Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Ralph Waldo Emerson
By Oliver Wendell Holmes
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Book Description

Table of Contents
  • NOTE.
  • CONTENTS.
    • CHAPTER I.
      • CHAPTER II.
      • CHAPTER III.
      • CHAPTER IV.
      • CHAPTER V.
      • CHAPTER VI.
      • CHAPTER VII.
      • CHAPTER VIII.
      • CHAPTER IX
      • CHAPTER X.
      • CHAPTER XI.
      • CHAPTER XII
      • CHAPTER XIII.
      • CHAPTER XIV.
      • CHAPTER XV.
      • CHAPTER XVI.
    • CHAPTER II.
    • CHAPTER III.
    • CHAPTER IV.
    • CHAPTER V.
    • CHAPTER VI.
    • CHAPTER VII.
    • CHAPTER VIII.
    • CHAPTER IX
    • CHAPTER X.
    • CHAPTER XI.
    • CHAPTER XII
    • CHAPTER XIII.
    • CHAPTER XIV.
    • CHAPTER XV.
    • CHAPTER XVI.
  • INTRODUCTION.
  • CHAPTER I.
  • CHAPTER II.
  • CHAPTER III.
  • CHAPTER IV.
    • Section 1. In the year 1833 Mr. Emerson visited Europe for the first time. A great change had come over his life, and he needed the relief which a corresponding change of outward circumstances might afford him. A brief account of this visit is prefixed to the volume entitled "English Traits." He took a short tour, in which he visited Sicily, Italy, and France, and, crossing from Boulogne, landed at the Tower Stairs in London. He finds nothing in his Diary to publish concerning visits to places. But he saw a number of distinguished persons, of whom he gives pleasant accounts, so singularly different in tone from the rough caricatures in which Carlyle vented his spleen and caprice, that one marvels how the two men could have talked ten minutes together, or would wonder, had not one been as imperturbable as the other was explosive. Horatio Greenough and Walter Savage Landor are the chief persons he speaks of as having met upon the Continent. Of these he reports various opinions as delivered in conversation. He mentions incidentally that he visited Professor Amici, who showed him his microscopes "magnifying (it was said) two thousand diameters." Emerson hardly knew his privilege; he may have been the first American to look through an immersion lens with the famous Modena professor. Mr. Emerson says that his narrow and desultory reading had inspired him with the wish to see the faces of three or four writers, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Landor, De Quincey, Carlyle. His accounts of his interviews with these distinguished persons are too condensed to admit of further abbreviation. Goethe and Scott, whom he would have liked to look upon, were dead; Wellington he saw at Westminster Abbey, at the funeral of Wilberforce. His impressions of each of the distinguished persons whom he visited should be looked at in the light of the general remark which, follows:—
      • Section 2. In September, 1835, Emerson was married to Miss Lydia Jackson, of Plymouth, Massachusetts. The wedding took place in the fine old mansion known as the Winslow House, Dr. Le Baron Russell and his sister standing up with the bridegroom and his bride. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Emerson went to reside in the house in which he passed the rest of his life, and in which Mrs. Emerson and their daughter still reside. This is the "plain, square, wooden house," with horse-chestnut trees in the front yard, and evergreens around it, which has been so often described and figured. It is without pretensions, but not without an air of quiet dignity. A full and well-illustrated account of it and its arrangements and surroundings is given in "Poets' Homes," by Arthur Gilman and others, published by D. Lothrop & Company in 1879.
      • Section 3. In the year 1836 there was published in Boston a little book of less than a hundred very small pages, entitled "Nature." It bore no name on its title-page, but was at once attributed to its real author, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
    • Section 2. In September, 1835, Emerson was married to Miss Lydia Jackson, of Plymouth, Massachusetts. The wedding took place in the fine old mansion known as the Winslow House, Dr. Le Baron Russell and his sister standing up with the bridegroom and his bride. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Emerson went to reside in the house in which he passed the rest of his life, and in which Mrs. Emerson and their daughter still reside. This is the "plain, square, wooden house," with horse-chestnut trees in the front yard, and evergreens around it, which has been so often described and figured. It is without pretensions, but not without an air of quiet dignity. A full and well-illustrated account of it and its arrangements and surroundings is given in "Poets' Homes," by Arthur Gilman and others, published by D. Lothrop & Company in 1879.
    • Section 3. In the year 1836 there was published in Boston a little book of less than a hundred very small pages, entitled "Nature." It bore no name on its title-page, but was at once attributed to its real author, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • CHAPTER V.
    • Section 1. On Sunday evening, July 15, 1838, Emerson delivered an Address before the Senior Class in Divinity College, Cambridge, which caused a profound sensation in religious circles, and led to a controversy, in which Emerson had little more than the part of Patroclus when the Greeks and Trojans fought over his body. In its simplest and broadest statement this discourse was a plea for the individual consciousness as against all historical creeds, bibles, churches; for the soul as the supreme judge in spiritual matters.
      • TO JAMES FREEMAN CLARKE.
      • Section 2. Emerson's first volume of his collected Essays was published in 1841. In the reprint it contains the following Essays: History; Self-Reliance; Compensation; Spiritual Laws; Love; Friendship; Prudence; Heroism; The Over-Soul; Circles; Intellect; Art. "The Young American," which is now included in the volume, was not delivered until 1844.
    • TO JAMES FREEMAN CLARKE.
    • Section 2. Emerson's first volume of his collected Essays was published in 1841. In the reprint it contains the following Essays: History; Self-Reliance; Compensation; Spiritual Laws; Love; Friendship; Prudence; Heroism; The Over-Soul; Circles; Intellect; Art. "The Young American," which is now included in the volume, was not delivered until 1844.
  • CHAPTER VI.
  • CHAPTER VII.
  • CHAPTER VIII.
  • CHAPTER IX.
  • CHAPTER X.
  • CHAPTER XI.
    • DR. LE BARON RUSSELL
  • CHAPTER XII.
  • CHAPTER XIII.
  • CHAPTER XIV.
  • CHAPTER XV.
  • CHAPTER XVI.
  • INDEX.
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