"Ferries and Horses"
A wealth of evidence from sermons, lectures, essays, addresses, journals, and notebooks indicates that throughout Emerson's career language shaped his ideas on a wide variety of subjects. The indexes to the Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks, for example, contain lengthy entries under the headings "Language," "Rhetoric," and "Eloquence," and almost any one of the sixteen volumes of the Journals will yield a dozen or more entries relating to linguistic topics.1. Nor was Emerson's interest merely that of a professional man of letters, for it contributed to his fundamental conceptions of nineteenth-century America as a nation in need of constant reform. My interpretation of Emerson's eloquence takes part in a rereading of his position within antebellum American culture, one that tends to emphasize his role as an engaged, public intellectual.2 As I____________________