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21. Prometheus: the secret was how to avert the predicted fall of Jupiter. It was because of Prometheus's persistent refusal to reveal it that he suffered the torture of the rock and the vulture. Of all the gods, etc. : from the Eumenides of Æschylus.
22. The belt which Ajax gave, etc. : an almost literal translation of lines in the Ajax of Sophocles.
23. Interfering volitions : originality.
28. You cannot do wrong without suffering wrong : Emerson wrote in his journal: “I have confidence in the laws of morals as of botany. I have planted maize in my field every June for seventeen years, and I never knew it come up strychnine."
30. Obscene : ill-omened.
34. It is best to pay in your land a skillful gardener: this statement is hardly consistent with Emerson's practice. He called raising pears his “expensive vice,” and always sent specimens of his fruit to the September exhibition. At last the long-suffering committee called to see what kind of soil it was that produced “such poor specimens of such fine varieties.'
36. No den to hide a rogue : cf. Webster's famous portrayal of the impossibility of concealing a crime, — Speech on the Murder of Captain Joseph White, paragraph 6.
37. Royal armies sent against Napoleon : on his escape from Elba. Winds blow and waters roll : from Wordsworth's sonnet, “Inland, within a hollow vale I stood."
41. Mob: for a description of a mob of Emerson's day, see Life of Arthur Tappan, by Lewis Tappan, pages 168–175.
46. Apparent : in appearance only.
48. As the shell-fish, etc. : cf. Holmes's Chambered Nautilus. A putting off of dead circumstances : Emerson wrote to his young daughter, who was away at school, bidding her finish every day and be done with it, forget its blunders and absurdities as soon as possible, and begin each new day well and serenely, with a spirit too high to be cumbered with old nonsense.
1. Speak your latent conviction: Emerson wrote in his journal, in 1834 : “ Henceforth I design not to utter any speech, poem, or book that is not entirely and peculiarly my own work.”
7. Abolition : in 1837, four years before this essay was printed, at a time when the discussion of slavery was permitted in but one church in Boston, Emerson delivered an anti-slavery address in Concord. Its main point was a demand for the right of free thought and free speech. Barbados: the inhabitants were chiefly negroes, who were emancipated by England in 1834. My poor : Emerson's poor, like those of Charles Lamb, were generally the ones for whom no one else would
15. Alexandrian stanza : Emerson means the palindrome. One of the most famous is Adam's supposed speech to Eve. “ Madam, I'm Adam." Contrite wood-life : humble life with nature. My. book should smell of pines : Emerson's thinking was done in the woods, summer and winter. His “study” at home was merely to hold his books and afford him a convenient place to write. He says in his journal that he has scarce a day-dream on which the breath of the pines has not blown and their shadows waved.
16. Chatham: William Pitt, born 1708. Adams: Samuel Adams, “Father of the Revolution." Ephemeris : a thing of but transient value. Some of the later editions substitute ephemera.
17. Scipio : Scipio Africanus Major. The height of Rome : Paradise Lost, Book IX. 510.
18. Fable of the sot: one version is the story of “Christopher Sly" in the induction of the Taming of the Shrew: another is that of " Abou Hassan, or the Sleeper Awakened,” in the Arabian Nights.
19. Gustavus : Gustavus Adolphus, or Gustavus II. of Sweden.
21. That inspiration which giveth man wisdom : in an address delivered in 1854 he makes his thought even more clear: “Selfreliance, the height and perfection of man, is reliance on God.” Fatal : inevitable (fated).
34. A sturdy lad, etc.: cf. Whittier's Snowbound, “Brisk wielder of the birch and rule."
36. Fletcher: John Fletcher, the dramatist.
38. Let not God speak to us, lest we die : Genesis xx. 19. Locke took the position that all our knowledge comes from sensation and reflection, that we have no innate ideas. Lavoisier invented a simple chemical terminology to take the place of the absurd one of the alchemists. Hutton's theory was that the present condition of the earth's crust is due in greater degree to the action of fire than of water. Bentham “found jurisprudence a gibberish and left it a science.” (Macaulay.) Spurzheim is said to have discovered
the fibrous structure of the brain. Light, unsystematic, indomi. table, etc.: expressed less poetically in his poem, The World-Soul, lines 33-36.
39. It is for want of self-culture : cf. Curtis's Prue and I: “I begin to suspect a man must have Italy and Greece in his heart and mind, if he would ever see them with his eyes." Merrymen : followers.
43. Thousand-cloven tongue : Acts ii. 1-4.
47. Las Casas : Las Cases, who wrote Mémorial de SainteHélène.
48. Phenomenal : in appearance.
49. Caliph Ali: a cousin and devoted follower of Mohammed, a learned man and a poet.
1. Feejee (Fiji): this essay was published in 1844. In 1898 the Fiji Islands contributed several thousand dollars to aid the starving people of India. Tibboos, Bornoos: African tribes. Emerson had been reading Heeren's Historical Researches.
