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PREFACE

The aim of this work is to show the essentially Platonic quality of Emerson's thought. It is often held that his transcendentalism has its source in the philosophy of Germany, and that his mysticism is an inheritance from the sacred books of the East. But a careful study has convinced the author that Greek thought has been the most important factor in Emerson's intellectual development. Beneath the surface of his days and years there ran a spirit of philosophic inquiry which was fed by repeated readings in the old philosophers of Greece. From these sons of light he drank in large draughts of intellectual day. The author has attempted to show this by a comparative study of Emerson and the Platonists.

In his studies the author has been helped by the labors of Dr. E. W. Emerson, whose edition of the Complete Works of Emerson has afforded many valuable suggestions regarding Emerson's acquaintance with the old philosophers. James Elliot Cabot's Memoir

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and Charles Eliot Norton's edition of the Correspondence of Emerson and Carlyle have also been helpful. For the use which the author has made of these three works, he takes pleasure in thanking the publishers, Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin and Company, who kindly granted the necessary permission. To the generosity of Mr. Thomas M. Johnson, of Osceola, Missouri, the author is greatly indebted. It was from him that the rare volumes of the Platonists were obtained. For his kindness in lending these absolutely essential books the author expresses warmest thanks.

JOHN S. HARRISON.

GAMBIER, OHIO, March 24, 1910.

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