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Jays on the wing Not he who first beholds the aloe grow
To russet woodlands gleams of sapphire bring; May think to gaze upon its perfect flower.
Days may grow brief,
And should chill evening spread
O’er grave of summer dead He shall not see the product of his toil;
A pall of white,
The morning light Yet were his work neglected or ill-done, Did he not prune the boughs and dig the soil, Shall swiftly drive the silvery mists away,
And Phoebus in his glory show That perfect blossom ne'er might meet the
That, though 'tis autumn now,
Fresh loveliness the world can still display. Perhaps he has no prescience of its hue, Nought of its form and fragrance can fore
And if the song. tell;
Of summertide does to the past belong; Yet in each sun-shaft, in each bead of dew,
If Philomel Faith, passing knowledge, tells him he does No longer thralls each silent dale and dell; well.
If not a bird dare sing
The music of the spring : Our lives, O fellow-menl pass even so.
Yet still have we We watch and toil, and with no seeming
A melody gain :
As sweet, as plaintive as aught heard before; The future, which no mortal may foreknow, And Pan upon his dying reeds May prove our labor was not all in vain.
Whispers to him who heeds
How all must die that all may live once more. But what we sow we may not hope to reap, October 26.
E. F. M. Perfect fruition may not seek to win;
St. James's Gazette. Not till, work-weary, we have fallen asleep,
Shall blossom blow, or fruit be gathered in.
Let it be so. Upon our darkened eyes
By just one hair's-breadth, nearer the divine.
Upward and outward, plant-like, life extends;
Grows fairer as it doth the more aspire;
Have endless possibilities of growth, Strength to grow stronger, sweetness still more
sweet, Yearning towards God, who is the source of both.
CATHERINE GRANT FURLEY. Chambers' Journal.
Walked close together in life's working way;
with anguish from a stricken heart, Mizpah! I cry; the Lord keep watch be
tween Thy life and mine, that death hath riven
apart; Thy life beyond the awful veil, unseen, And my poor broken being, which must glide
Through ways familiar to us both, till death Shall, of a surety, lead me to thy side, Beyond the chance and change of mortal
breath. Mizpah! yea, love, in all my bitter pain,
I trust God keepeth watch betwixt us twain.
The lips are dumb from which I used to hear
Poor I must go my way without the cheer Comel leave the town!
And sunshine of thy presence all my days. Methinks the trees are than thy fogs less But God keeps watch my ways and days upon, brown,
On all I do, on all I bear for thee.
My work is left me, though my mate is gone; Less stormy than thy unemployed thou'lt find. A solemn trust hath love bequeathed to me. And then no newsmen here
I take the task thy languid hand laid down With shades of night appear,
That summer evening, for mine own alway; Hoarsely to shout
And may the Giver of both cross and crown Tidings about
Pronounce me faithful at our meeting-day! King Mob's last doings in Trafalgar Square; Mizpah I the word gives comfort to my pain : Until the morrow's letters come
I know God keepeth watch betwixt us Here rumor's voice is dumb,
twain. And he who wills may slumber in his chair.
All The Year Round.
From The Westminster Review.
