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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 1, page 81, January 29, 1850

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Identifier: DX09021727

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 1, page 81, January 29, 1850

Description: Describes a lecture by Ralph Waldo Emerson that he attended.


He [Ralph Waldo Emerson] conducted it thus — First he spake of beautiful and primitive creed of the Greek, content with and relying on Nature, Zeus ruling sky, Poseidon the blue waters, and Pluto the mine — Hades or land of disembodied spirits. The Hamadryad and Faun in the wood — the world all as God willed it. Next the Christian — Nature a snare and enemy, faith and stern World fight through life. Its debasement under the dominant sway of Rome. Then, (and the noblest part of the Lecture,) of our Age. Of it daring, sceptical questioning All — (which forms the great attraction of the “Faust” of [Johann Wolfgang von] Goethe); — of its brain-traps to turn each element to an artisan for the benefit of man and acquisition of dollars, — of young Men born as [unclear word], “with Knives in their brain”; — of it being the age of Tools; — and of the highway feudal baron now a Capitalist and Monopoly ogre of mens lives and limbs. Of the wondrous aproposness of each invention — the telegraph just when needed — when the World could not do without it — Of California, and the army of pioneers there, each man a walking American constitution; — knowing his rights political and natural. Of [Robert] Owen and [Charles] Fourier, he spoke with respect — he had not the heart to laugh at them — men who had striven, believed and hoped. They point out an evil and a monstrous one, and in this are more to be honored than those who cry “Peace – peace, when there is no peace!” Lastly he spake of talk of Revolution, and said that when

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1850-01-29

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Lectures and lecturing
Mythology, Greek
West (U.S.)


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