and enlightened to a miracle, but far removed from the ardent dreams and soft credulity of the world's youth.
Sometimes I think I would give all our gains for those times when young and old gathered in the feudal hall, listening with soul-absorbing transport to the romance of the minstrel, unrestrained and regardless of criticism, and when they worshipped nature, not as high-dressed and pampered, but as just risen from the bath.
Cambridge, May 14, 1826.—I am studying Madame de Stael, Epictetus, Milton, Racine, and Castilian ballads, with great delight.
There's an assemblage for you. Now tell me, had you rather be the brilliant De Stael or the useful Edgeworth——though De Stael is useful too, but it is on the grand scale, on liberalizing, regenerating principles, and has not the immediate practical success that Edgeworth has. I met with a parallel the other day between Byron and Rousseau, and had a mind to send it to you, it was so excellent.
Cambridge, Jan. 10, 1827.—As to
The rise of this enthusiasm was as mysterious as that of any form of revival; and only they who were of the faith could comprehend how bright was this morning—time of a new hope.
Transcendentalism was an assertion of the inalienable integrity of man, of the immanence of Divinity in instinct.
In part, it was a reaction against Puritan Orthodoxy; in part, an effect of renewed study of the ancients, of Oriental Pantheists, of Plato and the Alexandrians, of Plutarch's Morals, Seneca and Epictetus; in part, the natural product of the culture of the place and time.
On the somewhat stunted stock of Unitarianism,—whose characteristic dogma was trust in individual reason as correlative to Supreme Wisdom,— had been grafted German Idealism, as taught by masters of most various schools,—by Kant and Jacobi, Fichte and Novalis, Schelling and Hegel, Schleiermacher and De Wette, by Madame de Stael, Cousin, Coleridge, and Carlyle; and the result was a vague yet exalting conception of the god