The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009 - 194 pages
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: II CIVILIZATION We flee away from cities, but we bring The best of cities with us, these learned classifiers, Men knowing what they seek, armed eyes of experts. We praise the guide, we praise the forest life: But will we sacrifice our dear-bought lore Of books and arts and trained experiment, Or count the Sioux a match for Agassiz ? O no, not we! . . . . . . Witness the mute all hail The joyful traveller gives, when on the verge Of craggy Indian wilderness he hears From a log cabin stream Beethoven's notes On the piano, played with master's hand. ' Well done!' he cries; ' the bear is kept at bay, The lynx, the rattlesnake, the flood, the fire: All the fierce enemies, ague, hunger, cold, This thin spruce roof, this clayed log wall, This wild plantation will suffice to chase. Now speed the gay celerities of art, What in the desert was impossible Within four walls is possible again, ? Culture and libraries, mysteries of skill, Traditioned fame of masters, eager strife Of keen competing youths, joined or alone, To outdo each other and extort applause. Mind wakes a new-born giant from her sleep. Twirl the old wheels! Time takes fresh start again, On for a thousand years of genius more.' CIVILIZATION A CERTAIN degree of progress from the rudest state in which man is found, ? a dweller in caves, or on trees, like an ape, ? a cannibal, and eater of pounded snails, worms and offal, ? a certain degree of progress from this extreme is called Civilization. It is a vague, complex name, of many degrees. Nobody has attempted a definition. Mr. Guizot, writing a book on the subject, does not. It implies the evolution of a highly organized man, brought to supreme delicacy of sentiment, as in practical power, religion, liberty, sense of honor and taste.1 In the he...
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The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson Volume 9, Volume 9
Ralph Waldo Emerson
No preview available - 2013