4. Sense of power which makes things easy : “I like people who can do things,” Emerson wrote in his journal. He was singularly helpless in some practical matters, especially in the use of tools. When he was working in the garden, his little son called to him, “ Take care, papa, you will dig your leg.” He said himself that he could split a shingle four ways with one nail. The right Cæsarian pattern: the man of many interests, with a specialty.
6. Fine manners: Emerson's journal says, “I think there is as much merit in beautiful manners as in hard work."
7. Faubourg St. Germain : the knights of St. Germain included those lords created by James II. after the Revolution of 1688, and by his son and grandson. Notes and Queries, 2d series, III. 112. Emerson uses the expression as a synonym for the abode of people of fashion. Hall of the past: Walhalla, or Valhalla. Westininster Abbey is called “the Valhalla of England."
8. Tournure : cast of mind as evinced by their behavior.
9. Send into everlasting Coventry: the citizens of Coventry are said to have had at one time so great a dislike to soldiers, that to send a soldier to Coventry was equivalent to excluding him from all social intercourse. Vich Ian Vohr: a chief in Waverley, Chapter XVI.
“ If you Saxon duinhé-wassel [English gentlemen) saw but the Chief with his tail on!”. 66 With his tail on?" echoed Edward in some surprise. “Yes — that is, with all his usual followers, when he visits those of the same rank."
10. Herald's office : Heralds' College, or College of Arms.
17. Captain Symmes : a real person, who serves the author's purpose as well as the imaginary heroes in whose company he finds himself. St. Michael's Square: the order of St. Michael was founded by Louis XI. in 1469, and was at first limited to thirty-six members. Queen Elizabeth was greatly pleased at being made a member, but her wrath was aroused by the discovery that the original limitations had been lost sight of, and that it was no longer the exclusive company of the previous century. Holmes speaks of the St. Michael's pear as being among " the most aristocratic pears,” and familiar to Emerson's boyhood.
18. As Heaven and Earth are fairer, fairer far: Keats's Hyperion. 19. No bar in their nature: no mark of inferiority.
20. Hafiz: the allegorical, mystical character of Persian poetry appealed strongly to Emerson. See his essay, Persian Poetry.
21. Byzantine : an ornate style of architecture, marked especially by the free use of gold and of color in decorations.
22. Osman: Emerson uses this name in his journals and elsewhere to represent his ideal man.
THE SNOW-STORM. Notice that it is the personification of the north wind that gives life and the charm of action to the poem. Without this, it would be simply a beautiful picture.
Is the scene laid in a village or in the country ? In lines 1-9, which is the most sonorous line ? Which words show the severity of the storm ? Which words are used in an unusual sense ? Is there any special order in hills, woods, river, heaven, farmhouse ? Could hides and veils be transposed ? Is there any special order in traveler, courier, friends, housemates? Why is tumultuous privacy a good expression ? Why is there a break between lines 9 and 10 ? What is the main subject of lines 1-9 ? What of lines 10-28 ? How do lines 1-2 introduce the second part ?
Trace the personification in the poem. What adjectives or epithets are applied to the wind ? What to its work ? How does the poem
show study of nature ? How does it show imagination ? What expressions show that Emerson knew country life. Does he show knowledge of architecture? What contrast does he suggest at the end of the poem ?
Comparing Longfellow's Rain in Summer with the Snow-Storm, which shows closer observation of details ? Comparing Whittier's Snowbound with the Snow-Storm, which has more of the human element? Which shows the more sympathetic thought of the animals ? In these last two poems, which description of the coming of the storm do you prefer? Why? Which description of the scene in the morning is the more simple and natural ? Why? Which description of the fireside do you prefer? Why? Is Emerson's poem simply a picture of a snow-storm, or has it a moral ?
SUNG AT THE COMPLETION OF THE CONCORD MONUMENT.
Emerson's grandfather, Rev. William Emerson, watched the Concord fight from his own doorstep, and would have taken part in it, if his parishioners had not prevented. His account of it may be found in Emerson's works (Vol. XI., Riverside edition).
William Emerson's sermon of March 13, 1775, on 2 Chronicles xiii. 12, did much to arouse and encourage the brave men of Concord. A few days before the fight he preached even more boldly on “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.”
That the monument should have been placed where the British stood was a great grievance to one of the Concord farmers, and he left money to mark the position occupied by the colonists, and to build a footbridge where the old bridge had stood at the time of the battle. April 19, 1875, the well-known statue of the Minute-man was unveiled. On this occasion Emerson delivered a short address, which is given in full in G. W. Cooke's Ralph Waldo Emerson, page 182.
8. “The Concord River is a languid, shallow stream that loiters through broad meadows, which fringe it with rushes and long grasses. (G. W. Curtis.)
Describe the Concord fight. What was its value to the colonists ? What is the highest motive with which a Concord farmer might have fought ? a British soldier? What does embattled mean as used here? Explain line 11 ? What Spirit is meant in line 13? What lines are