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美国学者 艾默生演讲

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The American Scholar
The American Scholar
This address was delivered at Cambridge in 1837, before the Harvard Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, a college fraternity composed of the first twenty-five men in each graduating class. The society has annual meetings, which have been the occasion for addresses from the most distinguished scholars and thinkers of the day.

Mr. President and Gentlemen,

I greet you on the recommencement of our literary year. Our anniversary is one of hope, and, perhaps, not enough of labor. We do not meet for games of strength[1] or skill, for the recitation of histories, tragedies, and odes, like the ancient Greeks; for parliaments of love and poesy, like the Troubadours;[2] nor for the advancement of science, like our co-temporaries in the British and European capitals. Thus far, our holiday has been simply a friendly sign of the survival of the love of letters amongst a people too busy to give to letters any more. As such it is precious as the sign of an indestructible instinct. Perhaps the time is already come when it ought to be, and will be, something else; when the sluggard intellect [20] of this continent will look from under its iron lids and fill the postponed expectation of the world with something better than the exertions of mechanical skill. Our day of dependence, our long apprenticeship to the learning of other lands, draws to a close. The millions that around us are rushing into life cannot always be fed on the sere remains of foreign harvests.[3] Events, actions arise that must be sung, that will sing themselves. Who can doubt that poetry will revive and lead in a new age, as the star in the constellation Harp, which now flames in our zenith, astronomers announce, shall one day be the pole-star[4] for a thousand years?

In the light of this hope I accept the topic which not only usage but the nature of our association seem to prescribe to this day,—the American Scholar. Year by year we come up hither to read one more chapter of his biography. Let us inquire what new lights, new events, and more days have thrown on his character, his duties, and his hopes.

It is one of those fables which out of an unknown antiquity convey an unlooked-for wisdom, that the gods, in the beginning, divided Man into men, that he might be more helpful to himself; just as the hand was divided into fingers, the better to answer its end.[5]

The old fable covers a doctrine ever new and sublime; that there is One Man,—present to all particular men only partially, or through one faculty; and that you must take the whole society to find the [21] whole man. Man is not a farmer, or a professor, or an engineer, but he is all. Man is priest, and scholar, and statesman, and producer, and soldier. In the divided or social state these functions are parceled out to individuals, each of whom aims to do his stint[6] of the joint work, whilst each other performs his. The fable implies that the individual, to possess himself, must sometimes return from his own labor to embrace all the other laborers. But, unfortunately, this original unit, this fountain of power, has been so distributed to multitudes, has been so minutely subdivided and peddled out, that it is spilled into drops, and cannot be gathered. The state of society is one in which the members have suffered amputation from the trunk and strut about so many walking monsters,—a good finger, a neck, a stomach, an elbow, but never a man.

Man is thus metamorphosed into a thing, into many things. The planter, who is Man sent out into the field to gather food, is seldom cheered by any idea of the true dignity of his ministry. He sees his bushel and his cart, and nothing beyond, and sinks into the farmer, instead of Man on the farm. The tradesman scarcely ever gives an ideal worth to his work, but is ridden[7] by the routine of his craft, and the soul is subject to dollars. The priest becomes a form; the attorney a statute-book; the mechanic a machine; the sailor a rope of the ship.

In this distribution of functions the scholar is the delegated intellect. In the right state he is Man [22] Thinking. In the degenerate state, when the victim of society, he tends to become a mere thinker, or, still worse, the parrot of other men's thinking.

In this view of him, as Man Thinking, the whole theory of his office is contained. Him Nature solicits with all her placid, all her monitory pictures.[8] Him the past instructs. Him the future invites. Is not indeed every man a student, and do not all things exist for the student's behoof? And, finally, is not the true scholar the only true master? But as the old oracle said, "All things have two handles: Beware of the wrong one."[9] In life, too often, the scholar errs with mankind and forfeits his privilege. Let us see him in his school, and consider him in reference to the main influences he receives.

I. The first in time and the first in importance of the influences upon the mind is that of nature. Every day, the sun;[10] and, after sunset, Night and her stars. Ever the winds blow; ever the grass grows. Every day, men and women, conversing, beholding and beholden.[11] The scholar must needs stand wistful and admiring before this great spectacle. He must settle its value in his mind. What is nature to him? There is never a beginning, there is never an end, to the inexplicable continuity of this web of God, but always circular power returning into itself.[12] Therein it resembles his own spirit, whose beginning, whose ending, he never can find,—so entire, so boundless. Far too as her splendors shine, system on system shooting [23] like rays, upward, downward, without center, without circumference,—in the mass and in the particle, Nature hastens to render account of herself to the mind. Classification begins. To the young mind everything is individual, stands by itself. By and by it finds how to join two things and see in them one nature; then three, then three thousand; and so, tyrannized over by its own unifying instinct, it goes on tying things together, diminishing anomalies, discovering roots running under ground whereby contrary and remote things cohere and flower out from one stem. It presently learns that since the dawn of history there has been a constant accumulation and classifying of facts. But what is classification but the perceiving that these objects are not chaotic, and are not foreign, but have a law which is also a law of the human mind? The astronomer discovers that geometry, a pure abstraction of the human mind, is the measure of planetary motion. The chemist finds proportions and intelligible method throughout matter; and science is nothing but the finding of analogy, identity, in the most remote parts. The ambitious soul sits down before each refractory fact; one after another reduces all strange constitutions, all new powers, to their class and their law, and goes on forever to animate the last fiber of organization, the outskirts of nature, by insight.

Thus to him, to this school-boy under the bending dome of day, is suggested that he and it proceed from one Root; one is leaf and one is flower; relation, [24] sympathy, stirring in every vein. And what is that root? Is not that the soul of his soul?—A thought too bold?—A dream too wild? Yet when this spiritual light shall have revealed the law of more earthly natures,—when he has learned to worship the soul, and to see that the natural philosophy that now is, is only the first gropings of its gigantic hand,—he shall look forward to an ever-expanding knowledge as to a becoming creator.[13] He shall see that nature is the opposite of the soul, answering to it part for part. One is seal and one is print. Its beauty is the beauty of his own mind. Its laws are the laws of his own mind. Nature then becomes to him the measure of his attainments. So much of nature as he is ignorant of, so much of his own mind does he not yet possess. And, in fine, the ancient precept, "Know thyself,"[14] and the modern precept, "Study nature," become at last one maxim.

II. The next great influence into the spirit of the scholar is the mind of the Past,—in whatever form, whether of literature, of art, of institutions, that mind is inscribed. Books are the best type of the influence of the past, and perhaps we shall get at the truth,—learn the amount of this influence more conveniently,—by considering their value alone.

The theory of books is noble. The scholar of the first age received into him the world around; brooded thereon; gave it the new arrangement of his own mind, and uttered it again. It came into him life; [25] it went out from him truth. It came to him short-lived actions; it went out from him immortal thoughts. It came to him business; it went from him poetry. It was dead fact; now, it is quick thought. It can stand, and it can go. It now endures, it now flies, it now inspires.[15] Precisely in proportion to the depth of mind from which it issued, so high does it soar, so long does it sing.

