream whose source

descending into us from

The most

could not resolve.

it

is

hidden.

w^e

know

Our being not whence.

exact calculator has no prescience that

somewhat incalculable may not balk the very next moment.

I

am

constrained every

moment

to ac-

knowledge a higher origin for events than the

will

I call mine.

As

with events, so

watch that flowing

is it

with thoughts.

not, pours for a season its

that I

am

When

I

river, which, out of regions I see

a pensioner

streams into me, I see

not a cause but a surprised

;

spectator of this ethereal water

;

that I desire and

look up and put myself in the attitude of reception, but from some alien energy the visions come.

The Supreme

Critic

on the errors of the past and

the present, and the only prophet of that which

must

be,

is

the earth

that great nature in which

lies in

we

rest as

the soft arms of the atmosphere

that Unity, that Over-soul, within which every man's particular being all

other

;

that

conversation is

submission

is

contained and

common

made one with

heart of which all sincere

is

the worship, to which all right action

;

that overpowering reality which con-

futes our tricks

and

talents,

and constrains every


;

THE OVER-SOUL. one to pass for wliat he

and

is,

253

from

to speak

his

character and not from his tongue, and which ever-

more tends

to pass into our thought

and hand and

become wisdom and virtue and power and beautyÂť

We

live in

whole

succession,

the wise silence

;

in

division, in

Meantime within man

particles.

;

we is

exist

And

One.

parts, in

the soul of the

the universal beauty, to

which every part and particle the eternal

is

this

equally related

is

deep power in which

and whose beatitude

is all

accessible to us,

not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour,

but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer

and the

We

one.

and the

spectacle, the subject

see the world piece

by

the moon, the animal, the tree

which these are the shining

;

object, are

piece, as the sun,

but the whole, of

parts, is the soul.

Only

by the vision of that Wisdom can the horoscope of the ages be read,

by yielding

thoughts,

which

falling

to

the spirit of prophecy

innate in every man,

must sound vain

we can know what

speak for

it.

they

sense

;

spire

whom

lyrical,

the wind.

My

it

and

and

Only

cold.

and behold

sweet,

Yet I

not dwell in I dare not

words do not carry

fall short it will,

who do own part.

to those

the same thought on their

be

back on our better

Every man's words who speaks from that

saith. life

is

and by

!

its

itself

can

in-

their speech shall

and universal as the

desire,

august

rising of

even by profane words,

if


THE OVER-SOUL.

254 I

may

not use sacred, to indicate the heaven of this

and

deity

what hints

to report

the transcendent simplicity est

I have collected of

and energy

of the

High-

Law.

we

If

consider what happens in conversation, in

reveries, in remorse, in times of passion, in surprises,

in the instructions of dreams, wherein often

ourselves in masquerade,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the

we

see

droll disguises only

magnifying and enhancing a real element and forcing

on our distant

it

notice,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; we

shall catch

many hints that will broaden and lighten

All goes to show that

edge of the secret of nature. the soul in

man

not an organ, but animates and

is

exercises all the organs

power of memory, of uses these as hands light

;

not a function, like the

is

;

calculation, of comparison, but

and

feet: is not a faculty,

is not the intellect or the will, but the

of the intellect being, in

sessed

into knowl-

and the will

which they

lie,

;

is

but a

master

the background of our

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; an

immensity not pos-

and that cannot be possessed. From within or

from behind, a

upon things

light shines through us

and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all.

A man is the facade of a temple wherein all

wisdom and call

all

man, the

man, does

good abide.

What we commonly

eating, drinking, planting, counting

not, as

we know him,

but misrej^resents himself. spect, but the soul,

represent liimseK,

Him we

whose organ he

is,

do not

re-

would he

let


THE OVER-SOUL. it

appear tlirough

When

bend.

it

Ms

action,

255

would make our knees

breathes through his

intellect, it is

when it breathes through his will, it is virwhen it flows through his affection, it is love. And the blindness of the intellect begins when it would be something of itself. The weakness of the will begins when the individual would be something genius

tue

;

;

of himself.

All reform aims in some one particular

to let the sold

have

its

way through

us

;

in other

words, to engage us to obey.

Of

this

sensible.

pure nature every

man

Language cannot paint

It is too subtile.

is it

It is undefinable,

at

some time

with his colors.

unmeasurable

;

but we know that it prevades and contains us. We know that all spiritual being is in man. A wise old

proverb says, " that

is,

God comes

as there is

heads and the

to see us without bell

" ;

no screen or ceiling between our

infinite heavens, so is there

no bar or

wall in the soul, where man, the effect, ceases, and

God, the cause, begins.

We lie open on one

The

walls are taken away.

side to the deeps of spiritual

nature, to the attributes of God.

and know, Love, Freedom, Power. Uo

man

Justice

we

see

These natures

ever got above, but they tower over us, and

most in the moment when our interests tempt us to

wound them. The sovereignty Is made known by

of this nature whereof its

we speak

independency of those

limita/*


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; THE OVER-SOUL.

266 tions

which circumscribe us on every hand.

soul

circumscribes

it

experience.

contradicts all

and

abolishes time

senses has in most

As

all things.

space.

In

The

come

to look real

manner

the

;

is,

it

mind

to

and space have

and insurmountable and

with levity of these limits of insanity.

like

influence of the

men overpowered

that degree that the walls of time

The

I have said,

to

speak

in the world, the sign

Yet time and space are but inverse

measures of the force of the

The

soul.

spirit sports

with time, "

We

Can crowd eternity into an hour, Or stretcli an liour to eternity."

are often

made

to feel that there is another

youth and age than that which the year of our natural birth.

ways is

find

us yoimg, and keep us

is

measured from

Some thoughts so.

al-

Such a thought

the love of the universal and eternal beauty.

Every man parts from that contemplation with the feeling that life.

The

it

rather belongs to ages than to mortal

least activity of the intellectual

powers

redeems us in a degree from the conditions of time. In sickness, in languor, give us a strain of poetry or a profound sentence,

and we are refreshed ; or

produce a volume of Plato or Shakspeare, or

mind us

of their names,

a feeling of longe^dty.

and

instantly

we come

re-

into

See how the deep divine

thought reduces centuries and millenniums, and


THE OVER-SOUL. makes

present through

itself

257 Is the teach-

all ages.

now than it was when mouth was opened ? The emphasis of facts

ing of Christ less effective first his

and persons

And

time.

my

in

thought has nothing to do with

so always the soul's scale

and the understanding

scale of the senses

Before the revelations of the

Nature shrink away. all

mensely sundered so

In

we

things to time, as

we say

stars to

that the

is

one, the

is

anotherd

soul,

Time, Space and

common

speech we refer

habitually refer the im-

one concave sphere.

Judgment

is

And

distant or near, that

the Millennium approaches, that a day of certain political,

moral, social reforms

when we mean that in the facts we contemplate

like,

of

and the other soul.

by

The

is

at hand,

and the

the nature of thino^s one is

external and fugitive,

permanent and connate with the

is

we now esteem

things

fixed shall, one

from our The wind shall blow them The landscape, the figures,

one, detach themselves like ripe fruit

experience, and

fall.

none knows whither.

Boston, London, are facts as fugitive as any institution past, or society,

and

any whiff of mist or smoke, and so so

is

The

the world.

soul

is

looketh

steadily forwards, creating a world before her, leav-

She has no

ing worlds behind her.

daies, nor rites,

The

nor persons, nor specialties nor men.

knows only the

soul

;

ing robe in which she VOL.

II.

17

the is

web

of events

clothed.

is

soul

the flow-


THE OVER-SOUL.

258 After

o\vn law

its

and not by arithmetic

rate of its progress to be

The

computed.

the

is

soul's

advances are not made by gradation, such as can be represented by motion in a straight

by ascension

rather

but

line,

of state, such as can be repre-

sented by metamorphosis,

worm, from the worm

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; from

the egg to the

The growths

to the fly.

of

genius are of a certain total character, that does not advance the elect individual

then

Adam, then Kichard, and

pain of discovered inferiority, of growth the

man expands

over John,

first

give to each the

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but by every throe

there where he works,

passing, at each pulsation, classes, populations, of

With each

men.

the thin rinds of

out into eternity, It

mind rends the visible and finite, and comes and inspires and expires its air. divine impulse the

converses with truths that have always been

spoken in the world, and becomes conscious of a

sympathy with Zeno and Arrian than with

closer

persons in the house.

This

is

the law of moral and of mental gain.

The simple

rise as

by

specific levity not into

a par-

ticular virtue, but into the region of all the virtues.

They are The soul

them

in the spirit which contains

requires purity, but purity

quires justice, but justice neficence, but is

is

not that

somewhat better

;

is ;

not

it

all. ;

re-

requires be-

so that there

a kind of descent and accommodation

felt

is

when we


THE OVER-SOUL. leave speaking of moral nature

which

it

To the

enjoins.

tues are natural, to his heart,

to urge a virtue

well-born child all the vir-

and not painfuUy acquired.

Speak

and the man becomes suddenly virtuous.

germ

of intel-

which obeys the same law.

Those

Within the same sentiment lectual growth,

who

259

is

the

are capable of humility, of justice, of love, of

aspiration, stand already on a platform that com*

mands

the sciences and arts, speech and poetry, ac^

For whoso dwells

and grace.

tion

in this moral

beatitude already anticipates those special powers

which men prize so highly. ent,

no

skill,

The

sess of related faculty

dons

itself to

the

to all its works,

ticular this

tal-

which passes for quite nothing with

enamored maiden, however

his

lover has no

Supreme Mind

and

she

little

may

pos-

and the heart which aban-

;

finds itseK related

will travel a royal

knowledges and powers.

road to par-

In ascending to

primary and aboriginal sentiment we have

come from our remote

station

on the circumference

instantaneously to the centre of the world, where, as in the closet of

God, we see causes, and

pate the universe, which

One mode

to

but a slow

of the divine teaching

tion of the spirit in a

own.

is

form, â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

is

my own

the incarna-

in forms, like

I live in society; with persons

thoughts in

antici-

effect.

my

who answer

mind, or express a certain

obedience to the great instincts to which I

live.

J


THE OVER-SOUL.

260

see its presence to them.

mon

nature

selves,

me

;

am

I

and these other

draw me

souls, these separated

They

as nothing else can.

the new emotions we call j^assion

tred, fear, admiration, pity

sation,

;

stir in

of love, ha-

;

thence come conver-

persuasion,

competition,

a comÂŤ

certified of

and war.

cities

Persons are supplementary to the primary teaching

mad

In youth we are

of the soul.

Childhood and youth see

all

But the larger experience

for persons.

the world in them.

man

of

identical nature appearing through

discovers

them aU.

the

Per-

sons themselves acquaint us with the impersonal.

In

conversation between two persons tacit ref-

all

erence nature. social

;

made, as to a third party, to a common

is

That third party or common nature it is

impersonal

where debate questions,

the

is

;

is

earnest,

God.

and

And

is

not

so in groups

especially on high

company become aware

that

the

thought rises to an equal level in aU bosoms, that all

have a spiritual property in what was

well as the sayer. were.

said, as

They all become wiser than they them like a temple, this unity

It arches over

of thought in which every heart beats with nobler

sense of power

and duty, and thinks and

imusual solemnity.

acts with

All are conscious of attaining

to

a higher self-possession. It shines for

all.

is

a certain wisdom of humanity which

is

to the greatest

men

There

common

with the lowest, and which ou;


THE OVER-SOUL.

261

ordinary education often labors to silence and ob-

The mind

struct.

is

one,

and

tlie

best minds,

love truth for its

o^vn sake, think

property in truth.

They accept

it

where, and do not label or stamp

name, for

it

is

who

some

soul

Ions:

Their violence of

them

than in that which

and who

which we want and

effort

The

been huntino^ in vain.

is

to think

valuable observations to peo-

oftener in that which

is

with any man's

are not very acute or profound,

say the thing without

have

thankfully every= it

degree disqualifies

We owe many

truly.

ple

of.

the studious of thought

have no monopoly of wisdom. direction in

who

less

theirs long beforehand, and from

The learned and

eternity.

much

is felt

action of the

and

left

unsaid

any conversation.

said in

It

broods over every society, and they unconsciously seek for

it

We

in each other.

we do. know at

We

feel the

same truth how often

do

my

better than

not yet possess ourselves,

the same time that

sation with

know

we

are

in

and we

much more.

my

I

trivial conver-

neighbors, that somewhat higher in

each of us overlooks this by-play, and Jove nods to

Jove from behind each of

Men mean

descend to meet.

us.

In their habitual and

service to the world, for

which they forsake

their native nobleness, they resemble those

sheiks

who dwell

in

mean houses and

Arabian

affect

an exÂť

ternal poverty, to escape the lapacity of the Pacha,,


THE OVER-SOUL.

262

and reserve terior

As

all tlieir

it is

present in all persons, so

period of

man.

tlieir in-

life.

it

is

in every

It is adult already in the infant

my dealing mth my cliild, my Latin and my accomplishments and my money stead

In

Greek,

me nothing I am wilfid,

;

but as

he

much

sets his

one, and leaves me,

beating him by

my

I renounce

that

display of wealth for

and guarded retirements.

up

my

if

soul as I have avails.

If

wiU against mine, one

for

I please, the degradation of

superiority of strength.

will

and act for the

But

if

soul, setting

umpire between us two, out of his

as

young eyes looks the same soul; he reveres and loves with me.

The sold is the perceiver and revealer of truth. know truth when we see it, let skeptic and

We

scoffer say

what they choose.

