Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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but the earth ; you cannot do too much for it :
it will continue to pay tenfold the pains and
labour bestowed upon it.' " — Bewick's Life.

Victor Cousin said, in conversation about the
Encyclical Letter, that " the Pope had missed
an opportunity of keeping still, which would
never occur again."

[As in previous volumes, a few of Mr. Em-
erson's favorite authors, from his early youth

86 JOURNAL [Age 6i

steadily recurring in the lists of the first vol-
umes (as Homer, Plato, Plutarch, Montaigne,
Bacon, Shakspeare, Milton, Herbert, Sweden-
borg, Wordsworth, and others), are not given
in this list. In spite, however, of the frequent
mention of Plotinus, Proclus, and the other Neo-
platonists, and of the Oriental Scriptures and
poets, these names will appear, as showing when
Mr. Emerson was reading them. Carlyle and
Goethe will also be mentioned.

It often happens that an allusion to an author
may be in a passage not included in the selec-
tions here printed.]

Authors or Books quoted or referred to
IN Journal for 1864

Menu ; Aristotle ; Zeno ;

Suetonius; Ossian; Mahomet;

Walter Mapes ; Dante ; William of Ock-
ham ; Arthurian Legends ; Chronicle of the

Chaucer ; Boccaccio ; Philippe de Comines ;
Savonarola ; Machiavelli ; Copernicus ; Michel
Angelo, Sonnets ; Guicciardini ;

Cervantes ; Galileo ; Van Helmont ; Captain
John Smith ; Drummond of Hawthornden ;

1864] READING 87

Clarendon ; D'Herbelot, Bibliotheque Ori-
entale ; Pepys ; Scougal ;

Swift ; Berkeley ; Chesterfield ; Hervey, His-
tory of George II; Montesquieu ;

Kant ; James Otis ; Goethe, Correspondence,
also translation of Romaic poem "Charon " ; Sir
N. W. Wraxall, Our Own 'Times ; Bewick, Lj/> ;
Fichte ; William Blake ; Lafayette, Letters to
his Wife; Hegel apud J. Hutchison StirHng;

Josiah Quincy ; Jeremiah Day ; Burns ;
Schelling ; Niebuhr ; Sir R. Wilson, Private
Journal; Brougham ; Berthollet ; Nesselrode ;
Moore ; Sir William Napier ; Legardie, Cau-
series Parisiennes ;

Adam Smith ; Palmerston ; De Quincey ;
Schopenhauer ; E. C. Hawtrey, On Eton ; " Barry
Cornwall " (B. W. Procter) ; Bowring ; Earl
Russell; Bryant; Alfieri ; Carlyle; Alcott;

Francis Lieber, Reminiscences; Horace
Bushnell ; George Sand ; Sainte-Beuve, Nou-
veaux Causeries and Portraits Contemporains ;
Hawthorne; Hans Andersen; W. L. Garri-
son; John Sterling; Rev. F. H. Hedge;

Agassiz ; Whittier ; Longfellow ; R. C.
Trench, English Past and Present ; Napoleon
III, Life of Ctesar apud Laboulaye ; Gladstone;
Tennyson ; Cardinal Manning ;

88 JOURNAL [Age 6i

Holmes ; Rev. James Freeman Clarke ;
Henry James ; Harriet Beecher Stowe; Dr. J.
J. Garth Wilkinson ; Jones Very ; Henry Ward
Beecher; Rev. Edwin Hubbell Chapin ;

Thoreau ; W. E. Channing ; Mommsen,
History of Rome ; Clough ; Matthew Arnold ;
Thomas W. Parsons, 'Translation of Dante;
Julia Ward Howe ; James Hutchison Stirling,
"The Secret of Hegel;

Ernest Renan, Vie de J'esus ; T. W. Higgin-
son ; Goldwin Smith ; David A. Wasson ;

Taine ; Elizabeth Sara Sheppard ; Theo-
dore H. Hittell, Adventures of " Grizzly Bear
Adams " ; F. B. Sanborn ; James A. C. Mori-
son, Life of St. Francis ; James Kendall Hosmer ;

Punch, and Revue des Deux Mondes,















(From Journals KL, DL, ML, XO, and IT)

[The war was drawing to a close, yet no one
dared hope the end was so near; the times
were hard, and the winter severe. Mr. Emerson
went West in January, lectured in Pittsburgh,
in Ohio, and apparently gave short courses in
Chicago and Milwaukee. In his letters he spoke
of " bitter weather."]

(From KL)

Concord, February 13, 1865.

