LECTURES AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES BY RALPH WALDO EMERSON BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY b6o nlberbibe p dambcibne NOTE 0 F the pieces included in this volume the following, namely, those from the Dial, Character, Plutarch and the biographical sketches of Dr. Ripley, of Mr. Hoar and of Henry Thoreau, were printed by Mr. Emerson before I took any part in the arrangement of his papers. The rest, except the sketches of Miss Mary Emerson and of Major Stearns, I got ready for his use in readings to his friends or to a limited public. He had given up the regular practice of lecturing, but would aome- times, upon special request, read a paper that had been prepared for him from his manuscripts, in the manner described in the Prehce to Letters and Social Aims, - some former lecture serving as a nucleus for the new. Some of these papers he afterwards allowed to be printed others, namely, Aristocracy, C Education, The Man of Letters, The Scholar, Historic Notes of Life and Letters in New England, Mary Moody Emerson, CC George L. Stearns, are now published for the first time. . Demonology covers dreams, omens, coincidences, luck, sortilege, magic and other experiences which shun rather than court inquiry, and deserve notice chiefly because every man has usually in a lifetime two or three hints in this kind which are specially impressive to him. They also shed light on our structure. The witchcraft of sleep divides with truth the empire of our lives. This soft enchantress visits two children lying locked in each others arms, and carries them asunder by wide spaces of land and sea, and wide intervals of time - There lies a sleeping city, God of drevna What an unreal and fantastic world IP gg on mow Within the swccp of yon enctcling wall Haw many a large creation of che night, Wide wilderneaa and mcuntain, rwk and sea, Peopled with busy, transitory groups, Fmdr mom to rise, and never feels chc crowd. Tis superfluous to think of the dreams of multitudes, the astonishment remains that one should dream that we should resign so this deifying Reason, and become the theatre of delirious shows, wherein time, space, persons, cities, animals, should dance before us in merry and mad confusion a delicate creation outdoing the prime and flower of actual Nature, antic comedy alternating with horrid pictures. Some- times the forgotten companions of childhood reappear - They come, in dim procession led, The cold, the faithless, and the dead, Aa warm each hand, each brow a3 gay, As if they parted yesterday or me seem busied for hours and days in peregrinations over seas and lands, in earnest dia- logues, strenuous actions for nothings and ab- surdities, cheated by spectral jokes and waking suddenly with ghastIy laughter, to be rebuked by the cold, lonely, silent midnight, and to rake with confision in memory among the gibbering nonsense to find the motive of this contemptible cachinnation. Dreams are jealous of being remembered they dissipate instantly and angrily if you try to hold them...
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