Foolish people ask

when you have spoken what they do not How do you know it is truth, and an error of not your own ? We know truth when we see it, from opinion, as we know when we are awake that we are awake. It was a grand sentence of Emanuel Swedenborg, which would alone you,

wish to hear,

'

'

indicate the greatness of that man's perception,

" It

is

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

no proof of a man's understanding to be able

to affirm

whatever he pleases

cern that what false is false,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

is

true

is

this is the

;

but to be able to

true,

dis-

and that what

mark and

is

character of


THE OVER-SOUL. the book I

In

intelligence."

263 read,

thought returns to me, as every truth

To

age of the whole soul. I find in

it,

good

tlie

will,

the im-

the bad thought which

the same soul becomes a discerning,

separating sword, and lops

than we know.

If

we

it

away.

thought, but will act entirely, or see

stands in God,

We

are wiser

will not interfere with our

we know

how

the thing

the particular thing, and

every thing, and every man.

For the Maker

of all

things and all persons stands behind us and casts his

dread omniscience through us over things.

But beyond

this recognition of its

own

in partic-

ular passages of the individual's experience, reveals truth.

And

force ourselves

by

with a worthier,

here

its

we should seek

For

loftier strain of that advent.

event in nature, since itself,

to rein-

very presence, and to speak

the soul's communication of truth

what from

also

it

but

it it

is

the highest

then does not give somegives

and becomes that man whom

itself, it

or passes into

enlightens

proportion to that truth he receives,

it

takes

or, in

;

him

to

itseK.

We distinguish the its

manifestations of

Revelation,

announcements of the its

own

nature,

soul,

by the term

These are always attended by the

emotion of the sublime.

For

this

communication

is

an influx of the Divine mind into our mind.

is

an ebb of the individual

It

rivulet before the flow-


THE OVER-SOUL.

264

ing surges of the sea of

Every

life.

distinct ap.

prehension of this central

commandment

men with awe and delight. all men at the reception

A thrill passes through of

new

agitates

truth, or at the

performance of a great action, which comes out In these communications

of the heart of nature.

the power to see

not separated from the will to

is

do, but the insight proceeds

from obedience, and

the obedience proceeds from a jojrful perception.

Every moment when the individual invaded by

it is

By

memorable.

feels himself

the necessity of

our constitution a certain enthusiasm attends the indi\aduars consciousness of that divine presence.

The

character and duration of this enthusiasm vary

with the state of the individual, from an ecstasy

and trance and prophetic its

rarer appearance,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

inspiration,

to the faintest

tuous emotion, in which form

household

fires, all

the families

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which glow of

warms,

it

and

men, and makes society possible.

is

vir-

like our

associations of

A certain

ten-

dency to insanity has always attended the opening of the religious sense in

men, as

"blasted with excess of Hght." Socrates,

the " union " of

if

they had been

The

trances of

Plotinus, the vision of

Porphyry, the conversion of Paul, the aurora of

George Fox and

his

Quakers, the illumination of Swedenborg, are of

this

Behmen, the convulsions kind.

What was

of

in the case of these remarkable


THE OVER-SOUL, persons a ravishment, stances in

common

life,

has,

265

innumerable

in

been exhibited in

Everywhere the history of religion

ing manner.

betrays a tendency to enthusiasm. the Moravian and Quietist eternal sense of the

Word,

New

Jerusalem Church

istic

churches

;

The rapture

of

the opening of the

in the language of the

the revival of the Calvin-

;

the experiences of the Methodists,

;

are varying forms of that shudder of light with

in-

less strik-

awe and

de-

which the individual soul always mingles

with the universal soul.

The nature

of

these revelations

is

the same

they are percejDtions of the absolute law. are solutions of the soul's

own

;

They

They do

questions.

not answer the questions which the imderstanding

The

asks.

the tiling

soul answers never

itself that is

Revelation

is

the disclosure of the soul.

popular notion of a revelation of fortunes.

by words, but by

inquired after.

is

that

it is

The

a telling

In past oracles of the soul the under-

standing seeks to find answers to sensual questions,

and undertakes shall exist,

what

from God how long men

to tell

their

hands shall do and who

shall

be their company, adding names and dates and

But we must pick no

places.

check this low curiosity. delusive ask.

;

Do

it is

really no

An

locks.

We

must

answer in words

is

answer to the questions you

not require a description of the countries


THE OVER-SOUL.

266

towards which you

description does not

and to-morrow you

arrive

and know them by inhabiting them.

Men

them

describe there

The

sail.

to you,

ask concerning the immortality of the

soul, the

em-

ployments of heaven, the state of the sinner, and so

They even dream

forth.

that Jesus has left replies

to precisely these interrogatories.

Never a moment

To

did that sublime spirit speak in their patois.

truth, justice, love, the attributes of the soul, the

immutableness

idea of

essentially

is

associated.

Jesus, living in these moral sentiments, heedless of

sensual fortunes, heeding only the manifestations of these, never

made

the separation of the idea of

duration from the essence of these attributes, nor uttered a syllable concerning the duration of the soul.

It

was

left to his disciples to sever

from the moral elements, and tality of the soul as a doctrine,

evidences. tality is

The moment

duration

to teach the immor^

and maintain

it

by

the doctrine of the immor-

man

separately taught,

is

already fallen.

In the flowing of love, in the adoration of humility, there

man

is

no question of continuance.

evidences.

man

No

inspired

ever asks this question or condescends to these

in

For the

whom

it

is

soul

from the present, which which would be

is

true to itseK,

and the

shed abroad cannot wander is

infinite, to

a future

finite.

These questions which we

lust to

ask about the


THE OVER-SOUL. God

future are a confession of sin.

No

for them.

has no answer

answer in words can reply to a quesIt is not in

tion of things.

of

267

an arbitrary " decree

God," but in the nature of man, that a

down on

the facts of to-morrow

veil shuts

for the soul will

;

not have us read any other cipher than that of

and

cause events

By

effect.

The only mode

to-day.

this

veil

which curtains

men

instructs the children of

it

these questions of the senses

is

to forego all low

accepting the tide of being which

curiosity, and,

work and

floats us into the secret of nature,

work and

live,

to live in

of obtaining an answer to

and

all

live,

unawares the advancing soul

has built and forged for

itself

a new condition, and

the question and the answer are one.

By

the same

which burns

vital, consecrating, celestial,

fire,

until

it

shall dissolve all things into

the waves and surges of an ocean of light,

and know each

Who

can

tell

other,

and what

spirit

we

see

is

of.

each

the grounds of his knowledge of the

character of the several individuals in his circle of friends ?

No man.

not disappoint him.

no

ill

of

Yet

their acts

and words do

In that man, though he knew

him, he put no trust.

In that other,

though they had seldom met, authentic signs had yet passed, to signify that he might be trusted as

one who had an interest in his

know each

other very well,

own

character.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which

We

of us has been


THE OVER-SOUL.

268 just to himself

behold

and whether that which we teach or

only an aspiration or

is

our honest effort

is

also.

We are

all

That diagnosis

discerners of spirits.

our

lies aloft in

tcrcourse of society,

one wide judicial investiga-

In

cused,

men

offer themselves to

will they exhibit

which character

is

them by learning or wise

man

them

read.

;

he

craft.

By

decisive

and

ac-

Against trifles

by

But who judges? and

No

We ;

the

do not read

wisdom

of the

consists herein, that he does not judge lets

them judge themselves and merely

reads and records their

is

be judged.

those

Not our understanding.

what ?

com=

full court, or in small

mittee, or confronted face to face, accuser

their

in=

trade, its religion, its friend*

its

ships, its quarrels, is

tion of character.

The

or unconscious power.

life

own

verdict.

virtue of this inevitable nature, private will

overpowered, and, maugre our efforts or our im-

perfections, your genius

mine from me.

wUl speak from you, and

That which we

are,

not voluntarily but involuntarily. into

we

shall teach,

Thoughts come

our minds by avenues which we never

left

open, and thoughts go out of our minds through

avenues which we never voluntarily opened. acter teaches over our head.

of true progress

Neither

liis

is

The

CharÂť

infallible

index

man

takes.

found in the tone the

age, nor his breeding, nor company,


THE OVER-SOUL.

269

nor books, nor actions, nor talents, nor

all

together

can hinder him from being deferential to a higher spirit

in

than his own. If he have not found his home

God, his manners, his forms of speech, the turn

of his sentences, the build, shall I say, of all his

opinions will involuntarily confess it

out

how he

will.

If

it,

let

him brave

he have found his centre,

the Deity will shine through him, through all the disguises of ignorance, of ungenial temperament, of unfavorable circumstance. is

one,

and the tone

The great literary,

like

— between

Pope,

Kant and

of having

distinction

The tone is

another.

between teachers sacred or

poets like Herbert, and poets

— between

philosophers like

Spinoza,

Coleridge, and philosophers like Locke,

Paley, Mackintosh and Stewart, the world

of seeking

who

— between men of

are reckoned accomplished talkers,

and here and there a fervent mystic, prophesying half insane under the infinitude of his thought, is

that one class speak y^om loithin, or from expe-

rience, as parties

and possessors

of the fact

;

and

the other class y^om without^ as spectators merely,

or perhaps as acquainted with the fact on the evi-

dence of third persons. to

me from

self.

without.

It is of

no use to preach

I can do that too easily

my-

Jesus speaks always from within, and in a

degree that transcends miracle.

all others.

I believe beforehand that

In that it

is

the

ought so to


THE OVER-SOUL.

270 All

be.

men

stand continually in

But

of the appearance of such a teacher.

do not speak from within the one wdth that

is

veil,

if

man

a

where the word

him lowly

tells of, let

it

expectation

tlie

confess

it.

The same Omniscience flows and makes what we call genius.

dom

of the world

men

of the wis-, il-

are no doubt superior to

and are not

literary fame,

Much

not wisdom, and the most

is

luminated class of

into the intellect

Among

writers.

the

multitude of scholars and authors we feel no hallowing presence

we

;

rather than of inspu'ation

know

not whence

their talent

is

it

;

call

it

their

faculty,

so that their strength

In these instances the intellectual

gifts

feel that a

;

is

a disease.

do not make

and

;

man's talents stand in the way of his

advancement in is

own

some over-

the impression of virtue, but almost of vice

we

skill

they have a light and

comes and

some exaggerated

grown member,

knack and

are sensible of a

truth.

But genius

a larger imbibing of the

is religious.

common

heart.

It

It is

not anomalous, but more like and not less like

of

wisdom

There

is

in all great poets a

humanity which

is

superior to any talents they

other men.

exercise. fine

author, the wit, the

partisan, the

gentleman, does not take place of the man.

Humanity Ber,,

The

shines in

Homer,

in Shakspeare, in

in Chaucer, in

Milton.

They

Spen

are contend


THE OVER-SOUL. vsrith

truth.

seem frigid

They use the and phlegmatic

271

They

positive degree.

who have been

to those

spiced with the frantic passion and violent color-

For they are

ing of inferior but popular writers.

poets by the free course which they allow to the in=

forming

soul,

which through

their eyes beholds

again and blesses the things which

The

soul

is

superior to

its

it

hath madco

knowledge, wiser than

The great poet makes us feel our own wealth, and then we think less of his compositions. His best communication to our mind is any of

its

works.

to teach us to despise all

Shakspeare

he has done.

carries us to such a lofty strain of intelligent activity as to suggest a

and we then

wealth which beggars his

feel that the splendid

own

;

works which he

has created, and which in other hours we extol as a sort of self-existent poetry, take

of real nature than the

shadow

no stronger hold

of a passing travel-

ler

on the rock. The inspiration which uttered

itself

in

Hamlet and Lear could

good

utter things as

Why

from day to day for ever.

make account

of

Hamlet and Lear,

not the soul from which they the tongue

then should I as

if

we had

fell as syllables

from

?

This energy does not descend into individual

life

on any other condition than entire possession.

It

gomes to the lowly and simple Boever will put off what

is

;

it

comes to whom=

foreign and proud

;

it


;

THE OVER-SOUL.

272 comes as insight deur.

When we

inspiration the

He

comes as serenity and gran-

does

their opinion.

whom

see those

new degrees

apprised of

tone.

it

;

it

inhabits,

we

From

of greatness.

are that

man comes back with a changed not talk mth men with an eye to

He

tries

them.

It requires of us to

The vain traveller attempts to embellish his life by quoting my lord and the prince and the countess, who thus said or did to

be plain and true.

Mm.

The ambitious vulgar show you

and brooches and

their spoons

and preserve

rings,

their cards

The more cultivated, in their their own experience, cull out the pleasthe visit to Rome, the circumstance,

and compliments. account of

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

ing, poetic

man know

of genius they saw, the brilliant friend they ;

still

scape, the

further on perhaps the gorgeous land-

mountain

they enjoyed

lights, the

yesterday, â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and

romantic color over their

life.

ascends to worship the great

mountain thoughts so seek to

But the

throw a

soul that

God is plain and

true

has no rose-color, no fine friends, no chivalry, no adventures

;

the hour that the

common

does not want admiration

now day,

is,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; by reason

ment and the mere

;

dwells in

in the earnest experience of

trifle

of the present

mo-

having become porous to

thought and bibulous of the sea of

Converse with a mind that

is

light.

grandly simple, and

literature looks like word-catching.

The

simplest


THE OVER-SOUL.

273

utterances are worthiest to be written, yet are tliey so olieap

and

so things of course, that in the infinite

riches of the soul off the

it is

like gathering a

ground, or bottling a

little

few pebbles

air in

w^hen the whole earth and the whole are ours.

Nothing can pass

there, or

a phial,

atmosphere

make you one

of the circle, but the casting aside your trappings

and dealing man fession

to

man

and omniscient

in

naked

truth, plain con-

affirmation.

