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from it there is traceable a growing ten- civility of the world — 'the post-office, dency to identify Utopia with the complete with its educating energy, augmented by development of American institutions, and cheapness, and guarded by a certain relig. a willingness to work through them. In ious sentiment in mankind, shows the power this, he does but represent the experience of a wafer or a drop of wax or gluten to of all the idealistic movements in that coun- guard a letter, as it flies over sea, over land, try; they sprang up by hundreds, but the and comes to its address as if a battalion social atmosphere refused their isolation, of artillery brought it'- multitudes obeyand they have everywhere been diffused ing law in opposition to their strongest pasinto and become the leaven of the general sions — the higher influence of woman society; so that in America, with a very the diffusion of knowledge so that the few unthrifty exceptions, the only separate coarsest newspaper has scraps of science communities existing are those of ignorant and poetry, which makes us hesitate to fanatics, far nearer to gross and despotic tear one before looking it through — the social forms than the general body of so- ship an abridgment and compound of a ciety. In the anti-slavery agitation, Emer- nation's arts the skill that pervades congson especially saw the advance of a trans- plex details; the man that maintains himcendent idea in the public mind. As year self; the chimney taught to burn its own after year the numbers of the votes cast for smoke; the farm made to produce all that is candidates nominated in the interest of consumed on it; the very prison compelled emancipation increased, he seemed to have to maintain itself and yield a revenue, and the sense of the Indian, and to hear in these better than that, made a reform school and softly falling ballots the tread of distant a manufactory of honest men out of rogues. triumphant armies. His lectures dealt more All these are examples of that tendency to and more with the condition of the nation, combine antagonisms and utilise evil, which and finally, when the late civil war broke is the index of high civilisation. He traced out, no one shared more profoundly the the influence of climate, of proximity to hope of a renovated and nobler America, the sea, and other circumstances on civiliwhich was the pillar of fire that led the sation, but found that everywhere it is de best of his countrymen through those deso- pendent on a true, and not merely so-called late four years of wandering and war.
Of morality. He said such national importance was his advice now considered, that he was invited by a Civilisation depends on morality. Every number of politicians and statesmen to give thing good in man leans on what is higher
. a lecture, in the spring of 1862, in Wash- This rule holds in small as well as great
. ington. And many thought that Emerson Thus, all our strength and success in the work lecturing at Washington and consulted by of our hands depend on our borrowing the aid President Lincoln in those days, was a
of the elements. You have seen a carpenter on
a ladder with a broad axe chopping upward higher sign than the banner of stars and chips and slivers from a beam. How awkstripes. It meant infallibly a new order in ward ; at what disadvantage he works. But America, and one already outgrowing all see him on the ground, dressing his timber prophecies. I find much difficulty in giving under him. Now, not his feeble muscles, but any adequate report of this lecture, which the force of gravity brings down the axe; that was delivered before a large audience and is to say, the planet itself splits his stick. The in the presence of President Lincoln and farmer had much ill-temper, laziness, and shirkhis Cabinet, whom, however, he did not fail ing to endure from his hand-sawyers, until one to censure for the hesitation
especially in day he bethought him to put his saw-mill on dealing with slavery — which they had not tires of turning his wheel; the river is good,
the edge of a water fall; and the river never yet thrown off. So completely did Emer
natured and never hints an objection. ...I son utilise this singular opportunity, so admire still more the skill which, on the seaheavily did he load every sentence with shore, makes the tides drive the wheels and meaning, that to report partially, as I must, grind the corn, and which thus engages the asseems like mutilating a living form.
In sistance of the moon like a hired hand, to grind, this lecture, to which he gave the title and wind, and pump, and saw, and split stone, American Civilisation,' Emerson began by and roll iron. Now that is the wisdom of a tracing the progress of man from his rude man, in every instance of his labour, to hitch condition; the wigwam transformed to a
his waggon to a star, and see his chore done by the gods themselves.