Home from Chicago and Milwaukee. Chicago
grows so fast that one ceases to respect civic
growth : as if all these solid and stately squares
which we are wont to see as the slow growth of
a century had come to be done by machinery
as cloth and hardware are made, and were there-
fore shoddy architecture without honour.

'T was tedious, the squalor and obstructions
of travel; the advantage of their offers at

92 JOURNAL [Age6i

Chicago made it necessary to go; in short, this
dragging of a decorous old gentleman out of
home and out of position to this juvenile career
was tantamount to this, — " I'll bet you fifty dol-
lars a day that you will not leave your library,
and wade and ride and run and suffer all manner
of indignities and stand up for an hour each night
reading in a hall" ; and I answered, "I'll bet I
will." I do it and win the I900.

[I n the beginning of Spring, a happy event had
happened in Mr. Emerson's family. William
Hathaway Forbes (elder son of John Murray
Forbes), a major in the Second Massachusetts
Cavalry, had been taken in the previous May
in hand-to-hand fight with Mosby's guerrillas,
when pinned down by his dying horse. He was
held prisoner at Columbia, South Carolina, es-
caped in late autumn, and was retaken, but
soon after released on parole. In March he
became engaged to Mr. Emerson's younger
daughter Edith, and was exchanged just in time
to rejoin his regiment as lieutenant-colonel, and
he was present at Lee's surrender.]

Wilkinson always an affirmative writer ; radi-
ant, intellectual, humane, brave as such are.


April lo.
General Hooker, in his order from his head-
quarters at Cincinnati, assuming command of
the Department of the Northwest, says to every
officer and soldier, " No one will consider the
day as ended, until the duties it brings have
been discharged."

I value the fortnightly Publishers' Circular,
mainly for its Paris correspondence, containing,
as it does, biography of literary men in Paris,
and showing the identity of literary life in Paris
with our own, scattering the illusion that over-
hangs Paris in the eyes and reports of frivolous
travellers, and showing there just such a coarse
and vindictive Bohemia as New York is for dis-
sipated young men of talent.

'T is far the best that the rebels have been
pounded instead of negociated into a peace.
They must remember it, and their inveterate
brag will be humbled, if not cured. George
Minott used to tell me over the wall, when I
urged him to go to town meeting and vote,
that " votes did no good ; what was done so
wouldn't last, but what was done by bullets
would stay put." General Grant's terms certainly

94 JOURNAL [Age 6 1

look a little too easy, . . . and I fear that the
high tragic historic justice which the nation, with
severest consideration, should execute, will be
softened and dissipated and toasted away at
dinner-tables. But the problems that now re-
main to be solved are very intricate and per-
plexing, and men are very much at a loss as to
the right action. If we let the Southern States
into Congress, the Northern Democrats will
join them in thwarting the will of the Govern-
ment. And the obvious remedy is to give the
negro his vote. And then the diiEcult question
comes, — what shall be the qualification of
voters ? We wish to raise the mean white to his
right position, that he may withstand the planter.
But the negro will learn to write and read
(which should be a required qualification) before
the white will.

'To be amused. People go into the church, as
they go into the parlour, to be amused. The
frivolous mood takes the most of the time, as
the frivolous people make the majority. And
Cicero said of the Greeks, and Eastern prov-
inces, that they gave themselves to art for forget-
fulness and the consolation of servitude; — •
oblectamenta et solatium servitutis.

i86s] HOAR. LOCKE. WORDS. 95

The thunderbolt strikes on an inch of ground,
but the light of it fills the horizon.'

I should say of Samuel Hoar, Senior, what
Clarendon writes of Sir Thomas Coventry, that
"he had a strange power -of making himself
believed, the only justifiable design of elo-

" The mind of Locke will not always be the
measure of Human Understanding." — Samp-
son Reed.

There is no police so effective as a good hill
and wide pasture in the neighbourhood of a
village, where the boys can run and play and
dispose of their superfluous strength and spirits,
to their own delight and the annoyance of no-

Criticism, Illusion of words. There are really
few people who distinguish, on reading, a page
full of words from a page full of new experience.
They are satisfied with the first, if it is in har-
mony with their habitual opinions. They say
it is good, and put it in my hands, or will read
1 See Poems, Appendix, "The Poet" (p. 334).

96 JOURNAL [Age 6i

it to me, and are discontented if I slight it. But
they never take it up again, because it makes
no impression on their memory ; whilst they do
remember and return to the page of real experi-
ences, and thus vindicate the critic.

For " Inspiration," the experience of writ-
ing letters is one of the best keys to the modus
of it,' . . .

