The American Scholar: An Address
Laurentian Press, 1901 - 116 pages
John Muir read many of Ralph Waldo Emerson's works, and Emerson was highly influential in the development of Muir's philosophies. This book is a transcript of a speech Emerson gave at a university in 1837.?
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Page 35 - The office of the scholar is to cheer, to raise, and to guide men by showing them facts amidst appearances.
Page 7 - In this distribution of functions the scholar is the delegated intellect. In the right state he is Man Thinking. In the degenerate state, when the victim of society, he tends to become a mere thinker, or, still worse, the parrot of other men's thinking. In this view of him, as Man Thinking, the theory of his office is contained.
Page 53 - I ask not for the great, the remote, the romantic ; what is doing in Italy or Arabia; what is Greek art, or Provencal minstrelsy ; I embrace the common, I explore and sit at the feet of the "familiar, the low.
Page 25 - American colleges will recede in their public importance, whilst they grow richer every year. [HERE goes in the world a notion that the scholar should be a recluse, a valetudinarian, — as unfit for any handiwork or public labor as a penknife for an axe. The so-called " practical men " sneer at speculative men, as if, because they speculate or see, they could do nothing.
Page 17 - Books are the best of things, well used; abused, among the worst. What is the right use? What is the one end which all means go to effect? They are for nothing but to inspire.
Page 51 - If there is any period one would desire to be born in, is it not the age of Revolution; when the old and the new stand side by side and admit of being compared; when the energies of all men are searched by fear and by hope ; when the historic glories of the old can be compensated by the rich possibilities of the new era ? This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.
Page 13 - Study nature," become at last one maxim. I HE next great influence into the spirit of the scholar is the mind of the Past, — in whatever form, whether of literature, of art, of institutions, that mind is inscribed. Books are the best type of the influence of the past, and perhaps we shall get at the truth, — learn the amount of this influence more conveniently, — by considering their value alone. The theory of books is noble.
Page 19 - Books are for the scholar's idle times. When he can read God directly, the hour is too precious to be wasted in other men's transcripts of their readings. But when the intervals of darkness come, as come they must, -when the sun is hid and the stars withdraw their shining, -we repair to the lamps which were kindled by their ray, to guide our steps to the East again, where the dawn is. We hear, that we may speak. The Arabian proverb says, "A fig tree, looking on a fig tree, becometh fruitful.
Page 17 - The one thing in the world, of value, is the active soul. This every man is entitled to; this every man contains within him, although, in almost all men, obstructed, and as yet unborn. The soul active sees absolute truth; and utters truth, or creates. In this action it is genius; not the privilege of here and there a favorite, but the sound estate of every man.