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street does not know a star in the sky. The solstice he does not observe; the equinox he knows as little; and the whole bright calendar of the year is without a dial in his mind. His notebooks impair his memory; his libraries overload his wit ; the insurance office in-525 creases the number of accidents; and it may be a question whether machinery does not encumber; whether we have not lost by refinement some energy; by a Christianity entrenched in establishments and forms, some vigor of wild virtue.
530 There is no more deviation in the moral standard than in the standard of height or bulk. No greater men are now than ever A singular equality may be observed between the great men of the first and the last ages ; nor can all the science, art, religion, 535 and philosophy of the nineteenth century avail to educate greater men than Plutarch's heroes, three or four and twenty centuries ago. Not in time is the race progressive. Phocion, Socrates, Anaxagoras, Diogenes, are great men, but they leave no class.
He 540 who is really of their class will not be called by their name, but will be his own man, and in turn the founder of a sect. The great genius returns to essential man.
Society is a wave. The wave moves onward, but the water of which it is composed does not. The 545 same particle does not rise from the valley to the ridge. Its unity is only phenomenal. The persons who make up a nation to-day, next year die, and their experience dies with them.
And so the reliance on Property, including the re-550 liance on governments which protect it, is the want of self-reliance. Men have looked away from themselves and at things so long that they have come to esteem
the religious, learned, and civil institutions as guards of property, and they deprecate assaults on these, because 555 they feel them to be assaults on property. They measure their esteem of each other by what each has, and not by what each is. But a cultivated man becomes ashamed of his property, out of new respect for his nature. Especially he hates what he has if he sees 560 that it is accidental — came to him by inheritance, or gift, or crime ; then he feels that it is not having ; it does not belong to him, has no root in him, and merely lies there because no revolution or no robber takes it away. But that which a man is, does not always by 565 necessity acquire ; and what the man acquires is living property, which does not wait the beck of rulers, or mobs, or revolutions, or fire, or storm, or bankruptcies, but perpetually renews itself wherever the man breathes. He who knows that power is inborn, that he is weak 570 because he has looked for good out of him and elsewhere, and, so perceiving, throws himself unhesitatingly on his thought, instantly rights himself, stands in the erect position, commands his limbs, works miracles; just as a man who stands on his feet is stronger 575 than a man who stands on his head.
So use all that is called Fortune. Most men gamble with her, and gain all, and lose all, as her wheel rolls. But do thou leave as unlawful these winnings, and deal with Cause and Effect, the chancellors of God. 580 In the Will work and acquire, and thou hast chained the wheel of Chance, and shalt sit hereafter out of fear from her rotations. A political victory, a rise of rents, the recovery of your sick or the return of your absent friend, or some other favorable event raises your 585 spirits, and you think that good days are preparing for
you. Do not believe it. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON.
In reading an essay the student should have two purposes in mind: to learn the “new thoughts” of an author in regard to the subject discussed ; and to note the author's way of emphasizing thoughts already more or less familiar.
An essay contains no story, and is studied for information and inspiration, rather than for entertainment. This class of literature treats of the great facts of human life, but in a general, far-reaching way, instead of the concrete method of fiction. The difference is much the same as that between history and biography. The mental pleasure and edification derived from the study of great essays, arises from the discovery of profound and universal truths that illuminate the problems and purposes of life.
Since the student has now acquired the habit of searching closely for the full thought of printed words, phrases, and sentences, the exercises are not now so specific as at the beginning.
Page 218. - 2. Give examples of “conventional” poetry, or poetic expressions. 6. Compare this with Shakespeare's line: “Take each man's censure [opinion], but reserve thy judgment,” “Hamlet” I, iii, 69. 12. “Moses,” “ Plato,” and “ Milton ” were the most learned men of their respective ages of the world : in what sense did they set books and traditions “at naught”? 24. Supply the words necessary to make the thought perfectly clear: this extreme condensation of expression is one of the chief characteristics of Emerson's style. 1–28. What is the topic thought of this paragraph ?
Page 219. 33. What is the figurative meaning of “no kernel of nourishing corn,” etc? 35 ff. Read the story of “ Drowne’s Wooden Image,” by Hawthorne, and compare that author's method of treating the thought expressed in this sentence. 45. For what thought does “ It” stand? 49. Why an “iron ” string?