Immortality. The path of spirits is in silence
and hidden from sense. Who knows where or
how the soul has existed, before it was incar-
nated in mortal body ? Who knows where or
how it thinks and works when it drops its fleshly
frame? Like those asteroids, which we call
shooting stars, which revolve forever in space,
but sweeping for a moment through some arc
of our atmosphere and heated by the friction,
give out a dazzling gleam, then pass out of it
again on their endless orbit invisible.

President Lincoln.' Why talk of President

1 This passage is printed in "Inspiration" (^Letters and
Social Aims, p. 281).

2 On the Nineteenth of April, Concord's great day, in-
stead of the customary celebration, the people gathered in the


Lincoln's equality of manners to the elegant or
titled men with whom Everett or others saw
him ? A sincerely upright and intelligent man
as he was, placed in the Chair, has no need to
think of his manners or appearance. His work
day by day educates him rapidly and to the best.
He exerts the enormous power of this continent
in every hour, in every conversation, in every
act ; — thinks and decides under this pressure,
forced to see the vast and various bearings of
the measures he adopts : he cannot palter, he
cannot but carry a grace beyond his own, a dig-
nity, by means of what he drops, e. g., all his
pretension and trick, and arrives, of course, at
a simplicity, which is the perfection of manners.

May 6.
In reading Mark Antonine last night, it was
pleasant to be reminded, by some of his pre-
cepts, of a living example in a dear person near

We are such vain peacocks that we read in

old church in sorrow for the death of the great President who
had bravely ^nd wisely borne the burden of the War. Mr.
Emerson made an address, printed in the "Miscellanies."
The following passage, probably written earlier, does not
appear in that speech.

98 JOURNAL [Age 6i

an English journal, with joy, that no house in
London or in Paris can compare with the com-
fort and splendour at Delmonico's in New York.
But I was never in Delmonico's.

Lafayette. " Le Men et le mal de la Revolution
■paraissaient en general separ'es par la ligne que
j'avais suivie."

Bonaparte said one day in a sally (sortie) to
the Council of State, " Tout le monde en France
est corrigi : il n'y a qu'un seul homme'qm ne le soit
fas, Lafayette! II n'a jamais recuVe d^une ligne.
Vous le voyez tranquille; eh bien? Je vous dis,
moi, qu'il est tout prtt a recommencer."

Saint-Beuve . . . vindicates the noble unique
fidelity of Lafayette, but finds in him credulity.
. . . And Sumner, who read here in Concord a
lecture on Lafayette, is of all Americans the one
who is best entitled by his own character and
fortunes to read his eulogy.

"La netteti est le vernis des maitres." — Vau-


Boileau asks Moliere, "Where the devil do
you get your rhyme?" For inspiration has un-
known resources; has cunning also.

If I were successful abroad in talking and


dealing with men, I should not come back to
my library and my work, as I do. When the
spirit chooses you for the Scribe to publish some
Commandment, if it makes you odious to men,
and men odious to you, you shall accept that
loathsomeness with joy.

The moth must fly to the lamp; the man
must solve those questions, though he die.

'Talk with Alcott; assured him that character
was the result of pagan morals. All the victories
of religion belong to the moral sentiment.' . . .
The parson calls it Justification by Faith. All
the victories, all the convictions, all the anxieties
of Revivals are the old Eternal fact of remorse
for wrong, and joy in the Right.

It is becoming to the Americans to dare in
religion to be simple, as they have been in gov-
ernment, in trade, in social life; and they have
rightly pronounced Toleration, — that no reli-
gious test shall be put. They are to abolish laws
against atheism.

They are not to allow immorality ; they are
to be strict in laws of marriage ; they are to be
just to women, in property, in votes, in personal

I Several omitted sentences are printed in__" Character "
(^Lectures and Biographical Sketches, pp. 113, 114)-


rights ; and they are to establish the pure religion.
Justice, Asceticism, Self-devotion, Bounty.

They will lead their language round the globe,
and they will lead religion and freedom with
them. . . .

It was his tender conviction of this power
and presence that made Jesus a light in the
world, and the spirit that animated him is as
swift and puissant to-day.

Scientific men with their Atheism, like the
French savants, appear to me insane men with
a talent ; and the cure would be the opening of
the moral sentiment.

There is far more than bare works : there is
faith also ; that is, the raptures of goodness are
as old as history, and new with this morning's
sun. The language and the legends of Arabia
and India and Persia are of the same complex-
ion as the Christian. Vishnu Fur ana bear wit-
ness — Socrates, Zeno, Menu, Zertusht, Con-
fucius, Rabia are as tender as St. Francis, St.
Augustine, and St. Bernard.

