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my opposition to their supposed views, out of fear of offence. I would rather say to them—these things look thus to me, to you otherwise. Let us say our uttermost word, and let the all-pervading truth, as it surely will, judge between Either of us would, I doubt not; be willingly apprised of his
Meanwhile, I shall be admonished by this experience of your thought to revise with great care the address before it is printed, and I heartily thank you for this expression of your tried toleration and love." This was followed by a sermon against Emerson's views, a copy of which was sent to him, with a letter, to which he replied. A few sentences may be given from the reply. “There is no scholar less willing or less able than myself to be a polemic. I could not give an account of myself, if challenged. I could not possibly give you one of the arguments you cruelly hint at, on which any doctrine of mine stands. For I do not know what arguments are in reference to any expression of a thought. I delight in telling what I think; but if you ask me why I dare say so, or why it is so, I am the most helpless of mortal men. When I see myself suddenly raised to the importance of a heretic, I am very uneasy when I advert to the supposed duties of such a personage, who is to make good his thesis against all
I certainly shall do no such thing. I shall read what you and other good men write, as I have always done, glad when you speak my thoughts, and skipping the page that has nothing for me. I shall go on just as before, seeing whatever I can, and telling what I see.” This was the date of his emancipation from the trammels of creed. Shaking off all traditions of creed and authority, he stepped, as he said, into the free and open world to utter his private thought to all who were willing to hear it. Thenceforth he became the chartered libertine" of thought, as he sometimes humorously called himself.
Emerson's earliest appearance in print, we believe, was in an address, “The Right Hand of Fellowship,” delivered
at the ordination of H. B. Goodwin (1830), and his next, “Sermon and Letter" to the Second Church, Boston (1832). He finally bade farewell to his Boston parish in December, 1832, and early in 1833 embarked on his first voyage to Europe. He sailed up the Mediterranean in a vessel bound for Sicily, and went as far eastward as Malta. Returning through Italy, where he dined with Walter Savage Landor in Florencefinding him "noble and courteous, living in a cloud of pictures at his villa Gherardesca”—he visited France, and in July reached London. There he saw Wellington in Westminster Abbey at the funeral of Wilberforce, and called on Coleridge. In August of the same year (1833) he made a pilgrimage to Scotland. He remained some days in Edinburgh, and delivered a discourse in the Unitarian Chapel there, recollections of which happily still survive. Desirous of personally acknowledging to Carlyle his indebtedness for the spiritual benefit he had derived from certain of his writingsnotably the concluding passage in the article on German Literature, and the paper entitled “Characteristics”—he found his way, after many hindrances, to Craigenputtock, among the desolate hills of the parish of Dunscore, in Dumfriesshire, where Carlyle was then living with his bright and accomplished wife in perfect solitude, without a person to speak to, or a post office within seven miles. There he spent twentyfour hours, and became acquainted with him at once. They walked over miles of barren hills, and talked upon all the great questions which interested them most. The meeting is described in his “English Traits,” published twenty-three years afterwards, and the account of it there given is reprinted by Mr. Froude in his “Life of Carlyle," &c., lately issued. Carlyle and his wife ever afterwards spoke of that visit as if it had been the coming of an angel. They regarded Emerson as a "beautiful apparition” in their solitude. A letter exists, written to a friend a few days after this visit, which gives an account of it, as well as of one to Wordsworth. This letter, written
on the spur of the moment, and not intended for publication, contains some details not to be found in the published account of these two visits. It is now printed for the first time in the Appendix to this Memoir. Mr. Froude says of this visit: “The fact itself of a young American having been so affected by his writings as to have sought him out on the Dunscore moors, was a homage of the kind which he (Carlyle) could especially value and appreciate. The acquaintance then begun to their mutual pleasure ripened into a deep friendship, which has remained unclouded in spite of wide divergencies of opinion throughout their working lives, and continues warm as ever at the moment when I am writing these words (June 27, 1880), when the labours of both of them are over, and they wait in age and infirmity to be called away from a world to which they have given freely all that they had to give."