Or, I might say, it depends on how far the process had gone, of transmuting life into truth. In proportion to the completeness of the distillation, so will the purity and imperishableness of the product be. But none is quite perfect. As no air-pump can by any means make a perfect vacuum,[16] so neither can any artist entirely exclude the conventional, the local, the perishable from his book, or write a book of pure thought, that shall be as efficient, in all respects, to a remote posterity, as to contemporaries, or rather to the second age. Each age, it is found, must write its own books; or rather, each generation for the next succeeding. The books of an older period will not fit this.

Yet hence arises a grave mischief. The sacredness which attaches to the act of creation, the act of thought, is instantly transferred to the record. The poet chanting was felt to be a divine man. Henceforth the chant is divine also. The writer was a just and wise spirit. Henceforward it is settled the book is perfect; as love of the hero corrupts into worship of his statue. Instantly the book becomes noxious.[17] [26] The guide is a tyrant. We sought a brother, and lo, a governor. The sluggish and perverted mind of the multitude, always slow to open to the incursions of Reason, having once so opened, having once received this book, stands upon it, and makes an outcry if it is disparaged. Colleges are built on it. Books are written on it by thinkers, not by Man Thinking, by men of talent, that is, who start wrong, who set out from accepted dogmas, not from their own sight of principles. Meek young men grow up in libraries, believing it their duty to accept the views which Cicero, which Locke,[18] which Bacon,[19] have given; forgetful that Cicero, Locke and Bacon were only young men in libraries when they wrote these books.

Hence, instead of Man Thinking, we have the bookworm. Hence the book-learned class, who value books, as such; not as related to nature and the human constitution, but as making a sort of Third Estate[20] with the world and soul. Hence the restorers of readings,[21] the emendators,[22] the bibliomaniacs[23] of all degrees. This is bad; this is worse than it seems.

Books are the best of things, well used; abused, among the worst. What is the right use? What is the one end which all means go to effect? They are for nothing but to inspire.[24] I had better never see a book than to be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite instead of a system. The one thing in the world of value is the [27] active soul,—the soul, free, sovereign, active. This every man is entitled to; this every man contains within him, although in almost all men obstructed, and as yet unborn. The soul active sees absolute truth and utters truth, or creates. In this action it is genius; not the privilege of here and there a favorite, but the sound estate of every man.[25] In its essence it is progressive. The book, the college, the school of art, the institution of any kind, stop with some past utterance of genius. This is good, say they,—let us hold by this. They pin me down.[26] They look backward and not forward. But genius always looks forward. The eyes of man are set in his forehead, not in his hindhead. Man hopes. Genius creates. To create,—to create,—is the proof of a divine presence. Whatever talents may be, if the man create not, the pure efflux of the Deity is not his;[27]—cinders and smoke there may be, but not yet flame. There are creative manners, there are creative actions, and creative words; manners, actions, words, that is, indicative of no custom or authority, but springing spontaneous from the mind's own sense of good and fair.

On the other part, instead of being its own seer, let it receive always from another mind its truth, though it were in torrents of light, without periods of solitude, inquest, and self-recovery; and a fatal disservice[28] is done. Genius is always sufficiently the enemy of genius by over-influence.[29] The literature of [28] every nation bear me witness. The English dramatic poets have Shakespearized now for two hundred years.[30]

Undoubtedly there is a right way of reading, so it be sternly subordinated. Man Thinking must not be subdued by his instruments. Books are for the scholar's idle times. When he can read God directly, the hour is too precious to be wasted in other men's transcripts of their readings.[31] But when the intervals of darkness come, as come they must,—when the soul seeth not, when the sun is hid and the stars withdraw their shining,—we repair to the lamps which were kindled by their ray, to guide our steps to the East again, where the dawn is.[32] We hear, that we may speak. The Arabian proverb says, "A fig-tree, looking on a fig-tree, becometh fruitful."

It is remarkable, the character of the pleasure we derive from the best books. They impress us ever with the conviction that one nature wrote and the same reads. We read the verses of one of the great English poets, of Chaucer,[33] of Marvell,[34] of Dryden,[35] with the most modern joy,—with a pleasure, I mean, which is in great part caused by the abstraction of all time from their verses. There is some awe mixed with the joy of our surprise, when this poet, who lived in some past world, two or three hundred years ago, says that which lies close to my own soul, that which I also had well-nigh thought and said. But for the evidence thence afforded to the philosophical doctrine of the identity of all minds, we should [29] suppose some pre-established harmony, some foresight of souls that were to be, and some preparation of stores for their future wants, like the fact observed in insects, who lay up food before death for the young grub they shall never see.

I would not be hurried by any love of system, by any exaggeration of instincts, to underrate the Book. We all know that as the human body can be nourished on any food, though it were boiled grass and the broth of shoes, so the human mind can be fed by any knowledge. And great and heroic men have existed who had almost no other information than by the printed page. I only would say that it needs a strong head to bear that diet. One must be an inventor to read well. As the proverb says, "He that would bring home the wealth of the Indies must carry out the wealth of the Indies." There is then creative reading as well as creative writing. When the mind is braced by labor and invention, the page of whatever book we read becomes luminous with manifold allusion. Every sentence is doubly significant, and the sense of our author is as broad as the world. We then see, what is always true, that as the seer's hour of vision is short and rare among heavy days and months, so is its record, perchance, the least part of his volume. The discerning will read, in his Plato[36] or Shakespeare, only that least part,—only the authentic utterances of the oracle;—all the rest he rejects, were it never so many times Plato's and Shakespeare's.


Of course there is a portion of reading quite indispensable to a wise man. History and exact science he must learn by laborious reading. Colleges, in like manner, have their indispensable office,—to teach elements. But they can only highly serve us when they aim not to drill, but to create; when they gather from far every ray of various genius to their hospitable halls, and by the concentrated fires set the hearts of their youth on flame. Thought and knowledge are natures in which apparatus and pretension avail nothing. Gowns[37] and pecuniary foundations,[38] though of towns of gold, can never countervail the least sentence or syllable of wit.[39] Forget this, and our American colleges will recede in their public importance, whilst they grow richer every year.

III. There goes in the world a notion that the scholar should be a recluse, a valetudinarian,[40]—as unfit for any handiwork or public labor as a penknife for an axe. The so-called "practical men" sneer at speculative men, as if, because they speculate or see, they could do nothing. I have heard it said that the clergy—who are always, more universally than any other class, the scholars of their day—are addressed as women; that the rough, spontaneous conversation of men they do not hear, but only a mincing[41] and diluted speech. They are often virtually disfranchised; and indeed there are advocates for their celibacy. As far as this is true of the studious classes, it is not just and wise. Action is [31] with the scholar subordinate, but it is essential. Without it he is not yet man. Without it thought can never ripen into truth. Whilst the world hangs before the eye as a cloud of beauty, we cannot even see its beauty. Inaction is cowardice, but there can be no scholar without the heroic mind. The preamble[42] of thought, the transition through which it passes from the unconscious to the conscious, is action. Only so much do I know, as I have lived. Instantly we know whose words are loaded with life, and whose not.

