Dial Essays (1842)

Transcendentalism

Transcendentalism For more information on Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, more Transcendentalists, and Transcendentalism in general, also see, The Transcendentalists .

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Chardon Street and Bible Conventions

Chardon Street and Bible Conventions In the month of November, 1840, a Convention of Friends of Universal Reform assembled in the Chardon Street Chapel, in Boston, in obedience to a call in the newspapers signed by a few individuals, inviting all persons to a public discussion of the institutions of the Sabbath, the Church and the Ministry. The Convention organized itself by the choice of Edmund Quincy, as Moderator, spent three days in the consideration of the Sabbath, and adjourned to a day in March, of the following year, for the discussion of the second topic. In March, accordingly, a three-days’ session was holden, in the same place, on the…

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English Reformers

English Reformers Whilst Mr. Sparks visits England to explore the manuscripts of the Colonial Office, and Dr. Waagen on a mission of Art, Mr. Alcott, whose genius and efforts in the great art of Education have been more appreciated in England than in America, has now been spending some months in that country, with the aim to confer with the most eminent Educators and philanthropists, in the hope to exchange intelligence, and import into this country whatever hints have been struck out there, on the subject of literature and the First Philosophy. The design was worthy, and its first results have already reached us. Mr. Alcott was received with great…

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Letter to W. E. Channing

Letter to W. E. Channing A Letter to Rev. Wm. E. Channing, D. D. By O. A. BROWNSON. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown. 1842. That there is no knowledge of God possible to man but a subjective knowledge, ― no revelation but the development of the individual within himself, and to himself, ― are prevalent statements, which Mr. Brownson opposes by a single formula, that life is relative in its very nature. God alone is; all creatures live by virtue of what is not themselves, no less than by virtue of what is themselves, the prerogative of man being to do consciously, that is, more or less intelligently.…

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Fourierism & the Socialists

Fourierism & the Socialists The increasing zeal and numbers of the disciples of Fourier, in America and in Europe, entitle them to an attention which their theory and practical projects will justify and reward. In London, a good weekly newspaper (lately changed into a monthly journal) called “The Phalanx,” devoted to the social doctrines of Charles Fourier and bearing for its motto, “Association and Colonization,” is edited by Hugh Doherty. Mr. Etzler’s inventions, as described in the Phalanx, promise to cultivate twenty thousand acres with the aid of four men only and cheap machinery. Thus the laborers are threatened with starvation if they do not organize themselves into corporations, so…

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The Senses and the Soul

The Senses and the Soul What we know is a point to what we do not know.” The first questions are still to be asked. Let any man bestow a thought on himself, how he came hither, and whither he tends, and he will find that all the literature, all the philosophy that is on record, have done little to dull the edge of inquiry. The globe that swims so silently with us through the sea of space, has never a port, but with its little convoy of friendly orbs pursues its voyage through the signs of heaven, to renew its navigation again forever. The wonderful tidings our glasses and…

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Transcendentalism

Transcendentalism Emerson Transcendentalism The more liberal thought of intelligent persons acquires a new name in each period or community; and in ours, by no very good luck, as it sometimes appears to us, has been designated as Transcendentalism. We have every day occasion to remark its perfect identity, under whatever new phraseology or application to new facts, with the liberal thought of all men of a religious and contemplative habit in other times and countries. We were lately so much struck with two independent testimonies to this fact, proceeding from persons, one in sympathy with the Quakers, and the other with the Calvinistic Church, that we have begged the privilege…

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Prayers

Prayers Not with fond shekels of the tested gold, Nor gems whose rates are either rich or poor, As fancy values them: but with true prayers, That shall be up at heaven, and enter there Ere sunrise; prayers from preserved souls, From fasting maids, whose minds are dedicate To nothing temporal.                             SHAKSPEARE. Pythagoras said that the time when men are honestest, is when they present themselves before the gods. If we can overhear the prayer, we shall know the man. But prayers are not made to be overheard, or to be printed, so that we seldom have the prayer otherwise than it can be inferred from the man…

