vrijdag 30 maart 2012

Ralph Waldo Emerson -- 30 maart 1832

March 30.
I am your debtor, Sir James Mackintosh, for your Ethics, and yet, masterly book asit is, highly as I esteem the first account of the Conscience that has ever been given, yet is it at last only an outline, nor can suffice to my full satisfaction. . . .

Omnis Aristippum docuit color et status et res.

"Be not almighty, let me say,
Against, but for me."

An ingenious and pleasing account of human nature is Hartley's successive passions as expounded by Mackintosh. Each becomes the parent of a new and higher passion, and itself dies. If the scheme of Necessity must be admitted, then let that doctrine also be the antidote, the gradual glorification of man. . . . Very costly scaffoldings are pulled down when the more costly building is finished. And God has his scaffoldings. The Jewish Law answered its temporary purpose and was then set aside. Christianity is completing its purpose as an aid to educate man. And evil is a scaffolding on which universal good is reared. God shall be all in all. . . .


" True bard ! and simple, as the race
Of heaven-born poets ever are,
When, stooping from their starry place.
They 're children, near, though gods afar."

[suum cuique]

The world is an academy to the scholar, a butt to the satirist, a church to the devotee, " the scaffold of the divine vengeance " to the Calvinist, good society to the ashionist, a market to the merchant, a conquest to Alexander.

"No one can guess what kind of vision belongs to the fly. There are probably 25,000 hexagonal lenses or menisci on its surface, or the same number of distinct visual organs, as some comparative anatomists would lead us to believe."
Abernethy, Lectures.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was een Amerikaans essayist en dichter en een van de invloedrijkste denkers van zijn tijd. Hij hield vrijwel zijn gehele leven een dagboek bij.

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