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INCOMPLETENESS.

NOT he who first beholds the aloe grow
May think to gaze upon its perfect flower.
He tends, he hopes; but ere the blossom blow,
There needs a century of sun and shower.

He shall not see the product of his toil;
Yet were his work neglected or ill-done,
Did he not prune the boughs and dig the soil,
That perfect blossom ne'er might meet the

sun.

Perhaps he has no prescience of its hue,

Nought of its form and fragrance can foretell;

Yet in each sun-shaft, in each bead of dew, Faith, passing knowledge, tells him he does well.

Our lives, O fellow-men! pass even so.

We watch and toil, and with no seeming gain :

The future, which no mortal may foreknow, May prove our labor was not all in vain.

But what we sow we may not hope to reap,
Perfect fruition may not seek to win;
Not till, work-weary, we have fallen asleep,

Shall blossom blow, or fruit be gathered in.

Let it be so. Upon our darkened eyes

A light more pure than noontide rays shall shine,

If pain of ours have helped our race to rise, By just one hair's-breadth, nearer the divine.

Upward and outward, plant-like, life extends; Grows fairer as it doth the more aspire; Never completed, evermore it sends

A branch out, striving higher still and higher.

Because so great, it must be incomplete, 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.

AN INVITATION.

COME! leave the town!

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The lips are dumb from which I used to hear Strong words of counsel, tender words of praise;

Poor I must go my way without the cheer 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,

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On all I do, on all I bear for thee. My work is left me, though my mate is gone; A solemn trust hath love bequeathed to me. I take the task thy languid hand laid down

That summer evening, for mine own alway; And may the Giver of both cross and crown Pronounce me faithful at our meeting-day! Mizpah! the word gives comfort to my pain: I know God keepeth watch betwixt us twain.

All The Year Round.

From The Westminster Review.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON.*

Mr.

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 ap- 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 succeeded in achieving the object at which a book entitled "Ralph Waldo Emerson: 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. 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 stil 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 some time eagerly awaiting.

With regard to this memoir we desire to say at the outset that Mr. Cabot appears

A Memoir of Ralph Waldo Emerson. By James Elliot Cabot. In two vols. London. 1887.

stamp and impress of his own personality.
The letters that have come to hand since

his death are accordingly not very numer-
ous, and these consist rather of a series
of reflections than of a narrative of facts
and events. The same character attaches
in a remarkable degree to his journals,

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which he kept with great regularity, com- | story can be found in the annals of farmencing them in his college days, and shining men." continuing them down to the last years of his life. If, however, the letters and journals cannot be said to add very considerably to the stock of harmless pleasure and amusement afforded by the letters and journals of other men, they possess a peculiar interest and fascination of their own. They are valuable as supplying us with a key to the intellectual development of the writer, and they serve still further to raise the high estimate we had already formed of the life and character of the man. Between the life and the works of Emerson no discrepancy of any kind can with truth be said to exist. To a friend who asserted that no one would dare to uncover the thoughts of a single hour, he replied: "Is it so bad? I own that to a witness worse than myself, and less intelligent, I should not willingly put a window into my breast. But to a witness more intellectual and virtuous than I, or to one precisely as intelligent and well-intentioned, I have no objection to uncover my heart." And, in his own case at all events, Emerson was assuredly right; he could only gain he could not lose-by revealing to men of capacity to appreciate him his inmost and most secret thoughts in all their nakedness and entirety:

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Whatever record leap to light,

Ralph Waldo Emerson was born at Boston, May 25, 1803. He came of a good Puritan stock, the family to which he belonged being remarkable for the long succession of preachers and divines in its genealogy, and the large number of college graduates it reckoned on its rolls. His father was the Reverend William Emerson, minister of the First (Unitarian) Church in Boston; and his grandfather, William Emerson, of Concord, the builder of the "Old Manse" celebrated by Hawthorne. Emerson's father was, we are informed by one of his contemporaries, considered an extraordinary preacher. He had a melodious voice; 'his elocution was remarkable for distinctness, yet had an easy flow; in prayer he was fluent, but his expressions were often too studied for a common audience; his sermons were greatly labored, yet very perspicuous; he was, we are further told, of a kindly, affectionate nature. But his son's chief recollection of him was as "a somewhat social gentleman, but severe to his children, who twice or thrice put me in mortal terror by forcing me into the salt water, off some wharf or bathing-house; and I still recall the fright with which, after some of these salt experiences, I heard his voice one day (as Adam that of the Lord God in the garden) summoning me to a new bath, and I vainly endeavoring to hide myself."

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The maiden name of Emerson's mother was Ruth Haskins, and of her the most glowing accounts are given. "Both her mind and her character," writes Dr. N. L. Frothingham, were of a superior order, and they set their stamp upon manners of peculiar softness and natural grace and quiet dignity. Her sensible and kindly speech was always as good as the best

He never shall be shamed. Emerson, then, was a. writer and a thinker rather than a man of action and affairs. But, as in the case of other writers and thinkers, the narrative of his life is full of the deepest human interest. "An author," writes Dr. Johnson, "partakes of the common condition of humanity; he is born and married like another man; he has hopes and fears, expectations and disappointments, griefs and joys, like a cour-instruction; and her smile, though it was tier or a statesman." From Mr. Cabot's memoir, and from the other works which have been already cited, we are able to gather with considerable fulness and detail what were the hopes and fears, the expectations and disappointments, the griefs and joys, of a life of which it has been said with perfect truth that " no purer, simpler, and more harmonious

always ready, was a reward. Her dark liquid eyes, from which old age could not take away the expression, will be among the remembrances of all on whom they ever rested."

