Lectures

Man the Reformer

Man the Reformer By Ralph Waldo Emerson I wish to offer to your consideration some thoughts on the particular and general relations of man as a reformer. I shall assume that the aim of each young man in this association is the very highest that belongs to a rational mind. A Lecture read before the Mechanics’ Apprentices’ Library Association, Boston, January 25, 1841 Summary: In the history of the world the doctrine of Reform had never such scope as at the present hour. Lutherans, Hernhutters, Jesuits, Monks, Quakers, Knox, Wesley, Swedenborg, Bentham, in their accusations of society, all respected something, — church or state, literature…

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The Young American

The Young American By Ralph Waldo Emerson It is remarkable, that our people have their intellectual culture from one country, and their duties from another. This false state of things is newly in a way to be corrected. America is beginning to assert itself to the senses and to the imagination of her children, and Europe is receding in the same degree. A Lecture read before the Mercantile Library Association, Boston, February 7, 1844 Summary: The task of surveying, planting, and building upon this immense tract, requires an education and a sentiment commensurate thereto. A consciousness of this fact, is beginning to take the place…

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The Conservative

The Conservative By Ralph Waldo Emerson The two parties which divide the state, the party of Conservatism and that of Innovation, are very old, and have disputed the possession of the world ever since it was made. This quarrel is the subject of civil history. The conservative party established the reverend hierarchies and monarchies of the most ancient world. The Conservative View A Lecture delivered at the Masonic Temple, Boston, December 9, 1841 Summary: The battle of patrician and plebeian, of parent state and colony, of old usage and accommodation to new facts, of the rich and the poor, reappears in all countries and times. The…

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Introductory Lecture …

Introductory Lecture By Ralph Waldo Emerson The times, as we say — or the present aspects of our social state, the Laws, Divinity, Natural Science, Agriculture, Art, Trade, Letters, have their root in an invisible spiritual reality. To appear in these aspects, they must first exist, or have some necessary foundation. Read at the Masonic Temple, Boston, December 2, 1841 Summary: The Times — the nations, manners, institutions, opinions, votes, are to be studied as omens, as sacred leaves, whereon a weighty sense is inscribed, if we have the wit and the love to search it out. Nature itself seems to propound to us this…

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The Transcendentalist

The Transcendentalist By Ralph Waldo Emerson The first thing we have to say respecting what are called new views here in New England, at the present time, is, that they are not new, but the very oldest of thoughts cast into the mould of these new times. Transcendentalist Emerson A Lecture read at the Masonic Temple, Boston, January, 1842 Summary: The light is always identical in its composition, but it falls on a great variety of objects, and by so falling is first revealed to us, not in its own form, for it is formless, but in theirs; in like manner, thought only appears in…

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