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of progress but of coherency in the and altogether worthy of the poem and ideas. In a sentence the ideas closely the author, and that the poet's posture cohered; but in a paragraph the sen- of “standing" was the only point tences were extremely loose. He stood suggesting a schoolboy.” before his audience with Quaker-like Emerson was led by David Scott to calm and stiffness, the only deviation speak of Carlyle ; and it was soon plain from this attitude being a hasty step that he had sore feelings from recent backwards after the delivery of a strik- intercourse with that friend who, when ing passage - a movement which, in trying merely to tickle, often savagely the case of the pulpit-orator Robert tore, the sympathies of a companion. Hall, suggested to John Foster the Emerson mentioned that, in response felicitous simile of the recoil of a big to an urgent telegram from Carlyle to canuon after discharge !
go without a moment's delay to ChelAfter the first lecture, Samuel Brown sea, he had taken first train, and at had only a very few friends invited to midnight stood at the door, which was supper with Emerson ; and
among them opened by Carlyle himself, who was David Scott, the painter - a man ceived him with the heartiest welcome. of original genius, whose art was pre- Next morning Surtor's mood vented, by his early death, from becom- changed. He asked gruffly " what had ing mature enough to enable him to brought him over to the old country ?” give clear embodiment to his vast and Surely not to “ lecture!” — “the most peculiar conceptions. He was of a damnable occupation the devil had suggaunt and gigantic frame, and his gested in this march of intellect age. deeply thoughtful face was shadowed Were there not wind-bags enough in by habitual melancholy. He was re- Lancashire, even after the Anti-Corn served and silent, but Emerson took Law League balloon had burst? When greatly to him.
you cry Hear, O Israel !' what are Emerson's conversation, unlike what they to hear, and what have your own his writings should have led us to ex- people heard ? Turning from twopect, was full of minute and common-legged prophets, I am ready to cudgel place details, and might have been all the asses of Christendom, if by called "6 gossip.” When referring to striking I could force out a divine mesthe first visit which he paid to Words- sage from them, as Balaam did from worth, he described the poet as putting his donkey !” a long list of questions about Dr. Chan- Emerson was suffering from outning, and then as saying, while he breaks of Carlyle's humor upon his crossed the room to a particular chair, lecturing tour ; and in return he somewhich he kept patting, “ Dr. Chauning times gave such critical notices of the sat on this chair, sir ! Emerson him- latter were rather depreciative. self rehearsed the same movements. “ Did not,” he asked, “ Carlyle's origHe told also that the poet remembered inality often lie in his rhetoric, rather that Channing begged from him, as a than in his ideas ? His very cursing precious memorial, any pen or pencil had a dashing boldness which to some which he had used in writing some one made him a Prometheus !” of his short pieces ; but the reply was In the published correspondence bethat every pen and pencil served until, tween Carlyle and Emerson, there is a literally, quite worn out, and that as he letter from Carlyle in December, 1848 did not incessantly " whittle at them - when Emerson had returned to the for a new point,” they lasted for a retirement of Concord — and in that very long time.
Emerson represented letter Carlyle begs, Forgive me my Wordsworth as “standing up” before FEROCITIES !” him, "quite in schoolboy fashion," to Before the party broke up, our host repeat one of his poenis ; but on being alluded to the next day's arrangements questioned, he admitted that the recita- for Emerson's becoming acquainted tion itself was eminently impressive,' with Edinburgh, what great men should
be interviewed, aud what historical | three months' strict regimen which places should be seen. Brown pro- prize-fighters undergo. Yet when he posed that he should take Emerson to stood up victoriously against highly call on Jeffrey, Hamilton, Wilson, and trained professionals, his must then several others whom he mentioned; have been a very strong hand. De but the names seemed to excite in Em- Quincey might rather have been severe erson no curiosity. Suddenly David upon the folly of exposing his noble Scott broke in, sure that you see face to be battered by the brutal maulProfessor Wilson, for a mere sight of ers of the ring. I have ventured more him will repay a crossing of the At- than once to rally De Quincey upon his lantic !”