Souls such as these treat you as gods would, walk as gods in the earth, accepting without any admiration your wit, your bounty, your virtue even,

rather your act of duty, for your \drtue they their proper blood, royal as themselves,

buke

their plain fraternal bearing casts

as

and over-

But what

and the father of the gods.

royal,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; say

own

re-

on the mu-

tual flattery with which authors solace each other

and wound themselves not wonder

that these

!

These

men go

I do

flatter not.

to see

Cromwell and

Christina and Charles the Second and James the

and the Grand Turk.

First

own

For they

elevation, the fellows of kings,

are, in their

and must

the servile tone of conversation in the world.

must always be a godsend

feel

They

to princes, for they con-

front them, a king to a king, without ducking or concession,

and

and give a high nature the refreslunent

satisfaction of resistance, of plain humanity, of

even companionship and of new VOL.

II.

18

ideas.

They

leave


!

THE OVER-SOUL.

274

them wiser and superior men. Souls like these make us feel that sincerity is more excellent than Deal

flattery.

so plainly with

man and woman

to constrain the utmost sincerity

hope of

with you.

trifling

vice

is

all

It is the highest compli=

Their " highest praising,"

ment you can pay. said Milton, "

and destroy

as

not flattery, and their plainest ad-

a kind of praising."

is

Ineffable

is

man and God

the union of

The

act of the soul.

integrity worships

simplest person

God, becomes God

;

in every

who

in his

yet for ever

and ever the influx of this better and universal seK is new and unsearchable. It inspires awe and astonHow dear, how soothing to man, arises ishment. the idea of God, peopling the lonely place, effacing the scars of our mistakes and disappointments

When we

have broken our god of tradition and

ceased from our god of rhetoric, then the heart with his presence. the heart

itself,

He

side.

fire

It is the doubling of

nay, the infinite enlargement of the

heart with a power of growth to a

every

may God

It inspires in

man an

new

on

infinity

infallible trust.

has not the conviction, but the sight, that the the true, and

may

in that thought easily dis-

best

is

miss

all particular uncertainties

and

fears,

and

ad-

journ to the sure revelation of time the solution of his private riddles.

He

is

dear to the heart of being.

sure that his weKare

is

In the presence of law


THE OVER-SOUL. to his

mind he

versal that

overflowed with a reliance so uni-

is

sweeps away

it

275

cherished hopes and

all

the most stable projects of mortal condition in its flood.

good.

He

The things

You

to thee.

from

believes that he cannot escape

his

that are really for thee gravitate

are running to seek your friend.

your feet run, but your mind need

If

not.

Let

you do

not find him, will you not acquiesce that

it is

you should not find him? for there

a power,

which, as

it

is

in you,

is

in

him

is

also,

therefore very well bring you together, for the best.

You

best

and could if it

were

are preparing with eagerness to

go and render a service to which your talent and your taste invite you, the love of

Has

of fame.

no right

it

men and

the hope

not occurred to you that you have

to go, unless

you are equally willing

prevented from going ? that every sound that

O, is

to

be

believe, as thou livest,

spoken over the round

world, which thou oughtest to hear, will vibrate on thine ear

!

Every proverb, every book, every by-

word that belongs surely sages.

to thee for aid or comfort, shall

come home through open or winding Every friend whom not thy

pas-

fantastic will

but the great and tender heart in thee craveth,

And

shall lock thee in his embrace.

the heart in thee

is

the heart of all

not a wall, not an intersection

is

this ;

because

not a valve,

there anywhere in

nature, but one blood rolls uninterruptedly an end-


THE OVER-SOUL.

276 less circulation

through

the globe

one

is all

men, as the water

all

ol

sea, and, truly seen, its tide is

one.

Let man then learn the revelation of

and

all

thought to his heart

Highest dwells with him ture are in his is

But

there.

God

own mind, if

this,

namely

;

that the

that the som'ces of naif

the sentiment of duty

go into his closet and shut

'

God

said.

manifest to cowards.

to himself,

;

nature

he would know what the great

speaketh, he must

the door,' as Jesus self

;

all

will not

He must

withdrawing himseK from

of other men's devotion.

make him-

greatly listen all

the accents

Even their prayers are made his own. Our

hurtful to liim, until he have

on numbers of

religion vulgarly stands

Whenever the appeal

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

directly,

to

made

there

made,

is

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; no matter how

numbers, proclamation

that religion

believers.

is not.

is

He that

in-

then and finds

God

a sweet enveloping thought to him never counts his

When

company.

dare to come in?

when

I

sit

in that presence,

When

who

shall

I rest in perfect humility,

I burn with pure love, what can Calvin or

Swedenborg say? It

makes no

thority

is

difference whether the appeal

is

to

The faith that stands on auThe reliance on authority not faith.

numbers or

to one.

measures the decline of religion, the withdrawal of the soul.

The

position

men have

given to Jesus,


THE OVER-SOUL. now

for

many

eternal

no

It is

plain.

centuries of history,

appeals from

Great

facts.

flatterer, it is

all

It cannot

the

is

soul,

no follower

;

it

man

mere experi-

all

however

past biography,

and

never

Before

It believes in itself.

itself.

the immense possibilities of ence,

a position of

is

It characterizes themselves.

autliorit3\

alter the

277

spotless

and

Before that heaven which

sainted, shrinks away.

us, we cannot easily we have seen or read of. not only affirm that we have few great men, that absolutely speaking, that we have none

our presentiments foreshow

any form

praise

We but,

of life

;

we have no history, no record mode of living that entirely saints

of

any character or

The

contents us.

and demigods whom history worships we are

constrained to accept with a grain of allowance.

Though

in our lonely hours

we draw a new strength

out of their

memory,

as they are

by the thoughtless and customary, they

fatigue

and invade.

original

and pure,

yet, pressed

The

on our attention,

soul gives

itself,

alone,

to the Lonely, Original

and

Pure, who, on that condition, gladly inhabits, leads

and speaks through nimble. things.

it.

It is not

Then

wise, but

is it it

glad,

sees through all

It is not called religious, but

It calls the light its own,

grows and the stone dependent on,

its

falls

nature.

and

young and

it is

innocent.

feels that the grass

by a law Behold,

inferior to,

and

saith, I

am

it


THE OVER-SOUL.

278

born into the great, the universal mind.

my own

adore

perfect,

Perfect.

receptive of the great soul,

I

I,

the imÂŤ

am somehow

and thereby I do

over-

look the sun and the stars and feel them to be the

and

fair accidents

More and more ter into

effects

pass.

the surges of everlasting nature en-

me, and I become public and human in

regards and actions.

and

which change and

So come I

act with energies

my

to live in thoughts

Thus

which are innnortal.

revering the soul, and learning, as the ancient said, that " its beauty that the w^orld

sold worketh,

wonders tory

;

;

he

is

is

will

come

to see

the perennial miracle which the

and be

less astonished at particular

will learn that there is

that all history

is

sacred

represented in an atom, in a will

man

immense,"

;

no profane

moment

weave no longer a spotted

of time.

life of

life

from what

is

and be content with

service he can render.

morrow ries

God

with

it

and

He

base and frivolous in his all

He

places

and with any

will calmly front the

in the negligency of that trust

ture in the

is

He

shreds and

patches, but he will live with a divine unity. will cease

his-

that the universe

so hath

which

abeady the whole

bottom of the heart.

carfui


CIRCLES.

Nature And her

centres into balls,

proud ephemerals,

Fast to surface and outside,

Scan the

Knew

profile of the sphere;

they what that signified,

A new genesis were hero.


CIKCLES.

The

eye

forms

is

the

primary figure highest

first circle

the second

is

is

emblem

;

horizon which

tlie

repeated without end.

whose centre was everywhere and

We

It is the

in the cipher of the world.

God

Augustine described the nature of

nowhere.

it

and throughout nature thh

;

its

St.

as a circle

circumference

are all our lifetime reading the co-

pious sense of this

first of

One moral we

forms.

have already deduced in considering the circular or compensatory character of every human action.

Another analogy we

shall

now

tion admits of being outdone.

trace, that every ac-

Our

life is

an ap-

prenticeship to the truth that around every circle

another can be drawn ture,

but every end

always another

is

dawn

;

that there

is

a beginning

risen

;

no end in nathat there

is

on mid-noon, and under

every deep a lower deep opens.

This of

the

fact, as far as it

Unattainable,

U^hich the

symbolizes the moral fact

the

flying

Perfect, around

hands of man can never meet,

at once


;

CIRCLES.

282 inspirer

tlie

may

and

trations of

condemner of every

human power

There are no is

tlie

and

fluid

Our

degrees.

illus-

in every department.

m

fixtures

volatile.

success,

many

conveniently serve us to connect

The universe

nature.

Permanence

is

but a word of

God

is

a transparent

globe seen by

The law

law, not a mass of facts.

Our

dissolves the

culture

is

the predom-

inance of an idea which draws after

it

this train of

fact

and holds

it fluid.

Let us

cities

and

idea

they will disappear.

all

;

institutions.

melted away, as

if

it

rise into

The Greek had been

another

sculpture

is

statues of ice

here and there a solitary figure or fragment re-

maining, as we see flecks and scraps of snow cold dells

and mountain

clefts in

left in

June and July.

For the genius that created it creates now somewhat else. The Greek letters last a little longer, but are already passing under the same sentence

and tumbling

into the inevitable pit which the cre-

ation of new thought opens for

new

all that is old.

planet

;

the

new

races fed out of the decomposition

of the foregoing.

New

arts destroy the old.

the investment of capital in aqueducts, less

The

continents are built out of the ruins of an old

by

fortifications,

hj^draulics;

roads and canals, by railways

eteam by

;

made

See use-

by gunpowder: sails,

by steam i

electricity.

You admire

this

tower of granite, weathering the


283

CIRCLES.

many

hurts of so built

huge

tliis

than that which

can topple

it

Yet a

ages.

little

waving hand

and that which builds

wall,

The hand

built.

is

down much

faster.

is

better

that built

Better than the

hand and nimbler was the invisible thought which and thus ever, behind the wrought through it ;

coarse effect,

a fine cause, which, being narrowly

is

Every

seen, is itself the effect of a finer cause.

thing looks permanent until rich estate appears to fact

;

to a merchant,

materials, lage,

and

women

;

orchard, good

fixture, like

but to a large farmer, not

ture looks provokingly stable

the rest

all

til-

a gold mine,

Na-

fixed than the state of the crop.

has a cause like

A

known.

a firm and lasting

An

easily lost.

good grounds, seem a

prehend

secret is

one easily created out of any

or a river, to a citizen

much more

its

;

and

secular, but it

and when once I com-

that, will these fields stretch so

immovably

wide, these leaves hang so individually considera-

Permanence

ble ?

thing

is

spiritual

is

power than

The key

a word of degrees.

Moons

medial.

to every

are no

Every

more bounds

to

bat-balls.

man

is

his thought.

Sturdy

and defying though he look, he has a helm which is

the idea after which all his facts

He

can only be reformed by show^

he obeys, which are classified.

ing life

him a new idea which commands of

man

is

a

self-evolving circle,

his own.

The

which, from a


CIRCLES.

284

ring imperceptibly small, rushes on

wards end.

new and The extent

which

to

sides out-

all

and that without

larger circles,

to

this generation of cir-

wheel without wheel, will go, depends on the

cles,

For

force or truth of the individual soul.

having formed

inert effort of each thought,

into a circular

it is

wave of circumstance,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

the

itself

as for in-

stance an empire, rules of an art, a local usage, a religious rite, solidify

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

to

and hem

quick and strong all sides

heap

itself

in the it

on that ridge and to

life.

But

if

the soul

is

bursts over that bomidary on

and expands another

deep, which also runs

up

orbit

on the great

into a high wave, with at-

tempt again to stop and to bind.

But the heart

refuses to be imprisoned

and narrowest

in its first

;

already tends outward with a vast force

pulses

it

and

immense and innumerable

to

Every ultimate

fact

is

only the

exj)ansions. first of

some more general law presently to There

is

no outside, no inclosing

The man

ference to us.

good

how

!

things

!

rises also cle

new

a

Every general law only a particular

ries.

final

He a

!

fills

how

disclose itself.

wall,

no circum-

finishes his story,

puts a

it

the sky.

man and draws

Lo

!

se-

fact of

new

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; how

face on all

on the other side

a cu'cle around the

cir-

we had just pronounced the outline of the Then already is our first speaker not man,

sphere.

but only a

first

speaker.

His only redress

is forth-


;

CIRCLES. with to

draw a

And

men do by

so

circle

285

outside of his antagonist.

The result of tomind and cannot be escaped,

themselves.

day, which haunts the will presently

be abridged into a word, and the

principle that

seemed to explain nature

will itself

be included as one example of a bolder generaliza-

In the thought of to-morrow there

tion.

to

upheave

thy creed,

all

all

is

the creeds, all the

and marshal thee

literatures of the nations,

heaven which no epic dream has yet

Every man as he

is

is

not so

a power

much a workman

to a

depicted.

in the world

Men

a suggestion of that he should be.

walk as prophecies of the next age. Step by step we scale this mysterious ladder the steps are actions, the

Every several

by the new

;

The new statement

it

is

is

for the eye

it

to be contra-

only limited by the new.

always hated by the old, and,

comes

But the eye soon and

power.

is

and judged by

Every one seems

to those dwelling in the old,

scepticism.

prospect

result is threatened

that which follows.

dicted

new

like

gets

an abyss of

wonted to

it,

then

its

are effects of one cause

;

innocency and benefit appear, and presently,

energy spent,

it

elation of the

new

pales

all its

and dwindles before the

rev-

hour.

Fear not the new generalization.