The world—this shadow of the soul, or other me, lies wide around. Its attractions are the keys which unlock my thoughts and make me acquainted with myself. I launch eagerly into this resounding tumult. I grasp the hands of those next me, and take my place in the ring to suffer and to work, taught by an instinct that so shall the dumb abyss[43] be vocal with speech. I pierce its order; I dissipate its fear;[44] I dispose of it within the circuit of my expanding life. So much only of life as I know by experience, so much of the wilderness have I vanquished and planted, or so far have I extended my being, my dominion. I do not see how any man can afford, for the sake of his nerves and his nap, to spare any action in which he can partake. It is pearls and rubies to his discourse. Drudgery, calamity, exasperation, want, are instructors in eloquence and wisdom. The true scholar grudges every opportunity of action passed by, as a loss of power.


It is the raw material out of which the intellect molds her splendid products. A strange process too, this by which experience is converted into thought, as a mulberry-leaf is converted into satin.[45] The manufacture goes forward at all hours.

The actions and events of our childhood and youth are now matters of calmest observation. They lie like fair pictures in the air. Not so with our recent actions,—with the business which we now have in hand. On this we are quite unable to speculate. Our affections as yet circulate through it. We no more feel or know it than we feel the feet, or the hand, or the brain of our body. The new deed is yet a part of life,—remains for a time immersed in our unconscious life. In some contemplative hour it detaches itself from the life like a ripe fruit,[46] to become a thought of the mind. Instantly it is raised, transfigured; the corruptible has put on incorruption.[47] Henceforth it is an object of beauty, however base its origin and neighborhood. Observe, too, the impossibility of antedating this act. In its grub state it cannot fly, it cannot shine, it is a dull grub. But suddenly, without observation, the selfsame thing unfurls beautiful wings, and is an angel of wisdom. So is there no fact, no event, in our private history, which shall not, sooner or later, lose its adhesive, inert form, and astonish us by soaring from our body into the empyrean.[48] Cradle and infancy, school and playground, the fear of boys, and dogs, and ferules,[49] the love of little maids and berries, and many another [33] fact that once filled the whole sky, are gone already; friend and relative, profession and party, town and country, nation and world, must also soar and sing.[50]

Of course, he who has put forth his total strength in fit actions has the richest return of wisdom. I will not shut myself out of this globe of action, and transplant an oak into a flower-pot, there to hunger and pine; nor trust the revenue of some single faculty, and exhaust one vein of thought, much like those Savoyards,[51] who, getting their livelihood by carving shepherds, shepherdesses, and smoking Dutchmen, for all Europe, went out one day to the mountain to find stock, and discovered that they had whittled up the last of their pine-trees. Authors we have, in numbers, who have written out their vein, and who, moved by a commendable prudence, sail for Greece or Palestine, follow the trapper into the prairie, or ramble round Algiers, to replenish their merchantable stock.

If it were only for a vocabulary, the scholar would be covetous of action. Life is our dictionary.[52] Years are well spent in country labors; in town; in the insight into trades and manufactures; in frank intercourse with many men and women; in science; in art; to the one end of mastering in all their facts a language by which to illustrate and embody our perceptions. I learn immediately from any speaker how much he has already lived, through the poverty or the splendor of his speech. Life lies behind us as the quarry from whence we get tiles and copestones [34] for the masonry of to-day. This is the way to learn grammar. Colleges and books only copy the language which the field and the work-yard made.

But the final value of action, like that of books, and better than books, is that it is a resource. That great principle of Undulation in nature, that shows itself in the inspiring and expiring of the breath; in desire and satiety; in the ebb and flow of the sea; in day and night; in heat and cold; and, as yet more deeply ingrained in every atom and every fluid, is known to us under the name of Polarity,—these "fits of easy transmission and reflection," as Newton[53] called them, are the law of nature because they are the law of spirit.

The mind now thinks, now acts, and each fit reproduces the other. When the artist has exhausted his materials, when the fancy no longer paints, when thoughts are no longer apprehended and books are a weariness,—he has always the resource to live. Character is higher than intellect. Thinking is the function. Living is the functionary. The stream retreats to its source. A great soul will be strong to live, as well as strong to think. Does he lack organ or medium to impart his truth? He can still fall back on this elemental force of living them. This is a total act. Thinking is a partial act. Let the grandeur of justice shine in his affairs. Let the beauty of affection cheer his lowly roof. Those "far from fame," who dwell and act with him, will feel the force of his constitution in the doings and passages of the day [35] better than it can be measured by any public and designed display. Time shall teach him that the scholar loses no hour which the man lives. Herein he unfolds the sacred germ of his instinct, screened from influence. What is lost in seemliness is gained in strength. Not out of those on whom systems of education have exhausted their culture comes the helpful giant to destroy the old or to build the new, but out of unhandselled[54] savage nature; out of terrible Druids[55] and Berserkers[56] come at last Alfred[57] and Shakespeare. I hear therefore with joy whatever is beginning to be said of the dignity and necessity of labor to every citizen. There is virtue yet in the hoe and the spade,[58] for learned as well as for unlearned hands. And labor is everywhere welcome; always we are invited to work; only be this limitation observed, that a man shall not for the sake of wider activity sacrifice any opinion to the popular judgments and modes of action.

I have now spoken of the education of the scholar by nature, by books, and by action. It remains to say somewhat of his duties.

They are such as become Man Thinking. They may all be comprised in self-trust. The office of the scholar is to cheer, to raise, and to guide men by showing them facts amidst appearances. He plies the slow, unhonored, and unpaid task of observation. Flamsteed[59] and Herschel,[60] in their glazed observatories, may catalogue the stars with the praise of all [36] men, and, the results being splendid and useful, honor is sure. But he, in his private observatory, cataloguing obscure and nebulous[61] stars of the human mind, which as yet no man has thought of as such,—watching days and months sometimes for a few facts; correcting still his old records,—must relinquish display and immediate fame. In the long period of his preparation he must betray often an ignorance and shiftlessness in popular arts, incurring the disdain of the able who shoulder him aside. Long he must stammer in his speech; often forego the living for the dead. Worse yet, he must accept—how often!—poverty and solitude. For the ease and pleasure of treading the old road, accepting the fashions, the education, the religion of society, he takes the cross of making his own, and, of course, the self-accusation, the faint heart, the frequent uncertainty and loss of time, which are the nettles and tangling vines in the way of the self-relying and self-directed; and the state of virtual hostility in which he seems to stand to society, and especially to educated society. For all this loss and scorn, what offset? He is to find consolation in exercising the highest functions of human nature. He is one who raises himself from private considerations and breathes and lives on public and illustrious thoughts. He is the world's eye. He is the world's heart. He is to resist the vulgar prosperity that retrogrades ever to barbarism, by preserving and communicating heroic sentiments, noble biographies, melodious verse, and the conclusions of [37] history. Whatsoever oracles the human heart, in all emergencies, in all solemn hours, has uttered as its commentary on the world of actions,—these he shall receive and impart. And whatsoever new verdict Reason from her inviolable seat pronounces on the passing men and events of to-day,—this he shall hear and promulgate.

