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INTRODUCTION

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Introduction

7

Who does not remember the day in his youth when the page of Emerson was opened to him! It should have been a morning in his sixteenth year, on his first visit to New England, in the crisp autumn with a touch of frost in the air. The questions that rise in the mind of the boy have been in ferment: his early sense of life, fate, the eternal issues, are vaguely astir. Coming into the room of a friend at school he finds the book lying on the table, idly opens it, and his eye falls on the line “Trust thyself; every heart vibrates to that iron string.” His own heart strings tighten; he turns back to the first page and finds the stern but tonic lines:

“Cast the bantling on the rocks,

Suckle him with the she-wolf's teat,
Wintered with the hawk and fox,

Power and speed be hands and feet.”

The frosty, biting air of the book stirs him strongly. He reads

page

after page, his pulse quickened to the strenuous

on

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