To the Reverend William and Ruth Emerson five sons were born, Ralph Waldo being the second. Ralph bore a strong resemblance to his father; the

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other children resembled their mother. | 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 66 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. FurThe 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' plays, not because of any physical inability, but simply because from his earliest years he dwelt in a higher sphere. My one deep impression is, that from his earliest childhood he lived and moved and had his being in an atmosphere of letters quite apart by himself. I can as little re-reading and of culture. Her early readmember when he was not literary in his pursuits as when I first made his acquaintance." Already in his school days the bent of his genius and the charm of his personality had begun to manifest themselves. He read to please himself no less than to please his instructors. "The regular course of studies, the years of academical and professional education," he writes in one of his essays, "have not yielded me better facts than some idle books under the bench at the Latin School. What we do not call education is more precious than that which we do call so." As regards the appearance of the youth, and a certa n undefinable fascination there was about hm, the testimony of his school-'

Reference has already been made to the aunt, who was beyond question a most remarkable person, and who exercised no inconsiderable influence in Mrs. Emerson's household. She was a woman who combined with Puritan rigor and the strictest orthodoxy a large allowance of

ing was Milton, Young, Akenside, Samuel Clarke, Jonathan Edwards, and always the Bible. Later, Plato, Plotinus, Marcus Antoninus, Stewart, Coleridge, Herder, Locke, Madame de Staël, Channing, Mackintosh, Byron. In her later years she quarrelled with Emerson on account of his "high, airy speculations;" but he always retained for her a high estimation and regard. "Give my love to her," he wrote at a time when she would not see him, or even come into the town where he was; "give my love to her love and honor. She must always occupy a saint's place in my household, and I have no hour of poetry or philosophy, since I knew these things, into which she does not en

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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 author with Emerson. When a boy he found a volume of the essays among his father's books, and he devoured it with the utmost avidity. "I remember," he writes, "the delight and wonder in which I lived with him. It seemed to me as if I had myself written the book in some former life, so sincerely did he speak to my thought and experience."

Emerson entered Harvard College in his fourteenth year, in 1817. At that time Harvard was, so far as the instruction went, simply a boys' school; and even a generation later, when Clough visited America, he does not seem to have been particularly struck with the teaching that was to be had within its walls. "They learn French and history and German," he writes, "and a great many more things than in England, but only imperfectly." The president of the college was John Thornton Kirkland, of whom Oliver Wendell Holmes says that "his shining morning face' was round as a baby's, and talked as pleasantly as his voice did, with smiles for accents and dimples for punctuation." During the last term of his freshman's year Emerson was private tutor to the president's nephew, Samuel Kirkland Lothrop, who has furnished Mr. Cabot with some interesting reminiscences of

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On leaving college, Emerson devoted himself for a time to teaching. The episode of school-keeping, says his biographer, was the gloomiest, or rather it was the one gloomy passage in his life. It, however, was not without its compensations. During the three years that he kept a ladies' school at Boston he earned from two to three thousand dollars, whilst he could subsist, if he saw fit, on two hundred dollars a year. Indeed, to his austere aunt, Mary Emerson, his circumstances at this time appeared altogether and rhyme-like." Be this, how

Emerson's collegiate days. "In manner "too easy and disposition," he says, "Emerson ap-ever, as it may, we are now merely dealpeared then, in his fourteenth year, just ing 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 sympathy without taking much notice of it. His verses, for example, which he was willing to show, were his; whether good or bad, it mattered little." This feeling of detachment, self-reliance, independence, is highly characteristic of Emerson. It began to show itself whilst he was still a boy, and it remained with him in middle and in later life. In 1838 he wrote thus to his aunt: "I abide in my old barrel, or, if you will, coop or tub of observation, and mean to keep my eyes open, whether anything offers to be observed or not; " and it is when speaking of his college days that Dr. Lothrop says, "He seemed to dwell apart, as if in a tower, from which he looked upon everything from a loophole of his own.'

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In President Kirkland's time George Ticknor was professor of modern lan guages, and Edward Everett professor of Greek. Emerson diligently attended their lectures, and took copious notes; but it was, after all, not very much his college

of teaching as a starting-point, and still
hoped, in the language of his journal, "to
put on eloquence as a robe, and by good-
ness and zeal and the awfulness of virtue
to press and prevail over the false judg
ments, the rebel passions, and corrupt
habits of men." In the spring of 1823
his mother, with her household, removed
to Canterbury, which was then some four
miles distant from Boston, and it was
there that, "stretched beneath the pines,”
Emerson wrote his well-known verses,
"Good-bye, proud world:
Good-bye, proud world! I'm going home:
Thou art not my friend, and I'm not thine.
Long through thy weary crowds I roam;
A river-ark on the ocean brine,
Long I've been tossed like the driven foam;
proud world! I'm going home.

But now,

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Good-bye to Flattery's fawning face;
To Grandeur with his wise grimace;
To upstart Wealth's averted eye;
To supple Office, low and high;
To crowded halls, to court and street;
To frozen hearts and halting feet;

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