The Early Years of the Saturday Club, 1855-1870

By Edward Waldo Emerson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
1859

In smiles and tears, in sun and showers,
The minstrel and the heather,
The deathless singer and the flowers
He sang of live together.

Wild heather-bells and Robert Burns!
The moorland flower and peasant!
How, at their mention, memory turns
Her pages old and pleasant!
. . . . . . .
But who his human heart has laid
To Nature's bosom nearer?
Who sweetened toil like him, or paid
To love a tribute dearer?

WHITTIER

THE notable event in the first month of this year was the celebration on January 25 of the centennial birthday of Robert Burns. Whether or no the Saturday Club were the movers, it is certain that many of the members were there, and brought tributes to Scotland's Poet of the People. Holmes, Lowell, Whittier had written poems, and Emerson spoke. He so warmed to this occasion that many of those who heard him believed that his words were given him on the moment of utterance. Yet he never trusted himself on important occasions in extempore speech, and the manuscript remains as evidence.1

Longfellow wrote to Fields: "I am very sorry not to be there. You will have a delightful supper, or dinner, whichever it is; and human breath enough expended to fill all the trumpets of Iskander for a month or more.2 Alas! . . . I shall not be there to applaud! All this you must do for me; and also eat my part of the

____________________
1
Printed in the Miscellanies in the Riverside and Centenary Editions of Emerson Works.
2
The reference is to a poem by Leigh Hunt, which was a favourite of Longfellow's. Its title is "The Trumpets of Doolkarnein." Iskander was an Asiatic version of Alexander.

-197-

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The Early Years of the Saturday Club, 1855-1870
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Introductory xi
  • Chapter I - The Attraction 1
  • Chapter II - 1855-1856 The Saturday Club is Born Also the Magazine or Atlantic Club 11
  • Chapter III - 1856 21
  • Chapter IV - 1857 128
  • Chapter V - 1858 166
  • Chapter VI - 1859 197
  • Chapter VII - 1860 234
  • Chapter VIII - 1861 249
  • Chapter IX - 1862 287
  • Chapter X - 1863 309
  • Chapter XI - 1864 334
  • Chapter XII - 1865 392
  • Chapter XIII - 1866 407
  • Chapter XIV - 1867 428
  • Chapter XV - 1868 447
  • Chapter XVI - 1869 456
  • Chapter XVII - 1870 474
  • Index 503
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