The complete works of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Miscellanies [Vol. 11]
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882., Emerson, Edward Waldo, 1844-1930.
Page  622


Mr. Cabot, in his Memoir, says that just before Mr. Emerson sailed for Europe in 1847, Theodore Parker, Dr. S. G. Howe and others (Mr. Cabot was one of these) met to consider whether there could not be "a new quarterly review which should be more alive than was the North American to the questions of the day." Charles Sumner and Thoreau are mentioned as having been present. Colonel Higginson says that Mr. Parker wished it to be "the Dial with a beard." It was decided that the undertaking should be made. Mr. Parker wished Mr. Emerson to be editor, but he declined. A committee was chosen—Emerson, Parker and Howe—to draft a manifesto to the public. Mr. Emerson wrote the paper here printed, but when the first number of the Review came to him in England, was annoyed at finding his name set down as one of the editors. I think that the only paper he ever wrote for it, beyond the "Address to the Public," was a notice of "Some Oxford Poetry,"—the recently published poems of John Sterling and Arthur Hugh Clough.

Theodore Parker was the real editor. During its three years of life the Massachusetts Quarterly—now hard to obtain—was a brave, independent and patriotic magazine, and, like the Dial, gives the advancing thought of the time in literary and social matters, and also in religion and politics.

Page 384, note 1. Plutarch tells that Cineas, the wise counsellor of Pyrrhus, king of the Epirots, asked his monarch when he set forth to conquer Rome what he should do afterwards. Page  623 Pyrrhus said he could then become master of Sicily. "And then?" asked Cineas. The king told of further dreams of conquest of Carthage and Libya. "But when we have conquered all that, what are we to do then?" "Why then, my friend," said Pyrrhus, laughing, "we will take our ease, and drink and be merry." Cineas, having brought him thus far, replied, "And what hinders us from drinking and taking our ease now, when we have already those things in our hands at which we propose to arrive through seas of blood, through infinite toils and dangers, innumerable calamities which we must both cause and suffer?"

Page 386, note 1. "To live without duties is obscene."—"Aristocracy," Lectures and Biographical Sketches.

Page 389, note 1. This was shortly after the annexation of Texas, and during the successful progress of the Mexican War. The slave power, although awakening opposition by its insatiable demands, was still on the increase. Charles Sumner, though a rising statesman, had not yet entered Congress.

Page 389, note 2.

For Destiny never swerves,
Nor yields to men the helm.

"The World-Soul," Poems.