We say there exists a Universal Mind which
imparts this perception of duty, opens the in-
terior world to the humble obeyer. ... It has
been imparted in all ages. Religion is the hom-
age to this presence.


Admirable fairness of Elizabeth Hoar's mind.
I think no one who writes or utilizes his opin-
ions can possibly be fair. She will see finer «a-
ances of equity which you will never see if untold.
She applied the Napoleon mot, " Respect the
burden," so well to Lincoln, as to [the attitude
of] Wendell Phillips.

And one may say, there is a genius for hon-
esty, as well as for poetry, and nobody can antici-
pate the directness andsimplicity of thetrueman.

The best in argument is not the accosting in
front the hostile premises, but the flanking
them by a new generalization which incidentally
disposes of them.

It should be easy to say what I have always
felt, that Stanley's Lives of the Philosophers, or
Marcus Antoninus, are agreeable and suggestive
books to me, whilst St. Paul or St. John are not,
and I should never think of taking up these
to start me on my task, as I often have used
Plato or Plutarch. It is because the Bible wears
black cloth. It comes with a certain official claim
against which the mind revolts. The book has
its own nobilities — might well be charming, if
it was left simply on its merits, as the others;
but this " you must," — " it is your duty," re-

loa JOURNAL [Age 62

pels. 'T is like the introduction of martial law
into Concord. If you should dot our farms with
picket lines, and I could not go or come across
lots without a pass, I should resist, or else emi-
grate. If Concord were as beautiful as Paradise,
it would be detestable at once.

When divine souls appear, men are com-
pelled by their own self-respect to distinguish

Whenever the moral sentiment is affirmed, it
must be with dazzling courage. As long as it is
cowardly insinuated, as with the wish to show
that it is just what the Church receives to-day
it is not imparted and cannot be owned

May 28.

In the acceptance that my papers find among
my thoughtful countrymen, in these days, I can-
not help seeing how limited is their reading. If
they read only the books that I do, they would
not exaggerate so wildly.

Select books, select anecdotes, select discov-
eries, select works of art, select men and women.
The most accomplished man should bring his
contemporaries to the high culture by pointing
out these with insight and reverence.


The graduate at the University should know

" the famed lines Pythagoras devised
For which a hecatomb he sacrificed " ; ■

should know Archimedes's Eureka!'' should
know Newton's binomial theorem inscribed on
his tomb, as well as his optical, and astronomic,
and chemical insights ; should know Da Vinci's
cartoon, and Michel Angelo's Pisan soldiers;
should know Brunelleschi's dome, and Michel's;
should know Columbus's guess, and its grounds ;
should know Alfred's rough hints of English
freedom ; Roger Bacon's inventions ; and, as
far as possible, the history of the magnetic com-
pass ; should know the Homeric Controversy ;
should know the wonderful illumination thrown
on all history in our own day by the scholars
of the Sanscrit ; should know the history of the
Mahabharata ; should know the history of Zo-
roaster, what, and who, and when was he (See
Nicholas Grimvald's Verses on Zoroaster) ;
should know how the decimal zero was invented.
In literature, there are many curiosities of the

1 The relation of the hypothenuse of a right-angled triangle
to the sides.

2 That is, the story of how he chanced on the discovery
of the law of specific gravity.

I04 JOURNAL [Age 63

second or third order which should be known,
as the Imitation of Christ, of A Kempis ; or of
Gerson; as the Farce ofPatelin; as the Song
of Roland ; as the Mariage de Figaro, and the
Marseillaise of Rouget; so, in England, the
Sonnets of Shakspeare; the Paradise of Dainty
Devices; specially, too, the Morte d! Arthur.

I must think that Carlyle's humour and de-
moniac fun, telling the story in a gale, bantering,
scoffing, now at his hero, now at the enemy,
always, too, at the learned reporters he has been
consulting, will affect all good readers agreeably ;
for it is a perpetual flattery to the wise reader,
a tete-a-tete with him, abusing the whole world
as mad dunces; — all but you and I, reader! —

[The rest of the Journal KL is devoted to
the poem " May-Day."]

(From DL)

Jme (?).

America shall introduce pure religion. Ethics
are thought not to satisfy affection. But all the
religion we have is the ethics of one or another
holy person.' . . .

