In Subjects
 
Emerson

Emerson

Critical Miscellanies, Vol. 1, Essay 5

Published

Excerpt:

he strokes of the common lot. His first wife died after three short years of wedded happiness. He lost a little son, who was the light of his eyes. But others were born to him, and in all the relations and circumstances of domestic life he was one of the best and most beloved of men. He long carried in his mind the picture of Carlyle's life at Craigenputtock as the ideal for the sage, but his own choice was far wiser and happier, 'not wholly in the busy world, nor quite beyond it.'

'Besides my house,' he told Carlyle in 1838, 'I have, I believe, 22,000 dollars, whose income in ordinary years is six per cent. I have no other tithe or glebe except the income of my winter lectures, which was last winter 800 dollars. Well, with this income, here at home, I am a rich man. I stay at home and go abroad at my own instance, I have food, warmth, leisure, books, friends. Go away from home, I am rich no longer. I never have a dollar to spend on a fancy. As no wise man, I suppose, ever was rich in the sense of