These being his functions, it becomes him to feel all confidence in himself, and to defer never to the popular cry. He and he only knows the world. The world of any moment is the merest appearance. Some great decorum, some fetich[62] of a government, some ephemeral trade, or war, or man, is cried up[63] by half mankind and cried down by the other half, as if all depended on this particular up or down. The odds are that the whole question is not worth the poorest thought which the scholar has lost in listening to the controversy. Let him not quit his belief that a popgun is a popgun, though the ancient and honorable[64] of the earth affirm it to be the crack of doom. In silence, in steadiness, in severe abstraction, let him hold by himself; add observation to observation, patient of neglect, patient of reproach, and bide his own time,—happy enough if he can satisfy himself alone that this day he has seen something truly. Success treads on every right step. For the instinct is sure that prompts him to tell his brother what he thinks. He then learns that in going down into the secrets of his own mind he has descended into the secrets of all minds. He learns that he who [38] has mastered any law in his private thoughts is master to that extent of all men whose language he speaks, and of all into whose language his own can be translated. The poet, in utter solitude remembering his spontaneous thoughts and recording them, is found to have recorded that which men in cities vast find true for them also. The orator distrusts at first the fitness of his frank confessions, his want of knowledge of the persons he addresses, until he finds that he is the complement[65] of his hearers;—that they drink his words because he fulfills for them their own nature; the deeper he dives into his privatest, secretest presentiment, to his wonder he finds this is the most acceptable, most public and universally true. The people delight in it; the better part of every man feels—This is my music; this is myself.

In self-trust all the virtues are comprehended. Free should the scholar be,—free and brave. Free even to the definition of freedom, "without any hindrance that does not arise out of his own constitution." Brave; for fear is a thing which a scholar by his very function puts behind him. Fear always springs from ignorance. It is a shame to him if his tranquility, amid dangerous times, arise from the presumption that like children and women his is a protected class; or if he seek a temporary peace by the diversion of his thoughts from politics or vexed questions, hiding his head like an ostrich in the flowering bushes, peeping into microscopes, and turning rhymes, as a boy whistles to keep his courage up. [39] So is the danger a danger still; so is the fear worse. Manlike let him turn and face it. Let him look into its eye and search its nature, inspect its origin,—see the whelping of this lion,—which lies no great way back; he will then find in himself a perfect comprehension of its nature and extent; he will have made his hands meet on the other side, and can henceforth defy it and pass on superior. The world is his who can see through its pretension. What deafness, what stone-blind custom, what overgrown error you behold is there only by sufferance,—by your sufferance. See it to be a lie, and you have already dealt it its mortal blow.

Yes, we are the cowed,—we the trustless. It is a mischievous notion that we are come late into nature; that the world was finished a long time ago. As the world was plastic and fluid in the hands of God, so it is ever to so much of his attributes as we bring to it. To ignorance and sin it is flint. They adapt themselves to it as they may; but in proportion as a man has any thing in him divine, the firmament flows before him and takes his signet[66] and form. Not he is great who can alter matter, but he who can alter my state of mind. They are the kings of the world who give the color of their present thought to all nature and all art, and persuade men, by the cheerful serenity of their carrying the matter, that this thing which they do is the apple which the ages have desired to pluck, now at last ripe, and inviting nations to the harvest. The great man makes the great thing. [40] Wherever Macdonald[67] sits, there is the head of the table. Linnæus[68] makes botany the most alluring of studies, and wins it from the farmer and the herb-woman: Davy,[69] chemistry; and Cuvier,[70] fossils. The day is always his who works in it with serenity and great aims. The unstable estimates of men crowd to him whose mind is filled with a truth, as the heaped waves of the Atlantic follow the moon.[71]

For this self-trust, the reason is deeper than can be fathomed,—darker than can be enlightened. I might not carry with me the feeling of my audience in stating my own belief. But I have already shown the ground of my hope, in adverting to the doctrine that man is one. I believe man has been wronged; he has wronged himself. He has almost lost the light that can lead him back to his prerogatives. Men are become of no account. Men in history, men in the world of to-day, are bugs, are spawn, and are called "the mass" and "the herd." In a century, in a millenium, one or two men;[72] that is to say, one or two approximations to the right state of every man. All the rest behold in the hero or the poet their own green and crude being,—ripened; yes, and are content to be less, so that may attain to its full stature. What a testimony, full of grandeur, full of pity, is borne to the demands of his own nature, by the poor clansman, the poor partisan, who rejoices in the glory of his chief! The poor and the low find some amends to their immense moral capacity, for their acquiescence in a political and social inferiority.[73] [41] They are content to be brushed like flies from the path of a great person, so that justice shall be done by him to that common nature which it is the dearest desire of all to see enlarged and glorified. They sun themselves in the great man's light, and feel it to be their own element. They cast the dignity of man from their downtrod selves upon the shoulders of a hero, and will perish to add one drop of blood to make that great heart beat, those giant sinews combat and conquer. He lives for us, and we live in him.

Men such as they[74] are very naturally seek money or power; and power because it is as good as money,—the "spoils," so called, "of office." And why not? For they aspire to the highest, and this, in their sleep-walking, they dream is highest. Wake them and they shall quit the false good and leap to the true, and leave governments to clerks and desks. This revolution is to be wrought by the gradual domestication of the idea of Culture. The main enterprise of the world for splendor, for extent, is the upbuilding of a man. Here are the materials strewn along the ground. The private life of one man shall be a more illustrious monarchy, more formidable to its enemy, more sweet and serene in its influence to its friend, than any kingdom in history. For a man, rightly viewed, comprehendeth[75] the particular natures of all men. Each philosopher, each bard, each actor has only done for me, as by a delegate, what one day I can do for myself. The books which once we valued [42] more than the apple of the eye, we have quite exhausted. What is that but saying that we have come up with the point of view which the universal mind took through the eyes of one scribe; we have been that man, and have passed on. First, one, then another, we drain all cisterns, and waxing greater by all these supplies, we crave a better and a more abundant food. The man has never lived that can feed us ever. The human mind cannot be enshrined in a person who shall set a barrier on any one side to this unbounded, unboundable empire. It is one central fire, which, flaming now out of the lips of Etna, lightens the capes of Sicily, and now out of the throat of Vesuvius, illuminates the towers and vineyards of Naples. It is one light which beams out of a thousand stars. It is one soul which animates all men.

But I have dwelt perhaps tediously upon this abstraction of the Scholar. I ought not to delay longer to add what I have to say of nearer reference to the time and to this country.

Historically, there is thought to be a difference in the ideas which predominate over successive epochs, and there are data for marking the genius of the Classic, of the Romantic, and now of the Reflective or Philosophical age.[76] With the views I have intimated of the oneness or the identity of the mind through all individuals, I do not much dwell on these differences. In fact, I believe each individual passes through all three. The boy is a Greek; the youth, [43] romantic; the adult, reflective. I deny not, however, that a revolution in the leading idea may be distinctly enough traced.

Our age is bewailed as the age of Introversion.[77] Must that needs be evil? We, it seems, are critical. We are embarrassed with second thoughts.[78] We cannot enjoy anything for hankering to know whereof the pleasure consists. We are lined with eyes. We see with our feet. The time is infected with Hamlet's unhappiness,—

"Sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought."[79]

Is it so bad then? Sight is the last thing to be pitied. Would we be blind? Do we fear lest we should outsee nature and God, and drink truth dry? I look upon the discontent of the literary class as a mere announcement of the fact that they find themselves not in the state of mind of their fathers, and regret the coming state as untried; as a boy dreads the water before he has learned that he can swim. If there is any period one would desire to be born in, is it not the age of Revolution; when the old and the new stand side by side and admit of being compared; when the energies of all men are searched by fear and by hope; when the historic glories of the old can be compensated by the rich possibilities of the new era? This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.

