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thinking. He did not mix much with the world, preferring such seclusion as was possible. His fame in England led to his giving a course of lectures in London. In 1874 he received the signal honor of nomination to the Lord Rectorship of Glasgow Uni: versity-though he failed to actually gain the prize. His closing years were calm, useful and happy. His death took place in 1882, the same year as Long. fellow's-in fact he contracted pneumonia at Longfellow's grave. The death of the more popular poet overshadowed Emerson's in the common mind, for Longfellow was deeply beloved.
Emerson's collected works comprise some twelve volumes of poems, essays and miscellaneous writings. The striking originality and force of his views were first evidenced by a little book published in 1836, an Essay on Nature. This attracted the notice of all thoughtful men. Our narrow limits forbid any examination of the philosophy of which Nature was the opening word, and which he continued to exemplify by such productions as the two series of Essays (1841 and 1844). Roughly speaking, he upheld individual research as against blind obedience to tradition or authority; sane optimism as against the pessimism that sees no hope; an ideal in physical and mental concerns as against the dead level of materialism. He could not comprehend the vast problem of the universe which is so maddening to the mind that meditates upon it; nor did he claim this. He did claim that
whatever is, is right. He was a leader of the "Transcendentalism" in America-the movement that aimed at an abolition of the hampering forms of society and tradition and a resuming of the perfect artless freedom of nature. The organ of this movement was The Dial, a periodical famous, philosophic, but fugitive. To this Emerson contributed. His style of writing is stimulating, eminently suggestive, and, generally speaking, clear. Striking sentences abound. For example:
"Hitch your wagon to a star." "Every man's taste is his life-preserver." "The hero is he who is immovably centred." "If you believe in Fate to your harm, believe in it at least to your good."
Others of his prose works were: English Traits (1856); The Conduct of Life (1860); Society and Solitude (1870). In his poetry his "spiritual philosophy and laws of conduct appear again, but transfigured." A most original poet he was. The Poems of 1847 and 1876, and May Day and other Pieces (1867) show his powers and his limitations. His poetry, as he himself says, was written rather for the sake of thought. To a certain extent it lacks passion, life and action, but it is always strong and full of significance, full of memorable lines :-
The brook sings on, but sings in vain,
When half-gods go,
The gods arrive.
O tenderly the haughty day
Fills his blue urn with fire.
Once slept the world an egg of stone,
And pulse, and sound, and light was none;
A philosopher of a different type from Emerson was HENRY DAVID THOREAU. Emerson tells men to follow out their natural tendencies, to attain the stature of a free man despite conventional restraints, but he does not advocate casting off all checks, and acknowledges the importance imposed by duty and by personal and patriotic feeling. But Thoreau "is Emerson without domestic ties or wish for them, save for a streak of benevolence without those of humanity, and without patriotism." Thoreau lived from 1817 to 1862. He was a recluse for the greater part of life, and disliked society in the same degree that Emerson found it stimulating. "We lose our days," says the latter, "and are barren of thoughts for the want of some person to talk with. The understanding can no more empty itself by its own action than can a deal-box scholar does not always wish to be pumping his brains, he wants gossip." On the other hand, Thoreau: "Woe to him who wants a companion, for he is unfit to be the companion even of himself." “I love my friends very much, but I find it is no use to
go to see them. I hate them commonly when I am near them; they belie themselves and deny me continually." So on other points. Thoreau is always clear and just, but he is cold and hard at the same time. As a lover and interpreter of nature he has few equals. He attempted poetry with some success, though he was not a poet. Much of his prose has great truth as well as beauty :
"The youth gets together the materials to build a bridge to the moon or a temple on the earth, and the middle-aged man concludes to build a woodshed with them."
Thoreau was a disciple of Emerson, and Emerson said the final words of his character: "His soul was made for the noblest society. He had in a short life exhausted the capabilities of this world. Wherever there is knowledge, wherever there is virtue, wherever there is beauty, he will find a throne."
Three strange personalities are found in Hawthorne, Poe and Whitman. Hawthorne belonged to the group of New England writers who made notable the middle third of the century; Poe was of the south; Whitman has given rise to a good deal of discussion. The two former were literary artists in a very true sense, the latter is noted for his disregard of all artistic canons. The strong individuality of each forbids any grouping-unless for that very reason they form a group by themselves.
NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE came of Puritan stock, and owed to this not a little of the sombre point of view so characteristic of his work. He was born at Salem in 1804, and by and by went to live in Maine, where he developed his "cursed habits of solitude." He studied at Bowdoin College, and on graduation returned to Salem. There he indulged in seclusion, writing all day and wandering all night about the historic old town. He remained ten years soaking in the congenial half-mystic atmosphere of the place. In 1836 he edited a magazine for a few months, and by 1837 had written enough short stories to publish a volume called Twice-Told Tales, of which a second series appeared five years later. In 1846 Mosses from an Old Manse commemorated his elm-shaded house at Concord. The Mosses consisted of stories and sketches of the same general nature as the Twice-Told Tales, and couched in the same beautiful style. Emerson and Thoreau were his near neighbors. The same year saw him ensconced as Surveyor of Customs at Salem. Here he found, among the old documents of the place, the story which eventually formed the basis of The Scarlet Letter (1850), his first sustained work and a great success. In Lenox, a little village of Massachusetts, he next resided for two years. These were full of work. The House of the Seven Gables (1850) is a novel of heredity. It narrates the working out of the curse imposed upon the Pyncheon family, one of the old Puritan progenitors of which