Uncollected Lectures by Ralph Waldo Emerson: Reports of Lectures on American Life and Natural Religion, Reprinted from the Commonwealth

Uncollected Lectures by Ralph Waldo Emerson: Reports of Lectures on American Life and Natural Religion, Reprinted from the Commonwealth

Uncollected Lectures by Ralph Waldo Emerson: Reports of Lectures on American Life and Natural Religion, Reprinted from the Commonwealth

Uncollected Lectures by Ralph Waldo Emerson: Reports of Lectures on American Life and Natural Religion, Reprinted from the Commonwealth

Excerpt

[THIS lecture was delivered by Emerson as the first in his series on "American Life" on November 27, 1864, and was reported in The Commonwealth for December 3, of the same year, with the title "Education." The title given above is the one which appears In the prospectuses of the series published In several Boston newspapers. On September 27, 1861, Emerson had lectured on "Education" at Yarmouth, Massachusetts; and from the report given by J. E. Cabot in his Memoir of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Boston, 1889, II, 782-783), it appears that some of the material used then may have been included in the present discourse. As the notes will Indicate, only a few of the sentences printed here are to be found in the lecture on "Education" prepared by Cabot for publication in the volume entitled Lectures and Biographical Sketches , which first appeared In 1883. Contemporary newspaper reports Inform us that the Melodeon, the hall In which Emerson lectured, was "well filled" by an audience in which "the intellectual cultivation and literary eminence" of Boston were liberally represented; and that the discourse occupied about an hour and a quarter in the delivery.]

I CONGRATULATE my countrymen on the good omens of the hour. I congratulate them that a great proportion of mankind, dwelling in the United States, have given their decision, in unmistakable tones, in favor of social and statute . . .

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