I read with some joy of the auspicious signs of the coming days, as they glimmer already through [44] poetry and art, through philosophy and science, through church and state.

One of these signs is the fact that the same movement[80] which effected the elevation of what was called the lowest class in the state assumed in literature a very marked and as benign an aspect. Instead of the sublime and beautiful, the near, the low, the common, was explored and poetized. That which had been negligently trodden under foot by those who were harnessing and provisioning themselves for long journeys into far countries, is suddenly found to be richer than all foreign parts. The literature of the poor, the feelings of the child, the philosophy of the street, the meaning of household life, are the topics of the time. It is a great stride. It is a sign—is it not?—of new vigor when the extremities are made active, when currents of warm life run into the hands and the feet. I ask not for the great, the remote, the romantic; what is doing in Italy or Arabia; what is Greek art, or Provençal minstrelsy; I embrace the common, I explore and sit at the feet of the familiar, the low. Give me insight into to-day, and you may have the antique and future worlds. What would we really know the meaning of? The meal in the firkin; the milk in the pan; the ballad in the street; the news of the boat; the glance of the eye; the form and the gait of the body;—show me the ultimate reason of these matters; show me the sublime presence of the highest spiritual cause lurking, as always it does lurk, in these suburbs and extremities [45] of nature; let me see every trifle bristling with the polarity that ranges it instantly on an eternal law;[81] and the shop, the plow, and the ledger referred to the like cause by which light undulates and poets sing;—and the world lies no longer a dull miscellany and lumber-room, but has form and order: there is no trifle, there is no puzzle, but one design unites and animates the farthest pinnacle and the lowest trench.

This idea has inspired the genius of Goldsmith,[82] Burns,[83] Cowper,[84] and, in a newer time, of Goethe,[85] Wordsworth,[86] and Carlyle.[87] This idea they have differently followed and with various success. In contrast with their writing, the style of Pope,[88] of Johnson,[89] of Gibbon,[90] looks cold and pedantic. This writing is blood-warm. Man is surprised to find that things near are not less beautiful and wondrous than things remote. The near explains the far. The drop is a small ocean. A man is related to all nature. This perception of the worth of the vulgar is fruitful in discoveries. Goethe, in this very thing the most modern of the moderns, has shown us, as none ever did, the genius of the ancients.

There is one man of genius who has done much for this philosophy of life, whose literary value has never yet been rightly estimated:—I mean Emanuel Swedenborg.[91] The most imaginative of men, yet writing with the precision of a mathematician, he endeavored to engraft a purely philosophical Ethics on the popular Christianity of his time. Such an attempt of [46] course must have difficulty which no genius could surmount. But he saw and showed the connexion between nature and the affections of the soul. He pierced the emblematic or spiritual character of the visible, audible, tangible world. Especially did his shade-loving muse hover over and interpret the lower parts of nature; he showed the mysterious bond that allies moral evil to the foul material forms, and has given in epical parables a theory of insanity, of beasts, of unclean and fearful things.

Another sign of our times, also marked by an analogous political movement, is the new importance given to the single person. Everything that tends to insulate the individual—to surround him with barriers of natural respect, so that each man shall feel the world is his, and man shall treat with man as a sovereign state with a sovereign state—tends to true union as well as greatness. "I learned," said the melancholy Pestalozzi,[92] "that no man in God's wide earth is either willing or able to help any other man." Help must come from the bosom alone. The scholar is that man who must take up into himself all the ability of the time, all the contributions of the past, all the hopes of the future. He must be an university of knowledges. If there be one lesson more than another that should pierce his ear, it is—The world is nothing, the man is all; in yourself is the law of all nature, and you know not yet how a globule of sap ascends; in yourself slumbers the whole of Reason; it is for you to know all; it is for you to [47] dare all. Mr. President and Gentlemen, this confidence in the unsearched might of man belongs, by all motives, by all prophecy, by all preparation, to the American Scholar. We have listened too long to the courtly muses of Europe. The spirit of the American freeman is already suspected to be timid, imitative, tame. Public and private avarice make the air we breathe thick and fat. The scholar is decent, indolent, complaisant. See already the tragic consequence. The mind of this country, taught to aim at low objects, eats upon itself. There is no work for any one but the decorous and the complaisant. Young men of the fairest promise, who begin life upon our shores, inflated by the mountain winds, shined upon by all the stars of God, find the earth below not in unison with these, but are hindered from action by the disgust which the principles on which business is managed inspire, and turn drudges, or die of disgust, some of them suicides. What is the remedy? They did not yet see, and thousands of young men as hopeful now crowding to the barriers for the career do not yet see, that if the single man plant himself indomitably on his instincts, and there abide, the huge world will come round to him. Patience,—patience; with the shades of all the good and great for company; and for solace the perspective of your own infinite life; and for work the study and the communication of principles, the making those instincts prevalent, the conversion of the world. Is it not the chief disgrace in the world, not to be an [48] unit; not to be reckoned one character; not to yield that peculiar fruit which each man was created to bear, but to be reckoned in the gross, in the hundred, or the thousand, of the party, the section, to which we belong; and our opinion predicted geographically, as the north, or the south? Not so, brothers and friends,—please God, ours shall not be so. We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we will speak our own minds. Then shall man be no longer a name for pity, for doubt, and for sensual indulgence. The dread of man and the love of man shall be a wall of defense and a wreath of joy around all. A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men.

这篇演讲是1837年在剑桥发表的,在Phi Beta Kappa协会的哈佛分会面前,该协会是由每个毕业班的前25名男子组成的大学兄弟会。该协会有年度会议,当时最杰出的学者和思想家都曾在会上发表过演讲。


在我们的文学年重新开始之际,我向你们问好。我们的周年纪念日是一个充满希望的周年纪念日,也许还没有足够的劳动。我们没有像古希腊人那样举行力量[1]或技巧的比赛,没有像古希腊人那样朗诵历史、悲剧和颂歌;没有像游吟诗人那样举行爱情和诗意的议会;[2]也没有像我们在英国和欧洲首都的同龄人那样为推动科学的发展而聚会。到目前为止,我们的节日只是一个友好的信号,表明在一个忙得无暇顾及信件的民族中,对信件的热爱依然存在。因此,它作为一种坚不可摧的本能的标志是很珍贵的。也许时机已经到来,它应该成为,也将成为别的东西;当这个大陆的迟钝的智力[20]从它的铁盖下看出来,用比机械技能的努力更好的东西来填补世界推迟的期望。我们依赖的日子,我们对其他国家的学习的漫长学徒期,即将结束。在我们周围,数以百万计的人正匆匆忙忙地进入生活,他们不可能总是靠外国收成的残羹剩饭来养活自己。 [3] 必须歌唱的事件和行动出现了,它们将自己歌唱。谁能怀疑诗歌会复兴并引领一个新的时代,就像现在在我们的天顶上燃烧的竖琴星座的星星,天文学家宣布,有一天会成为一千年的北极星[4]?






