Henceforth the chant is divine also. The man has never lived that can feed us ever. P A R A G R A P H 1 Emerson opens up the speech talking about what a successful literary year that has occurred. In this view of him, as Man Thinking, the whole theory of his office is contained. They lie like fair pictures in the air. An active person has a richer existence than a scholar who merely undergoes a second-hand existence through the words and thoughts of others.
Free should the scholar be,—free and brave. I do not see how any man can afford, for the sake of his nerves and his nap, to spare any action in which he can partake. Success treads on every right step. A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men. The astronomer discovers that geometry, a pure abstraction of the human mind, is the measure of planetary motion. When he ascended the throne his country was in a deplorable condition from the repeated inroads of northern invaders. The brother of his hand is even now cleaving the arctic sea in the fin of the whale, and innumerable ages since was pawing the marsh in the flipper of the saurian.
He shall see, that nature is the opposite of the soul, answering to it part for part. But I have already shown the ground of my hope, in adverting to the doctrine that man is one. It was originally delivered as a speech to the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Harvard University on August 31, 1837. Man is thus metamorphosed into a thing, into many things. What is the one end, which all means go to effect? He eventually drove them out and established a secure government. Character is higher than intellect.
He is to find consolation in exercising the highest functions of human nature. They cast the dignity of man from their downtrod selves upon the shoulders of a hero, and will perish to add one drop of blood to make that great heart beat, those giant sinews combat and conquer. But when the intervals of darkness come, as come they must,—when the soul seeth not, when the sun is hid and the stars withdraw their shining,—we repair to the lamps which were kindled by their ray, to guide our steps to the East again, where the dawn is. Pope possessed little originality or creative imagination, but he had a vivid sense of the beautiful and an exquisite taste. Not so, brothers and friends,—please God, ours shall not be so. He was proficient in every branch of art and learning and was such a brilliant athlete that he contended in the Isthmian and Pythian games. It is one light which beams out of a thousand stars.
If it were only for a vocabulary, the scholar would be covetous of action. I might not carry with me the feeling of my audience in stating my own belief. Yet when this spiritual light shall have revealed the law of more earthly natures,--when he has learned to worship the soul, and to see that the natural philosophy that now is, is only the first gropings of its gigantic hand,--he shall look forward to an ever-expanding knowledge as to a becoming creator. Pointing out the differences between this gathering and the athletic and dramatic contests of ancient Greece, the poetry contests of the Middle Ages, and the scientific academies of nineteenth-century Europe, he voices a theme that draws the entire essay together: the notion of an independent American intelligentsia that will no longer depend for authority on its European past. The conventional is the continual foe of all true art. So much of nature as he is ignorant of, so much of his own mind does he not yet possess. Man is not a farmer, or a professor, or an engineer, but he is all.
He is the worlds heart. Each philosopher, each bard, each actor has only done for me, as by a delegate, what one day I can do for myself. They are content to be brushed like flies from the path of a great person, so that justice shall be done by him to that common nature which it is the dearest desire of all to see enlarged and glorified. Analysis: The two sides of a scholar. The private life of one man shall be a more illustrious monarchy, more formidable to its enemy, more sweet and serene in its influence to its friend, than any kingdom in history. I had better never see a book than to be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite instead of a system. In the right state he is Man Thinking.
President and Gentlemen, this confidence in the unsearched might of man belongs, by all motives, by all prophecy, by all preparation, to the American Scholar. The fable implies that the individual, to possess himself, must sometimes return from his own labor to embrace all the other laborers. Action is with the scholar subordinate, but it is essential. The quality of the writing is passable but the completion rate is super quick. In silence, in steadiness, in severe abstraction, let him hold by himself; add observation to observation, patient of neglect, patient of reproach, and bide his own time,—happy enough if he can satisfy himself alone that this day he has seen something truly. Yet when this spiritual light shall have revealed the law of more earthly natures, — when he has learned to worship the soul, and to see that the natural philosophy that now is, is only the first gropings of its gigantic hand, he shall look forward to an ever expanding knowledge as to a becoming creator.
Let us inquire what new lights, new events, and more days have thrown on his character, his duties, and his hopes. This revolution is to be wrought by the gradual domestication of the idea of Culture. He wanted to recruit scholars. There is virtue yet in the hoe and the spade, for learned as well as for unlearned hands. An illustrious French philosopher, statesman, and writer who made many discoveries in the realm of natural history, geology and philosophy. It is a shame to him if his tranquility, amid dangerous times, arise from the presumption that like children and women his is a protected class; or if he seek a temporary peace by the diversion of his thoughts from politics or vexed questions, hiding his head like an ostrich in the flowering bushes, peeping into microscopes, and turning rhymes, as a boy whistles to keep his courage up.
We then see, what is always true, that as the seer's hour of vision is short and rare among heavy days and months, so is its record, perchance, the least part of his volume. So much only of life as I know by experience, so much of the wilderness have I vanquished and planted, or so far have I extended my being, my dominion. In the first three paragraphs of this section, he emphasizes that books contain the learning of the past; however, he also says that these books pose a great danger. The mind now thinks, now acts, and each fit reproduces the other. Johnson, Samuel 1709-84 The English writer and critic who wrote Lives of the Poets, a study ofEnglish poetry.