Does the

fact

look crass and material, threatening to degrade thy

theory of spirit

and

?

Resist

it

not

;

it

raise thy theory of matter just as

goes to refine

much.


CIRCLES.

286

There are no fixtures be fully understood him,

if

how

it

he rests at

;

and

if

last

he must

there

if

on the divine

The

can be otherwise.

last closet,

men,

to

we appeal

Every man supposes liimseK not

consciousness.

feel

man

every

to

any truth in

is

soul, I see not

chamber, the

last

was never opened

;

there

always a residuum unknown, unanalyzable. is,

to

is

That

believes that he has a greater possi-

bility.

Om' moods do I

am

full of

not believe in each other.

To-day

thoughts and can write what I please.

1 see no reason

why

I should not have the

same

thought, the same power of expression, to-morrow.

What

I write, whilst I write

it,

seems the most nat-

ural thing in the world; but yesterday I saw a

now I see much and a month hence, I doubt not, I shall wonder who he was that wrote so many continuous dreary vacuity in this direction in which

so

;

pages.

Alas for

this infirm

strenuous, this vast

will

faith, this

ebb of a vast flow

!

I

not

am God

I am a weed by the wall. The continual effort to raise himself above himself, to work a pitch above his last height, betrays in nature

Itself in

tion, yet

;

a man's relations.

We

thirst for approba-

cannot forgive the approver.

of nature is love

mented by

;

yet

if

my imperfections.

tne other party.

If he

The sweet

am torThe love of me accuses

I have a friend I

w.^.re

high enough to slight


CIRCLES.

287 rise

by

man's growth

is

me, then could 1 love him, and to

new

A

heights.

affection

seen in the

For every friend

successive choirs of his friends.

whom

my

he loses for truth, he gains a better.

I

thought as I walked in the woods and mused on

my

should I play with them this game of

why

friends,

know and

I

idolatry?

see too well,

when not

vol-

untarily blind, the speedy limits of persons called

Rich, noble and great they are

high and worthy.

by the

liberality of our speech,

blessed Spirit,

whom

of angels for a short

We

when we

come up with a man's knowledge attractive

sea to

found it

?

it

this

lesson?

Men

As

limitations,

soon as you once it is all

over with

talents ? has he enterprise ? has It boots not.

was he

swim

the thrones

find their limitations.

sin is limitation.

Has he

sell

and turbulent pleasure.

must we learn

often

cease to interest us

him.

O

I forsake for these, they are

allow costs us heavenly state.

The only

is sad.

Every personal consideration that we

not thou!

How

but truth

in

;

to

Infinitely alluring

he

and

you yesterday, a great hope, a

now, you have found his shores,

a pond, and you care not

if

you never see

again.

Each new

step

we take

twenty seemingly discordant of one law.

Aristotle

respective heads of

in thought reconciles facts, as expressions

and Plato are reckoned the

two

schools.

A wise

man

will


CIRCLES.

288

By

see that Aristotle platonizes.

farther back

by being seen

reconciled

to be

two extremes of one

and we can never go

principle,

preclude a

still

this planet.

as

when a

to

Then

all

lets loose

a thinker

things are at risk.

It is

conflagration has broken out in a great

and no man knows what There

will end.

flank

back as

so far

higher vision.

Beware when the great God on

city,

going one step

in thought, discordant opinions are

may

is

or where

it

not a piece of science but

its

is safe,

be turned to-morrow

;

there

is

not any

literary reputation, not the so-called eternal

of fame, that

may

The very hopes

of

names

not be revised and condemned.

man, the thoughts of

his heart,

the religion of nations, the manners and morals of

mankind

are all at the

Generalization

tion.

is

divinity into the mind.

tends

mercy of a new generalizaalways a new influx of the

Hence the

thrill that at-

it.

Yalor consists in the power of self-recovery, so that a

man

cannot have his flank turned, cannot be

out-generalled, stands.

but put him where you

will,

he

This can only be by his preferring truth

to his past apprehension of truth,

ceptance of

it

and

from whatever quarter

;

his alert ac-

the intrepid

conviction that his laws, his relations to society, his Christianity, his world,

perseded and decease.

may

at

any time be

su-


CIRCLES.

289

We

There are degrees in idealism. to play with

Then we

once a toy.

and poetry that

true.

it

be true, that

that he

is

things are shadows of him.

Berkeley of Jesus,

is

and that again

the fact that all nature

obviously

in

me

;

and that

The idealism

is

is

of

a crude statement of

the rapid efflux of good-

is

history

and the

Much more

itself.

state of the

any one time directly dependent on the classification

so

true in

only a crude statement of the idealism

ness executing and organizing

The

is

it

fragments.

We learn that God is ; all

heyday of youth

see in the

may

Then its coimtenance stern and grand, and we see that it must be It now shows itself ethical and practical.

gleams and w^axes

learn first

academically, as the magnet was

it

world at

intellectual

then existing in the minds of men.

things which are dear to

men

at this

hour are

on account of the ideas which have emerged on

their mental horizon,

and which cause the present

order of things, as a tree bears

its

apples.

A

new

degree of culture would instantly revolutionize the entire system of

Conversation tion

mon to

human pursuits. a game of circles.

is

we pluck up

In conversa-

the termini which

bound the com-

The

parties are not

of silence on every side.

be judged by the

spirit

they partake and even

express under this Pentecost.

To-morrow they will

have receded from this high-water mark. VOL.

II.

19

To-mor-


CIRCLES.

290

row you whilst

it

them stooping under the

shall find

Yet

pack-saddles.

let

old

us enjoy the cloven flame

When

glows on our walls.

each new

speaker strikes a new light, emancipates us from the oj^pression of the last speaker to oppress us

own another redeemer, we

with the greatness and exclusiveness of his thought, then yields us to

seem

become men.

to recover our rights, to

what truths profound and executable only

and

supposed in the announcement of

orbs, are

every truth

!

In common hours, society

We

and statuesque.

all

full,

by mighty symbols which are not

and

manifest.

The

facts

beauty

which loomed

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; property, and

the

and

religions,

rattles

leave

and

foundations

And yet Good

and shames

strangely

literatures, cities,

their

swift circumscription! better,

have

All that we reckoned ;

dance before our eyes.

is

tester, is

so large in the

climate, breeding,

like,

changed their proportions.

lence

the god

of the very furniture,

and clock and

saucer, of chair

settled shakes

climates,

surrounded

eye burns up the veil which shrouded

fogs of yesterday,

personal

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

men, and by a

statues into fiery

and the meaning

all things,

of cup

cold

sjonbols to us,

Then cometh

but prose and trivial toys.

and converts the

sits

stand waiting, empty,

knowing, possibly, that we can be

flash of his

O,

in ages

it.

and

here again see the

as

is

discourse,

The length

si-

of the


291

CIRCLES.

discourse indicates the distance of thought betwixt If they were at a per-

the speaker and the hearer. fect

understanding in any part, no words would be If at one in

necessary thereon.

would be

is

a point outside of our hodiernal

through which a new one

The use

may be

fill

cir=

described.

of literature is to afford us a platform,

whence we may command a view a purchase by which

life,

no words

parts,

suffered.

Literature cle

aU

of our present

we may move

it.

We

ourselves with ancient learning, install ourselves

the best

we can

houses, only that

in Greek, in Punic, in

we may

Roman

wiselier see French,

lish

and American houses and modes of

like

manner we

EngIn

living.

from the midst

see literature best

of wild nature, or from the din of affairs, or from

The

a high religion.

from within the

field.

field

cannot be well seen

The astronomer must have

his diameter of the earth's orbit as a base to find

the parallax of any star.

Therefore we value the poet.

and

all

the

wisdom

is

All the argument

not in the encyclopaedia, or

the treatise on metaphysics, or the ity,

Body

but in the sonnet or the play.

work

I incline to repeat

my

my

daily

old steps, and do not

believe in remedial force, in the

and reform.

In

of Divin-

power of change

But some Petrarch or

Ariosto, filled

with the new wine of his imagination, writes

me

an


CIRCLES.

292

ode or a brisk romance,

He

action.

my

eye on

wings to the sides of world, and I

am

the religion

me

all

and

practice.

We

world.

the

command a view

Christianity from the catechism tures,

shrill

the solid old lumber of the

the same need to of

with his

capable once more of choosing a

straight path in theory

We have

daring thought and

my whole chain of habits, and I my own possibilities. He claps

up

tones, breaks

open

full of

smites and arouses

:

of

can never see

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; from

the pas-

from a boat in the pond, from amidst the

songs of wood-birds we possibly may.

by the elemental

light

Cleansed

and wind, steeped in the sea

of beautiful forms which the field offers us,

we may

chance to cast a right glance back upon biography. Christianity

is

rightly dear to the best of

yet was there never a

mankind

;

young philosopher whose

breeding had fallen into the Christian church by

whom prized

unto

that brave text of Paul's was not specially

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " Then

:

Him who

may be

put

all in all."

shall also the all

Son be

subject

things under him, that

God

Let the claims and virtues of

persons be never so great and welcome, the instinct of

man

and

presses eagerly

illimitable,

onward

dogmatism of bigots with of the

The

book

to the impersonal

and gladly arms this

itself

against the

generous word out

itself.

natural world

may be

conceived of as a sy*


CIRCLES. tern of concentric circles,

293

and we now and then

tect in nature slight dislocations

that this surface on which

but sliding.

ities,

this chemistry

of God,

only,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; are words Has the who has ex-

and as fugitive as other words.

plored the gravity of atoms and the elective

who has

whereof

not

to stand there for their

means and methods

naturalist or chemist learned his craft,

ties,

is

and vegetation, these metals

and animals, which seem sake, are

we now stand

These manifold tenacious qual-

fixed,

own

de-

which apprise us

affini-

not yet discerned the deeper law

this is only

a partial or approximate

ment, namely that like draws to

like,

state-

and that the

goods which belong to you gravitate to you and

need not be pursued with pains and cost ? that

statement approximate also, and not

Omnipresence

is

a higher

subterranean channels

drawn

fact.

Not through

Yet

is

final.

subtle

need friend and fact be

to their counterpart, but, rightly considered,

these things proceed from the eternal generation of

the soul.

Cause and

effect are

two sides of one

fact.

The same law of eternal procession ranges all that we call the virtues, and extinguishes each in The great man will not be the light of a better. prudent in the popular sense be so

much

;

all his

prudence will

deduction from his grandeur.

behooves each to

see,

when he

sacrifices

But

it

prudence,


CIRCLES.

294 to

what god

devotes

lie

it

he had better be prudent

to ease

if

;

still

and pleasure,

to a great trust,

if

;

he can well spare his mule and panniers who has a

winged chariot

Geoffrey draws on his

instead.

boots to go through the woods, that his feet

from the

may be

Aaron never thinks of such a peril. In many years neither is harmed by such an accident. Yet it seems to me that with safer

bite of snakes

;

every precaution you take against such an evil you

put yourself into the power of the that the highest prudence

is

Is this too sudden a rushing

verge of our orbit shall fall

I suppose

from the centre

to the

Think how many times we

?

back into

evil.

the lowest prudence.

we make

pitiful calculations before

take up our rest in the great sentiment, or

new

the verge of to-day the

bravest sentiment

The poor and

is

Besides, your

centre.

familiar to the humblest men.

the low have their

way

of express-

ing the last facts of philosophy as well as you. " Blessed be nothing " and "

The worse things

are,

the better they are " are proverbs which express the transcendentalism of

One man's

justice

is

common

man's beauty another's ugliness another's foUy

from a higher sists in

;

life.

another's injustice ;

One man

same objects

thinks justice con-

paying debts, and has no measure in his

horrence of another

who

is

one

one man's wisdom

as one beholds the

point.

;

ab-

very remiss in this duty


CIRCLES.

295

and makes the creditor wait

man

has his

own way

asks himself

Which

debt must I pay

second

But

tediously.

tliat

of looking at things first,

;

the debt

to the rich, or the debt to the poor? the debt of

money, or the debt of thought to mankind, of gen-

For

ius to nature?

O

j^ou,

broker, there

other principle but arithmetic. is

of trivial import

love, faith, truth of character,

;

the aspiration of man, these are sacred

detach one duty, like you, from

my

and concentrate

ment

all

nor can I

;

other duties,

forces mechanically on the pay-

Let me

of moneys.

no

is

For me, commerce

live

onward

;

find that, though slower, the progress of

you

shall

my charac-

ter will liquidate all these debts without injustice to higher claims.

If a

payment

self to the

man

of notes,

should dedicate him-

would not

Does he owe no debt but money

justice ?

him

are all claims on

to

be

this

in-

And

?

be postponed to a land-

lord's or a banker's ?

There

The

is

no virtue which

is final

;

all

are

initial.

virtues of society are vices of the saint.

terror of reform

away our

is

the discovery that

grosser vices

:

same

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

The cast

what we have always esteemed

virtues, or

such, into the

we must

pit that

has consumed oui

" Forgive his crimes, forgive his virtues too,

Those smaller It is the highest

faults, half converts to the right."

power of divine moments thai


CIRCLES.

296 tliey abolish

of

slotli

our contritions

I accuse myself

also.

and unprofitableness day by day

God

these waves of lost time.

flow into

me

I no longer reckon

I no longer poorly compute

achievement by what remains to or the year;

for these

but when

;

me

my

possible

of the

moments confer a

month sort of

omnipresence and omnipotence which asks nothing of duration, but sees that the energy of the is

mind

commensurate with the work to be done, without

time.

And

O

thus,

some

circular philosopher, I hear

reader exclaim, you have arrived at a fine Pyr-

rhonism, at an equivalence and indifferency of actions,

and would fain teach us that if we are

forsooth, our crimes

which we

may be

all

true^

lively stones out of

temple of the true

shall construct the

God! I

am

not careful to

justif}^

myself.