I The rest of this long passage is printed in " Sovereignty
of Ethics" {Lectures and Biographical Sketches, pp. 212,


Our young soldiers. These dedicated men !
who knew on what duty they went, and whose
fathers and mothers said, " We gave him up
when he enlisted." We see the dawn of a new
era, worth to the world the lives of all this gen-
eration of American men, if they had been de-

It is commonly said of the War of i8i2 that
it made the nation honourably known ; it en-
larged our politics, extinguished narrow sec-
tional parties. But the states were young and
unpeopled. The present war, on a prodigiously
enlarged scale, has cost us how many valuable
lives ; but it has made many lives valuable that
were not so before, through the start and ex-
pansion it has given. It has fired selfish old
men to an incredible liberality, and young men
to the last devotion. The journals say it has
demoralized many rebel regiments, but also it
has moralized many of our regiments, and not
only so, but moralized cit\&s and states. It added

I These two sentences are' found in the short speech Mr.
Emerson made at the Commemoration exercises on July 21,
when Harvard University assembled and did honour to her
surviving soldiers.

io6 JOURNAL [Age 62

to every house and heart a vast enlargement.
In every house and shop, an American map has
been unrolled, and daily studied, and now that
peace has come, every citizen finds himself a
skilled student of the condition, means, and fu-
ture, of this continent,

I think it a singular and marked result that
the War has estabhshed a conviction in so many
minds that the right will get done ; has estab-
lished a chronic hope for a chronic despair.

This victory the most decisive. This will stay
put. It will show your enemies that what has
now been so well done will be surely better and
quicker done, if need be, again.

America. The irresistible convictions of men
are sometimes as well expressed by braggart
lips, or in jeers, that sound blasphemous ; — and
that word " manifest destiny," which is pro-
fanely used, signifies the sense all men have of
the prodigious energy and opportunity lying
idle here. The poor Prussian or Austrian or
Italian, escaping hereto, discovers that he has
been handcuffed and fettered and fast-tied all
his lifetime, with monopolies and duties at every
toll-gate on his little cart of corn, or wine, or
straw, or on his cow, or ox, or donkey ; and pad-


locked lips, padlocked mind, no country, no
education, no vote, — but passports, police,
monks, and foreign soldiers.

July 23.
Notes for WilUamstown.^ Returns the eternal
topic, the praise of intellect. I gain my point,
gain all points, whenever I can reach the young
man with any statement which teaches him his
own worth. Thus, if I can touch his imagina-
tion, I serve him ; he will never forget it. If I
can open to him for a moment the superiority
of knowledge to wealth or physical power. Es-
pecially works on me at all times any statement
of Realism, and, old as my habit is of thrum-
ming on this string, I must continue to try it,
till in a manlier or a divine hour, I can see the
truth, and say it.

It occurred the other day, with a force not
retained, that the advocate of the good cause
finds a wealth of arguments and illustrations on
his way. He stands for Truth, and Truth and
Nature help him unexpectedly and irresistibly
at every step. All the felicities of example, of
imagery, of admirable poetry, old religion, new

I Mr. Emerson addressed the Society of the Adelphi at
Williams College on July 3 1 .

io8 JOURNAL [Age 62

thought, the analogies of science, throng to him
and strengthen his position. Nay, when we had
to praise John Brown of Ossawatomie, I re-
member that what a multitude of fine verses of
old poetry fitted him exactly, and appeared to
have been prophetically written for the occasion.

One drug needs another drug to expel it, —
if feasts, then wine; after wine, coffee; and after
coffee, tobacco ; if vanity, then pride ; if anger,
then war, sword, and musket. But temperance
is strength, and essence is religion. To Be is to
live with God.

Miss Peabody tells me that Jones Very one
day said to her, " To the preexistent Shakspeare
wisdom was offered, but he declined it, and took
only genius."

Knfant du peuple. That fair, large, sound,
wholesome youth or maid, whom we pick out
in a whole street full of passengers as a model
of native strength, is not to be raised by rule in
schools or gymnasia. It is the Vermont or New
Hampshire farm, and a series of farmers labour-
ing on mountain and moor, that produced this
rare result. When a good head for ciphering.


trade, and affairs is turned out, he drifts to the
city counting-room, or perhaps to the law-school,
and brings thither a constitution able to supply
resources to all the demand made on him, and
easily goes ahead of all competitors, has a firm
will, cool head, and in the sequel, plants a family
which becomes marked through two or three gen-
erations for force and beauty, until luxury cor-
rupts them, as it had destroyed those whom
they displaced.

August 13.

A disaster of this year has been the loss of
six or seven valuable pear trees by the pear-
blight. I think, in preceding years, single boughs
have withered and died, but these have not at-
tracted much notice ; but now I cut off half of
each tree with its coppery leaves and the mourn-
ful smell of the sick bark, and shall not save

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