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Agriculture/Massachusetts

Agriculture/Massachusetts In an afternoon in April, after a long walk, I traversed an orchard where two boys were grafting apple trees, and found the Farmer in his corn field. He was holding the plough, and his son driving the oxen. This man always impresses me with respect, he is so manly, so sweet-tempered, so faithful, so disdainful of all appearances, excellent and reverable in his old weather-worn cap and blue frock bedaubed with the soil of the field, so honest withal, that he always needs to be watched lest he should cheat himself. I still remember with some shame, that in some dealing we had together a long time ago,…

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The Zincali

The Zincali The Zincali: or an Account of the Gypsies of Spain; with anOriginal Collection of their Songs and Poetry. By GEORGE BORROW. Two Volumes in one. New York: Wiley & Putnam. Our list of tribes in America indigenous and imported wants the Gypsies, as the Flora of the western hemisphere wants the race of heaths. But as it is all one to the urchin of six years, whether the fine toys are to be found in his father’s house or across the road at his grandfather’s, so we have always domesticated the Gypsy in school-boy literature from the English tales and traditions. This reprinted London book is equally sure…

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Ancient Spanish Ballads

Ancient Spanish Ballads Best Spanish Ballads Ancient Spanish Ballads, Historical and Romantic. Translated, By J. G. LOCKHART. New York: Wiley & Putnam. The enterprising publishers, Messrs. Wiley & Putnam, who have reprinted, in a plain but very neat form, Mr. Lockhart’s gorgeously illustrated work, have judiciously prefixed to it, by way of introduction, a critique on the book from the Edinburgh Review, and have added at the end of the volume an analytical account, with specimens of the Romance of the Cid, from the Penny Magazine. This is done with the greatest propriety, for the Cid seems to be the proper centre of Spanish legendary poetry. The Iliad, the Nibelungen,…

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Tecumseh Poem

Tecumseh Poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson Tecumseh; a Poem. By GEORGE H. COLTON. New York: Wiley & Putnam. This pleasing summer-day story is the work of a well read, cultivated writer, with a skillful ear, and an evident admirer of Scott and Campbell. There is a metrical sweetness and calm perception of beauty spread over the poem, which declare that the poet enjoyed his own work; and the smoothness and literary finish of the cantos seem to indicate more years than it appears our author has numbered. Yet the perusal suggested that the author had written this poem in the feeling, that the delight he has experienced from Scott’s effective…

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Intelligence

Intelligence Tecumseh; a Poem. By GEORGE H. COLTON. New York: Wiley & Putnam. This pleasing summer-day story is the work of a well read, cultivated writer, with a skillful ear, and an evident admirer of Scott and Campbell. There is a metrical sweetness and calm perception of beauty spread over the poem, which declare that the poet enjoyed his own work; and the smoothness and literary finish of the cantos seem to indicate more years than it appears our author has numbered. Yet the perusal suggested that the author had written this poem in the feeling, that the delight he has experienced from Scott’s effective lists of names might be…

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Harvard University

Harvard University On the subject of the University we cannot help wishing that a change will one day be adopted which will put an end to the foolish bickering between the government and the students, which almost every year breaks out into those uncomfortable fracases which are called ‘Rebellions.’ Cambridge is so well endowed, and offers such large means of education, that it can easily assume the position of an University, and leave to the numerous younger Colleges the charge of pupils too young to be trusted from home. This is instantly effected by the Faculty’s confining itself to the office of Instruction, and omitting to assume the office of…

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Tennyson

Tennyson Poems. By ALFRED TENNYSON. Two Volumes. Boston: W. D. Ticknor. Tennyson is more simply the songster than any poet of our time. With him the delight of musical expression is first, the thought second. It was well observed by one of our companions, that he has described just what we should suppose to be his method of composition in this verse from “The Miller’s Daughter.”       “A love-song I had somewhere read, An echo from a measured strain, Beat time to nothing in my head From some odd corner of the brain. It haunted me the morning long, With weary sameness in the rhymes, The phantom of a silent song,…

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