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There is no doctrine of forms in our philosophy. We were put into our
But Homer's words are as costly and admirable to Homer as
Agamemnon's victories are to Agamemnon. The poet does not wait for
The sign and credentials of the poet are that he announces that which
We sat in the aurora of a sunrise which was to put out all the stars. Bo-
These stony moments are still sparkling and animated! I had fancied that
Talent may frolic and juggle; genius realizes and adds. Mankind in good
All that we call sacred history attests that the birth of a poet is the prin-
This day shall be better than my birthday: then I became an animal; now
So it the fairer body doth procure
With cheerful grace and amiable sight
Here we find ourselves suddenly not in a critical speculation but in a
Unity into Variety
The inwardness and mystery of this attachment drives men of every
Every new relation is a new word. Also we use defects and deformities
For as it is dislocation and detachment from the life of God that makes
The metamorphosis excites in the beholder an emotion of joy. The use of
Springs in his top;"—
The poets are thus liberating gods. The ancient British bards had for
There is good reason why we should prize this liberation. The fate of
There was this perception in him which makes the poet or seer an ob-
I look in vain for the poet whom I describe. We do not with sufficient
Art is the path of the creator to his work. The paths or methods are
All the creatures by pairs and by tribes pour into his mind as into a
And the inventor of the game
Omnipresent without name;—
They marched from east to west:
Walked about with puzzled look:—
Him by the hand dear Nature took;
The founder thou! these are thy race!'
WHERE do we find ourselves? In a series of which we do not know
But the Genius which according to the old belief stands at the door by
Genius were a little more of a genius! We are like millers on the lower
'What's the news?' as if the old were so bad. How many individuals can
What opium is instilled into all disaster! It shows formidable as we ap-
With tender feet treading so soft."
Nothing is left us now but death. We look to that with a grim satisfac-
Temperament also enters fully into the system of illusions and shuts
The secret of the illusoriness is in the necessity of a succession of
Alas! child it is even so with the oldest cherubim of knowledge. But will
Our friends early appear to us as representatives of certain ideas which
Of course it needs the whole society to give the symmetry we seek
The party-colored wheel must revolve very fast to appear white. So-
But what help from these fineries or pedantries? What help from
Every man is an impossibility until he is born; every thing impossible
Nature will not spare us the smallest leaf of laurel. All writing comes by
"Since neither now nor yesterday began
A man be found who their first entrance knew."
Thus journeys the mighty Ideal before us; it never was known to fall into
Never can love make consciousness and ascription equal in force. There
It is true that all the muses and love and religion hate these develop-
That need makes in morals the capital virtue of self-trust. We must hold
In this our talking America we are ruined by our good nature and
The god is surcharged with his divine destiny
Also that hankering after an overt or practical effect seems to me an
The sun set; but set not his hope:
Stars rose; his faith was earlier up:
Deeper and older seemed his eye:
And matched his sufferance sublime
The taciturnity of time
Brought the Age of Gold again:
As hid all measure of the feat
Work of his hand
He nor commends nor grieves
Pleads for itself the fact;
As unrepenting Nature leaves
Her every act
I HAVE read that those who listened to Lord Chatham felt that there
The habit of his mind is a reference to standards of natural equity and
This virtue draws the mind more when it appears in action to ends not
Thraso the turnkey? Is an iron handcuff so immutable a bond? Suppose a
He is thus the medium of the highest influence to all who are not on the
The natural measure of this power is the resistance of circumstances
The face which character wears to me is self-sufficingness. I revere the
We have no pleasure in thinking of a benevolence that is only meas-
Goethe is to be inferred from the account he gave Dr. Eckermann of the
I own it is but poor chat and gossip to go to enumerate traits of this
Nothing but itself can copy it. A word warm from the heart enriches me
I surrender at discretion. How death-cold is literary genius before this
Character is nature in the highest form. It is of no use to ape it or to
This masterpiece is best where no hands but nature's have been laid on
America she will not be democratized. How cloistered and constitution-
I look on Sculpture as history. I do not think the Apollo and the Jove
He is a dull observer whose experience has not taught him the reality
If it were possible to live in right relations with men!—if we could ab-
"The Gods are to each other not unknown."
Friends also follow the laws of divine necessity; they gravitate to each
Shall each by each be most enjoyed
A divine person is the prophecy of the mind; a friend is the hope of the
I do not forgive in my friends the failure to know a fine character and to
"HOW near to good is what is fair!
But with the lines and outward air
Our senses taken be
And now put all the aptness on
Or Color can disclose;
Instructed by the heightening sense
Of dignity and reverence
In their true motions found."
What fact more conspicuous in modern history than the creation of the
There is something equivocal in all the words in use to express the ex-
The manners of this class are observed and caught with devotion by
There exists a strict relation between the class of power and the exclus-
The strong men usually give some allowance even to the petulances of
Aristocracy and fashion are certain inevitable results. These mutual se-
Fashion understands itself; good-breeding and personal superiority of
Ian Vohr with his tail on!—" But Vich Ian Vohr must always carry his be-
There will always be in society certain persons who are mercuries of
No rentroll nor army-list can dignify skulking and dissimulation; and the
The love of beauty is mainly the love of measure or proportion. The per-
What if the false gentleman contrives so to address his companion as
"As Heaven and Earth are fairer far
In form and shape compact and beautiful;
In glory that old Darkness:
That first in beauty shall be first in might."