在这种对他的看法中,作为思考的人,他的整个职务理论都包含在其中。大自然用她所有的平和、所有的纪念性图片来征求他的意见。他是未来的邀请者。每个人不都是学生吗?所有的东西不都是为了学生而存在的吗?最后,真正的学者难道不是唯一真正的主人吗?但正如古老的神谕所说,"所有的东西都有两个把手。[9] 在生活中,学者常常因人类而犯错,丧失了他的特权。让我们看看他在学校里的情况,并根据他所接受的主要影响来考虑他。

I. 在对心灵的影响中,时间最早、最重要的是大自然的影响。每天,太阳;[10] 日落之后,夜晚和她的星星。风不断地吹,草不断地长。每天,男人和女人,在交谈,在看,在听。[11] 学者必须站在这个伟大的景象面前,怀着幻想和钦佩的心情。他必须在心中确定其价值。自然对他来说是什么?这张上帝之网的莫名其妙的连续性从来就没有开始,也没有结束,而总是循环的力量返回到自身。当她的光辉闪耀时,一个系统接着一个系统,像射线一样向上、向下、没有中心、没有圆周,在质量和粒子中,自然界也急于向人们说明自己的情况。分类开始了。对年轻的心灵来说,一切都很独立,都是自己的。渐渐地,它发现如何将两样东西连接起来,并在其中看到一种性质;然后是三样,然后是三千样;就这样,它被自己的统一本能所支配,继续将事物联系在一起,减少异常现象,发现地下的根,从而使相反的和遥远的事物凝聚在一起,从一个茎中开出花朵。它现在了解到,自历史的黎明以来,一直在对事实进行不断的积累和分类。但什么是分类,不过是认识到这些物体不是混乱的,也不是陌生的,而是有一种规律,也是人类思维的规律?天文学家发现,几何学,一个人类思想的纯粹抽象,是行星运动的尺度。化学家发现整个物质的比例和可理解的方法;而科学只不过是在最遥远的地方找到类比和相同。雄心勃勃的灵魂在每一个难解的事实面前坐下来;一个接一个地把所有奇怪的结构、所有新的力量都归结为它们的类别和规律,并通过洞察力永远地把组织的最后一丝纤维、自然界的外围激活。

因此,对他来说,对这个在白昼弯曲的穹顶下的学童来说,建议他和它来自一个根;一个是叶子,一个是花;关系,[24]同情,在每个脉络中搅动着。那么这个根是什么呢?难道这不是他的灵魂吗?--一个太大胆的想法?然而,当这种精神之光揭示了更多世俗性质的规律时,--当他学会了崇拜灵魂,并看到现在的自然哲学只是其巨手的初步摸索时,他将期待着不断扩大的知识,以成为一个创造者。一个是印章,一个是印刷品。它的美是他自己心灵的美。它的规律就是他自己心灵的规律。于是,自然对他来说就成了衡量他成就的标准。他对自然界一无所知,他对自己的思想也是如此,他还没有掌握。总之,古代的戒律 "认识你自己"[14]和现代的戒律 "研究自然",最终成为一条格言。

II. 对学者精神的第二大影响是过去的思想--无论以何种形式,无论是文学、艺术还是制度,这种思想都被铭刻下来。书籍是过去影响的最佳类型,也许我们可以通过考虑它们的价值来了解真相,更方便地了解这种影响的程度。

书籍的理论是高尚的。第一个时代的学者接受了周围的世界;对其进行思考;给它以他自己思想的新安排,并再次将其表达出来。它进入了他的生命;[25]它从他那里流出了真理。它来到他身边的是短暂的行动;它从他身边走出去的是不朽的思想。它来到他身边的是生意;它从他身边走出去的是诗歌。它是死的事实;现在,它是快速的思想。它可以站立,也可以离开。它现在能忍受,它现在能飞翔,它现在能激励。 [15] 恰恰与它所发出的思想深度成正比,它飞得那么高,唱得那么久。

或者,我可以说,这取决于将生命转化为真理的过程进行到什么程度。与蒸馏的完整性成正比,产品的纯度和不朽性也将是如此。但没有一个是非常完美的。就像没有一个气泵能制造出完美的真空一样,[16] 任何艺术家也不可能从他的书中完全排除传统的、局部的、易逝的东西,也不可能写出一本纯思想的书,在各方面对遥远的后人,对同时代的人,或者说对第二个时代,都一样有效。我们发现,每个时代都必须写自己的书;或者说,每一代人都要为下一代人写书。较早时期的书不适合这样做。

然而,由此产生了一个严重的弊端。附着于创造行为、思想行为的神圣性立即被转移到记录上。吟唱的诗人被认为是一个神圣的人。从此以后,吟唱也是神圣的。作者是一个公正和明智的精神。从此以后,书就被确定为完美的了;就像对英雄的爱堕落为对其雕像的崇拜。[17] [26] 导游是个暴君。我们寻找一个兄弟,结果发现是一个总督。众人迟钝而变态的心灵,总是对理性的入侵迟迟不能打开,一旦打开,一旦接受了这本书,就会站在它上面,如果有人贬低它,就会大吵大闹。学院是建立在它之上的。书籍是由思想家写的,而不是由人思考的,是由有才能的人写的,也就是说,他们的出发点是错误的,他们从公认的教条出发,而不是从他们自己看到的原则出发。温顺的年轻人在图书馆里长大,认为他们有责任接受西塞罗、洛克[18]、培根[19]的观点;他们忘记了西塞罗、洛克和培根在写这些书时只是图书馆里的年轻人。


书籍是最好的东西,用得好;被滥用,是最坏的东西。什么是正确的用途?什么是所有手段都要达到的目的?我最好永远不要看到一本书,而不是被它的吸引力弄得完全脱离自己的轨道,成为一个卫星而不是一个系统。世界上有价值的东西是活跃的灵魂[27],即自由的、主权的、活跃的灵魂。这是每一个人都有权得到的;这是每一个人都包含在他里面的,尽管在几乎所有的人里面都受到阻碍,而且还没有诞生。活跃的灵魂看到了绝对的真理,说出了真理,或创造了真理。在这一行动中,它是天才;不是这里和那里的宠儿的特权,而是每个人的健全财产。书籍、学院、艺术学校、任何种类的机构,都是以过去的一些天才的言论而停止。他们说,这很好,--让我们坚持这样做。他们把我摁在地上。[26] 他们向后看,不向前看。但是天才总是向前看。人的眼睛是在前额,而不是在后脑勺。人的希望。天才创造。创造--创造--是神圣存在的证明。无论天赋如何,如果人不创造,神性的纯粹流露就不属于他;[27]--可能有煤渣和烟雾,但还没有火焰。有创造性的举止,有创造性的行动,有创造性的言语;举止、行动、言语,也就是说,不代表习俗或权威,而是自发地产生于头脑中对善和公平的感觉。


毋庸置疑,有一种正确的阅读方式,所以要严加管束。思考的人不能被他的工具所制服。书籍是为学者的闲暇时间准备的。当他能直接阅读上帝时,这段时间就太宝贵了,不能浪费在其他人的阅读记录上。[31] 但当黑暗的间隔到来时,因为它们必须到来,--当灵魂看不见时,当太阳被隐藏起来,星星收回它们的光芒时,我们要修复由它们的光芒点燃的灯,以引导我们的脚步再次走向东方,那里有黎明。阿拉伯谚语说:"无花果树看着无花果树,就会结果"。