I

own

I

gladdened by seeing the predominance of the

am sac-

charine principle throughout vegetable nature, and

not less by beholding in morals that unrestrained

inundation of the principle of good into every chink

and hole that ishness

and

hell itself lest

selfishness has left open,

sin itself

without

its

;

so that

extreme

I should mislead any

head and obey that I

am

only

my whims,

no

yea into

evil is pure,

satisfactions.

when

I have

self-

nor

But

my own

me remind the reader an experimenter. Do not set the let


CIRCLES. least value

what I do

on what I do, or the not, as

if

me

sacred

none are profane

;

on

least discredit

I pretended to settle

any thing

No

I unsettle all things.

as true or false.

are to

297

;

facts

I simply ex-

my

periment, an endless seeker with no Past at back.

Yet

movement and progression

this incessant

which

all

things partake could never become sensi-

by contrast

ble to us but

some principle of

to

fix-

Whilst the eternal

ture or stability in the soul.

generation of circles proceeds, the eternal generator

That central

abides.

creation, superior to

contains all

a

life

Forever

but in vain, for that which

all

hour

it

labors to create

is

no

we import

sleep,

how

to

no pause, no preservation,

rags and relics into the

Nature abhors the

the only disease

all

;

old age

;

;

old,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

rest,

;

they are

converse with what

all

forms of

way onward.

I see no need of is

We

conservatism, appropriation,

not newness, not the

grizzle every day.

new

fever, intemperance, in-

and crime

they are

Why

and old age seems

others run into this one.

by many names,

sanity, stupidity

inertia

instructs

things renew, germinate and spring.

?

call it

made

is

itself,

better.

Thus there should

to

knowledge and thought, and

its circles.

and thought as large and excellent as

make a but

somewhat superior

life is

above

us,

it.

We

Whilst we

we do not grow


CIRCLES.

298 but grow young.

old,

Infancy, youth, receptive,

itself

nothing and abandons

know

their hope, they renounce

they have outlived

aspiration,

accept the

down

the

to

Let them then become organs of the Holy

young.

and

all,

necessary and talk

actual for the

Ghost

the instruction

itself to

But the man and woman

flowing from all sides. of seventy assume to

as-

upward, counts

piring, with religious eye looking

let

;

them be

lovers

let

;

them behold truth

;

their eyes are uplifted, their wrinkles smoothed,

they are perfumed again with hope and power.

This old age ought not to creep on a

In nature every moment

new

is

human mind.

the past

;

is

always

swallowed and forgotten; the coming only is sacred.

Nothing ing

secure but

is

No

spirit.

nant to secure

new

love can be it

so sublime but light of

life,

it

transition, the energiz.

bound by oath or

against a higher love.

may be

thoughts.

trivial

No

cove-

truth

to-morrow in the

People wish to be settled

only as far as they are unsettled

is

;

there any hope

for them.

Life

is

a series of surprises.

We

do not guess

to-day the mood, the pleasure, the power of to-mor-

when we

row,

lower tell

total {le

are

somewhat

;

Of we can

building up our being.

states, of acts of routine

and

sense,

but the masterpieces of God, the

growths and universal movements of the

hideth

;

they are incalculable.

I can

know

soul,

that


CIRCLES. truth

me

divine and helpful ; but

is

how

I can have no guess, for so to he

let of so to

ing

man

all the

It carries in its

the past, yet cast

powers of the

is itself

away

in

bosom

shall help

it

is

The new position

hnow.

has

new.

all

I

299

the sole in-

of the advanc-

has them

old, yet

the enero^ies of

all

an exhalation of the morningo

this

new moment

my once Now for

all

hoarded knowledge, as vacant and vain. the

first

know any

time seem I to

thing rightly.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

The simplest words, we do not know what they mean except when we love and aspire. The difference between talents and character is adroitness to keep the old and trodden round,

power and courage to make a new road better goals.

present fies all

;

the

and

new and

Character makes an overpowering

a cheerful, determined hour, which

possible

is

to

forti-

company by making them see that much and excellent that was not thought of.

Character dulls the impression of particular events.

When we of

see the conqueror

any one

battle or success.

exaggerated the

The great man

difficulty. is

we do

We It

much we had

not think see that

was easy

to him.

not convulsible or tormentable

;

him without much impression. People say sometimes, See what I have overcome see how cheerful I am see how completely events pass over

'

;

I

;

have triumphed over these black

they

still

remind

me

events.'

of the black event.

Not

if

True con-


CIRCLES.

300 quest

is

the causing the calamity to fade and disap-

pear as an early cloud of insignificant result in a history so large

and advancing.

The one thing which we seek with sire is to forget ourselves, to

insatiable de-

be surprised out of our

propriety, to lose our sempiternal

memory and

to

do something without knowing how or why; in

draw a new

short to

circle.

Nothing great was

ever achieved without enthusiasm. life is

wonderful

moments of

;

it is

The way of The great

by abandonment.

history are the facilities of performance

through the strengih of ideas, as the works of genius

and

religion.

"

A

man "

" never rises so high as

he

is

going."

said Oliver

Cromwell

when he knows not whither

Dreams and drunkenness,

the use of

opium and alcohol are the semblance and counterfeit of this

oracular genius, and hence their danger-

ous attraction for men.

For the

like reason they

ask the aid of wild passions, as in gaming and war, to ape in

some manner these flames and generosi-

ties of the heart.


INTELLECT.

Go, speed the

On

stars of Tliought

to their shining goals

;

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

The sower scatters broad his seed

The wheat thou

strew' st be souls.

;


XI.

INTELLECT.

EvEKY

substance

which stands above

it

wood and

and

iron

salt

gravity, laws, method,

named

relations

;

and the

nature in

of

its

;

subtlest un-

which

Intellect is the simple

lect constructive.

dis-

water

resistless

Intellect lies behind genius,

struum.

Water

it.

air dissolves

but the intellect dissolves

electric fire dissolves air, fire,

tliat

in the chemical tables, posi-

which stands below

tively to that

solves

negatively electric to

is

men-

is intel-

power an-

Gladly would

terior to all action or construction.

I unfold in calm degrees a natural history of the intellect,

man

but what

has yet been able to mark

the steps and boundaries of that transparent es-

The

sence?

first

questions are always to be asked,

and the wisest doctor tiveness of a child. tion of

the

act?

it

can we speak of the ac-

mind under any

knowledge, of since

gravelled by the inquisi-

is

How

its ethics,

divisions, as of

of its works,

and

its

so forth,

melts will into perception, knowledge into

Each becomes

the other.

Itself

alone

is.


INTELLECT.

304

Its ^^sion is not like the vision of tlie eye,

but

is

union vAth the things known. Intellect

and

intellection signify to the

The

ear consideration of abstract truth. ations of time

and

consider-

you and me,

place, of

common of profit

and hurt tyrannize over most men's minds.

from you^ from

lect separates the fact considered,

aU

and personal

local

if it

existed for

upon the

is

to

own

and

and colored

walk forward

own

In

in a straight line.

Intellect it

stands

and disengaged.

The

goes out of the individual, floats over

and regards

personality,

/and

He

mine.

wdio

is

as

hard for

void of affection and sees an object as

intellect

it

mists.

evil affections it is

in the light of science, cool

as

and discerns

Heraclitus looked

sake.

affections as dense

the fog of good

man

its

reference,

Intel-

it

as a fact,

immersed

in

its

and not

what con-

cerns person or place cannot see the problem of existence.

This the intellect always ponders.

ture shows all things formed

and bound.

Na-

The

in-

tellect pierces the

form, overleaps the wall, detects

intrinsic likeness

between remote things and

duces

all

The making a it.

re-

things into a few principles. fact the subject of thought raises

All that mass of mental and moral phenomena

which we do not make objects of voluntary thought,

come within the power of fortune the circumstance of daily life

;

;

they constitute

they are subject

to


INTELLECT. change, to fear and hope.

human

as a

so

any

a

by the

in-

We

be-

a truth, separated

no longer a subject of destiny.

it

As

open to the mercy of

life, lies

But

coming events. tellect, is

his

battered by the waves, so man, im-

is

prisoned in mortal

And

Every man beholds

condition with a degree of melancholy.

ship aground

hold

305

god upraised above care and fact in our

fear.

or any record of our

life,

from the web of

fancies or reflections, disentangled

our unconsciousness, becomes an object impersonal

and immortal.

A

balmed.

restored, but

It is the past

better art

taken fear and corruption out of ated of care.

em-

than that of Egypt has it.

It is eviscer-

What

It is offered for science.

is

addressed to us for contemplation does not threaten us but makes us intellectual beings.

The growth

the intellect

of

The mind

every expansion.

God

individual.

enters

Long

Out

it

VOL.

is

of darkness

it

it

accepted and disposed

from the surrounding creation

own way. Whatever any mind doth

after a law,

after

into every

into the marvellous light of to-day.

of all impressions

is

of that spon-

prior to the age of reflection

In the period of infancy

ter its

mode

by a private door

the thinking of the mind.

came insensibly

spontaneous in

that grows could not

predict the times, the means, the taneity.

is

and

this native

af-

or saith

law remains over

it

has come to reflection or conscious thought.

II,

20


INTELLECT.

306

In the most worn, pedantic, introverted self-tormen. part

tor's life, the greatest

is

incalculable

by him,

unforeseen, unimaginable, and must be, until he can

own

take himself up by his

What

has

my

ears.

done to make

will

What am I ? me that I am ?

I have been floated into this thought,

Nothing.

this hour, this connection of events,

rents of might

and mind, and

my

by

secret cur-

ingenuity and

wiKulness have not thwarted, have not aided to an appreciable degree.

Our spontaneous

action

You

always the best.

is

cannot with your best deliberation and heed come

any question as your spontaneous glance

so close to

shall bring you, whilst

you

rise

from your bed, or

walk abroad in the morning after meditating the

Our

matter before sleep on the previous night. thinking is

is

a pious reception.

therefore vitiated as

tion given

We

by our

Our truth

much by

will, as

too violent direc-

by too great negligence.

do not determine what we will think.

only open our senses, clear away as struction

We

see.

We for

of thought

from the have

fact,

and

us that

control over our thoughts.

little

into their

own.

They

up

for the morrow, gaze

without an effort to

By and by we

catch us

heaven and so fully engage

we take no thought

like children,

all ob-

suffer the intellect to

are the prisoners of ideas.

moments

we can

We

fall

make them our

out of that rapture, be.


INTELLECT.

807

we have been, what we have seen, we can what we have beheldo As far as we can recall these ecstasies we carryaway in the ineffaceable memory the result, and all think us where

and repeat

men and

as truly as

all

confirm

ages

the

But the moment we

truth.

we

It

called

is

cease to report and

tempt to correct and contrive, If

it.

it is

at-=

not truth.

consider what persons have stimidated and

profited us,

we

shall perceive the suj)eriority of the

spontaneous or intuitive principle over the arith-

The

metical or logical.

but virtual and long logic it

;

contains the second,

first

We want in every man

latent.

we cannot pardon

the absence of

Logic

must not be spoken.

is

is

as silent

but

the procession or

proportionate unfolding of the intuition virtue

it,

a

method; the moment

but

;

it

its

would

appear as propositions and have a separate value, is

it

worthless.

In every man's mind, some images, words and facts remain, without effort

on his part to imprint

them, which others forget, and afterwards these lustrate to is

him important

an unfolding,

first

our progress

You have

an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge,

stinct to the end,

bud and

it.

shall ripen into truth believe.

fruit.

Trust the

in-

though you can render no reason.

It is vain to hurry

you

AU

like the vegetable bud.

as the plant has root,

it

laws.

il-

By

it

to the end,

shall

know why

trusting

and you


INTELLECT.

308

Each mind has

A

own method.

its

true

What

never acquires after college rules.

man

you have

aggregated in a natural manner surprises and delights

when

each

other's

between

it is

men

For we cannot oversee

produced.

And

secret.

in natural

hence the differences

endowment are

cant in comparison with their

common

insignifi-

wealth.

Do

you think the porter and the cook have no anecdotes,

no

no wonders for you

exj)eriences,

body knows as much as the savant. rude minds are scrawled

They

thoughts.

shall one

The

Every walls of

over with facts, with

day bring a lantern and

Every man,

read the inscriptions. in

all

?

in the degree

which he has wit and culture, finds

his curiosity

inflamed concerning the modes of living and thinking of other men, and especially of those classes

whose minds have not been subdued by the

drill of

school education.

This instinctive action never ceases in a healthy

mind, but becomes richer and more frequent in informations through

comes the era of

its

At last when we not only obobserve when we of set

all states of culture.

reflection,

serve, but take pains to

;

sit down to consider an abstract truth when we keep the mind's eye open whilst we converse, whilst we read, whilst we act, intent to learn

purpose

;

the secret law of

What

is

the

some

class of facts.

hardest task in the world?

To


INTELLECT.

809

I would put myself in the attitude to look

think.

in the eye an abstract truth, and I cannot. I blench and withdraw on this side and on that. I seem to know what he meant who said, No man can see

God

and

face to face

For example, a man

live.

Let him

explores the basis of civil government.

intend his

mind without

His best heed long time avails him

one direction. nothing.

respite, without rest, in

Yet thoughts are

him.

flitting before

We

but apprehend, we dimly forebode the truth.

all

We

say I will walk abroad, and the truth will take

form and clearness not find stillness

It

it.

as at

it

We

me.

and composed

seize the thought.

from

to

seems as

if

attitude of the

But we come

A

nounced, the truth appears.

we wanted.

and

in,

library to

and are as far

Then, in a moment, and unan-

first.

light appears,

go forth, but can-

we needed only the

certain wandering

the distinction, the principle,

is

But the

oracle comes because

previously laid siege to the shrine.

