Mr. Emerson visited Thoreau at the jail, and the meeting between the two philosophers must have been interesting and somewhat dramatic. The account of the meeting was told me by Miss Maria Thoreau [Henry Thoreaus aunt]Henry, why are you here? Waldo, why are you not here?
Englands genius filled all measureOf heart and soul, of strength and pleasure,Gave to the mind its emperor,And life was larger than before:Nor sequent centuries could hitOrbit and sum of Shakespeares wit. The men who lived with him becamePoets, for the air was fame.
Is not every man sometimes a radical in politics? Men are conservatives when they are least vigorous, or when they are most luxurious. They are conservatives after dinner, or before taking their rest; when they are sick, or aged. In the morning, or when their intellect or their conscience has been aroused; when they hear music, or when they read poetry, they are radicals.
We grant no dukedoms to the few, We hold like rights and shall;--Equal on Sunday in the pew, On Monday in the mall. For what avail the plough or sail,
Or land or life, if freedom fail? The noble craftsman we promote, Disown the knave and fool Each honest man shall have his vote, Each child shall have his school. A union then of honest men,
Or union nevermore again.
The great object of Education should be commensurate with the object of life. It should be a moral one; to teach self-trust: to inspire the youthful man with an interest in himself; with a curiosity touching his own nature; to acquaint him with the resources of his mind, and to teach him that there is all his strength, and to inflame him with a piety towards the Grand Mind in which he lives. Thus would education conspire with the Divine Providence.
Colleges . . . have their indispensable office,--to teach elements. But they can highly serve us when they aim not to drill, but to create; when they gather from far every ray of various genius to their hospitable halls, and by the concentrated fires, set the hearts of their youth on flame.
For thou, O Spring! canst renovate All that high God did first create. Be still his arm and architect, Rebuild the ruin, mend defect; Chemist to vamp old worlds with new, Coat sea and sky with heavenlier blue.
Announced by all the trumpets of the sky, Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er
the fields, Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven, And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.
Dear Ellen, many a golden year May ripe, then dim, thy beauty's bloom
But never shall the hour appear In sunny joy, in sorrow's gloom, When aught shall hinder me from telling My ardent love, all loves excelling.