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pendence of all men hard! It needs this great equilibrium, the relation to God which sets all right."

Page 236, note 1. Benedict is of course mythical, but there is much biography and autobiography in the picture. Guy," and the forester in Woodnotes, I., in the Poems be brought to mind by some of the sentences.



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Page 238, note 1. "From God appeal to the God of God" [truth], he said, in the lecture "Character" in 1842. The beautiful poem of William Allingham called "The Touchstone" is called to mind here. It was a favorite of Mr. Emerson's and is included in his Parnassus.

Page 238, note 2. Journal, 1844. "Once the rose of Sharon perfumed our graves,' as Behmen said; but now if a man dies, it is like a grave dug in the snow; it is a ghastly fact abhorrent to nature, and we never mention it. Death is as natural as life, and should be sweet and graceful.”

Page 239, note 1. Journal. "What is the Fall, what Sin, what Death, with this eternal Soul under us originating benefit for evermore ?"

Page 241, note 1. While still the minister of the Second Church, Mr. Emerson made the following entry in the book which he called "Sermons and Journal:

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"May 3d, 1828. It is proposed as a question whether the business of the preacher is not simply to hunt out and to exhibit the analogies between Moral and Material nature in such manner as to have a bearing upon practice."

In his course given in Boston in the winter of 1836-37, in Lecture VI., "Religion," he said:

"The man of this age must be matriculated in the university of sciences and tendencies flowing from all past periods.

He must not be one who can be surprised and shipwrecked by every bold and subtle word which malignant and acute men may utter in his hearing; but should be taught all skepticisms and unbeliefs, and made the destroyer of all card houses and paper walls, and the sifter of all opinions, by being put face to face from his infancy with Reality.

"A man who has accustomed himself to look at all his circumstance as very mutable; to carry his possessions, his relation to persons and even his opinions in his hand, and in all these to pierce to the principle and moral law, and everywhere to find that; has put himself out of the reach of all skepticism; and it seems as if whatever is most affecting and sublime in our intercourse, in our happiness, and in our losses tended steadily to uplift us to a life so extraordinary, one might say superhuman."

Page 241, note 2. In "Self-Reliance" is this sentence, indicating the attitude receptive of the great Self, the OverSoul, which befits the worshipping human being:

"We lie in the lap of immense intelligence, which makes us receivers of its truth and organs of its activity. When we discern justice, when we discern truth, we do nothing of ourselves, but allow a passage to its beams."


Among the persons who attended Mr. Emerson's courses of lectures were many who were attracted by his personality, or by friendship, or by his growing fame. Some among these would have found it hard to follow his thoughts' subtile thread, connecting his periods, or ascend to its higher levels.

To these there would have been comfort in a lecture like the present, not professing to deal with an abstract theme, Fate or Illusion or the like, but, below the clouds, with the day and its chances, esteemed " "good" or "evil," yet all helpful in the end, human, and with a tone of cheerful health.

Merlin, the Cymrian bard and enchanter in the legends, still had a charm for this poet and seer of the latter days, and all the fragmentary remains of the songs of the Bards Mr. Emerson read with keen interest. The power of the poet, because a transmitter of divine truth, often in veiled form, yet Clothing the palpable and the familiar


With golden exhalations of the dawn,”

was the one beneficent magic for him.

In his second volume of poems, May Day, appeared the "Song of Merlin," which, though a paraphrase of some of the Bardic Fragments, and probably with no connection with the motto of this chapter, might precede it.

Of Merlin wise I learned a song,

Sing it low, or sing it loud,

It is mightier than the strong,
And punishes the proud.

I sing it to the surging crowd,
Good men it will calm and cheer,

Bad men it will chain and cage.

In the heart of the Music peals a strain
Which only angels hear;

Whether it waken joy or rage,

Hushed myriads hark in vain,

Yet they who hear it shed their age,
And take their youth again.

In the motto poem Merlin gives wise counsels to the son of the great chieftain Cyndyllan: The world is as open and fresh for you as for Adam; man's hope lies in the better future; do not swaddle yourself with tradition or clog yourself with wealth; live close to nature for health and cheer; show this secret joyfully to others; your own spot of earth is best for you, and all things, including love, are there for you; in your work, if rightly chosen, is such joy that you will ask little time for play, but friendship implies eternity.

Page 246, note 1. When you learn to steer by the compass of the Over-Soul, and that "every wave is charmed," you are ready to come into port bravely or sail with God the

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Page 247, note 1. Amusement, as such, had little attraction for Mr. Emerson, for his thought and reading and work called him, and his joy was in the study of nature and man. A day was a sacred gift, and to be accounted for by each person by some honest work of hand or brain or heart. For a person to devote a fresh morning to a novel or to a game seemed to him unworthy trifling with life. To go to the wood or the shore, especially if alone, was another matter: it might be an act of devotion, or a search for knowledge or inspiration.

"How dull it is to pause, to make an end,

To rust unburnished, not to shine in use !
As though to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little.'

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Page 249, note 1. Of this sentence, and of the next paragraph, Dr. Holmes says, in his Ralph Waldo Emerson,

"Here we have the doctrine of the saving remnant' which we have since recognized in Mr. Matthew Arnold's wellremembered lecture. . . . After reading what Emerson says about the Masses' one is tempted to ask whether a philosopher can ever have a constituency' and be elected to Congress. Certainly the essay would not make a very

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promising campaign document."

Page 249, note 2. Here, after his wont, leaving the modifications to another paragraph or essay, Mr. Emerson gave his statement full swing. The bad politics of the day, and the stooping of public men to court the multitude which they should enlighten and lead, no doubt gave heat to the utterance. None the less he had faith in the Republic and in true democracy reconcilable with natural aristocracy." To give man his true dignity and scope he must be taken out of the herd that follows the bell-wether. His own work in life was to teach man his worth and possibilities, and that Mr. Emerson sincerely believed in these was shown by his daily attitude towards humble neighbors, or young people, or servants. Moreover, the service was reciprocal, for he said he found that every man could teach him something. His harshness is only for the man who sacrifices his manhood for the mass. Later in the essay he says that if a man is, he is wanted; that he is here is proof that he ought to be. "When I see the doors by which God enters into the mind; that there is no sot or fop, ruffian or pedant into whom thoughts do not enter by passages which the individual never left open, I can expect any revolution in character. Education," Lectures and Biographical Sketches.

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Page 251, note 1. In the preceding decade the influence of Fourier, Saint-Simon and others had given rise to many experiments in communistic life. Mr. Emerson had no faith

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