discovery of Wilson's surface-eyes and “Not so thought an intimate friend sham-hand I" of the professor himself,” remarked Ou learning next day that Wilson,
“De Quincey slighted being in an unsatisfactory state of some features of Wilson's face, and health, was for the time socially secriticised his eyes as mere apparent cluded, and only came forth daily for surfaces.'»
his one hour of college lecturing, Brown Scott keenly replied, “In that opin- took Emerson to the class-room, and at ion De Quincey was in a minority of the close of the lecture introduced him ove against all painters and sculptors, to the professor, who was extremely who were eager to represent such a courteous and genial. On retiring, grand head, face, and form, and — out- Emerson remarked with emphasis, “I side the artistic world — against all agree wholly with what you and the spectators, who declare how they were painter said last night, and I should impressed by his uniquely noble pres- not grudge my voyage over the Atlanence, and that they never met with any tic, though I got nothing else than a bero-worshipper who, after seeing Wil- sight of that grand specimen of a man. son, expressed disappointment.” Hitherto Daniel Webster has been to
"Yes,” said Samuel Brown, “unlike me the most commanding and majestic many who have great and brilliant form of humanity ; but to-day I recogwinds, Wilson's physique never disap- nize another demi-god, who has also points ; he looks a great man every ideality and poetry to irradiate his posinch ; and if there be one feature session of the Webster qualities !” which first arrests and holds strangers, For some days Brown was occupied it is bis eye!
There is no other man in taking his guest to celebrated men to whom the term eagle-eyed? has then resident in Edinburgh ; but he been so often applied. From its depth never lost sight of his purpose to secure comes the endless play of expression, an interview between Emerson and De and this expression is such concen- Quincey. Though corresponding daily trated brightness that the mere color with his ally, William Robertson, he abuot be easily discerned. How ab- delayed to summon him to the city surul, then, the phrase 'mere apparent until a date for the event could be surface !' But I remember an equally fixed. The interview could not be ludicrous criticism of De Quincey upon held in De Quincey's own quarters Wilson's
• haud.' Wilson, when in the Solitary would as soon have conaiddle age, is represented by De Quin- sented to an invasion of these by all cey as lifting that hand and saying that Yankeedom ! Brown felt that the it could not dint a pat of butter. He scheme could be best carried out in his costrues this into a confession by Wil- owu lodgings, where be should have a 40 that he never had a formidable party of genial friends to dinner. He band for pugilism ! Of course, a had agreed with Robertson that the widdle-aged man, in full habit, and presence of any stranger should be without training, could not have a hand concealed from De Quincey. He had Like an iron mallet - nay, even in called on the latter to ascertaiu on Touth, Wilson never went through the what day of the current week he would
be free from any magazine engage- | as the two friends were leaving him, ments, and gave as a reason that as he thus playfully bade then goodtheir mutual friend, Willie Robertson, night :was to be in the city, he would like
When shall we three meet again ? that the three should quietly meet
To-morrow, be it snow or rain ! together and dine, with as little disturbance as at table spread in the Next day the dinner hour was wear, wilderness. It was also the birthday and the first of the
vited that came of a very dear relative; and if she was Dr. John Brown, afterwards fakuew that it was kept by him in com- mous through “Rab and his Friends." pany with two such friends, the Edin- Samuel and he were kinsmen, springburgh scene would — for a time — lift ing from the same cold Haddington up the sultry atmosphere of India from hero,” whom John glorified as off that lady.
founder of our dynasty we date from De Quincey said that he was clos-him." Yet Samuel, though much the ing — what had been a dull task — an younger man, was a step nearer to that article on that commonplace subject, Haddington apostle than was John, for
and he was writing what, Samuel was grandson, while John was unfortunately, had not been bespoken, great-grandson. Samuel, too, by his
— what, perhaps, no journal would dazzling qualities and swift action, had buy, and yet he needed the money. risen into fame in youth ; but John had
I see,” said Samuel, looking at the reached middle age before he emerged page of manuscript in front of the from obscurity. In Samuel, the agile writer, “that you have got to the twen- form, the finely shaped and balanced tieth, with two or three lines at its top. head, and the mobile features with Pray, finish that page, while I read the their fast-changing expression, yet preceding vineteen.
