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ONCORD, the home of Emerson and Alcott, of Haw

thorne and Thoreau, becomes more and more a place of pilgrimage for those who appreciate what is best, thus far, in American literature. Every day, almost, brings to that plain Massachusetts town these pilgrims from far and near, — old lovers of the place and its poets, returning to their first love, — or else new comers, who have heard of Concord, and wish to see what it is like. Who can explain the geographical mystery of genius, or measure its attractive and conse

crating force? We visit the slender and sluggish Avon winding through green meadows, among elms and willows, or twining round the base of wooded heights crowned with an old castle, or

a church-tower, — yet what charms us is not the TWR.dah

beauty of the scenery, lovely as that is, — we are

drawn thither by the memory of Shakespeare, who rambled in these meadows, sailed on this stream, and made love amid these groves of oak and elm. So is it with the quiet loveliness of Concord,

“ Its silver lakes that unexhausted gleam,

And peaceful woods beside the cottage door.” We value these not so much for their

* * * “ Then flows amain own grace and charm, as for the pleasure

The surge of summer's beauty; dell and crag,

Hollow and lake, hillside and pine arcade they gave to Emerson and his friends,

Are touched with genius. Yonder ragged cliff who have made the name of Concord as Has thousand faces in a thousand hours. famous in America as Stratford is in England. Most of all do we think of Emerson

“I am a willow of the wilderness, there, — since to him more than to all the

Loving the wind that bent me. All my hurts rest does the town owe its celebrity, and My garden spade can heal. A woodland walk, by him has its landscape best been painted

A quest of river grapes, a mocking thrush,

A wild rose or rock-loving columbine in memorable words :

Salve my worst wounds.") “For me in showers, in sweeping showers the Spring These pictures, and countless more Visits the valley, — break away the clouds, –

from Emerson's pen, not only describe I bathe in the morn's soft and silvered air, And loiter willing by yon loitering stream.

the scenes amid which he lived for half a Sparrows far off, and nearer April's bird,

century, but show us, by literal record or
Blue-coated, flying before from tree to tree, glancing allusion, his whole way of life
Courageous sings a delicate overture,
To lead the tardy concert of the year.

Emerson's “Musketaquid.”
Copyright, 1890, by New England Magazine Corporation, Boston. All rights reserved.

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there. He did not spend so many hours Old Manse, and as far beyond that eastern of the day abroad in the woods and fields “hilltop over against my house," from as Thoreau or Wordsworth did, but hardly which Emerson saw “the spectacle of any day failed to see him wandering to morning from daybreak to sunrise, with his numerous and familiar haunts, until emotions which an angel might share." It the short illness of which he died kept was called “ Peter's Field” from its dusky


The Old Manse, from the Battle Ground. him within doors. And with him much occupant, one Peter, who had succeeded of the charm of Concord scenery died to Cæsar Robbins — that other African also,

who gave his name to the neighboring “Now younger pilgrims find the stream,

wood. Along this river bank above the The willows and the vine;

great meadows, and through the wood, in But aye to me the happiest seem

the rear of the pine-crowned ridge where To draw the dregs of wine."

his grave is now seen, Emerson had one Emerson had visited Concord often as of his favorite walks -- extending as far a child to see his relatives in the Old eastward as to “ Copan" a small peninManse, which his grandfather built ; had sula thrust out into the meadow, on which been carried there as to a city of refuge, grew oak trees in fantastic forms that sugwith his mother and brothers, in the hard gested to Ellery Channing the idols of winter of 1814-15 ; had been a school- Palenque and Copan in Central America. boy, a theological student and a youth- This region was one of the earliest freful preacher there, before he made it his quented by Emerson, when his four abode in 1834, the year after his return brothers, William, Edward, Bulkeley and from his first tour in Europe. It was an- Charles, “ came with him to the wood.” cestral ground to him, though his family had - Two of these dear brothers, and the small possessions therein, but his affec- most brilliant, Edward and Charles, had tion and his poetic imagination gave him died before 1838, when that pathetic indefeasible ownership between the soil. poem, “ The Dirge,” was written. They and the sky, according to the tenure of were the earliest of Emerson's Concord Roman law, — as he intimated some years friends, and those for whom his attachafterward: —

· ment was the strongest ; they gave to the “ Knows he who tills this lonely field

· plain and homely landscape a tinge of To reap its scanty corn,

· romance which it had not before, and What mystic fruit its acres yield

which it has never since lost. Yet was At midnight and at morn?'

there always something romantic about This field was on the south bank of the the township — from its first history, Concord River, a short half mile below the through whose twilight glance dimly In

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