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


On a beautiful day in May, 1852, Louis Kossuth, the exiled governor of Hungary, who had come to this country to solicit her to interfere in European politics on behalf of his oppressed people, visited the towns of Lexington and Concord, and spoke to a large assemblage in each place.

Kossuth was met at the Lexington line by a cavalcade from Page  624 Concord, who escorted him to the village, where he received a cordial welcome. The town hall was crowded with people. The Hon. John S. Keyes presided, and Mr. Emerson made the address of welcome.

Kossuth, in his earnest appeal for American help, addressed Mr. Emerson personally in the following passages, after alluding to Concord's part in the struggle for Freedom in 1775:—

"It is strange, indeed, how every incident of the present bears the mark of a deeper meaning around me. There is meaning in the very fact that it is you, sir, by whom the representative of Hungary's ill-fated struggle is so generously welcomed … to the shrine of martyrs illumined by victory. You are wont to dive into the mysteries of truth and disclose mysteries of right to the eyes of men. Your honored name is Emerson; and Emerson was the name of a man who, a minister of the gospel, turned out with his people, on the 19th of April of eternal memory, when the alarm-bell first was rung. … I take hold of that augury, sir. Religion and Philosophy, you blessed twins,—upon you I rely with my hopes to America. Religion, the philosophy of the heart, will make the Americans generous; and philosophy, the religion of the mind, will make the Americans wise; and all that I claim is a generous wisdom and a wise generosity."

Page 398, note 1. I am unable to find the source of these lines.

Page 399, note 1. For the power of minorities, see "Progress of Culture," Letters and Social Aims, pp. 216-219, and "Considerations by the Way," Conduct of Life, pp. 248, 249.