We cannot bring stone house; the savage trail graded and the heavenly powers to us, but, if we will only bridged into a road, uniting clans into a choose our jobs in directions in which they society; the hunter become agriculturist. travel, they will undertake them with the greatHe notes the chief metres of the present est pleasure. It is a peremptory rule with them
that they never go out of their road. We are saved by our firmness, or to be lost by hesitadapper little busy bodies, and run this way and tion. .The war is welcome to the Souththat way superserviceably; but they swerve erner: a chivalrous sport to him, like hunting, never from their foreordained paths, neither the and suits bis semi-civilised condition. On the sun, nor the moon, nor a bubble of air, nor a climbing scale of progress he is just up to war, mote o dust.
And as our handiworks and has never appeared to such advantage as in borrow the elements, so all our social and polit- the last twelvemonth. It does not suit us. ical action loans on principles. To accomplish We are advanced some ages on the war-state anything excellent the will must work for cath- to trade, art, and general cultivation. His laolic and universal ends. A puny creature bourer works for him at home, so that he loses walled in on every side, as Donne wrote no labour by the war. All our soldiers are la
bourers, so that the South, with its inferior unless above himself he can numbers, is almost on a footing in effective Erect bimself, how poor a thing is man!' war-population with the 'North. Again, so
long as we fight without any affirmative step But when bis will leans on a principle, when taken by the Government, any word intimating he is the vehicle of ideas, he borrows their om- forfeiture in the rebel States of their old privinipotence. Gibraltar may be strong, but ideas leges under the law, they and we fight on the are impregnable, and besiow on the hero their same side — for slavery. Again, if we conquer invincibility. It was a great instruction,' said the enemy, what then? We shall still have to a saint in Cromwell's war, 'that the best cour- keep him under, and it will cost as much to ages are but beams of the Almighty.' Hitch keep him down, as it did to get him down. your wagon to a star. In this national | Then comes the summer, and the fever will crisis, it is not argument that we want, but that drive our soldiers home. Next winter we must rare coarage which dares commit itself to a begin at the beginning and conquer him over principle, believing that Nature is its ally, and again. What use, then, to take a fort, or privawill create the instruments it requires and more teer, or get possession of an inlet, or to capture than make good any petty and injurious profit a regiment of rebels? But one weapon we which it may disturb. There never was such a hold which is sure : Congress can, by edict, as combination as this of ours, and the rules to a part of the military defence which it is the meet it are not set down in any history. We duty of Congress to provide, abolish slavery and want men of original perception and original pay for such slaves as we ought to pay for. action, who can open their eyes wider than to a Then the slaves near our armies will come to nationality — namely, to considerations of ben- us; those in the interior will know in a week efit to the human race — can act in the interest | what their rights are, and will, where opportuof civilisation. Governinent must not be a nity offers, prepare to take them. Instantly the parish clerk - a justice of the peace. It has of armies that confront you must run home to pronecessity, in any crisis of the State, the absolute tect their estates, and must stay there, and your powers of a dictator. The existing Adminis-, enemies will disappear.
This is bortration is entitled to the utmost candour. It is rowing, as I said, the omnipotence of a princito be thanked for its angelic virtue compared ple. What is so foolish as the terror lest the with any executive experiences with which we blacks should be made furious by freedom and have been familiar. But the times will not al- wages ? It is denying these that is the outrage, low us to indulge in compliment. I wish I and makes the danger from the blacks. I hope saw in the people that inspiration which, if it is not a fatal objection to this policy that it is Government will not obey the same, it would simple and beneficent thoroughly, which is the leave the Government behind, and create on the attribute of a moral action.
It is the moment the means and executors it wanted. maxim of natural philosophers that the natural Better the war should more dangerously threat- forces wear out in time all obstacles, and take en us, – should threaten fracture in what is place; and 'tis the maxim of history that victostill whole, and punish us with burned capitals ry always falls at last where it ought to fall; and slaughtered regiments, and so exasperate or, there is a perpetual march or progress to the people to energy.
