« AnteriorContinuar »
forms that have been already sweeping the sea and creeping in the mud ; the brother of his hand is even now cleaving the Arctic sea in the fin of the whale, and innumerable ages since was pawing the marsh in the flipper of the saurian.” I might speak of his Yankee humor, or of his tenderness and romance, — “ The little Shakspeare in the maiden's heart
Makes Romeo of a ploughboy on his cart ;” but I purposely let them pass with this bare mention (as I let pass “ The Titmouse,” “The Rhodora,” “The Mountain and the Squirrel,” “The Humblebee"); for I wish you this day to think of Emerson, living and dead, as a high and helpful friend. There is no better company, no better society, than his. Read him and re-read him. Do not try to write like him : he would have you write like none but yourselves; and besides, his style is his and his only. Do not try to be like him, except so far as in being your best selves you come into
the likeness of all who are good and true. When you read him, do not be troubled if you lose the thread of his thought; he himself did that; yet, as a young man once said of him, “His sayings are like the stars, which are scattered disorderly but together make a firmament of light.”
"Hundreds of people,” says Ruskin, “can talk for one who can think; but thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion all in one.”
This man who walked your streets, and loved them, spoke with a voice that is rare in any race or time; he thought as it is given to few to think ; and he saw. We have had no man like him. I will not say that we have had none so great. Lincoln may have been greater. They are so different that we cannot compare the two; and yet, as Lincoln's proclamation brought life and hope to captive hearts, so did the brave word that Emerson spoke flash on the souls of men the truth that they were slaves no more; that each might and must stand to his work erect and strong, since nature and God were his very own. The eyes of the blind were opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped ; " for he came that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."