It

we had

seems as

if

the law of the intellect resembled that law of nature

by which we now

breath

;

inspire,

now

expire

by which the heart now draws

hurls out the blood,

now you must

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the

labor with youi brains, and

must forbear your

activity

in,

law of undulation.

and

see

the

then

So

now you

what the great

Soul showeth.

The

immortality

of

man

is

as

legitimately


;

INTELLECT.

310

preached from the intellections as from the moral

Every

volitions.

intellection is

Its present value is its least.

mainly prospective.

Inspect what delights

you

in Plutarch,

Each

truth that a waiter acquires

he turns

full

in his mind,

which had

Every an

Shakspeare, in

in

is

Cervantes.

a lantern which

on what facts and thoughts lay already

and behold,

all

the mats and rubbish

garret

become precious.

trivial fact in his private

biography becomes

his

littered

new

illustration of this

principle, revisits the

men by its piquancy and new Where did he get this ? and

day, and delights all

Men

charm.

say.

think there was something di\dne in his

no

;

But

life.

they have myriads of facts just as good, would

they only get a lamp to ransack their attics withal.

We sons

The

are all wise.

is

difference between per-

not in wisdom but in

I knew, in an ac-

art.

me

ademical club, a person who always deferred to

who, seeing

my whim

for writing, fancied that

experiences had somewhat superior

;

Give

that his experiences were as good as mine.

them them.

me and I He held the

to

my saw

whilst I

would make the same use of old

;

he holds the new

the habit of tacking together the old

which he did not use to exercise. in the great examples.

Perhaps,

if

I

had

and the

new

may

hold

This

;

we should meet

Shakspeare we should not be conscious of any steep inferiority

;

no, but of a great equality,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; only

that


INTELLECT.

811

he possessed a strange skill of using, of classify-

ing

liis

facts, wliicli

we

For notwithstand-

lacked.

ing our utter incapacity to produce anything like

Hamlet and Othello, see the wit and immense knowledge quence find in us

perfect reception this of life

and liquid

elo=

all.

you gather apples in the simshine, or make

If

hay, or hoe corn, and then retire within doors

and

shut your eyes and press them with your hand, you shall still see apples

hanging in the bright light

with boughs and leaves thereto, or the tasselled grass, or the corn-flags,

and

this for five

or six

There lie the impressions on the retentive organ, though you knew it not. So hours afterwards.

the whole series of natural images with which

lies

your ory,

has made you acquainted, in your

life

though you know

it

not

and a

;

thrill of

sion flashes light on their dark chamber, active

word It

Our

power

of is

its

seizes instantly the

fit

long

history,

still

pas-

and the

image, as the

momentary thought. ere

we

we

discover

are sure,

is

how

quite

nothing to write, nothing to infer. years

mem-

rich

tame

:

we are. we have

But our wiser

run back to the despised recollections of

childhood, and alwa^^s

we are fishing up some wonpond until by and by we

derful article out of that

;

begin to suspect that the biography of the one foolish

person we

know

is,

in reality, nothing less than


INTELLECT.

SI 2

the miniature paraphrase of the hundred volumes of the Universal History.

In the intellect constructive, which we popularly designate by the word Genius,

we observe

the

same

balance of two elements as in intellect receptive.

The

constructive intellect produces thoughts, sen-

tences, poems, plans, designs, systems.

It is the

generation of the mind, the marriage of thought

To

with nature.

genius must always go two

the thought and the publication. elation,

The

gifts,

first is rev-

always a miracle, which no frequency of

occurrence or incessant study can ever familiarize,

but which must always leave the inquirer stupid with wonder.

It is the

advent of truth into the

world, a form of thought

now

for the first time

bursting into the universe, a child of the old eternal soul, a piece greatness.

of

genuine and immeasurable

It seems, for the time, to inherit all

that has yet existed It affects every

and

to dictate to the unborn.

thought of

ion every institution.

But

man and to

make

needs a vehicle or art by which

men.

To be communicable

or sensible object.

it

it

it

is

goes to fashavailable

it

conveyed to

must become picture

We must learn the language of

The most wonderful inspirations die with if he has no hand to paint them to the senses. The ray of light passes invisible through space and only when it falls on an object is it seen. facts.

their subject


INTELLECT.

When the

outward, then

tween

it

energy

spiritual is

it

and you

apparent to me.

is

313

directed on something

The

a thought.

first

relation be-

makes you, the value

The

of you,

rich inventive genius of the

painter must be smothered and lost for want of the

power of drawing, and

in

our happy hours we

should be inexhaustible poets

once we could

if

break through the silence into adequate rhyme.

As

all

all

men have some

access to primary truth, so

communication

have some art or power of

in their

head, but only in the artist does

scend into the

There

hand.

it

de-

an inequality,

is

whose laws we do not yet know, between two men

and between two moments

same man, in

of the

re-

common hours we have the uncommon or inspired, but

spect to this faculty. In

same

facts as in the

they do not

sit

tached, but

lie

is

spontaneous

sion, in the

plies

for their portraits

in a web. ;

possible.

they are not de-

The thought

of genius

but the power of picture or expres-

most enriched and flowing nature, im-

a mixture of

spontaneous

;

states,

It is

will,

a certain control over the

without which no production

is

a conversion of all nature into the

rhetoric of thought, under the eye of judgment,

with a strenuous exercise of choice.

And

yet the

imaginative vocabulary seems to be spontaneous also.

It does not flow

from experience only or

mainly, but from a richer source.

Not by any con-


INTELLECT.

314

scious imitation of particular forms are the grand

strokes of the painter executed-, but

by repairing

the fountain-head of all forms in his mind. is

the

drawing-master

first

Without instruction

?

we know very well the ideal A child knows if an arm or a picture

mean

;

tion in

if

;

to

Who

of the

human

form.

leg be distorted in a

the attitude be natural or grand or

though he has never received any instruc-

drawing or heard any conversation on the

draw with correctness a good form strikes all eyes pleas-

subject, nor can himself

single feature.

A

antly, long before they subject,

have any science on the

and a beautiful face

twenty hearts in

sets

palpitation, prior to all consideration of the

me-

chanical proportions of the features and head.

We

may owe

to

this skill

;

dreams some

for as soon as

the unconscious

states

draughtsmen we are

!

light

on the fountain of

we

our will go and

let

ensue,

see

let

what cunning

We entertain ourselves with

wonderful forms of men, of women, of animals, of gardens, of woods and of monsters, and the mystic pencil wherewith

we then draw has no awkward-

ness or inexperience, no meagreness or poverty

can design well and group well

;

full of art, its colors are well laid

canvas which

it

paints

is lifelike

its

;

it

composition

is

on and the whole

and apt

to touch

us with terror, with tenderness, with desire and

with grief.

Neither are the

artist's copies

from

ex^


INTELLECT.

315

perience ever mere copies, but always touched and

softened by tints from this ideal domain.

The

conditions essential to a constructive

mind

do not appear to be so often combined but that a good sentence or verse remains fresh and memorable for a long time. 3ase

and come out

seem

Yet when we write with

into the free air of thought,

to be assured that nothing is easier

communication at pleasure.

continue this

Up,

down, around, the kingdom of thought has no closures, but the

Muse makes

we

than to

in-

us free of her city.

One would

Well, the world has a million writers.

think then that good thought would be as familiar as air

and water, and the

would exclude the our good books

;

gifts

nay, I

verse for twenty years.

of each

new hour

Yet we can count

last.

remember any

all

beautiful

It is true that the discern-

ing intellect of the world

is

much in admany com-

always

vance of the creative, so that there are

petent judges of the best book, and few writers of

tlie

best books.

intellectual

The

But some

construction

intellect is

occurrence.

a whole and demands integiity in

This

every work.

of the conditions of

are of rare

is

resisted equally

by a man's

devotion to a single thought and by his ambition to

oombine too many.

Truth

is

our element of

his attention

life,

yet

if

a

man

fasten

on a single aspect of truth and apply


INTELLECT.

316

himself to that alone for a long time, the tnith be*

comes distorted and not resembling the

air,

and the breath of our

but falsehood

itself

which

is

;

herein

our natural element

nostrils,

but

if

a stream of

the same be directed on the body for a time, causes cold, fever, and even death.

How

it

wearisome

the grammarian, the phrenologist, the political or religious fanatic, or indeed

whose balance gle topic. is

is lost

am

sin-

Every thought

It is incipient insanity.

I cannot see what you see, be-

a prison also.

cause I

any possessed mortal

by the exaggeration of a

caught up by a strong wind and blown

so far in one direction that I

am

out of the hoop of

your horizon. Is

it

any better

if

the student, to avoid this of-

fence and to liberalize himself, aims to

make a me-

chanical whole of history, or science, or philosophy,

by a numerical addition within his vision lyzed

by addition

?

of all the facts that fall

The world refuses to be anaand subtraction. When we are

yoimg we spend much time and pains note-books with

all definitions of

in filling our

Religion, Love,

Poetry, Politics, Art, in the hope that in the course of a

few years we shall have condensed into our en-

cyclopaedia the net value of all the theories at which

the world has yet arrived. tables get

no completeness, and at

that our curve

meet.

But year

is

after year our

last

we

discover

a parabola, whose arcs will never


INTELLECT.

317

Neither by detachinent neither by aggregation is

the integrity of the intellect transmitted to

works, but by a vigilance which brings the

and best

lect in its greatness

moment.

It

its

intel-

state to operate every

must have the same wholeness which Although no diligence can rebuild the

nature has.

universe in a model by the best accumulation or disposition of details, yet does the world reappear in miniature in every event, so that all the laws of

nature

may be

tellect

must have the

hension and in

read in the smallest

its

dex or mercury of

For

works.

in-

this reason,

an

in-

intellectual proficiency is the per-

We

ception of identity.

persons

The

fact.

like perfection in its appre-

who appear

to

talk with accomplished

be strangers in nature. The

cloud, the tree, the turf, the bird, are not theirs,

have nothing of them ing and

table.

;

the world

But the

be spheral and complete,

poet, is

is

only their lodg-

whose verses are to

one

whom

Nature can-

not deceive, whatsoever face of strangeness she

put on. tects

He

more

We are

feels

a

strict consanguinity,

may

and de-

likeness than variety in all her changes.

new thought but new when we thought it is only the old thought with a new face, and though we make it our own we instantly crave another we are not stung by the desire for

;

receive a

;

really enriched.

For the truth was

in us before

was reflected to us from natural objects

;

it

and the


INTELLECT.

318

profound genius will cast the likeness of

all crea-

tures into every product of his wit.

But

the constructive powers are rare and

if

given to few

men

be poets, yet every

to

receiver of this descending holy ghost,

well study the laws of is

man

it is

is

a

and may

Exactly parallel

its influx.

the whole rule of intellectual duty to the rule of

A seK-denial no less austere than the

moral duty. saint's is

demanded

He must

of the scholar.

and forego

ship truth,

all

wor-

things for that, and

choose defeat and pain, so that his treasure in

thought

God and

is

thereby augmented.

offers to every

Between

never have both.

He

oscillates.

in

whom

dominates will accept the losophy, the

first political

likely his father's.

reputation

;

choice between truth

He

please,

these, as

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; you

from

can

a pendulum,

the love of repose pre-

first

creed, the first phi-

party he meets,

gets rest,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; most

commodity and

but he shuts the door of truth.

whom the love of self aloof

its

Take which you

repose.

man

mind

He

in

truth predominates will keep him-

all

moorings, and

afloat.

He

will

abstain from dogmatism, and recognize all the opposite negations is

swung.

He

between which, as walls, his being

submits to the inconvenience of sus-

pense and imperfect opinion, but he for truth, as the other est

law of his being.

is

not,

is

a candidate

and respects tht high.


INTELLECT,

319

Tlie circle of the green earth he

He

truth.

know

shall then

more blessed and great

Happy

is

man.

As

my

am not

The

nature.

fold that I hear

and

see.

am

am

man

is

articulates

the

if

They

I

Soc-

afflicted

by

also are

defers to them, loves

them,

man

the same truth which an eloquent ;

but in the eloquent man, because it, it

and he turns

more

But

When

Because a true and natural

he can articulate reside,

soul.

and Menexenus are

likewise

whilst he speaks.

contains and

of the great

less.

no shame that they do not speak.

He

bathed by a

conscious of any lim-

The waters

speak, I define, I confine and

good.

him

somewhat

suggestions are thousand-

deep have ingress and egress to the

rates speaks. Lysis

is

yield

unhappy the speaking

;

long as I hear truth I

beautiful element and its to

that there

in hearing than in speaking.

man

the hearing

must measure

man who can

with his shoes to find the

inclination

seems something the

less to

to these silent beautiful with

and

The ancient

respect.

sen-

tence said. Let us be silent, for so are the gods. Silence

is

a solvent that destroys personality, and

gives us leave to be great

man's progress each of

whom

tive influence, let

and

universal.

Every

through a succession of teachers,

seems at the time to have a superlabut

it

at last gives place to a new.

him accept it mother, house and

Frankly father,

is

all.

Jesus says. Leave

lands,

and follow mer


INTELLECT.

320

Who

leaves

all,

receives more.

This

is

as true in-

Each new mind we

tellectually as morally.

proach seems to require an abdication of

A

past and present possessions.

seems at tastes,

first

a subversion of

and manner of

new

all

ap-

our

doctrine

our opinions,

all

Such has Sweden-

living.

borg, such has Kant, such has Coleridge, such has

Hegel or

his interpreter

young men

Cousin seemed to

Take thankfully and

in this country.

