SOME brief account of Emerson's first visit to England, near fifty years ago, has been given in the earlier pages of this book. When Professor Charles Norton, to whom both Carlyle and Emerson intrusted the editing of their correspondence, has completed the task, for which none can be more fit, the world will see both men in a clearer light; and it will also be the best introduction to the history of Emerson's work, friendships, and experiences in England.
Carlyle's preface to Emerson's first series of Essays ( London, James Fraser, 1841) is one of his characteristic writings, but it shews that he had not understood the aim of Emerson. He quotes Paul Louis Courrier, "Ce qui me distingue de tous mes contemporains c'est que je n'ai pas la prétention d'être roi;" and regards Emerson as one contemptuously withdrawn from his nation.
Among the first to be stirred by the Essays was John Sterling , who dedicated his "Strafford," to Emerson:
"Teacher of starry wisdom, high, serene,
Receive the gift our common ground supplies;
Red flowers, dark leaves, that ne'er on earth had been
Without the influence of sidereal skies."