Once or twice in a lifetime we are permitted to enjoy the charm of noble
Woman's Rights. Certainly let her be as much better placed in the laws
But we have lingered long enough in these painted courts. The worth
Everything that is called fashion and courtesy humbles itself before the
Are you rich enough to help anybody? to succor the unfashionable and
'T was high time they came;
Time they stopped for shame
IT is said that the world is in a state of bankruptcy; that the world
Thou must bleed for me. Therefore the poet brings his poem; the shep-
Take heed that from his hands thou nothing take."
We ask the whole. Nothing less will content us. We arraign society if it
He is a good man who can receive a gift well. We are either glad or
The reason of these discords I conceive to be that there is no commen-
Nine times folded in mystery:
Though baffled seers cannot impart
And all is clear from east to west
Spirit that lurks each form within
Beckons to spirit of its kin;
And hints the future which it owes
It seems as if the day was not wholly profane in which we have given
Islands. We exaggerate the praises of local scenery. In every landscape
Motion or change and identity or rest are the first and second secrets
This guiding identity runs through all the surprises and contrasts of
A man does not tie his shoe without recognizing laws which bind the
'and a plain begging of the question. Could you not prevail to know the
We are made alive and kept alive by the same arts. Let the stoics say
Great causes are never tried on their merits; but the cause is reduced to
What a train of means to secure a little conversation! This palace of brick
What shall we say of this omnipresent appearance of that first pro-
The uneasiness which the thought of our helplessness in the chain of
They say that by electro-magnetism your salad shall be grown from the
Gold and iron are good
To buy iron and gold;
All earth's fleece and food
For their like are sold
Nor kind nor coinage buys
Aught above its rate
Cannot rear a State
Out of dust to build
Walls Amphion piled
Phoebus stablish must
When the Muses nine
Find to their design
By green orchard boughs
Where the statesman ploughs
Furrow for the wheat;
The republican at home
In dealing with the State we ought to remember that its institution are
Laban and not Jacob should elect the officer who is to guard the sheep
But property passes through donation or inheritance to those who do
It was not however found easy to embody the readily admitted prin-
At last it seemed settled that the rightful distinction was that the propri-
That principle no longer looks so self-evident as it appeared in former
State is persons; that property will always follow persons; that the
In like manner to every particle of property belongs its own attraction
A cent is the representative of a certain quantity of corn or other com-
The same necessity which secures the rights of person and property
State is corrupt. Good men must not obey the laws too well. What satire
State is a trick?
The same benign necessity and the same practical abuse appear in the
I do not for these defects despair of our republic. We are not at the
Botany Bay are found to have as healthy a moral sentiment as other chil-
We must trust infinitely to the beneficent necessity which shines
Every man's nature is a sufficient advertisement to him of the charac-
I may be too much disturbed by the circumstances to see so clearly the
In countless upward-striving waves
The moon-drawn tide-wave strives:
In thousand far-transplanted grafts
The parent fruit survives;
The perfect Adam lives
Not less are summer-mornings dear
And each with novel life his sphere
Fills for his proper sake
I CANNOT often enough say that a man is only a relative and repres-
Our native love of reality joins with this experience to teach us a little
Thus we are very sensible of an atmospheric influence in men and in
Webster cannot do the work of Webster. We conceive distinctly enough
What you say in your pompous distribution only distributes you into
Great dangers undoubtedly accrue from this incarnation and distribu-
Circe; and Alphonso of Castille fancied he could have given useful ad-
But care is taken that the whole tune shall be played. If we were not
If we cannot make voluntary and conscious steps in the admirable sci-
If we could have any security against moods! If the profoundest
Came a beam of goodness down
Doubling daylight everywhere:
For the angel Hope aye makes
Him an angel whom she leads
WHOEVER has had opportunity of acquaintance with society in New
With this din of opinion and debate there was a keener scrutiny of in-
There was in all the practical activities of New England for the last
In politics for example it is easy to see the progress of dissent. The
So the country is frequently affording solitary examples of resistance to
The same insatiable criticism may be traced in the efforts for the re-
One of the traits of the new spirit is the inquisition it fixed on our
One tendency appears alike in the philosophical speculation and in the
It is handsomer to remain in the establishment better than the estab-
It is a pedantry to give such importance to them. Can we not play the
This is a jewel amidst the rags of a beggar
I do not wonder at the interest these projects inspire. The world is
But even one step farther our infidelity has gone. It appears that some
Men in all ways are better than they seem. They like flattery for the mo-
They feel the poverty at the bottom of all the seeming affluence of the
Nile." Dear to us are those who love us; the swift moments we spend
Nothing shall warp me from the belief that every man is a lover of
If it were worth while to run into details this general doctrine of the
It only needs that a just man should walk in our streets to make it ap-
Each is incomparably superior to his companion in some faculty. His
These and the like experiences intimate that man stands in strict con-
If the auguries of the prophesying heart shall make themselves good in
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Emerson - Essays (Second Series)

Emerson - Essays (Second Series)

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Published by: abhaya27 on Sep 25, 2010
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