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THE

EDITOR'S PREFACE

HE essays and lectures contained in the following pages were not included by Emerson himself in any volume of his works, but they must not, on that account, be slighted. Indeed, many of them found a place in the last volumes of the posthumous collected edition, and have therefore some sort of official sanction. A few for instance, "The Senses and the Soul," the editorial preface to the “Dial," and the essay on "Saadi"

-are now for the first time reprinted. The pieces vary considerably in quality, but they are far too good to be lost, and a handy collection like the present should be welcome to all admirers of the greater and betterknown works.

Another interest attaches to this volume. Considerable omissions and alterations were made in some of the papers before they found a place in the official edition published after Emerson's death. Here, however, the original text has been strictly followed. Wherever possible, the pages have been set up and corrected from copies of the publications in which the pieces appeared, and in this way much deleted matter has been restored, and many errors corrected. For instance, the present reprint of the essay called “Thoughts on Modern Literature" is quite twice the length of the American version, which is, in fact, almost unintelligible at first, through the omission of many important paragraphs.

The pages of the "Dial" have provided this volume with many interesting pieces. A set of that extra151335

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ordinary periodical annotated by Emerson himself, enables us to identify his contributions with some certainty. Of the verse, which ranges from lengthy pieces like "Woodnotes" to mere quatrains like "Painting and Sculpture," nothing need be said here, for, with the exception of two short pieces, it was reprinted in the "Poems" of 1847, and appears in full in the last volume of the present edition. Emerson's prose contributions were (1) "The Editors to the Reader"; (2) "Thoughts on Modern Literature”; (3) "New Poetry"; (4) "Thoughts on Art"; (5) “Man the Reformer"; (6) "Essays and Poems by Jones Very"; (7) "Landor"; (8) "The Senses and the Soul"; (9) "Prayers"; (10) "Fourierism and the Socialists"; (II) Chardon Street and Bible Conventions"; (12) "Agriculture of Massachusetts"; (13) "The Conservative"; (14) "English Reformers"; (15) "The Transcendentalist"; (16) "Europe and European Books"; (17) "Gifts"; (18) "Carlyle's Past and Present"; (19) "The Comic"; (20) "A Letter"; (21) "Tantalus"; (22) "The Tragic." Of these, 5, 13, and 15 were included by Emerson in the volume of Orations published in 1844, and will be found in Vol. III. of the present edition. The fourth was published in "Society and Solitude" with the title 'Art"; Gifts" is the essay of that name; "The Comic' appears with that title in "Letters and Social Aims"; Tantalus" has been reprinted more than once by those who failed to recognise it as part of the essay "Nature" (see Vol. I. of this edition; "Tantalus" from p. 297, "The astronomers said," etc., to p. 303, "pre-existing within us in their highest form "); numbers I, 2, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 16, 18, 20, and 22 are included in the present volume. Thus, four papers have not been reprinted, and that for reasons set out below. "New

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Poetry" is composed chiefly of quotations, Emerson's own remarks being extremely slight and scanty; "Essays and Poems by Jones Very" is a review of the most ordinary type-some thirty lines in length; "Fourierism and the Socialists" with an attractive title is a very disappointing piece, being a long statement from a disciple of Fourier, to which Emerson has prefixed some rather perfunctory remarks; "English Reformers" is a drily official account of certain educational disciples of Alcott, and probably interested somebody at the time it has no particle of interest now.

Speaking generally of the pieces contained in the following pages, one may remark that they range from mere occasional addresses to lengthy and serious essays, some of which, like "Character," for example, are equal to his earliest and best work. In point of time, too, they are coincident with the whole of his literary life, for the earliest piece is dated 1832, and the latest 1882. All the interest and the defects inseparable from such a collection will be found in the papers now presented.

Owing to the large amount of new matter included in this edition, it has been found impossible to comprise the whole in four volumes as originally intended. A fifth volume will therefore be added containing Emerson's Poetical Works.

G. S.

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