Emerson has the distinction of having been the first eminent literary man of either continent to appreciate and welcome “Sartor Resartus.” The book was written in 1831 at Craigenputtock, but could find no publisher for two years. At last it appeared in "Fraser's Magazine” in, successive chapters, in 1833-4 (Carlyle having to accept reduced remuneration); and it was not till 1838 that it appeared as a volume in England. While subscribers were complaining of the “intolerable balderdash" appearing from month to month in the magazine under the title of “Sartor Resartus,” and threatening to withdraw their subscriptions if that “nonsense" did not speedily cease, Emerson was quietly collecting the successive numbers with a view to its publication on completion. In 1836 the American edition of the work appeared in Boston, printed, we believe, at Emerson's risk. The publication was sufficiently successful to yield a profit of £150, which Emerson sent to Carlyle-the most important sum which he had, up to that time, received for any of his works. In Emerson's modest preface to the book (on its first appear
ance in the shape of a volume), occur these memorable words—the earliest cordial recognition of the originality and power of this now famous work :
We believe, no book has been published for many years, written in a more sincere style of idiomatic English, or which discovers an equal mastery over all the riches of the language. The author makes ample amends for the occasional eccentricity of his genius, not only by frequent bursts of pure splendour, but by the wit and sense which never fail him. But what will chiefly commend the book to the discerning reader is the manifest design of the work, which is a Criticism upon the Spirit of the Age,- -we had almost said, of the hour, in which we live ; exhibiting, in the most just and novel light, the present aspects of Religion, Politics, Literature, Arts, and Social Life. Under all his gaiety, the writer has an earnest meaning, and discovers an insight into the manifold wants and tendencies of human nature, which is very rare among our popular authors. The philanthropy and the purity of moral sentiment, which inspire the work, will find their way to the heart of every lover of virtue. A similar service was done by Emerson some years later in a few prefatory remarks to the first American reprint of Carlyle's Miscellaneous Reviews and Essays.
His health, which had always been delicate, and which in 1832 had been greatly affected by domestic bereavement (the death of his first wife) and the worry of controversy, was quite restored by the voyage and his subsequent travels. After his return to America he gave lectures before the Boston Lyceum, -his subjects being: "Water;" “Michael Angelo;” “Milton;" “Luther;” “George Fox;" “Edmund Burke;" also two lectures on “ Italy,” and three on “The Relation of Man to the Globe.” In August, 1835, in a lecture before the American Institute of Instruction, his subject was the “Means of Inspiring a Taste for English Literature.” In September of the same year he gave a historical address in Concord, it being the second centennial anniversary of the incorporation of that town. In September, 1835, he married Miss Lydia Jackson, of Plymouth. Her family was descended from one of the earliest Plymouth settlers. In December, 1835, he gave a course of ten lectures in Boston on English Literature.” The first two were on the earlier writers, and there were others on Chaucer, Bacon, Shakespeare, and all the subsequent great writers. In the last lecture, he
touched upon Byron, Scott, Dugald Stewart, Mackintosh, and Coleridge. He placed Coleridge among the sages of the world. In succeeding seasons he gave courses on “The Philosophy of History ;” “Human Culture;” “Human Life;" "The Present Age;" "The Times ;” and other subjects. It is to be hoped that all these lectures, hitherto unprinted, will be given to the world. At a meeting held in Concord in 1836, on the completion of a monument to commemorate the Concord fight, a hymn was written for the occasion by Emerson, and read by Dr. Ripley, and sung to the tune of the "Old Hundred." It contained the immortal lines:
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
In 1835 he was reading Plato and Plutarch more diligently than ever, and began to study Plotinus and other writers of the same class. He also read the writings of the German
. mystics, as well as of the English idealists, the poems of George Herbert (which he keenly relished), and the prose works of Ralph Cudworth, Henry More, Milton, Jeremy Taylor, and Coleridge. În 1836 appeared “ Nature," à little volume of only ninety-five pages, the contents consisting of an Introduction, and eight chapters, entitled, Nature, Commodity, Beauty, Language, Discipline, Idealism, Spirit, and Prospects. The spirit of its teachings is that nature exists only for the unfolding of a spiritual being. His ideas are in
. this little volume more systematically developed than elsewhere. They have been thus summarised :-"Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact. Nature becomes a means of expression for these spiritual truths and experiences, which could not otherwise be interpreted. Its laws, also, are moral laws when applicable to man; and so they become to man the language of the Divine Will. Because the physical laws become moral laws the moment they are related to human conduct, Nature has a much higher purpose than that of beauty or language-in that it is a Discipline. It is in these