exasperate our national. ideas. But, in either case, no link of the chain ity. There are scriptures written invisibly on can drop out. Nature works through her apmen's hearts, whose leiters do not come out pointed elements, and ideas must work through until they are enraged. They can be read by the brains and the arms of good and brave men, war-fires, and by cyes in the last peril. We or they are no better than dreams. cannot but remember that there have been days in American history when, if the Free States There is no doubt that the President and had done their duty, slavery had been blocked the statesmen who surrounded him on that by an immovable barrier, and our recent calam- occasion were deeply impressed by this lecities for ever precluded. The Free States yield. ture, and Mr. Emerson was taken by Mr. ed, and every comproinise was surrender, and Seward to see the President, with whom the invited new demands. Here, again, is a new occasion which Heaven offers to sense and vir. matter was, I have heard, more fully distue. It looks as if we held the fate of the fair.cussed. Mr. Lincoln, however, still doubtest possession of mankind in our hands, to be led whether he could rely upon the politi
cians and people of the North to stand by position, and planted ourselves on a law of naa measure which would so seriously affect ture. the commercial conditions of the entire
If that fail, country, as the immediate abolition of sla
The pillared firmament is rottenness,
And earth's base built on stubble.' very, in which Northern firms were almost equally interested partners with Southern The Government has assured itself of the best plantations. Emerson maintained that a constituency in the world; every spark of intelright idea did not disclose its whole lect, every virtuous feeling, every religious heart, commanding force until tried. Soon af- every man of honour, every poet, every philoster the President began to move cautious opher, the generosity of the cities, the health ly in the direction indicated, and proposed of the country, the strong arms of the mechanthat Congress should offer to co-operate ics, the endurance of the farmers, the passionate with State that should enter upon any
conscience of women, the sympathy of distant the nations
With work of emancipation, and pay such State a this blot removed from its national honour, this
all rally to its support. . .. large sum of money, and his proposition was heavy load lifted off the national heart, we shall at once adopted by Congress. The States, not fear henceforward to show our faces among however, generally ridiculed the offer. A mankind. . . It was well to delay the steamers paragraph which Emerson wrote concern- at the wharves until this ediet could be put on ing this proposition shows how fine an im- board. It will be an insurance to the ship as it pression President Lincoln had made upon goes plunging through the sea with glad tidings him during their interview. More and
to all people. Happy are the young who find better,' he wrote, “than the President has the pestilence cleansed out of the earth, leaving spoken shall the effect of this message be; who see nature purified before they depart. Do
open to them an honest career. Happy the old, but, we are sure, not more or better than not let the dying die; hold them back to this he hoped in his heart when, thoughtful of world until you have charged their ear and heart all the complexities of his position, he pen- with this message to other spiritual societies, ned these cautious words.' The effect of announcing the melioration of our planet. that first plainly anti-slavery message that an American Congress had ever received, 'Incertainties now crown themselves assured, was indeed great. It proved to be a plain And Peace proclaims olives of endless age. unanswerable admonition to the people, from one in whom they had confidence,
(Those who in England shall read these that slavery stood in the path of the nation- radiant expressions — which did most truly al union and had to be dealt with, and it utter the hope and joy of all honourable and made them ready for the next step. That earnest Americans may, perbaps, judge step soon followed. The President admon- how cold and cruel seemed the sneers ished the insurgent States that on the fol- which the ships that bore the glad tidings lowing New Year's Day, to wit, that of over the ocean brought back in response 1863, he would proclaim slavery for ever
from so many of that constituency,' which abolished in every State that should be Emerson bad declared was thenceforth asfound in arms against the General Govern- sured to America.) ment.
When the proclamation of emancipation It was known that the President had a
came on the ist of January, 1863, the popuway of sticking to his word, and this
lar joy rose to its height. Men laughed and pro
When the Lord clamation of Sept. 22, 1862, was a signal for wept along the streets. a general exasperation of all the pro-slavery turned again the captivity of Zion, we were elements of the country, and a general joy like them that dream. Then was our mouth amongst those who felt that the afflictions filled with laughter and our tongue with through which the nation was passing, could singing.' Bells were rung, cannon fired, the be compensated only by the liberation of the negroes passed the night in their chapels nation from the great wrong which they and greeted the day on their knees, and knew would continue to harry the country vast public meetings were held in the vawhilst it lasted. Emerson was called to ad- rious cities to welcome and celebrate the dress the people of Boston on this occasion,
event. At that held in the chief hall of and none who had the happiness to hear him Boston, Emerson read a poem, which be then - as the writer of this did – can ever called the • Boston Hymn, of which I give forget the enthusiasm with which he cele- a few verses : brated the act, and how the multitude vi- The word of the Lord by night brated under his electric words :
To the watching Pilgrims came,
As they sat by the sca-side,
God said, I am tired of kings,
wealth and the home shall exist. But wealth I suffer them no more;
is a shift. The wise man angles with himself Up to my ear the morning brings
only, and with no meaner bait. We owe to The outrage of the poor.