Page 220. 60. “guides,” etc., in what sense? 61. “Chaos and the Dark” represent what facts of human existence ? 49–82. How is this paragraph connected with the preceding one? 65. Who do have “ That divided and rebel mind,” etc? 81. What would be the effect on the boy's nonchalance if he had the responsibility of providing his own dinner (and other necessaries of life), instead of having them provided for him ? 84. In Elizabethan theaters the “pit ” (what we now call the “parquet") was without seats, and was usually crowded with the lower classes of people, who elbowed one another for standing room and passed all sorts of comments on those who paid the higher price for a seat in the dress circle and balconies.
Page 221. 92. “his consciousness” of what ? 94. éclat (ā'klä') brilliancy of success. 96. “Lethe” (lē'thē) one of the rivers of Hades. Those who drank of its waters forgot their former existence. 97. What noun must be supplied after “for this”? 100. What is the subject of “must”? This style of sentence construction is frequent in Emerson's writings. 105. To what“ voices” does the author refer? Compare the voices heard by the old prophets, by Saul and by Joan of Arc. 114. Illustrate society's love for “names and customs.” 118. What is meant by “it”? 119. “ Absolve you to yourself,” be perfectly true to your own conscience:
66 This above all: to thine own self be true;
Hamlet, I, iii. 123. Substitute a better phrase (that is, one clearer in meaning) than “after my constitution."
Page 222. 127. Give practical examples of how men “capitulate to badges,” etc. 132. Show how vanity may wear “ the coat of philanthropy.” What is the usual attitude of the majority of people toward such conduct? 141. Note the words “ affectation” of love. In Emerson's
Behavior” he states that good manners depend on two things: 1, self-reliance; 2, a kind heart. 155. What is meant here by “secondary testimony”? What would be the “primary” testimony? The difference is the same as the distinction between “ character” and “ reputation ” ? 156 ff. The complete and truest statement of this thought is found in the last sentence of the paragraph.
Page 223. 178 ff. Show that the position of a lawyer or a partisan is the same as that of the sectarian preacher. 189. “ bound their eyes," etc., refers to what preceding figures ?
Page 224. 191. Give particular examples of “communities of opinion.” 213. “contempt” of and “resistance" to what ? 222. Why are they “very vulnerable” themselves?
Page 225. 227. “ (mo) to make grimaces. 228. What sort of “religion” does the author mean here? 250. “Pythagoras," one of the very first of the great Greek philosophers, lived in the sixth century B.C. The opposition to him and his followers, was chiefly due to their political influence. Although the Pythagorean schools were suppressed in Italy, the ideas of their founder were more or less prominent until about 300 B.C. 251. "
“Socrates a famous Greek philosopher of the fourth century B.C. His enemies accused him of introducing new gods and corrupting the morals. of the youth of Athens. He was tried, and condemned to commit suicide by drinking a cup of hemlock. “ Luther” (sixteenth century A.D.) was a great German reformer and translator of the Bible. He was the champion of the Reformation in Germany, a protest against the teachings and practices of the then universal Roman Catholic church. 252. “Copernicus” (sixteenth century A.D.) was the founder of modern astronomy. Before his time the prevailing belief was that the earth was the center of the universe. The latter part of his life was spent in Germany. “Galileo” (gal i lē'o, 1564-1642 A.D.), a famous Italian physician and astronomer. His doctrines were condemned by the Pope, and he was compelled to abjure the Copernican theory. Newton,” a noted English mathematician and natural philosopher. His great work was the discovery and proof of the universal laws of gravitation.
Page 226. 267 ff. Compare the old-fashioned question for debate “Do circumstances make the man, or does the man make circumstances ?” 276. “ keep things under his feet” – to which side of the above question would this apply ?
Page 227. 298. Express this thought in detail. 302. In what respects are “ the things of life” the same to both ? 304. “Scanderbeg," a great Albanian commander of the fifteenth century, who successfully defended his country against the Turks. “ Gustavus Adolphus,” the greatest of Swedish generals. He was killed at the battle of Lützen, in 1632. 311 ff. What question does the author