Parting from Methodism--Pains of New Birth--John Minor--"The Blithedale Romance"--Last Sermon--Partings--Hearing Thackeray--Dr. Crooks--Theodore Parker--Father Taylor--Ways and Means--My Organ--A Visit to Concord--Hawthorne--First Meeting with Emerson.
ON leaving Washington for Falmouth I again had a narrow escape; on the Potomac bridge my horse was frightened by an approaching steamer and tried to leap into the river, getting almost over.
From December 15, 1852, when I reached the old home at Falmouth, to February 14, 1853, when I left for Cambridge, my old journal is a sort of herbarium of the thorns that pierced father, mother, and myself.
A cruel side of the situation was that my new steps had the appearance of being merely metaphysical. I was breaking my parents' hearts--so it seemed--on abstract and abstruse issues, while really I was aiming at a new world. But this new world was of such a serious character--the abolition of slavery, to begin with--that any intimation of it only made the doctrinal heresies more painful.
Once more on Christmas Day I heard the angel singing in old St. George's "Glad tidings of great joy I bring to you and all mankind"; once more I knelt with my parents on watch-night and sang the Covenant hymn, "Come let us anew our journey pursue"; and once more went out on New Year's Day--hiring day--and wrote in my journal:--
I feel to-night somewhat sad. I find how little sympathy I have with the existing state of things. As I saw the slave-hiring to-day, I found out how much hatred I had of the institution--and how much contempt for the persons engaged in it. "You look," said a friend, "as if you were not in the world." I am not. My dear relatives and friends cannot sympathise with and encourage the