THE " DIAL," THE COMMUNITY, AND THE CONVERSATIONS.
JUST as the Temple School had made Alcott a public character, who had before been only studious and private, so the "Dial," the Chardon Street Convention, the Community at Fruitlands, and his open Conversations, with their Orphic utterances (which the "Dial " put before the world in cold print), made him conspicuous, and the target for much indiscriminate odium; praise, ridicule, and misapprehension. The years from 1840 to 1845 may be taken as the zenith of his idealism, and the nadir of his worldly success. Such practical qualities as he had — and he had many, interfused with the higher properties of his poetic nature — were clouded, both in fact, and almost irretrievably in the public estimation, by the persistency with which in these years he carried out his austere principles, that seemed to lay the axe at the root of every existing institution. We look at history after it has been clarified by