their fixed air of enthusiasm, were typBrown took up the beautifully written ical of his irrepressible inner energies. pages and perused them with keen in- The look of brow and eye needed no terest, for though the article was a hand to wave aloft the Excelsior banhasty production, it bore the stamp of ver. But Jolin, as was indicated by the author's literary individuality. The a heavy figure, burden-bearing shoulwriting of the last page was soon done, ders, and leaden-footed gait, and by the and so was the reading of the nineteen. composure of a smooth face and the
Capital !” exclaimed Brown, “let steady brightness of eyes which only me see the close." He was taking up exchanged their serenity for wistful all the pages loosely, when De Quincey melancholy or cager merriment, interposed, “ Excuse me, doctor, let me in his mental action slow and plodding. duly fasten them,' and he did so He kept within the old spheres and neatly with red tape.
lines of speculation, and was free from “Let me," said Brown,“ have your the fascination which both the new, permission to dispose of this to a maga- and the hunt after the new, always had zine, and I shall to-morrow bring your for Samuel. His interest in Emerson honorarium, and expect you to dine at was but small ; and except for the hint my lodgings with Willie Robertson and that he might meet with De Quincey, myself on the day after tomorrow.” he probably would have declined his
De Quincey readily consented. Next kiusman's invitation. The comparison, day Brown, accompanied by Robertson, so often made in 1848, between those for whom he had telegraphed, ap- two Browns, liow stands it now ? peared before De Quincey and placed Nay, how stood it a quarter of a cenin his hands the honorarium ; and the tury ago ? Did not “the first become article was to be the opening one in last, and the last first ?” There are, the earliest number of an ecclesiastical however, not a few who will cling to journal. Soon De Quincey became en- Samuel's side, believing that his prethusiastic about the dinner-party, and mature death not only cut off the grand
achievements of faculties that had been whispered to me, refuted the stories developed and trained for unwearied afloat about his expedients for covering wil, but also cast its shadows back himself, and for concealing his careupon the brightness of the actual per- lessness. He was wont to be disformances of his soaring youth ! pleased with all descriptions which set
Close behind Dr. John Brown came forth his dress as shabby and soiled, Professor Nichol, who, in addition to incomplete and seemingly borrowed bis scientific abilities, bad much higher from different suits, and even from literary ones, though the latter have different owners. been exhibited in still larger meas- • Is he not attired like a gentleure and with more splendid results man ?” asked Dr. John Brown ; and by bis son and namesake - the pro- certainly, on this occasion, he was. fessor of English literature in Glasgow Our host invited him to a seat near l'niversity. Soon all the guests had himself and Emerson ; but he and his arrived, with the exception of De Quin- guide had already been laid hold of and cey and his guide William Robertson. accommodated at the lower end of the Samuel Brown, though he heard sev- table. During and after dinner the eral expressing their conviction that company had somehow divided into there would be no De Quincey in the three or four centres of talk, though company, had a strong assurance that Dr. Samuel often tried to unite them, Willie would do his utmost to bring in order that Emerson and De Quincey him nolens volens, whatever might be might be brought out to entertain all. the intrigue or gentle constraint that But he failed, and the two celebrities night be required. And he did bring never – for more than a minute - fell De Quincey; but the entreaties, strata- into conversation ; nor indeed, gener
appliances to boot” of the ally, could either of the two hear what ambassador, and the ingenious resist- was said by the other. Samuel Brown, ance that gradually weakened until it as attested by Jeffrey, Hamilton, Chalsielded altogether, must, for want of mers, Wilson, and Carlyle, was the space, remain undescribed. In physique most brilliant and versatile of talkers in he was neither taller nor more athletic any circle ; yet I never saw his conthan De Quincey, and the figure of versational powers to less advantage each had a boyishness which showed than during Emerson's residence with itself also in Robertson's face; but him. De Quincey's face-wearing such a Emerson had Dr. Nichol at one side Detwork of lines as a map of London of him, and they spoke much of Carstreets, and these lines traced by a lyle. Emerson described the savage strange experience of sorrows, cares, mood which often showed itself in and scares
had a weird expression Carlyle as 66 mental toothache." which could not be concealed by the Nichol asked if the “ extraction cure inperial intellect that illumined brow were not possible ?