man man, and to give money is only a come
off. Here is a fine passage, which must be
quoted as it stands :
Let us understand that a house should bear
witness in all its economy that human culture My angel, his name is Freedom,
is the end to which it is built and garnished. It Choose him to be your king;
stands there under the sun and moon to ends He shall cut pathways east and west,
analogous and not less noble than theirs. It is And fend you with his wing.
not for festivity, it is not for sleep: but the
pine and the oak shall gladly descend from the Lo! I uncover the land
mountains to uphold the roof of men as faithful Which I hid of old time in the west,
and necessary as themselves; to be the shelter As the sculptor uncovers his statue
always open to the Good and the True, a hall
which shines with sincerity, brows ever tranquil, When he has wrought his best.
and a demeanour impossible to disconcert;
whose inmates know what they want; who do Pay ransom to the owner And fill the bag to the brim.
not ask your house how theirs should be kept. Who is the owner ? The slave is owner,
They have arms, they cannot pause for trifles.
The diet of the house does not create its order, And ever was. Pay him.
but knowledge, character, action, absorb so O North! give him beauty for rags,
much life and yield so much'entertainment, that
the refectory has ceased to be so curiously studied. And honour, O South ! for his shame;
With a change of aim has followed a change of Nevada, coin thy golden crags
the whole scale by which men and things were With Freedom's image and name.
wont to be measured.
Wealth and poverty
are seen for what they are. It begins to be seen Up! and the dusky race !
that the poor are only they who feel poor, and That sat in darkness long,
poverty consists in feeling poor.
Here also is a fine passage that cannot be
Every individual nature has its own beauty.
One is struck in every company, at every fireside, with the riches of nature when he hears
so many new tones, all musical; sees in each My will fulfilled shall be, For, in daylight or in dark,
person original manners, which have a proper
and peculiar charm, and reads new expressions My thunderbolt has eyes to see
of face. He perceives that nature has laid for His way home to the mark.
each the foundations of a new building, if the
soul will build thereon. There is no face, no Emerson's esteem for the President grew form, which one cannot in fancy associate with to be homage, and when Mr. Lincoln was great power of intellect, or with generosity of assassinated he gave an address concerning soul. In our experience, to be sure, beauty is him which more than any other touched the not as it ought to be, the dower of_man and beart of the country. No other American woman as invariably as sensation. Beauty is, bas won so fair å wreath as that which even in the beautiful, occasional; or, as one has
said, culminating and perfect only a single Emerson laid on the grave of Lincoln.
moment, before which it is unripe, and after Turning now from Emerson's political which it is on the wane. But beauty is never ectures, which it is to be hoped he may be quite absent from our eyes. Every face, every induced to give to the public in a volume, we figuro, suggests its own right and sound estate. find a few papers contained in the pages of Our friends are not their own highest form. one or two different American magazines But let the hearts they have agitated witness
urked in the traits of these which are of great value. One of the most what power has important of these is on · Domestic Life.' It structures of clay that pass and repass us. opens with exquisite pictures of the child, and affections transcends all our philosophy.
