Dial Essays (1840)

The Editor to the Reader

Chardon Street and Bible Conventions We invite the attention of our countrymen to a new design. Probably not quite unexpected or unannounced will our Journal appear, though small pains have been taken to secure its welcome. Those, who have immediately acted in editing the present Number, cannot accuse themselves of any unbecoming forwardness in their undertaking, but rather of a backwardness, when they remember how often in many private circles the work was projected, how eagerly desired, and only postponed because no individual volunteered to combine and concentrate the free-will offerings of many cooperators. With some reluctance the present conductors of this work have yielded themselves to the wishes of…

Read More

Thoughts on Modern Lit…

Thoughts on Modern Lit… There is no better illustration of the laws by which the world is governed than Literature. There is no luck in it. It proceeds by Fate. Every scripture is given by the inspiration of God. Every composition proceeds out of a greater or less depth of thought, and this is the measure of its effect. The highest class of books are those which express the moral element; the next, works of imagination; and the next, works of science; — all dealing in realities, — what ought to be, what is, and what appears. These, in proportion to the truth and beauty they involve, remain; the rest…

Read More

New Poetry

New Poetry The tendencies of the times are so democratical, that we shall soon have not so much as a pulpit or raised platform in any church or townhouse, but each person, who is moved to address any public assembly, will speak from the floor. The like revolution in literature is now giving importance to the portfolio over the book. Only one man in the thousand may print a book, but one in ten or one in five may inscribe his thoughts, or at least with short commentary his favorite readings in a private journal. The philosophy of the day has long since broached a more liberal doctrine of the…

Read More

Two Years Before the Mast

Two Years Before the Mast Two Years before the Mast. A Personal Narrative of Life at Sea. New York: Harper and Brothers. 12mo. pp. 483. This is a voice from the forecastle. Though a narrative of literal, prosaic truth, it possesses something of the romantic charm of Robinson Crusoe. Few more interesting chapters of the literature of the sea have ever fallen under our notice. The author left the halls of the University for the deck of a merchant vessel, exchanging “the tight dress coat, silk cap, and kid gloves of an undergraduate at Cambridge, for the loose duck trowsers, checked shirt, and tarpaulin hat of a sailor,” and here…

Read More

Social Destiny of Man

Social Destiny of Man Social Destiny of Man: or Association and Reorganization of Industry. By ALBERT BRISBANE. Philadelphia. 12mo. pp. 480. This work is designed to give a condensed view of the system of M. Fourier, for the improvement and elevation of productive industry. It will be read with deep interest by a large class of our population. The name of Fourier may be placed at the head of modern thinkers, whose attention has been given to the practical evils of society and the means of their removal. His general principles should be cautiously separated from the details which accompany their exposition, many of which are so exclusively adapted to…

Read More