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people here have n't any books to read, and they would be a great comfort to them.” When my memorial volume about my father came out, he wrote me and said, “I have no money, but will you send me your book ?” and then wrote me such a letter that I said, “No price that has as yet been paid for that book has even approached the price you have paid for it.” Mr. Bowers was a nephew of George Minott, who lived on the hill opposite my father's. Mr. Bowers was one day talking with his uncle, — an old agriculturalist and pot-hunter, who had only been to Boston once, when he marched there in 1812 with his gun and then he got so homesick for Concord that he promptly deserted; - as they stood there talking together, my father came out from his study with his tall hat on and his satchel in hand, going to Boston for the day. He paused as he reached the middle of that dusty diagonal leading to the upper sidewalk, as you know, and was apparently lost in meditation. They supposed he was meditating some profound problem. Undoubtedly, the problem was whether or no he had done with a certain book which should be carried back to the Athenæum. But Mr. Minott said to Mr. Bowers, “Charley, that man ain't like other men. He is like Enoch. He walks with God and talks with his angels.” I am sometimes tempted to ask how many graduates of Harvard College would know who Enoch was. 1
1 Mr. Samuel Hoar, on behalf of the University, officially
The other story was this. Mr. Bowers was temporarily curator of the Lyceum. The minister of a neighboring town, who had a sonorous voice which he, with others, enjoyed, and a florid style of rhetoric, was to have lectured, but was unexpectedly detained. Mr. Bowers came down to ask Mr. Emerson if he would read something. Mr. Emerson said: “Yes; I could read you something; but will the people who are assembled to hear the sound of the trumpet be content with a penny whistle ?"
Mr. Emerson's love for his townsfolk, especially for the boys and girls, was very great. How little conscious was the boy, as he passed the gate, riding a horse to be shod, or the girls walking to school, how little conscious of the admiration that they excited in him and his pleasure in watching them pass. He had a little book which he called Auto among his manuscripts in which he noted a few points especially characteristic of himself. One thing he wrote was, “I have never seen a man that could not teach me something. I always felt that in some point he was my master.” It was so with women and with children. We had once a friend, a charming young girl, visiting us at our house. One morning, through some family exigency, she was alone at breakfast with Mr. Emerson and poured out his cup of coffee for him. She felt very much abashed. She felt unable to discourse on
informs me that Harvard students are familiar with Enoch because he was translated some time ago.
philosophy, but she said it suddenly came over her, “Mr. Emerson could not fix over an old dress, he could not do plain sewing the way I can do it, to save his life.” Then she felt better, and they got on together beautifully after that. I wish she had said it to him; it would have delighted him. When I was in college many persons used to come to ask Mr. Emerson questions, — young people often no older than I. But you know how it is; boys are not apt to ask their fathers questions. They ask some other person's father. I was surprised to see how the boys who came there did so. I seldom asked a very serious question of him, but I recall one answer with pleasure. It was about Immortality. I ventured to ask what he thought. This was the answer: “I think we may be sure that, whatever may come after death, no one will be disappointed.” That seemed to cover all our concern about the future.
My father's delight in his farm and what he found in it -- except the weeds — has already been mentioned. I like to close with this incident, because, you know, in the pictures of the good men and women who have been canonized, they are represented with some emblem, a book or a wheel or a cross or a sword, as an attribute. David Scott, the Edinburgh painter, has this one merit in that wooden picture that he made of my father, in that he recognized that my father stood for Hope, and he put the rainbow in the background — the symbol of
Lope. Mr. Emerson, finding everything good in Concord, and near at hand in his home, wrote this:
“ The gun athwart the cloud thought it no sin
To use my land to put his rainbow in."
The evening closed with the “Concord Hymn sung to the tune of “Old Hundred,” in which all present were asked to join.
SUNG AT THE COMPLETION OF THE BATTLE MONUMENT,
APRIL 19, 1836.
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps ; And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free, Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.