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4. We have done everything possible to obtain justice and avert war — now we must fight.

5. Reasons why we should prepare at once to fight, and why we shall win.

6. Conclusion: for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”

-:

War has indeed already begun! “As

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF EMERSON

1. Name the significant fact in Emerson's ancestry. Draw from it an inference in connection with his mental and spiritual make-up.

2. Give a brief summary of his life from his graduation at Harvard in 1821 until his death.

3. In what field did Emerson first draw public attention to himself as a man who had something to say?

4. What was the literary form of most of his prose work? 5. Summarize briefly his poetical career, and mention some of his more famous poems.

6. In what special way did Emerson show that he set a high value upon literature?

CONCORD HYMN

Purpose.

To celebrate the erection of a "Votive stone in honor of a great event in our history, and to interpret the spirit and the meaning of that event.

The poet uses the simplest of means, yet the result is something wholly fine and complete.

Method.

Note how fitly the choice of words in the first stanza, as well as the rugged, halting force of the metre, expresses the rugged strength of the "embattled farmers." Note, also, the perfect yet satisfying simplicity of the last stanza.

SUGGESTIVE QUESTIONS

What is the meaning of the famous line:

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"And fired the shot heard round the world " ?

Does it not sug

(a) The brevity of human life as compared with the lasting effects human deeds may have?

(b) That death unites all differences?

To what does "the dark stream" refer?

Explain the force of the second stanza.

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THE SNOW-STORM

Purpose.

To show us our inferiority to nature; the magic ease with which she accomplishes things, as contrasted with our clumsy human efforts; to teach that we produce our highest and finest work when we accept nature as our guide and model.

Emerson describes the work of the snow-storm as an example of nature's miracles. His description of the arrival of the snow is particularly fine. Note that Whittier has used it as one of the texts preceding his poem, "Snow-Bound."

Study the symbolism of the poem : —

(1) The north wind is an architect of wondrous swiftness, power, and skill.

(2) Snow is the material with which he works.

(3) The work of human artists and architects is merely imitation of nature, and it requires slow, patient building, "stone by stone," to mimic the "mad wind's" frolic of a night. One of nature's "whims" puts to blush all our labored, carefully-wrought designs.

Method.

"In a tumultuous privacy of storm."

Remarks.

Note the epithets applied to the north wind: "the fierce artificer," "the myriad-handed," "the mad wind," — the sense of something human in the wind, which the whole description suggests. Note especially and explain the symbolism of " masonry," "quarry," "tile," bastions," ""Parian wreaths," "tapering turret."

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Note the felicity of the passage:

THE RHODORA

The purpose is plain. Quote two famous lines from the poem, showing what this is.

Method.

The poet tells of his finding the lovely Rhodora "spreading its leafless blooms in a dark nook,” and he proceeds, out of his own simple faith and divination, to explain the mystery of its presence there.

Remarks.

Explain the significance of these passages:
: -

Purpose.

"To please the desert and the sluggish brook."
"And court the flower that cheapens his array."
"... why
This charm is wasted on the earth and sky."

Emerson's great gift was that he accepted nature as she is-simply and nobly. He found no difficulty in identifying himself with the things of nature with the Rhodora, for instance.

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"The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.” Short as it is, there is a world of beauty in this poem. Note the exquisite tenderness of Emerson's feeling.

Memorize the

poem.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

This address reveals several of Emerson's best

Remarks. qualities as a writer; notably, his plain common sense, and straightforward simplicity. Note his astute reading of Lincoln's character; his frank and direct summary of it, conveying a whole and satisfying impression of the

man.

SUGGESTIVE QUESTIONS

What do you regard as one of Emerson's most captivating traits? Is it not the idiomatic force, the epigrammatic crispness of many of his sentences? Do you think that Emerson's style can ever, by any chance, be confused with that of any other writer?

Note how excellently the following sentences summarize Lincoln's character:

"A quite native, aboriginal man, as an acorn from an oak."
"But this man was sound to the core, cheerful, persistent, all
right for labor, and liked nothing so well."

Do you agree with Emerson's suggestion that Lincoln's taking off may have been at the opportune moment for his fame? Note Emerson's large and sagacious way of viewing the events of history- his belief in " a serene Providence that rules the fate of nations." What is the prevailing tone of all of Emerson's philosophical teaching?

The Riverside Press

CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS

U.S.A

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