A FINE copy of the famous picture long ascribed to Michael Angelo, the "Parcæ," hung over the fireplace in Emerson's study, a work of art mystically associated with him by his friends. Sometimes he wove tile thread spun and clipped by the old women into his conversation. It meant many things to him, and it used to warn some of his friends not by any idle visit to clip the golden thread of thought which ran through the morning that always shone in that study. But gradually, as I learned the story of Emerson's early life, the three formidable faces softened to those of the young and fair women who had presided over his destinies, and who remained young and fair even in old age.
The mother of Emerson, who had been Ruth Haskins of Boston, was a lady of refined culture, of gracious and religious nature, with the blended sweetness and dignity of manner so characteristic of the son. She builded her household in beauty and wisdom when it was left to her on her husband's death. Five sons were thrown upon her care, of whom Ralph was the second. He was born in that happy and cultured home in Boston, and was eight years old when his