to us to have performed with ability, with
diligence, and with care the difficult and SCARCELY six years have passed away
delicate task which the subject of it laid since the spirit of Emerson took its flight, upon him. His object, he tells us, has and already he is numbered amongst the been to offer to the readers of Emerson privileged few whom the reader
some further illustrations, some details of proaches in the mood of settled respect, his outward and inward history, that may and whose names have surrounded them- fill out and define more closely the image selves with an atmosphere of religion. of him they already have, rather than to Quite a literature has grown up on the sub-attempt a picture which should make him ject of his life and of his teaching in the known to strangers, or set him forth in course of the last half-dozen years, and one due relation to his surroundings or to the after another of his loving and admiring world at large. Such is the modest and disciples have vied with each other in their limited scope of Mr. Cabot's present unefforts to do honor to his memory. In dertaking, and every one who reads his 1882 Mr. George Willis Cooke published work must surely admit that he has at least a book entitled “ Ralph Waldo Emerson : succeeded in achieving the object at which his Life, Writings, and Philosophy,” which
he aimed. Some disappointment will was intended as an introduction to the doubtless be experienced by those (if any study of the writings of Emerson, and such there be) who expected any very was biographical only so far as light was striking or startling revelations. Mr. thrown upon the books by the events of Cabot renders his heartiest thanks to the life. In the same year appeared a bio- those among Emerson's correspondents graphical sketch by Alexander Ireland, who had allowed him to make copies of whom Carlyle once described as “full of their letters, but he at the same time exenergy, and broad sagacity, and practical- presses his surprise that he found these ity; infinitely well affected to the man letters less directly available than he had Emerson too." To this biographical hoped. The truth is, as Emerson himself sketch were added personal recollections has told us, that "he was not born under of Emerson's visits to England, extracts epistolary stars,” whilst some of the most from unpublished letters, and miscellane- interesting letters he ever wrote had alous characteristic records. In the follow-ready been given to the world in “The ing year Mr. Moncure Conway gave to the Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and world his entertaining volume on “ Emer- Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1834–72,” pubson at Home and Abroad,” in which there lished now more than four years ago under will be found many interesting traits and the able editorship of Mr. Norton. This anecdotes gathered from the personal rec- correspondence is especially noteworthy ollections of the writer. At a still later as being the record of one of the most date Oliver Wendell Holmes contributed beautiful friendships furnished by the to the series of American Men of Letters annals of literature, though it still remains an admirable monograph on his departed true that Emerson lacked the flowing ease friend; and, last of all, Mr. James Elliot and grace so characteristic of all the greatCabot, the literary executor of Emerson, est letter-writers. He rarely wrote a lethas carried out the commission entrusted ter of any importance without first making to him, and, after a careful examination a rough draft of it; and indeed he had not of Emerson's published and unpublished the faculty of dashing off at a moment's writings, has presented us with the author- notice a composition that would bear the itative memoir which we have been for stamp and impress of his own personality. some time eagerly awaiting.
The letters that have come to hand since With regard to this memoir we desire his death are accordingly not very numerto say at the outset that Mr. Cabot appears ous, and these consist rather of a series
of reflections than of a narrative of facts • A Memoir of Ralph Waldo Emerson. By James and events. The same character attaches
in a remarkable degree to his journals,
In two vols. London. 1887.
which he kept with great regularity, com- | story can be found in the annals of far- ' mencing them in his college days, and shining men." continuing them down to the last
years Ralph Waldo Emerson was born at his life. lf, however, the letters and jour- Boston, May 25, 1803. He came of a nals cannot be said to add very consider- good Puritan stock, the family to which ably to the stock of harmless pleasure and he belonged being remarkable for the amusement afforded by the letters and long succession of preachers and divines journals of other men, they possess a in its genealogy, and the large number of peculiar interest and fascination of their college graduates it reckoned on its rolls. own. They are valuable as supplying us His father was the Reverend William with a key to the intellectual development Emerson, minister of the First (Unitarian) of the writer, and they serve still further Church in Boston; and his grandfather, to raise the high estimate we had already William Emerson, of Concord, the builder formed of the life and character of the of the “Old Manse" celebrated by Haw
Between the life and the works of thorne. Emerson's father was, we Emerson no discrepancy of any kind can informed by one of his contemporaries, with truth be said to exist. To a friend considered an extraordinary preacher. who asserted that no one would dare to He had a melodious voice; 'his elocution uncover the thoughts of a single hour, he was remarkable for distinctness, yet had replied : “Is it so bad? I own that to an easy flow; in prayer he was fluent, but a witness worse than myself, and less in his expressions were often too studied for telligent, I should not willingly put a win. a common audience; his sermons were dow into my breast. But to a witness greatly labored, yet very perspicuous; he more intellectual and virtuous than 1, or was, we are further told, of a kindly, affecto one precisely as intelligent and well-in- tionate nature. But his son's chief recoltentioned, I have no objection to uncover lection of him was as “a somewhat social my heart.” And, in his own case at all gentleman, but severe to his children, who events, Emerson was assuredly right; he twice or thrice put me in mortal terror by could only gain - he could not lose- -by forcing me into the salt water, off some revealing to men of capacity to appreciate wharf or bathing-house; and I still recall him his inmost and most secret thoughts the fright with which, after some of these in all their nakedness and entirety :- salt experiences, I heard his voice one Whatever record leap to light,
day (as Adam that of the Lord God in the He never shall be shamed.