III. 世界上有一种观念,认为学者应该是一个隐居者,一个代客理财者,[40]--不适合做任何手工活或公共劳动,就像笔刀不适合斧头一样。所谓的 "实干家 "对投机家嗤之以鼻,仿佛因为他们投机或看问题,他们就什么都做不了。我听到有人说,神职人员--他们总是比其他任何阶层的人更普遍地成为他们那个时代的学者--被当作女人来称呼;他们听不到男人粗暴、自发的谈话,而只是一种勉强[41]和稀释的讲话。她们往往实际上被剥夺了权利;而且确实有主张她们独身的人。就学习阶层的情况而言,这是不公正和不明智的。对学者来说,行动是[31]次要的,但它是必不可少的。没有它,他还不是人。没有它,思想就永远无法成熟为真理。当世界像一团美丽的云彩挂在眼前时,我们甚至无法看到它的美丽。不作为是懦弱的,但没有英雄的思想就没有学者。思想的前言[42],它从无意识到有意识的过渡,就是行动。我只知道这么多,因为我曾经生活过。我们马上就知道谁的话语充满了生命,谁的话语没有。



它是智力塑造其辉煌产品的原材料。这也是一个奇怪的过程,通过这个过程,经验被转化为思想,就像桑叶被转化为绸缎一样[45] 。

我们童年和青年时期的行动和事件,现在是最冷静的观察事项。它们像美丽的图画一样躺在空气中。而我们最近的行动,也就是我们现在手头的业务,却不是这样。在这一点上,我们完全无法推测。我们的情感还在通过它进行循环。我们对它的感觉或认识,不亚于我们对我们身体的脚、手或大脑的感觉。新的行为仍然是生命的一部分,并在一段时间内沉浸在我们无意识的生活中。在某个沉思的时刻,它像成熟的水果一样从生活中分离出来,[46] 成为头脑中的一个想法。瞬间,它被抬起来,变了形;腐朽的东西穿上了不腐朽的东西。[47] 从此,它就成了美的对象,不管它的起源和邻近地区是多么的卑微。也请注意,这一行为不可能提前发生。在蛴螬状态下,它不能飞翔,不能发光,是一只枯燥的蛴螬。但突然间,不经观察,同样的东西就展开了美丽的翅膀,成为智慧的天使。因此,在我们的私人历史中,没有任何事实,没有任何事件,不会迟早失去其粘性的、惰性的形式,并通过从我们的身体飞向天国而使我们感到惊讶。 [摇篮和婴儿期,学校和操场,对男孩、狗和动物的恐惧,[49]对小姑娘和浆果的爱,以及许多其他[33]曾经充满整个天空的事实,都已经消失了;朋友和亲人,职业和政党,城镇和国家,民族和世界,也必须翱翔和歌唱。



但行动的最终价值,就像书本的价值一样,而且比书本更好,就是它是一种资源。自然界中那个伟大的起伏原则,在呼吸的激发和耗尽中显示出来;在欲望和温饱中显示出来;在海洋的起伏中显示出来;在白天和黑夜中显示出来;在热和冷中显示出来;而且在每个原子和每个流体中更深地扎根,以极性的名义为我们所知,--这些 "容易传播和反映的配合",正如牛顿[53]所说,是自然的规律,因为它们是精神的规律。

心灵现在思考,现在行动,每一种配合都会重现另一种配合。当艺术家用尽了他的材料,当幻想不再作画,当思想不再被领会,书本成为一种疲惫时,他总是有资源可以生存。性格比智力高。思考是一种功能。生活是功能的体现。溪水退到它的源头。一个伟大的灵魂会有强大的生命力,也有强大的思考力。他是否缺乏传授真理的器官或媒介?他仍然可以依靠这种生活的元素力量。这是一个完全的行为。思考是一种局部行为。让正义的宏伟在他的事务中闪耀。让亲情之美振奋他卑微的屋顶。那些 "远离名利",与他一起居住和行动的人,会在每天的行动和经过中感受到他的体质的力量[35],比任何公开和设计的展示所能衡量的更好。时间会告诉他,学者不会失去人活着的时间。在这里,他展开了他本能的神圣萌芽,不受影响。在外表上失去的东西,在力量上得到了。不是从那些教育体系已经耗尽了他们的文化的人中产生了有用的巨人来摧毁旧的或建立新的,而是从未经手的[54]野蛮的自然中产生了;从可怕的德鲁伊[55]和狂暴者[56]中最终产生了阿尔弗雷德[57]和莎士比亚。因此,我高兴地听到人们开始谈论劳动对每个公民的尊严和必要性。锄头和铲子里还有美德,[58] 对于有学问的人和无学问的人都是如此。劳动在任何地方都是受欢迎的;我们总是被邀请去工作;只是要注意这个限制,即一个人不应该为了更广泛的活动而牺牲任何意见,去接受大众的判断和行动方式。




在自我信任中,所有的美德都被包含在内。学者应该是自由的,自由而勇敢。自由甚至达到了自由的定义,"没有任何不是由他自己的体质产生的障碍"。勇敢;因为恐惧是一个学者因其职能而将其置于身后的东西。恐惧总是源于无知。如果他在危险时期的安宁是来自于假定他像儿童和妇女一样是一个受保护的阶层;或者如果他通过转移他对政治或困扰的问题的思想来寻求暂时的安宁,像鸵鸟一样把头藏在花丛中,窥视显微镜,翻阅韵文,就像一个男孩吹口哨来保持他的勇气,这对他来说是一种耻辱。[39] 危险也是一种危险;恐惧也是一种恐惧。让他像男人一样转身面对它。让他看着它的眼睛,寻找它的本质,检查它的起源,--看看这头狮子的繁殖,--它就在不远处;然后他将在自己身上发现对它的性质和范围的完美理解;他将使他的手在另一边相遇,从此可以藐视它,并继续优越。谁能看穿它的伪装,世界就属于他。你所看到的聋子、石盲的习俗、杂草丛生的错误,只是因为忍受,因为你的忍受而存在。看到它是一个谎言,你就已经给了它致命的一击。

是的,我们是怯懦的人,我们是不信任的人。这是一种恶作剧的观念,认为我们进入自然界的时间很晚;认为世界在很久以前就已经完成了。就像世界在上帝的手中是可塑的、流动的一样,它对我们带来的他的许多属性也是如此。对无知和罪恶来说,它是燧石。他们随心所欲地适应它;但只要一个人身上有任何神圣的东西,苍穹就会在他面前流动,并接受他的标志[66]和形式。不是谁能改变物质,而是谁能改变我的思想状态,谁就是伟大的。他们是世界上的国王,他们给所有的自然和所有的艺术赋予了他们现在的思想色彩,并通过他们带着问题的欢快宁静说服人们,他们所做的这件事是历代都想摘下的苹果,现在终于成熟了,并邀请各国来采摘。伟大的人成就了伟大的事。[40] 麦克唐纳[67]坐到哪里,哪里就是桌子的头。林奈斯[68]使植物学成为最诱人的研究,并从农夫和女草药师那里赢得了它。Davy,[69] 化学;Cuvier,[70] 化石。宁静而伟大的目标在其中工作的人,日子总是属于他的。人们不稳定的估计都拥向他,因为他的头脑中充满了真理,就像大西洋上堆积的波浪追随月亮一样[71] 。