The secret power of form over the imagination and the boy, and the enchantments The first glance we meet may satisfy us that which a few cheap things weave about matter is the vehicle of higher powers than its them. The man he finds imprisoned in lu- own, and that no laws of line or surface can crative labours. For the demand is, give us ever account for the inexhaustible expressive
ness of form. Wo see heads that turn on the realised pictures of a career. Every faculty pivot of the spine, no more; and we see heads new to each man goads him and drives him that seem to turn on a pivot as deep as the axle out into doleful deserts until it finds proper of the world, so slow, and lazily, and great, vents. One by one he learns to coin his they move. We see on the lip of our compan- wishes into facts, and at the end of fifty ion the presence or absence of the great masters of thought and poetry to his mind. We years his soul is appeased by seeing some read in his brow, on meeting him after many sort of correspondence between bis wish years, that he is where we left him, or that he and his possession. This makes the value has made great strides.
of age, the satisfaction it slowly offers to
every craving. He is serene who does not In the year 1861 the Hon. Josiah Quincy, feel himself pinched and wronged, but whose the venerable ex-President of Harvard Uni- condition, in particular and in general, versity, appeared for the last time at a col- allows the utterance of his mind. lege anniversary at Cambridge, and made an A fourth benefit is, that age sets its house address, a kind of apology for old age, which in order and finishes its works — a supreme led Emerson to write an essay. In it he pleasure. The young man's year is a heap enumerates four benefits of old age. The of beginnings, and no completed work to first is that at every stage we lose a foe. show for them at the end of a twelvemonth.
The time is not lost lowever; they shall all The passions have answered their purpose : be wanted at last. •Bentley thought himthat slight, but dread overweight, with which, self likely to live till fourscore, - long in each instance, Nature secures the execution enough to read everything that was worth of ber aim, drops off. To keep man in the planet, she impresses the terror of death. To ibit imago.” Much wider is spread the pleas
reading, “ Et tunc magna mei sub terris perfect the commissariat, she implants in each a little rapacity to get the supply, and a little ure which the old men take in completing over-supply of his wants. To insure the ex- their secular affairs, the inventor his invenistence of the race, she reinforces the sexual tions, the agriculturist his experiments, and instinct at the risk of disorder, grief, and pain. all old men in finishing their houses, roundTo secure strength, she plants crael hunger and ing their estates, clearing their titles, rethirst, which so easily overdo their office and ducing tangled interests to order, reconcilinvite disease. But these temporary stays and ing enmities and leaving all in the best shifts for the protection of the young animal posture for the future. It must be believed are shed as fast as they can be replaced by that there is a proportion between the denobler resources. We live in youth amidst this rabblo of passions, quite too tender, quite signs of a man and the length of his life ; too hungry and irritable. Later the interiors there is a calendar of his years, so of his of mind and heart open and supply grander performances.' motives. We learn the fatal compensations
And in this idea Emerson finds a suggesthat wait on every act. Then -one mischief tion of the immortality of the soul, at a time
- this riotous time-destroying crew theme of which he is particularly fond, disappear.
although his belief to some seems far from
clear. He has indeed a fine sermon on imA second advantage is that age has amass- mortality which he sometimes gives in places ed a ce ain fund of merit, so that a success where his engagements
cause him to more or less signifies nothing.
remain on Sunday. It opens with a de
scription of various kinds of the sepulWhen I chanced to meet the poet Words- ture practised among different ages and worth, then sixty-three years old, he told me races, and the ideas of the soul and its
that he had just had a fall and lost a tooth; future represented by them. He finds intiand, when his companions were much concern- mations of immortality in the univeral de ed for the mischance, he had replied that he was sire of mankind for it, but thinks that the glad it had not happened forty years before.' Well, nature takes care that we shall not lose doctrine must rest chiefly upon the feeling our organs forty years too soon. A lawyer in the individual of designs for which this argued a cause yesterday in the Supreme Court, life is inadequate. He also sees that the and I was struck with a certain air of levitý training of minds so carefully for annihilaand defiance which vastly became bim. Thirty tion is inconsistent with the economy of years ago it was a serious concern to him nature in other things; it would be like whether his pleading was good or effective. first drilling a regiment for years and then
shooting them down. A third felicity of old age is that it has Of several other lectures and papers of found expression, whilst youth is yet tor- recent date, I must content myself with nomented by a feeling of untried powers and un- | ticing a brief one on · Ease in Work,' in