"No; I fear," replied Emerson,
” As the literary veteran was led into the torturing agents are so many. A the room by the young clergyman, it friend of mine in Boston, liable to atwas not like “morning led by night,”
,"? tacks of toothache, was one day in exhut like night led by morning. The cruciating pain. "Why don't you,' I guests could not but observe the con- asked,' at once get rid of the offender ? trast ; but forth with they were all ab- Out with the tooth !' ' Impossible !! sorbed in the glad surprise that De he groaned, while a twinkle of humor Quincey - the chartered irregular – gleamed in his eye,' quite impossible ! had really come, and come with fair“ My name is Legion ; for we are punctuality, for he was only a quarter many."! Here was a tooth speaking of an hour after the time, and the for itself !" guests had just taken their seats. De Some discussion arose as to whether Quincey's attire, as Dr. John Brown this could be called soliloquy; and I LIVING AGE. VOL. II. 71
ventured to give a case which had | American achievements in science, litcome under my own observation. Ierature, and art ? " was with a well-known orator shortly Emerson, with a deep bow, escaped before he was to make a lengthy ha- to another group, and Samuel Brown rangue in an immense hall. He was looked half-amused, half-disappointed ; standing before a mirror, and when he but making a signal to Robertson, had put some tinishing touches to his Nichol, and me, he took us to a corner hair and his dress, he stretched out and of the room for a whispered conferinspected his tongue (which was not ence. In the event of De Quincey the " small member" alluded to by St. either not coming to dinner, or of his James), saying to it, “ Ah, you rogue ! failing to be engaged in special diayou look very lively and active just logue with Emerson, there was in renow, but in a little I shall take the serve a plan for securing him as sweat out of you ! " A tongue speak- hearer of Emerson's third lecture, ing to itself ! Could soliloquy go which was to be given that evening in farther? I may be excused for men- Queen Street Hall. Mrs. Crowe, the tioning that this my illustration of well-known novelist, who had for soliloquy seemed to commend itself to years been resident in Edinburgh, was the majority around the table as more pledged to Samuel Brown to do her pertinent and comic than Emerson's, best to aid this alternative device, and for it was immediately followed by a to be, on the shortest notice, within a general peal of laughter, and this was cab at Brown's door, ready to take De not less quickly overpowered by the Quincey and some of the “conspirahearty guffawing of Dr. John Brown. tors to a destination that should only
“Will you make over to me,” Dr. be gradually and partially described to John then inquired in a whisper, " that him. It was agreed that De Quincey story as a property, for I feel that it is must be guaranteed against being really your own ? !! And he proceeded stared at, or even seen, by the audi. to give me a humorous account of hav- ence, since he had long shrunk from ing had hundreds of anecdotes paraded being in any assembly as hearer or
original ” before him, yet they had spectator. Willie Robertson declared long been as familiar as proverbs, and that he would keep closely and conmight every moment be encountered stantly beside the captive, explaining, on the very highway both of social talk along with Mrs. Crowe, whatever and of newspaper literary gossip. might seem strange or startling. The Our host was disappointed in all his subordinates
sufficiently inattempts to give effect to his design structed. Dr. Samuel Brown dethat Emerson should have special talk spatched a note to Mrs. Crowe to with De Quincey; and he had a pain- explain that the fulfilment of her promful suspicion that neither of the two ise was forthwith expected. seconded those attempts.
Emerson The stratagem was carried out withwas quite aware of the presence of De out a hitch.
When the party was Quincey, and had occasionally taken of breaking up several minutes before him a scrutinizing side-view ; but it eight o'clock — the hour for the lecture was doubtful if De Quincey, when in
- Dr. Nichol and I left to walk to the troduced by Samuel Brown to “Mr. hall. There were two cabs standing at Emerson from America,” had, through Brown's door. The vice-president of the loud hum of talk near him at the the “ Philosophical” took Emerson moment, heard the stranger's name, or into the empty cab, which was at once more than the words from America,” driven rapidly away. Then said Samfor he at once replied, “Sir, I never uel Brown, as he and Willie Robertson hear the name of your country without took each an arm of De Quincey, “ Let being awe-struck at its future ! How us join Mrs. Crowe. She will convey illimitably great the young giant may us to a most enjoyable scene, where be, and who can reckon or measure we shall see without being seen.