Recollections of Emerson's Last Years. -- Mr. Conway's Visits. -- Extracts from Mr. Whitman's Journal. -- Dr. Le Baron Russell's Visit. -- Dr. Edward Emerson's Account. -- Illness and Death. -- Funeral Services.
MR. CONWAY gives the following account of two visits to Emerson after the decline of his faculties had begun to make itself obvious: --
"In 1875, when I stayed at his house in Concord for a little time, it was sad enough to find him sitting as a listener before those who used to sit at his feet in silence. But when alone with him he conversed in the old way, and his faults of memory seemed at times to disappear. There was something striking in the kind of forgetfulness by which he suffered. He remembered the realities and uses of things when lie could not recall their names. He would describe what he wanted or thought of; when he could not recall 'chair' he could speak of that which supports the human frame, and 'the implement that cultivates the soil' must do for plough. --
"In 1880, when I was last in Concord, the trouble had made heavy strides. The intensity of his silent attention to every word that was said was painful, suggesting a concentration of his powers
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Publication information: Book title: Ralph Waldo Emerson. Contributors: Oliver Wendell Holmes - Author. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin. Place of publication: Boston. Publication year: 1885. Page number: 343.