To diminish friction, he paves the road with iron bars, and, mounting a coach with a ship-load of men, animals, and merchandise behind him, he darts through the country, from town to town, like an eagle or a swallow through the air. Under the general name of Commodity, I rank all those advantages which our senses owe to nature. I sank down onto the mossy ground in a clearing, closed my eyes, and just wished for peace and contentment. There are innocent men who worship God after the tradition of their fathers, but their sense of duty has not yet extended to the use of all their faculties. The moral law lies at the centre of nature and radiates to the circumference.
It is the standing problem which has exercised the wonder and the study of every fine genius since the world began; from the era of the Egyptians and the Brahmins, to that of Pythagoras, of Plato, of Bacon, of Leibnitz, of Swedenborg. I walked for about 40 minutes to reach the hotel and settled in. The state of the crop in the surrounding farms alters the expression of the earth from week to week. Therefore is nature glorious with form, color, and motion, that every globe in the remotest heaven; every chemical change from the rudest crystal up to the laws of life; every change of vegetation from the first principle of growth in the eye of a leaf, to the tropical forest and antediluvian coal-mine; every animal function from the sponge up to Hercules, shall hint or thunder to man the laws of right and wrong, and echo the Ten Commandments. The freshness of youth and love dazzles him with its resemblance to morning.
Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him. The poet, the orator, bred in the woods, whose senses have been nourished by their fair and appeasing changes, year after year, without design and without heed, -- shall not lose their lesson altogether, in the roar of cities or the broil of politics. The tribes of birds and insects, like the plants punctual to their time, follow each other, and the year has room for all. Religion includes the personality of God; Ethics does not. It does that for the unschooled, which philosophy does for Berkeley and Viasa.
Until this higher agency intervened, the animal eye sees, with wonderful accuracy, sharp outlines and colored surfaces. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. Standing on the bare ground, — my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, — all mean egotism vanishes. Children and savages use only nouns or names of things, which they convert into verbs, and apply to analogous mental acts. Instead, nature removes all arrogance and tribulations of men and replaces them with reason and faith in tranquility. In like manner, the memorable words of history, and the proverbs of nations, consist usually of a natural fact, selected as a picture or parable of a moral truth. Nature is a discipline of the understanding in intellectual truths.
This transfiguration which all material objects undergo through the passion of the poet, -- this power which he exerts to dwarf the great, to magnify the small, -- might be illustrated by a thousand examples from his Plays. The catalogue is endless, and the examples so obvious, that I shall leave them to the reader's reflection, with the general remark, that this mercenary benefit is one which has respect to a farther good. These facts may suggest the , over the artificial and curtailed life of cities. All science has one aim, namely, to find a theory of nature. Her yea is yea, and her nay, nay.
At the call of a noble sentiment, again the woods wave, the pines murmur, the river rolls and shines, and the cattle low upon the mountains, as he saw and heard them in his infancy. It is the working of the Original Cause through the instruments he has already made. In their view, man and nature are indissolubly joined. As the day grew long, we all settled down for a nap, but unsurprisingly they were all gone when I awoke. Thus, in his sonnets, the lays of birds, the scents and dyes of flowers, he finds to be the shadow of his beloved; time, which keeps her from him, is his chest; the suspicion she has awakened, is her ornament; The ornament of beauty is Suspect, A crow which flies in heaven's sweetest air. Passing by many particulars of the discipline of nature, we must not omit to specify two.
For, seen in the light of thought, the world always is phenomenal; and virtue subordinates it to the mind. The first and gross manifestation of this truth, is our inevitable and hated training in values and wants, in corn and meat. To explain it, we need to tell our own, whole story. But when the fact is seen under the light of an idea, the gaudy fable fades and shrivels. These are not the dreams of a few poets, here and there, but man is an analogist, and studies relations in all objects. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, The greatest delight which the fields and woods minister, is the suggestion of I am not alone and unacknowledged.
It takes me by surprise, and yet is not unknown. And man in all ages and countries, embodies it in his language, It is easily seen that there is nothing lucky or capricious in these analogies, but that they are constant, and pervade nature. It respects the end too much, to immerse itself in the means. In nature we become youthful, return to reason and faith, lose our egotism, and become one with the universal mind and the natural world. Every natural action is graceful. Many years ago at Ponaganset Falls in the summer Turner believes that nothing can be wilderness if it has even the littlest bit of intervention by humans.
Is not the charm of one of Plato's or Aristotle's definitions, strictly like that of the Antigone of Sophocles? Specifically, it is noted that splendor can never cease to exist, at least not mentally. What we are, that only can we see. A life in harmony with nature, the love of truth and of virtue, will to understand her text. We become physically nimble and lightsome; we tread on air; life is no longer irksome, and we think it will never be so. Its effect is like that of a higher thought or a better emotion coming over me, when I deemed I was thinking justly or doing right. The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship. In the woods, we return to reason and faith.
I expand and live in the warm day like corn and melons. We say the heart to express emotion, the head to denote thought; and thought and emotion are words borrowed from sensible things, and now appropriated to spiritual nature. It is not words only that are it is things which are emblematic. The poet, the painter, the sculptor, the musician, the architect, seek each to concentrate this radiance of the world on one point, and each in his several work to satisfy the love of beauty which stimulates him to produce. I have before me the Tempest, and will cite only these few lines.