garden) summoning me to a new bath,
and I vainly endeavoring to hide myself." Emerson, then, was a, writer and a The maiden name of Emerson's mother thinker rather than a man of action and was Ruth Haskins, and of her the most affairs. But, as in the case of other writers glowing accounts are given. “ Both her and thinkers, the narrative of his life is mind and ber character," writes Dr. N. L. full of the deepest human interest. “ An Frothingham, “were of a superior order, author," writes Dr. Johnson, “partakes of and they set their stamp upon manners of the common condition of humanity; he is peculiar softness and natural grace and born and married like another man; he quiet dignity. Her sensible and kindly has hopes and fears, expectations and dis- speech was always as good as the best appointments, griefs and joys, like a cour instruction; and her smile, though it was tier or a statesman." From Mr. Cabot's always ready, was a reward. Her dark memoir, and from the other works which liquid eyes, from which old age could not have been already cited, we are able to take away the expression, will be among gather with considerable fulness and de- the remembrances of all on whom they tail what were the hopes and fears, the ever rested." expectations and disappointments, the To the Reverend William and Ruth griefs and joys, of a life of which it has Emerson five sons were born, Ralph been said with perfect truth that Waldo being the second. Ralph bore a purer, simpler, and more harmonious strong resemblance to his father; the
other children resembled their mother. I fellow Rufus Dawes may be cited. He The father was taken away from them is speaking of him when he was a boy whilst they were still young, dying in 1811, about ten years old, and he describes him when Ralph was not yet eight years of as a spiritual-looking boy, in blue nanage. It was a hard struggle for the widow, keen, whose image more than any other's with all the help her sister-in-law, Miss is still deeply stamped upon my mind, as Mary Emerson, could lend her, to keep I then saw him and loved him, I knew not the wolf from the door. A friend of the why, and thought him so angelic and refamily, coming in one day, found them markable.” Young Emerson made rapid without food, Miss Emerson endeavoring progress at school, and was particularly to console them as best she could with fond of writing verses as school exercises; stories of heroic endurance. Ralph and but, after all, the most important portion his brother Edward had but one great of his education was that which he recoat between them, and had to take turns ceived at home. The family circle was in going without, and in bearing the taunts doubtless in his mind's eye when he wrote of vulgar-minded schoolfellows: “Whose a remarkable passage in his essay on turn is it to wear the coat to-day ?” “ Domestic Life :" “What is the hoop,” Hard, however, as the struggle was, the he asks, " that holds them staunch ? It education of the children was in no wise is the iron band of poverty, of necessity, neglected. Ralph's school days had com- of austerity, which, excluding them from menced when he was only three years of the sensual enjoyments which make other age, and they continued long after his boys too early old, has directed their acfather's death. From his earliest to his tivity into safe and right channels, and latest years he was a student of men and made them, despite themselves, reverers of books. "We were babies and boys of the grand, the beautiful, and the good. together," writes the venerable Dr. Fur. ... The angels that dwell with them, ness, of Philadelphia ; “but I can recall and are weaving laurels of life for their but one image of him as playing, and that youthful brows, are Toil and Want, and was on the floor of my mother's chamber. Truth and Mutual Faith.” I don't think he ever engaged in boys' Reference has already been made to the plays, not because of any physical inabil aunt, who was beyond question a most ity, but simply because from his earliest remarkable person, and who exercised no years he dwelt in a higher sphere. My inconsiderable influence in Mrs. Emerone deep impression is, that from his ear- son's household. She was a woman who liest childhood he lived and moved and combined with Puritan rigor and the had his being in an atmosphere of letters strictest orthodoxy a large allowance of quite apart by himself. I can as little re. reading and of culture. Her early readmember when he was not literary in his ing was Milton, Young, Akenside, Sampursuits as when I first made his acquaint. uel Clarke, Jonathan Edwards, and always ance.” Already in his school days the the Bible. Later, Plato, Plotinus, Marbent of his genius and the charm of his cus Antoninus, Stewart, Coleridge, Herpersonality had begun to manifest them- der, Locke, Madame de Staël, Channing, selves. He read to please himself no less Mackintosh, Byron. In her later years than to please his instructors. “ The she quarrelled with Emerson on account regular course of studies, the years of of his “high, airy speculations;” but he academical and professional education," always retained for her a high estimation he writes in one of his essays, “ have not and regard. “Give my love to her,” he yielded me better facts than some idle wrote at a time when she would not see books under the bench at the Latin School. him, or even come into the town where What we do not call education is more he was ; “give my love to her — love and precious than that which we do call so." honor. She must always occupy a saint's As regards the appearance of the youth, place in my household, and I have no and a certa n undefinable fascination there hour of poetry or philosophy, since I knew was about h m, the testimony of his school-'these things, into which she does not en
