"Ralph Waldo Emerson" Eulogized by Lifelong Friend, 1882
First EditionEulogy for Ralph Waldo Emerson. Written by C. A. Bartol. "Ralph Waldo Emerson: A Discourse in West Church". Boston: A. Williams & Co., 1882. Octavo. Original blue printed wrappers. 20 pages. "How shall I present Ralph Waldo Emerson...?" "What, as his main characteristic, this man stood for was unity in men and things." Ralph Waldo Emerson died on April 27, 1882. This eulogy was originally read in West Church, Boston by Cyrus Augustus Bartol, a "fifty years acquaintance" of Emerson (as quoted from this text) and a noted transcendentalist known as the "Poet in the Pulpit." This memorial, spanning a full 20 pages is both extensively biographical and an impressionistic portrait of Emerson, both from his personal inner circle and the general public who saw him as the embodiment of the spirit of their age. After his death, Emerson was interred in the Sleepy Hollow cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts. "The affections in us are more curious than our thoughts, and feel farther than our minds can peer." This item was originally owned by Charles Warren Stone, US Congressman from Pennsylvania, who was a family friend of Emerson. In this essay, Bartol repeatedly compares Emerson's life and legacy with other great figures throughout history, literature, and philosophy, including Plato, Milton, Darwin, Dante, and Napoleon. "Darwin and Emerson, as unlike, yet as united as the opposite poles of the earth, are the two of our age fittest to survive,--the first the explorer of structure, the second of the organific, organizing power, both trusting and showing the oneness of the world." Original owner's signature on front cover: "Charles W. Stone / May 24, 1882". Very light vertical fold line through center, a few smudges to back cover, and a few pencil ticks in margins. Else a near fine example. A well-worded and insightful tribute to the great American philosopher; a must-read for Emerson collectors.
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