Exhaust them, wrestle

heartily all they can give.

with them,

let

many

them not go

until their blessing be

won, and after a short season the dismay will be overpast, the excess of influence withdrawn,

and

they will be no longer an alarming meteor, but one

more bright

star shining serenely in

and blending

its

light with all

your heaven

your day.

But whilst he gives himself up unreservedly that which draws him, because that is to

it

is

One

of all souls, as a capillary

ance for the

It

sea.

and sovereign genius

^schylus be

that

yet done his office

Europe

may

to

own, he

him

attend

it,

not,

be-

Entire seK-reliance be-

not his own.

longs to the intellect.

of

his

refuse himself to that which draws

whatsoever fame and authority cause

is

soul

is

a counterpoise

column of water

must

is

a bal-

and books

treat things

as itself also a sovereign.

man he

is

taken

for,

when he has educated

for a thousand years.

He

is

If

he has not

the learned

now

to ap-


INTELLECT.

321

me

prove himself a master of delight to

he cannot do

that, all his

fame

my

sand ^schyluses to pecially take the

Hume,

in regard to abstract

The Bacon, the

Schelling, Kant, or whosoever

propounds to you a philosophy of the mind, less

Es-

intellectual integrity.

same ground

truth, the science of the mind.

a more or

noth-

I were a fool not to sacrifice a thou-

ing with me.

Spinoza, the

It

also.

him

shall avail

awkward

is

only

translator of things in your

consciousness which you have also your

Say

ing, perhaps of denominating.

way

of see-

then, instead

of too timidly poring into his obscure sense, that

he has not succeeded in rendering back consciousness.

other try.

He

has not succeeded

;

to

you your

now

let an-

If Plato cannot, perhaps Spinoza will.

If Spinoza cannot, then perhaps Kant.

Anyhow,

when

no recon-

dite,

at last

it is

done, you will find

but a simple, natural,

common

it is

state

which the

writer restores to you.

But

let

us end these didactics.

the subject might provoke

it,

I

though

I shall not pre-

to interfere in the old politics of the skies

"

The cherubim know most The gods shall settle But I cannot recite, even thus ;

most."

intellect,

II.

who have been 21

;

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

the seraphim love their

own

quarrels.

rudely, laws of the

without remembering that lofty and

questered class VOL.

not,

speak to the open

question between Truth and Love.

sume

wiU

its

se-

prophets and ora-


INTELLECT.

822

the high-priesthood of the piire reason, the

cles,

Tris7negisii, the expounders of the principles of

When

thought from age to age.

we turn over tho calm

and grand

spiritual lords

air of these few, these gTeat

who have walked

these of the old religion,

which makes the but necessity

is

in the world,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; dwelling

;

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

in a worship

sanctities of Christianity look

venues and popular

for " persuasion

par-

in soul,

is

This band of gran-

in intellect."

Hermes, Heraclitus, Empedocles, Plato, Plo-

dees,

Olymjjiodorus,

tinus,

Proclus, Synesius

have somewhat so vast in their

rest,

mary all

at long intervals

their abstruse pages, wonderful seems

in their thinking, that

it

and the

logic, so pri-

seems antecedent to

the ordinary distinctions of rhetoric and litera-

ture,

and

to

be at once poetry and music and danc-

ing and astronomy and mathematics.

I

am

present

With a

at the sowing of the seed of the world.

geometry of sunbeams the soul lays the foundations of nature. is

The

proved by

mands

its

truth and grandeur of their thought

scope and applicability, for

for its illustration.

But what marks

and has even a comic look to

us, is the

its

com-

elevation

innocent

renity with which these babe -like Jupiters their clouds,

other

it

the entire schedule and inventory of things

and

to

their speech

and from age

intelligible

se-

in

to age prattle to each

no contemporary. is

sit

Well assured

that

and the most natural


INTELLECT.

323

thing in the world, they add thesis to

thesis, with-

out a moment's heed of the universal astonishment

human

of the

their plainest

much

race below,

argument

;

who do not comprehend

nor do they ever relent so

as to insert a popular or explaining sentence,

nor testify the least displeasure or petulance at the

The angels

dulness of their amazed auditory. so

enamored of the language that

heaven that they will not distort their hissing

and unmusical

dialects of

their own, whether there be

or not.

is

are

spoken in

lips

with the

men, but speak

any who understand

it


ART.

Give

to

barrows trays and pans

Grace and glimmer of romance, Bring the moonlight into noon

Hid

On

in gleaming piles of stone

;

the city's paved street

Plant gardens lined with

lilac

sweet.

Let spouting fountains cool the

air,

Singing in the sun-baked square.

Let

statue, picture,

park and

hall.

Ballad, flag and festival,

The

past restore, the day adorn

And make So

each morrow a new

shall the

Spy behind

morn

drudge in dusty frock the city clock

Retinues of airy kings, Skirts of angels, starry wings.

His fathers shining in bright

fables,

His children fed at heavenly

tables.

'

T is

the privilege of Art

Thus

to play its cheerful part,

Man in Earth And bend the

to acclimate

And, moulded

of one element

With

and firmament.

exile to his fate,

the days

Teach him on these

And

live

as stairs to climb

on even terms with Time

Whilst upper

Of human

life

the slender

sense doth overfill.

rill

|


XIL ART.

Because repeats

the soul

itself,

tion of a

is

progressive,

never quite

it

but in every act attempts the produc-

new and

This appears in

fairer whole.

works both of the useful and

fine arts, if

we employ

the popular distinction of works according to their

aim

Thus

either at use or beauty.

not imitation but creation

in our fine arts,

In land-

the aim.

is

scapes the painter should give the suggestion of a fairer creation

The

than we know.

details, the

prose of nature he should omit and give us only the spirit

He

and splendor.

should

know

that the

landscape has beauty for his eye because presses a thought which

is

to

him good

ex-

it

and

;

this

because the same power which sees through his eyes

is

seen in that spectacle

;

and he

will

come

value the expression of nature and not nature

and him.

to

itself,

so exalt in his copy the features that please

He

will give the

sunshine of sunshine. scribe the character

esteem the

gloom

and not the

man who

of

gloom and the

In a portrait he must

sits to

features,

in-

and must

him as himself only an


ART.

328

imperfect picture or likeness of the aspiring original within.

AYhat

is

that abridgment and selection

we

ob-

serve in all spiritual activity, but itself the creative

impulse? for

the inlet of that higher

it is

illu-

mination which teaches to convey a larger sense

What

by simpler symbols.

is

a

finer success in self-explication ?

man but nature's What is a man

but a finer and compacter landscape than the hori-

zon figures,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; nature's eclecticism

?

and what

is

his

speech, his love of painting, love of nature, but a finer success,

still

of space of

it

and bulk

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

all

the weary miles and tons

left out,

and the

spirit or

moral

contracted into a musical word, or the most

cunning stroke of the pencil ?

But the his

artist

must employ the symbols in use in

day and nation

his fellow-men.

to

convey his enlarged sense to

Thus the new

formed out of the

in

The Genius

old.

sets his ineffaceable seal

art

is

always

of the

Hour

on the work and gives

an inexpressible charm for the imagination.

it

As

far as the spiritual character of the period over-

powers the so far

it

artist

and

will retain

finds expression in his work,

a certain grandeur, and will

represent to future beholders the evitable, the Divine. this

No man

Unknown, the

In-

can quite exclude

element of Necessity from his labor.

No man

3an quite emancipate himself from his age and


ART,

829

country, or produce a model in whicli the educa-

usages and arts of his

tion, the religion, the politics,

Though he were never

times shall have no share. so original, never so wilful

and

he cannot

fantastic,

wipe out of his work every trace of the thoughts

The very avoidance betrays Above his will and out of his necessitated by the air' he breathes and

amidst which

grew.

it

the usage he avoids. sight he

is

the idea on which he and his contemporaries live

and

toil,

to share the

manner

knowing what that manner inevitable in the

of his times, without

is.

Now

that which

work has a higher charm than

is

in-

dividual talent can ever give, inasmuch as the artist's

pen or

chisel

seems to have been held and

guided by a gigantic hand to inscribe a line in the

human

history of the

This circumstance

race.

gives a value to the Egyptian hieroglyphics, to the

Indian, Chinese and Mexican idols, however gross

and

man

They denote the height

shapeless.

soul in that hour,

and were not

of the hu-

fantastic,

but

sprung from a necessity as deep as the world. Shall I

now add

that the whole extant product of

the plastic arts has herein tory ; as a stroke perfect

and

drawn

its

in the portrait of that fate,

beautiful, according to

tions all beings

whose ordina-

advance to their beatitude

Thus, historically viewed, of art to

highest value, as his-

it

?

has been the

educate the perception of beauty.

office

We

are


ART

330

immersed in beauty, but our eyes have no clear

by the exhibition

sion.

It needs,

assist

and lead the dormant

paint, or

we behold what

is

vi«

of single traits, to

We

taste.

carve and

carved and painted, as

The

students of the mystery of Form.

virtue of

art lies in detachment, in sequestering one object

from the embarrassing

Until one thing

variety.

comes out from the connection of things, there can

Our The

be enjoyment, contemplation, but no thought. happiness and unhappiness are unproductive.

infant lies in a pleasing trance, but his individual

character and his practical power depend on his daily progress in the separation of things, and deal-

ing with one at a time.

Love and

concentrate

around a single form.

is

all existence

all

the passions It

the habit of certain minds to give an all-exclud-

ing fulness to the object, the thought, the word

they alight upon, and to

deputy of the world.

make

ators, the leaders of society.

and

to

magnify by detaching

oric in the

in

The power is

power

to fix the

color

object,

and

so

in stone.

depth of the templates.

the or-

to detach

the essence of rhet-

This

momentary eminency

— remarkable Carlyle, — the painter and

an

artists,

hands of the orator and the poet.

rhetoric, or

of

that for the time the

These are the

in Burke, in Byron,

sculptor exhibit in

The power depends on

artist's insight of

the

that object he con«

For every object has

its

roots in

cen


ART. tral nature,

331

and may of course be

of genius

is

so exhibited to

Therefore each work

us as to represent the world.

the tj^rant of the hour and concentrates

attention on

itself.

For the time,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; be

thing worth naming to do that,

the only

it

is

it

a sonnet, an

opera, a landscape, a statue, an oration, the plan of a temple, of a campaign, or of a voyage of dis-

Presently

covery.

which rounds

we

pass to some other object,

a whole as did the

itself into

for example a well-laid garden

;

first

;

and nothing seems

worth doing but the laying out of gardens.

I

should think

I

fire

the best thing in the world,

were not acquainted with

For

air,

jects, of all

genuine talents, of

whatsoever, to be for their world.

and water, and

the right and property of

it is

A

all

the top of the

from bough

and making the w^ood but one wide pleasure,

beautiful, self-sufficing,

A

A

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

is

much

as

my

ear and

an epic has done

drawn by a master, or a litter of and is a reality not less than than the

dog,

pigs, satisfies

frescoes of Angelo.

lent objects

bough

and stands then and there

good ballad draws

heart whilst I listen, as before.

to

tree for his

the eye not less than a lion,

fills

for nature.

earth.

natural ob-

native properties

moment

squirrel leaping

all

if

we

From

this succession of excel-

learn at last the immensity of the

world, the opulence of

human

nature, which can

tun out to infinitude in any directic

n.

But

I also


ART.

832 learn

tliat

what astonished and fascinated me

me

the first work, astonished also

that excellence of all tilings

;

The merely

in

work

in the second one.

is

office of painting and sculpture seems to be

The

initial.

best pictures can easily tell

The

us their last secret.

best pictures are rude

draughts of a few of the miraculous dots and lines

and dyes which make up the ever-changing scape with figures " amidst which

we

When

limbs.

the

me

better

and higher genius

in

the

art,

opulence of the pencil,

which the

;

so

is

pictures

I see the bound-

choose out of the

draw every

If he can

draw any thing ? and then

many

the indifferency in

artist stands free to

possible forms.

forgotten

the splendor of color and the

expression of form, and as I see

less

to the

nimbleness, to grace, the steps

dancing-master are

painting teaches

is

educated the frame to

that has

self-possession, to

of

land-

Paint-

dwell.

ing seems to be to the eye what dancing

'"â&#x20AC;˘

my

thing,

why

eye opened to the

eternal picture which nature paints in the street,

wdth moving ladies,

men and

children, beggars

and

fine

draped in red and green and blue and gray;

long-haired, grizzled, white-faced, black-faced, wrinkled, giant, dwarf, expanded, elfish,

based by heaven, earth and

A the

gallery of

same

lesson.

sculpture teaches

As

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; capped

and

sea.

more austerely

picture teaches the coloring,


333

ART.

anatomy

so sculpture the

When

of form.

I have

seen fine statues and afterwards enter a public as-

sembly, I understand well what he meant

who

said,

" "When I have been reading Homer,

men

look

are gymnastics of the eye,

and

ties

all

I too see that painting and sculpture

like giants."

its

training to the nice=

There

curiosities of its function.

man, with

statue like this living

is

no

his infinite advan-

tage over all ideal sculpture, of perpetual variety.

What made

a gallery of art have I here

gle figures.

Here

is

mannerist

the artist himself improvising,

grim and glad, at his block. strikes him,

now

his clay.

Away

of marble

Now

one thought

another, and with each

he alters the whole

sels,

No

!

these varied groups and diverse original sin-

air,

moment

attitude and expression of

with your nonsense of

and chisels

;

excej^t to

oil

and

open your

ea-

ej^es

to the masteries of eternal art, they are hypocritical

rubbish.

