Dial Essays (1842)

Transcendentalism

Transcendentalism By Ralph Waldo Emerson 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 By Ralph Waldo Emerson 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. Summary: There was a great deal of wearisome speaking in each of those three days’ sessions, but relieved by signal passages of pure eloquence, by much vigor of thought, and especially by the exhibition of character, and by the victories of character. These men…

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English Reformers

English Reformers By Ralph Waldo Emerson 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, Summary: It will give the reader some precise information of the views of the most devout and intelligent persons in the company we have described, if we add an account of a public conversation which occurred during the last summer. In the (London) Morning Chronicle, of 5 July,…

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Letter to W. E. Channing

Letter to W. E. Channing By Ralph Waldo Emerson 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. A Letter to Rev. Wm. E. Channing, D. D. By O. A. BROWNSON. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown. 1842. Summary: To all men’s consciousness it is true that God is objective in a degree, or they were not distinctively human. His glory is refracted, as it…

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Fourierism & the Socialists

Fourierism & the Socialists By Ralph Waldo Emerson 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. Summary: We had lately an opportunity of learning something of these Socialists and their theory from the indefatigable apostle of the sect in New York, Albert Brisbane. Mr. Brisbane pushes his doctrine with all the force of memory, talent, honest faith, and importunacy. As we listened to his exposition, it appeared to us the sublime of mechanical philosophy; for the system was the perfection of arrangement and…

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The Senses and the Soul

The Senses and the Soul By Ralph Waldo Emerson 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. Summary: Our ignorance is great enough, and yet the fact most surprising is not our ignorance, but the aversation of men from knowledge. That which, one would say, would unite all minds and join all hands,…

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Transcendentalism

Transcendentalism By Ralph Waldo Emerson 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. Summary: The identity, which the writer of this letter finds between the speculative opinions of serious persons at the present moment, and those entertained by the first Quakers, is indeed so striking as to have drawn a very general attention of late years to the history of that sect. Of course, in proportion to the depth of the experience, will be its independence on time…

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Prayers

Prayers By Ralph Waldo Emerson 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 and his fortunes. Summary: When my long-attached friend comes to me, I have pleasure to converse with him, and I rejoice to pass my eyes over his countenance; but soon I am weary of spending my time causelessly and unimproved and I desire to…

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Agriculture/Massachusetts

Agriculture/ Massachusetts By Ralph Waldo Emerson 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. Summary: Innocence and justice have written their names on his brow. Toil has not broken his spirit. His laugh rings with the sweetness and hilarity of a child; yet he is a man of a strongly intellectual taste, of much reading, and of an erect good sense and independent spirit which can neither brook usurpation nor falsehood in any shape. Read full article Much,…

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The Zincali

The Zincali By Ralph Waldo Emerson Our list of tribes in America indigenous and imported wants the Gypsies, as the Flora of the western hemisphere wants the race of heaths. 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. Summary: This book is very entertaining, and yet, out of mere love and respect to human nature, we must add that this account of the Gypsy race must be imperfect and very partial, and that the author never sees his object quite near enough. For,…

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Ancient Spanish Ballads

Ancient Spanish Ballads By Ralph Waldo Emerson 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. Complete Article: Ancient 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…

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Tecumseh Poem

Tecumseh Poem By Ralph Waldo Emerson 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. Complete Article: Tecumseh Poem 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…

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Intelligence

Intelligence By Ralph Waldo Emerson 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. Complete Article: 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…

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Harvard University

Harvard University By Ralph Waldo Emerson 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 Complete Article: 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…

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Tennyson

Tennyson By Ralph Waldo Emerson 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.” Poems. By ALFRED TENNYSON. Two Volumes. Boston: W. D. Ticknor. Summary: So large a proportion of even the good poetry of our time is ever over-ethical or over-passionate, and the stock poetry is so deeply tainted with a sentimental egotism, that this, whose chief merits lay…

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