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and west. I came home by the great Northern Lakes and Niagara.
I went lately to St. Louis, and saw the Mississippi again. The powers of the river, the insatiate craving for nations of men to reap and cure its harvests, the conditions it imposes, — for it yields to no engineering, — are interesting enough. The prairie exists to yield the greatest possible quantity of adipocere. For corn makes pig, pig is the export of all the land, and you shall see the instant dependence of aristocracy and civility on the fat four-legs. Workingmen, ability to do the work of the river, abounded. Nothing higher was to be thought of.
America is incomplete. Room for us all, since it has not ended, nor given sign of ending, in bard or hero. 'Tis a wild democracy, the riot of mediocrities, and none of your selfish Italies and Englands, wherd an age sublimates into a genius, and the whole population is made into Paddies to feed his porcelain veins by transfusion from their brick arteries.
California surprises with a geography, climate, vegetation, beasts, birds, fishes even, unlike ours; the land immense; the Pacific sea; steam brings the near neighborhood of Asia ; and South America at your feet; the mountains reaching the altitude of Mont Blanc; the State in its six hundred miles of latitude producing all our Northern fruits, and also the fig, orange, and banana.
But the climate chiefly surprised me. The almanae the squaws
said April, but the day said June; and day after day for six weeks, uninterrupted sunshine. November and December are the rainy months. The whole country was covered with flowers, and all of them unknown to us except in greenhouses. Every bird that I know at home is represented here, but in gayer plumes.
On the plains we saw multitudes of antelopes, hares, gophers, even elks, and one pair of wolves on the plains; the grizzly bear, only in a cage. We crossed one region of the buffalo, but only saw one captive. We found Indians at every railroad station, and pappooses begging; and the “bucks,” as they wickedly call them, lounging. On our way out, we left the Pacific Railroad for twenty-four hours to visit Salt Lake; called on Brigham Young, — just seventy years old, — who received us with quiet, uncommitting courtesy, at first; a strong-built, self-possessed, sufficient man, with plain manners. He took early occasion to remark that "the one-man-power really meant allmen's-power.” Our interview was peaceable enough, and rather mended my impression of the man; and, after our visit, I read in the Deseret newspaper his speech to his people on the previous Sunday. It avoided religion, but was full of Franklinian good
In one point, he says, “Your fear of the Indians is nonsense. The Indians like the white men's food. Feed them well, and they will surely die.” He is clearly a sufficient ruler, and perhaps civilizer of his kingdom of blockheads ad interim ; but I found that the San Franciscans believe that this exceptional power cannot survive Brigham.
9. – THOUGHT-GEMS AND APHORISMS FROM EMERSON.
LANGUAGE is fossil poetry. As the limestone of the continent consists of infinite masses of the shells of animalcules, so language is made up of images, or tropes, which now, in their secondary use, have long ceased to remind us of their poetic origin.
Every man in his lifetime needs to thank his faults. Has he a defect or temper that unfits him to live in society? Thereby he is driven to entertain himself alone, and acquire habits of self-help; and thus, like the wounded oyster, he mends his shell with pearl.
A beautiful form is better than a beautiful face; a beautiful behavior is better than a beautiful form : it gives a higher pleasure than statues or pictures;. it is the finest of the fine arts.
I compared notes with one of my friends who expects every thing of the universe, and is disappointed when any thing is less than the best; and I found that I begin at the other extreme, expecting nothing, and am always full of thanks for moderate goods.
A gentleman makes no noise; a lady is serene.
The martyr can not be dishonored. Every lash inflicted is a tongue of fame; every prison, a more illustrious abode; every burned book or house enlightens the world; every suppressed or expunged word reverberates through the earth from side to side.
Love, and you shall be loved.
The highest merit we ascribe to Moses, Plato, and Milton is, that they set at naught books and traditions, and spake not what men but what they thought. A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the luster of the firmament of bards and sages.
It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own: but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
The only way to have a friend is to be one. You shall not come nearer to a man by getting into his house.
The poet gives us the eminent experience only, god stepping from peak to peak, nor planting his foot but on a mountain.
There is a defeat that is useful.
Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices.
The world belongs to the energetic man. His will gives him new eyes. He sees expedients and means where we saw none.
Nature is sanative, refining, elevating. How cunningly she hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses, and violets, and morning dew!
Every inch of the mountains is scarred by unimaginable convulsions, yet the new day is purple with the bloom of youth and love.
Every individual man has a bias which he must obey; and it is only as he feels and obeys this, that he rightly develops and attains his legitimate power in the world. He is never happy nor strong until he finds it, keeps it; learns to be at home with himself; learns to watch the delicate hints and insights that come to him, and to have entire assurance of his own mind.
Don't waste your life in doubts and fears: spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours or ages that follow it.
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. The way of life is wonderful; it is by abandonment. The great moments of history are the facilities of performance through the strength of ideas, as the works of genius and religion.
Olympian bard who sung
Divine ideas below,
And always keep us so.