BC: Works and Pictures Cited Emerson, Ralph Waldo. "The Conduct of Life IV Culture." American Transcendentalism Web. 1 July 2008.
FC: Ralph Waldo Emerson The Conduct of Life: Culture The New Millennia by Jason Lerch
1: The word of ambition at the present day is Culture. Whilst all the world is in pursuit of power, and of wealth as a means of power, culture corrects the theory of success.
2: Nature has secured individualism, by giving the private person a high conceit of his weight in the system. The pest of society is egotists.
3: All conversation is at an end, when we have discharged ourselves of a dozen personalities, domestic or imported, which make up our American existence.
4: Nor do we expect anybody to be other than a faint copy of these heroes.
5: Let us make our education brave and preventive. Politics is an after-work, a poor patching. We are always a little late.
6: The evil is done, the law is passed, and we begin the up-hill agitation for repeal of that of which we ought to have prevented the enacting. We shall one day learn to supersede politics by education. What we call our root-and-branch reforms of slavery, war, gambling, intemperance, is only medicating the symptoms.
7: We must begin higher up, namely, in Education.
8: You send your child to the schoolmaster, but 'tis the schoolboys who educate him.
9: You send him to the Latin class, but much of his tuition comes, on his way to school, from the shop-windows. You like the strict rules and the long terms; and he finds his best leading in a by-way of his own, and refuses any companions but of his choosing. Archery, cricket, gun and fishing-rod, horse and boat, are all educators, liberalizers; and so are dancing, dress, and the street-talk; and,— provided only the boy has resources, and is of a noble and ingenuous strain,--these will not serve him less than the books.
10: He that does not fill a place at home, cannot abroad. He only goes there to hide his insignificance in a larger crowd.
11: You do not think you will find anything there which you have not seen at home?
12: The stuff of all countries is just the same.
17: There is a great deal of self-denial and manliness in poor and middle-class houses, in town and country, that has not got into literature, and never will, but that keeps the earth sweet; that saves on superfluities, and spends on essentials; that goes rusty, and educates the boy; that sells the horse, but builds the school;
18: works early and late, takes two looms in the factory, three looms, six looms, but pays off the mortgage on the paternal farm, and then goes back cheerfully to work again. | works early and late, takes two looms in the factory, three looms, six looms, but pays off the mortgage on the paternal farm, and then goes back cheerfully to work again.
19: Take the shame, the poverty, and the penal solitude, that belong to truth-speaking. Try the rough water as well as the smooth. Rough water can teach lessons worth knowing. | Take the shame, the poverty, and the penal solitude, that belong to truth-speaking. Try the rough water as well as the smooth. Rough water can teach lessons worth knowing.
20: Let me say here, that culture cannot begin too early. In talking with scholars, I observe that they lost on ruder companions those years of boyhood which alone could give imaginative literature a religious and infinite quality in their esteem. I find, too, that the chance for appreciation is much increased by being the son of an appreciator, and that these boys who now grow up are caught not only years too late, but two or three births too late, to make the best scholars of.