the mania of little great men, so prevalent in this country,—if aversion to the sentimental exaggerations to which so many minds are prone,—if finding that most men praise, as well as blame, too readily, and that overpraise desecrates the lips and makes the breath unworthy to blow the coal of devotion,—if rejection of the—s and—s, from a sense that the priestess must reserve her paeans for Apollo,—if untiring effort to form my mind to justice and revere only the superlatively good, that my praise might be praise; if this be to offend, then have I offended.
V. The Dial.Several talks among the Transcendentalists, during the autumn of 1839, turned upon the propriety of establishing an organ for the expression of freer views than the conservative journals were ready to welcome. The result was the publication of the ‘Dial,’ the first number of which appeared early in the summer of 1840, under the editorship of Margaret, aided by R. W. Emerson and George Ripley. How moderate were her own hopes, in regard to this enterprise, is clearly enough shown by passages from her correspondence.
Jamaica Plain, 22d March, 1840. * * * I have a great deal written, but, as I read it over, scarce a word seems pertinent to the place or time. When I meet people, it is easy to adapt myself to them; but when I write, it is into another world,—not a better one, perhaps, but one with very dissimilar habits of thought to