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[129] capable here afd there of the true miracle of transforming fact and thought into true beauty. Aldrich used to. say that he would rather have written Emerson's Bacchus than any American poem.

That the pure, high, and tonic mind of Emerson was universal II its survey of human forces, no one would claim. Certain limitations in interest and sympathy are obvious. “That horrid burden and impediment of the soul which the churches call sin,” to use John Morley's words, occupied his attention but little. Like a mountain climber in a perilous pass, he preferred to look up rather than down. He does not stress particularly those old human words, service and sacrifice. “Antiscientific, anti-social, anti-christian” are the terms applied to him by one of his most penetrating critics. Yet I should prefer to say “un-scientific,” “unsocial,” and “non-Christian,” in the sense in which Plato and Isaiah are non-Christian. Perhaps it would be still nearer the truth to say, as Mrs. Lincoln said of her husband, “He was not a technical Christian.” He tends to underestimate institutions of every kind; history, except as a storehouse of anecdote, and culture as a steady mental discipline. This is the price he pays for his transcendental

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Ralph Waldo Emerson (2)
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Bacchus (1)
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