Life of Ralph Waldo Emerson

By Richard Garnett | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV.

A CERTAIN boisterous zone of ocean is known to the seaman as "the roaring forties." The future historian of this century may dwell on "the still thirties," as a decade more pregnant with intellectual than with political revolution. In 1830 occurred the great debate on fixity of type between Cuvier and Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, which Goethe thought infinitely more important than the Revolution of July. In 1831 Darwin departed on his eventful voyage, "Sartor Resartus" was written, and the British Association founded. In 1835 appeared the epoch-making works of Strauss and Tocqueville; statistics first assumed the dignity of a science; and the names of Copernicus and Galileo vanished from the Index Expurgatorius. In March of the same year Emerson speaks to Carlyle of a projected journal to be called the Transcendentalist. The christening nevertheless, Hibernically, perhaps mystically, preceded the birth, for it was not until September, 1836 -- the month which the publication of "Nature" would alone have sealed as an epoch -- that Emerson, Dr. Hedge, George Ripley, and an unnamed companion, meeting on occasion of the second centennial anniversary of Harvard College, "chanced to confer on the state of current opinion in theology and philosophy, which

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Life of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Note. 9
  • Life of Emerson 11
  • Chapter 1 11
  • Chapter II 36
  • Chapter III 57
  • Chapter IV 81
  • Chapter V 111
  • Chapter VI 137
  • Chapter VII 162
  • Chapter VIII 187
  • Index 201
  • Bibliography i
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