The riginal

reference of all production at last to an abo-

Power explains the

works of the highest sally intelligible

;

traits

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that

and are

shown

is

to

aU

religious.

similar impression to that

Since what

the reappearance of the

original soul, a jet of pure light,

In

common

they are univer-

that they restore to as the sim-

plest states of mind, skill is therein

art,

it

should produce a

made by

happy hours, nature appears

natural objects.

to us one with art

;


ART.

334 art perfected,

dividual in

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the work of

whom

human

to all the great

and

the

in.

susceptibility

influences overpower the ac-

and

cidents of a local

And

genius.

simj)le tastes

special culture,

is

the best

Though we travel the world over to the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we The best of beauty is a finer charm it not.

critic of art.

find find

than

skill in surfaces, in outlines, or rules of art

can

ever teach, namely a radiation from the work of art, of

human

character,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a wonderful

expression

through stone, or canvas, or musical sound, of the deepest and simplest attributes of our nature, and therefore

most

at last to those souls

intelligible

which have these

In the sculptures of

attributes.

the Greeks, in the

masonry

of the

Romans, and

in

the pictures of the Tuscan and Venetian masters,

the highest charm

A

speak. love,

ler

the universal language they

and hope, breathes from them

which we carry

more

is

confession of moral nature, of purity,

to

fairly illustrated in the

who

visits

That

all.

them, the same we bring back

The

memory.

travel-

the Vatican and passes from cham-

ber to chamber through galleries of statues, vases, sarcophagi and candelabra, through

all

beauty cut in the richest materials,

is

forms of in danger

of forgetting the simplicity of the principles out of

which they

all

sprung, and that they had their

gin from thoughts and laws in his

own

breast.

ori-

He


335

ART.

studies the teclinical rules on tliese wonderful reÂŤ

mains, but forgets that these works were not

ways thus constellated

many

tions of

ages and

came out of the

who

;

al-

that they are the contribu-

many

solitary

countries

;

that each

workshop of one

toiled perhaps in ignorance of

artist^

the existence

of other sculpture, created his

work without other

model save

and the sweet and

life,

household

life,

smart of personal relations, of beating hearts, and

meeting eyes

and

fear.

;

of poverty

These were his inspirations, and these

are the effects he carries

home

In proportion to his

mind.

find in his

He

and necessity and hope

work an

must not be

to

your heart and

force, the

artist will

outlet for his proper character.

in

any manner pinched or hin-

dered by his material, but through his necessity of imparting himself the adamant will be wax in his hands, and will allow an adequate communication of himseK, in his full stature

He

and proportion.

need not cumber himself with a conventional na^ ture and culture, nor ask what

is

the

mode

in

or in Paris, but that house and weather and of living

made

Rome

manner

which poverty and the fate of birth have

at once so odious

and so dear, in the gray un=

painted wood cabin, on the corner of a

New Hamp-

shire farm, or in the log-hut of the backwoods, or in the

narrow lodging where he has endured the

constraints

and seeming

of a city poverty,

wil]


ART.

336

serve as well as any other condition as the symbol of a thouglit which pours itself indifferently through all.

remember when

I

in

my

younger days I had

heard of the wonders of Italian painting, I fancied the great pictures would be great strangers surprising combination of color and form

;

some a

;

for-

eign wonder, barbaric pearl and gold, like the spontoons and standards of the militia, which play such

pranks in the eyes and imaginations of school-boys. I was to see

and

Rome and saw

found that genius

tures, I

and

fantastic

and sincere

that

;

and true

had met already I lived

;

that

it

so well,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; had

tions.

I

in so

Thou

and

was the

many

pierced

itself

that

;

it

was famil-

old, eternal fact I

forms,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; unto which

left at

home

many

in so

conversa-

had the same experience already

changed with '

novices the gay

was the plain you and me I knew

church at Naples.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

it

with eyes the pic-

left to

ostentatious,

directly to the simple iar

When

and acquire I knew not what.

I came at last to

me

in

a

There I saw that nothing was

but the place, and said to myself

foolish child, hast thou

come out

hither,

over four thousand miles of salt water, to find that

which was perfect to thee there

at

home ?

'

That-

saw again in the Academmia at Naples, in the chambers of sculpture, and yet again when I came fact I

to

Rome and

to the paintings of Raphael,

Angela


ART.

33T "

Sacchi, Titian, and Leonardo da Vinci.

old mole

!

workest thou in the earth so fast

my

had travelled by had

side

;

What, ?

"

It

that which I fancied I

Boston was here in the Vatican, and

left in

again at Milan and at Paris, and made ling ridiculous as a treadmill.

I

now

all travel-

require this

of all pictures, that they domesticate me, not that

they dazzle me.

Pictures must not be too pictur-

Nothing astonishes men so much as com-

esque.

mon-sense and plain dealing.

have been simple, and

The

all

Transfiguration,

by Raphael,

examj)le of this peculiar merit.

beauty shines over to the heart.

All great actions

great pictures are.

A

all this picture,

is

an eminent

calm benignant

and goes

It seems almost to call

directly

you by name.

The sweet and sublime face of Jesus is beyond praise, yet how it disappoints all florid expectations

This familiar, simple, home-speaking coun-

!

tenance

is

as

if

one should meet a friend.

knowledge of picture - dealers has listen

not to their criticism

touched by genius. it

The

value, but

when your heart

is

was not painted for them,

It

was painted for you

its

;

for such as

had eyes capa-

ble of being touched by simplicity and lofty emotions.

Yet when we have the

VOL.

%

said all our fine things about

we must end with a frank confession that Our arts, as we know them, are but initial.

the arts,

11.

22


ART.

338 best praise

is

given to wliat they aimed and prom<

He

not to the actual result.

ised,

meanly

of the resources of

the best age of production

The

is past.

of the Iliad or the Transfiguration

power

;

real value

as signs of

is

billows or ripples they are of the stream

of tendency

;

tokens of the everlasting effort to pro=

duce, which even in

worst estate the soul betrays.

its

Art has not yet come put

has conceived

man, who believes that

itself

to its maturity

if

it

do not

abreast with the most potent influences of

not practical and moral,

if it

do

not stand in connection with the conscience,

if it

do

the world,

not

make

if it is

the poor

and uncultivated

feel that it ad-

them with a voice of lofty cheer. There is higher work for Art than the arts. They are abortive births of an imperfect or vitiated instinct. Art dresses

is

the need to create

and

universal,

it is

;

or tied hands, and of sters,

less

such as

but in

making

all pictures

than the creation of

A man

should find in

ergy.

He may

can do

essence,

immense

it

and

and mon-

cripples

statues are.

man and

nature

Nothing is its

end.

an outlet for his whole en-

paint and carve only as long as he

Art should

that.

its

impatient of working \vith lame

exliilarate,

and throw

down the walls of circumstance on every

side,

^wakeninof in the beholder the same sense of uni versal relation in the artist, artists.

and power which the work evinced

and

its

highest effect

is

to

make

ne\f


ART. Already History

old

is

339

enough

to witness the old

age and disappearance of particular

ago perished to

of sculpture is long It

was originally a useful

art,

a

The

arts.

any real

mode

art

effect.

of writing, a

savage's record of gratitude or devotion,

and among

a people possessed of a wonderful perception of

was refined to the utmost But it is the game of a rude and youthful people, and not the manly labor of a wise and spiritual nation. Under an oak-tree form

this childish carving

splendor of

effect.

loaded with leaves and nuts, imder a sky full of eternal eyes, I stand in a thoroughfare

;

but in the

works of our plastic arts and especially of sculpture, creation is driven into

from myself that there paltriness, as of toys

in sculpture.

is

a corner. I cannot hide

a certain appearance of

and the trumpery of a

Nature transcends

all

theatre,

our moods of

we do not yet find. But the gallery stands at the mercy of our moods, and there I do not is a moment when it becomes frivolous. thought, and

its

secret

wonder that Newton, with an attention habitually engaged on the paths of planets and suns, should have wondered what the Earl of Pembroke found to

admire in " stone

to teach the pupil

how purely

dolls."

how deep

and

is

false before that

But the

new

may

serve

the secret of form,

the spirit can translate

into that eloquent dialect.

cold

Sculpture

its

meanings

statue will look

activity

which needs


â&#x20AC;˘

ART.

340

to roll througli all things, terfeits

and things not

and

But

true art

The

Picture and sculp

alive.

ture are the celebrations

impatient of conn'

is

and

festivities of

fornu

never fixed, but always flowing.

is

sweetest music

is

not in the oratorio, but in

the

human

life

tones of tenderness, truth, or courage.

The

oratorio has already lost its relation to the

morn-

voice

ing, to the sun,

voice

is

when

and the

it

speaks from

its

instant

earth, but that persuading

in tune with these.

All works of art should

A

not be detached, but extempore performances. great tion.

man

a

is

new

statue in every attitude

A beautifid woman is

beholders nobly mad.

all

epic, as well as

and

ac-

a picture which drives Life

may

be lyric or

a poem or a romance.

A true announcement of the law of creation, if man were found worthy

to declare

it,

up into the kingdom

of nature,

and destroy

art

and beauty in modern

but dried up.

A

its

The fountains

separate and contrasted existence. of invention

a

would carry

society are all

popular novel, a theatre, or a

ball-room makes us feel that

we

are all paupers

in the almshouse of this world, without dignity,

without low.

skill

The

or industry.

Art

is

as poor

and

old tragic Necessity, which lowers on the

brows even of the Venuses and the Cuj)ids of the antique,

and furnishes the

sole

apology for the

trusion of such anomalous figures into nature,

in-

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;


ART. namely that

341

were inevitable

tliey

;

that

artist

tlie

was drunk with a passion for form which he could not

and which vented

resist,

travagances,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; no longer

But the

pencil.

artist

itself in

these fine ex-

dignifies the chisel or the

and the connoisseur now

seek in art the exhibition of their talent, or an asy-

lum from the

evils

of

life.

pleased with the figure they

Men

make

aginations, and they flee to art,

not well

are

own im=

in their

and convey

their

better sense in an oratorio, a statue, or a picture.

Art makes the same

makes namely

ity

;

useful, to

ing

it,

effort

which a sensual prosper-

from the

to detach the beautiful

do up the work as unavoidable, and, hat-

pass on to enjoyment.

These solaces and

compensations, this division of beauty from use, the laws of nature do not permit.

beauty

is

sought, not from religion

for pleasure, is

it

degrades the seeker.

As

soon as

and love but

High beauty

no longer attainable by him in canvas or in

stone, in sound, or in lyrical construction

feminate,

beauty,

prudent,

is all

beauty,

sickly

that can be formed

;

;

which

for the

an is

ef-

not

hand can

never execute any thing higher than the character

can inspire.

The rated.

art that thus separates is itself first sepa-

Art must not be a

superficial talent, but

must begin farther back in man. see nature to

Now men

do not

be beautiful, and they go to make a


ART.

842

They abhor men

statue which shall be. less, dull,

They

with color-bags and blocks of marble. life

^y

They despatch the

is

may

art vilified

call

day's weary chores, and

They

to voluptuous reveries.

that they

reject

and create a death which they

as prosaic,

poetic.

as taste-

and inconvertible, and console themselves

and drink,

eat

Thus mind its

afterwards execute the ideal.

name conveys

the

;

secondary and bad senses

stands in the imagi-

it

;

to the

nation as somewhat contrary to nature, and struck

with death from the to begin higher up,

eat

and drink

first.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Would

not be better

it

to serve the ideal before they

to serve the ideal in eating

;

drinking, in drawing the breath, and

Beauty must come back to the use-

tions of life ?

ful arts,

and the

distinction

the useful arts be forgotten.

were

told, if life

and

in the func-

between the If history

nobly spent,

it

fine

and

were truly

would be no

longer easy or possible to distinguish the one from the other.

In nature,

all is useful, all is beautiful.

It is therefore beautiful

reproductive

;

symmetrical and call of

is

it

because

fair.

Beauty

a legislature, nor will

land or America

it is alive,

moving,

therefore useful because

its

will not it

come

it

is

at the

repeat in Eng-

history in Greece.

It will

come, as always, unannounced, and spring up be-

tween the feet of brave and earnest men. rain that

we look

It is in

for genius to reiterate its mira^


eles in the old arts

and holiness

in

;

ART.

343

it is its

instinct to find beauty

new and necessary

facts, in the

and road-side, in the shop and

field

ceeding from a religious heart

it

will raise to a di^

vine use the railroad, the insurance stock company

;

Pro--

mill.

the joint-

office,

our law, our primary assemblies.;

our commerce, the galvanic battery, the electric the prism, and the chemist's retort

seek ish

now only an economical

;

in

jar.^

which we

Is not the self-

use.

and even cruel aspect which belongs

great mechanical works, to mills,

to

railways,

our

and

machinery, the effect of the mercenary impulses

which these works obey?

When

its

errands are

noble and adequate, a steamboat bridging the Atlantic

between Old and

New England and

arriving

at its ports with the punctuality of a planet,

step of

man

into

harmony with

at St. Petersburg,

which

magnetism, needs

little to

science

is

learned

in

along the

plies

make

love,

nature.

it

and

sublime. its

is

a

The boat Lena by

When

powers are

wielded by love, they will apj^ear the supplements

and continuations

of the material creation.


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Ralph Waldo Emerson - The Complete Works (Riverside Edition) Vol. II, Essays, First Series, new and  

Source: Internet Archive; Digitizing Sponsor and Contributor: Boston Public Library

Ralph Waldo Emerson - The Complete Works (Riverside Edition) Vol. II, Essays, First Series, new and  

Source: Internet Archive; Digitizing Sponsor and Contributor: Boston Public Library

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