wrote to Mrs. George Bancroft
(her husband being then in England
as United States
minister), Jan. 1, 1847:—
Mr. Everett seems very unhappy in his place.
The duties press upon him, and he foregoes society and recreation of all kinds.
I fear that he has failed to make such an impression at Cambridge as will make it agreeable for him to stay.
To Lord Morpeth, January 31:—
Emerson lives at Concord, about twenty miles from Boston, passing a studious or rather sylvan life, walking much in the fields and woods, and pencilling thoughts that occur in his rambles.
He is simple in his habits, pure in his character, most poetic and refined in his moods of thought.
He is not a man of the world, and yet there are few who draw attention by the pen whose conversation and personal presence commend them more than his. His published essays were first read as lectures in Boston, and his silver-tongued delivery charmed many who took little interest in what he said.
He has many warm admirers hereabout,—not any, however, among those whom you saw in Boston.
I have rarely met him in society, but occasionally receive a call from him, or encounter him in the street.
He is a, constant correspondent of Carlyle.
He has just published a little volume of poetry, which you will not fail to read.
It is the most original, native, autochthonous poetry of America: “Each and all” is a marvel of language; so is the first half of “Threnody.”
To Mrs. Bancroft
, February 28:—
Your three little sheets were full of pleasant tidings.
I was happy to hear from you under your own hand, as a token of friendship, and was right glad to know of your success in London.
I followed you in imagination to those circles which you described so well, and which must have such a zest both for you and your husband.
I once heard a queen's speech, and was much struck by her reading, which was exquisite in voice, emphasis, and intonation.
What shall I send you across the sea?
Our little Boston can have very little to interest you. A few evenings ago, as I looked into the Howard Theatre to see for a few minutes the Vienna dancers (a delightful spectacle), 1 espied your two boys1 together in the pit, and most intent upon the scene.
I desire to see them, and shall always be glad to converse with them, or do anything for them within my power.
But what can I do?
I am a lone man, and am otherwise much cut off from spheres of influence.
Other pens will doubtless tell you of society here; mine cannot, for I see nothing of it. Fashion has set her seal upon Agassiz's lectures on the animal creation, and on glaciers. . . . William Story has published a volume 2 which would have seemed better if it had not appeared by the side of Emerson's. It has beauty, and is full of the spirit of humanity.
He has also published a grave and valuable law book on the Law of Sales, while the bust of his father in marble has taken its place in the Library.
Poet, jurist, sculptor, musician!