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own affair or not. Man is that noble endogenous plant which grows, like the palm, from within outward. His own affair, though impossible to others, ne can open with celerity and in sport. It is easy to sugar to be sweet and to nitre to be salt. We take a great deal of pains to waylay and entrap that which of itself will fall into our hands. I count him a great man who inhabits a higher sphere of thought, into which other men rise with labor and difficulty; he bas but to open his eyes to see things in a true light and in large relations, whilst they must make painful corrections and keep a vigilant eye on many sources of error. His service to us is of like sort. It costs a beautiful person no exertion to paint her image on our eyes ; yet how splendid is that benefit! It costs no more for a wise soul to convey his quality to other men. And every one can do his best thing easiest. “Peu de moyens, beaucoup d'effét." He is great who is what he is from nature, and who never reminds us of others.
But he must be related to us, and our life receive from him some promise of explanation. I cannot tell what I would know ; but I have observed there are persons who, in their character and actions, answer questions which I have not skill to put. One man answers some question which none of his contemporaries put, and is isolated. The past and
passing religions and philosophies answer some other question. Certain men affect us as rich pos. sibilities, but helpless to themselves and to their tunes, — the sport perhaps of some instinct that rules in the air;— they do not speak to our want. But the great are near; we know them at sight. They satisfy expectation and fall into place. What is good is effective, generative; makes for itself room, food and allies. A sound apple produces seed, - a hybrid does not. Is a man in his place, he is constructive, fertile, magnetic, inundating armies with his purpose, which is thus executed.
The river makes its own shores, and each legiti. mate idea makes its own channels and welcome, harvests for food, institutions for expression, weapons to fight with and disciples to explain it. The true artist has the planet for his pedestal ; the ad. venturer, after years of strife, has nothing broader than his own shoes.
Our common discourse respects two kinds of use or service from superior men. Direct giving is agreeable to the early belief of men ; direct giving of material or metaphysical aid, as of health, eternal youth, fine senses, arts of healing, magical power and prophecy. The boy believes there is a teacher who can sell him wisdom. Churches believe in imputed merit. But, in strictness, we are not much cognizant of direct serving. Man is endogenous, and education is his unfolding. The aid we have from others is mechanical compared with the discoveries of nature in us. What is thus learned is delightful in the doing, and the effect remains. Right ethics are central and go from the soul outward. Gift is contrary to the law of the universe. Serving others is serving us. I must absolve me to myself. Mind thy affair,' says the spirit:- coxcomb, would you meddle with the skies, or with other people?' Indirect service is left. Men have a pictorial or representative quality, and serve us in the intellect. Behmen and Swedenborg saw that things were representative. Men are also representative; first, of things, and secondly, of ideas.
As plants convert the minerals into food for animals, so each man converts some raw material in nature to human use. The inventors of fire, electricity, magnetism, iron, lead, glass, linen, silk, cotton ; the makers of tools ; the inventor of decimal notation; the geometer; the engineer; the musician, — severally make an easy way for all, through unknown and impossible confusions. Each man is by secret liking.connected with some district of nature, whose agent and interpreter he is ; as Linnæus, of plants; Huber, of bees; Fries, of lichens; Van Mons, of pears ; Dalton, of atomic forms ; Euclid, of lines; Newton, of Auxions.
A man is a centre for nature, running out threads of relation through every thing, fluid and solid, material and elemental. The earth rolls ; every clod and stone comes to the meridian : so every organ, function, acid, crystal, grain of dust, has its relation to the brain. It waits long, but its turn comes. Each plant has its parasite, and each created thing its lover and poet. Justice has already been done to steam, to iron, to wood, to coal, to loadstone, to iodine, to corn and cotton; but how few materials are yet used by our arts! The mass of creatures and of qnalities are still hid and expectant. It would seem as if each waited, like the enchanted princess in fairy tales, for a destined human deliverer. Each must be disēncbanted and walk forth to the day in human shape. In the history of discovery, the ripe and latent truth seems to have fashioned a brain for itself. A magnet must be made man in some Gilbert, or Swedenborg, or Oersted, before the general mind can come to entertain its powers.
If we limit ourselves to the first advantages, a sober grace adheres to the mineral and botanic kingdoms, which, in the highest moments, comes up as the charm of nature, — the glitter of the spar, the sureness of affinity, the veracity of angles. Light and darkness, heat and cold, hunger and food, sweet and sour, solid, liquid and gas, circle
us round in a wreath of pleasures, and, by their agreeable quarrel, beguile the day of life. The eye repeats every day the first eulogy on things, “ He saw that they were good.” We know where to find them; and these performers are relished all the more, after a little experience of the pretending races. We are entitled also to higher advantages. Something is wanting to science until it has beer humanized. The table of logarithms is one thing, and its vital play in botany, music, optics and architecture, another. There are advancements to num. bers, anatomy, architecture, astronomy, little suspected at first, when, by union with intellect and will, they ascend into the life and reappear in conversation, Character and politics.
But this comes later. We speak now only of our acquaintance with them in their own sphere and the way in which they seem to fascinate and draw to them some genius who occupies himself with one thing, all his life long.The possibility of interpretation lies in the identity of the observer with the observed. Each material thing has its celestial side; has its translation, through humanity, into the spiritual and necessary sphere where it plays a part as indestructible as any other. And to these, their ends, all things continually ascend. The gases gather to the solid firmament: the chemic lump arrives at the plant, and grows;