ter as a genius.” His bark had drifted training was to do for him. Mathematics far away from the old moorings, but his were his particular aversion, and he was heart still loved to linger amongst the doubtless thinking of himself when, long companions of his youth; and little won- years afterwards, he expatiated in one of der. For if, from one point of view, the his journals on " the instinct which leads teaching of his aunt had been narrow and the youth who has no faculty for mathecontracted, from another it had been lofty, matics, and weeps over the impossible invigorating, and sublime ; “Scorn trifles," analytical geometry, to console his defects she wrote;
“ lift your aims ; do what you with Chaucer and Montaigne, with Pluare afraid to do.' Sublimity of character tarch and Plato, at night.” Montaigne, it must come from sublimity of motive." may here be stated, was always a favorite
Emerson entered Harvard College in author with Emerson. When a boy he his fourteenth year, in 1817. At that time found a volume of the essays among his Harvard was, so far as the instruction father's books, and he devoured it with went, simply a boys' school; and even a the utmost avidity. "I remember," he generation later, when Clough visited writes, “ the delight and wonder in which America, he does not seem to have been I lived with him. It seemed to me as if particularly struck with the teaching that I had myself written the book in some was to be had within its walls. “They former life, so sincerely did he speak to learn French and history and German," my thought and experience." he writes, “and a great many more things On leaving college, Emerson devoted than in England, but only imperfectly.” himself for a time to teaching. The epiThe president of the college was John sode of school-keeping, says his biograThornton Kirkland, of whom Oliver Wen- pher, was the gloomiest, or rather it was dell Holmes says that his shining morn- the one gloomy passage in his life. It, ing face
was round as a baby's, and however, was not without its compensatalked as pleasantly as his voice did, with tions. During the three years that he smiles for accents and dimples for punctu- kept a ladies' school at Boston he earned ation.” During the last term of his fresh- from two to three thousand dollars, whilst man's year Emerson was private tutor to he could subsist, if he saw fit, on two the president's nephew, Samuel Kirkland hundred dollars a year. Indeed, to his Lothrop, who has furnished Mr. Cabot austere aunt, Mary Emerson, his circumwith some interesting reminiscences of stances at this time appeared altogether Emerson's collegiate days. “In inanner" too easy and rhyme-like.” Be this, howand disposition,” he says, “ Emerson ap- ever, as it may, we are now merely dealpeared then, in his fourteenth year, justing with a transient phase of Emerson's what he was afterwards; kindly, affable, career. He looked upon the profession but self-contained; receiving praise or of teaching as a starting point, and still sympathy without taking much notice of hoped, in the language of his journal, “ to it. His verses, for example, which he put on eloquence as a robe, and by goodwas willing to show, were his; whether ness and zeal and the awfulness of virtue good or bad, it mattered little.” This to press and prevail over the false judg. feeling of detachment, self-reliance, inde- ments, the rebel passions, and corrupt pendence, is highly characteristic of Em- habits of men.” In the spring of 1823
It began to show itself whilst he his mother, with her household, removed was still a boy, and it remained with him to Canterbury, which was then some four in middle and in later life. In 1838 he miles distant from Boston, and it was wrote thus to his aunt: “I abide in my there that, “stretched beneath the pines,” old barrel, or, if you will, coop or tub of Emerson wrote his well-known verses, observation, and mean to keep my eyes Good-bye, proud world :". open, whether anything offers to be ob- Good-bye, proud world! I'm going home: served or not;,” and it is when speaking Thou art not my friend, and I'm not thine. of his college days that Dr. Lothrop says, Long through thy weary crowds I roam; “ He seemed to dwell apart, as if in a tow. A river-ark on the ocean brine, er, from which he looked upon everything Long I've been tossed like the driven foam; from a loophole of his own.”
But now, proud world ! I'm going home. In President Kirkland's time George Good-bye to Flattery's fawning face; Ticknor was professor of modern lan. To Grandeur with his wise grimace; guages, and Edward Everett professor of To upstart Wealth's averted eye; Greek. Emerson diligently attended their To supple Office, low and high; lectures, and took copious notes; but it To crowded halls, to court and street; was, after all, not very much his college To frozen hearts and halting feet;