Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay Compensation - 1841

A true testament to how important this slim volume is to American literature, thought, and culture!

Fuller, Margaret; Thoreau, Henry David; A Magazine For Literature, Philosophy, And Religion,300 Copies; First Edited By Margaret Fuller (1840-42) And Then By Ralph Waldo Emerson (1842-44); Volume Iis Four Issues Contain Two Poems By Thoreau, Including His Important Friendship, Later Collected In His First Book, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, And Much By Emerson Including His Defining Piece Transcendentalism.12 Volumes; 500 Copies; The Volumes Are Titled, Society And Solitude, English Traits, Lectures And Biographical Sketches, Nature, Address, And Lectures, Conduct Of Life, Poems, Representative Men: Seven Lectures, Essays: First Series, Essays: Second Series, Letters And Social Aims, Miscellanies; Natural History Of Intellect And Other Papers.11 Volumes; Two Frontispiece Portraits; The Eleven Volumes Of The Edition Are As Follows: 1.

His efforts in this direction included the self-financed publication of a pamphlet entitled "Nature" in 1836.

This essay, only five hundred copies of which were printed (and these took some six years to be distributed), received little initial notice but effectively articulated the philosophical underpinnings of the subsequently widely influential New England Transcendentalism movement.

The newly occupied territory of America was seen almost like a new Eden, where the American could start the kingdom of man again, living in a state of grace without the previous corrupt authority of church or state.

Emerson became this movement's chief prophet, especially with his wonderful gift for aphorisms and quips.

"But man crouches and blushes, Absconds and conceals; He creepeth and peepeth, He palters and steals; Infirm, melancholy, Jealous glancing around, An oaf, an accomplice, He poisons the ground.

"Outspoke the great mother, Beholding his fear;-- At the sound of her accents Cold shuddered the sphere:-- 'Who has drugged my boy's cup? Who, with sadness and madness, Has turned the man-child's head?

The Lethe of nature Can't trace him again, Whose soul sees the perfect, Which his eyes seek in vain.

"Profounder, profounder, Man's spirit must dive; To his aye-rolling orbit No goal will arrive; The heavens that now draw him With sweetness untold, Once found,--for new heavens He spurneth the old. "Eterne alternation Now follows, now flied; And under pain, pleasure,-- Under pleasure, pain lies.


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