对于这种自我信任,其原因是深不可测的,是暗无天日的,是无法启迪的。在陈述我自己的信念时,我可能没有带着我的听众的感觉。但我已经表明了我希望的基础,因为我提到了人是一体的教义。我相信人已经受到了伤害;他已经伤害了自己。他几乎失去了可以引导他回到他的特权的光。人已经变得毫无意义。历史上的人,当今世界的人,是虫子,是卵子,被称为 "大众 "和 "群"。在一个世纪里,在一个千年里,有一两个人;[72]也就是说,有一两个人接近于每个人的正确状态。所有其他的人都在英雄或诗人身上看到了他们自己的绿色和粗糙的存在--成熟的;是的,并且满足于做得更少,以便达到其完整的身材。可怜的族人,可怜的游击队员,在他的首领的荣耀中欢呼雀跃,这对他自己的本性要求是多么大的证明,充满了宏伟,充满了怜悯。穷人和下层人因默许政治和社会地位低下而找到了对他们巨大的道德能力的一些补偿。 [73] [41] 他们满足于像苍蝇一样从一个伟大人物的道路上被赶走,以便他能对那个所有人最想看到的扩大和荣耀的共同本性进行公正处理。他们在伟人的光芒下晒太阳,觉得那就是他们自己的元素。他们把人的尊严从低下的自我投到了英雄的肩上,并愿意为增加一滴血而牺牲,以使那颗伟大的心脏跳动,那些巨大的筋肉战斗和征服。他为我们而活,我们也活在他身上。

像他们这样的人[74]很自然地寻求金钱或权力;而权力是因为它和金钱一样好,也就是所谓的 "办公室的战利品"。为什么不呢?因为他们渴望得到最高的东西,而这个东西在他们的梦游中,他们梦想是最高的。唤醒他们,他们就会放弃虚假的美好,跳向真正的美好,把政府留给文员和办公桌。这场革命将通过文化理念的逐步驯化来实现。世界的主要事业是为了辉煌,为了规模,是为了建设一个人。这里有散落在地上的材料。一个人的私人生活将是一个更辉煌的君主,对其敌人更可怕,对其朋友的影响更甜蜜和宁静,比历史上的任何王国都要大。因为正确地看待一个人,就会理解所有的人的特殊本性。每个哲学家、每个吟游诗人、每个演员都只是为我做了一件事,就像委托人一样,有一天我可以为自己做的事。我们曾经珍视[42]的书籍比眼珠子还重要,但我们已经完全用完了。那是什么,不过是说,我们已经得出了普遍的思想通过一个文士的眼睛所得到的观点;我们已经是那个人,并且已经过去了。先是一个,然后是另一个,我们抽干了所有的蓄水池,并因所有这些供应而变得更大,我们渴望得到更好和更丰富的食物。人从来没有活过,可以永远养活我们。人类的思想不可能在一个人身上得到体现,他将在这个无界限、无约束的帝国的任何一面设置障碍。它是一个中心之火,现在从埃特纳的嘴唇中燃烧起来,照亮了西西里的海角,现在从维苏威的喉咙中燃烧起来,照亮了那不勒斯的塔楼和葡萄园。它是一束光,从一千颗星星中射出。它是一个灵魂,使所有的人都充满活力。



我们的时代被誉为 "内向的时代"[77]。这难道是邪恶的吗?我们,似乎,是批判的。我们因二度思考而感到尴尬。[78] 我们无法享受任何东西,因为我们渴望知道快乐的来源。我们有眼睛。我们用我们的脚看。时间被哈姆雷特的不快乐所感染------。

"被思想的苍白所折磨"[79] 。




这个想法激发了戈德史密斯、[82] 伯恩斯、[83] 考珀、[84] 以及较新时期的歌德、[85] 华兹华斯、[86] 和卡莱尔[87] 的天才。与他们的写作相比,波普、[88]约翰逊、[89]吉本[90]的风格显得冷酷和迂腐。这种写作是血腥的。人们惊讶地发现,近处的事物并不比远处的事物更美丽、更奇妙。近的解释远的。一滴水是一个小海洋。一个人与所有的自然界都有关系。这种对庸俗的价值的认识在发现中是富有成效的。歌德,在这一点上是最现代的现代人,向我们展示了古人的天才,这是没有人做到过的。


我们时代的另一个标志,也以类似的政治运动为标志,是对单个人的新重视。一切倾向于隔离个人--用自然尊重的屏障包围他,使每个人都感到世界是他的,人与人之间的关系就像一个主权国家与一个主权国家之间的关系一样,都倾向于真正的联合以及伟大。"忧郁的裴斯泰洛齐说, "我了解到, 在上帝宽广的地球上, 没有人愿意或能够帮助其他任何人"。帮助必须只来自胸怀。学者是那种必须把时代的所有能力、过去的所有贡献、未来的所有希望都纳入自己的人。他必须成为一所知识的大学。如果有一门课比另一门课更应该穿透他的耳朵,那就是--世界是虚无的,人是全部;在你自己身上是所有自然界的法则,而你还不知道一个树液球是如何上升的;在你自己身上沉睡着整个理性;你要知道一切;你要[47]敢于一切。总统先生和先生们,这种对人类未知力量的信心,从所有动机、所有预言、所有准备来说,都属于美国学者。我们已经听从欧洲的宫廷缪斯太长时间了。美国自由人的精神已经被怀疑是胆怯的、模仿的、驯服的。公共和私人的贪婪使我们呼吸的空气变得厚重而肥胖。学者是体面的、懒惰的、抱怨的。已经看到了悲剧性的后果。这个国家的思想,被教导要瞄准低级的目标,自食其果。除了正派的人和抱怨的人,没有人可以工作。最有前途的年轻人在我们的海岸开始生活,他们被山风吹得鼓鼓的,被上帝的所有星星照耀着,但他们发现下面的地球与这些不一致,而是被商业管理的原则所激发的厌恶所阻碍,变成了苦力,或因厌恶而死亡,其中有些人是自杀的。有什么补救办法呢?他们还没有看到,而现在成千上万的充满希望的年轻人也没有看到,如果一个人不屈不挠地坚持自己的本能,并在那里坚持下去,巨大的世界就会向他走来。耐心,耐心;以所有善良和伟大的人的影子为伴;以你自己无限的生命为慰藉;以研究和交流原则为工作,使这些本能得到普及,使世界得到改变。难道这不是世界上最大的耻辱吗?我们不能成为一个单位;不能被视为一个角色;不能结出每个人被创造出来的特殊果实,而是被算在我们所属的党派、部门的总人数中,以百为单位,或以千为单位;我们的观点在地理上被预测为北方,或南方?不是这样的,兄弟和朋友们,--请上帝保佑,我们的不应该是这样。我们将用自己的脚走路;我们将用自己的手工作;我们将说出自己的想法。那时,人将不再是怜悯、怀疑和感官放纵的名字。对人的畏惧和对人的爱将成为一堵防御墙,并在所有人周围戴上欢乐的花环。一个由人组成的国家将首次存在,因为每个人都相信自己受到神圣灵魂的启发,而神圣灵魂也启发了所有的人。
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