Saturday, September 02, 2006

pilgrim amid dusty rustics: Emerson's Journals, Sept 2-3, 1823

From the Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1820-1824, edited by Edward Waldo Emerson and Waldo Emerson Forbes (1909).

Emerson continues the travel diary of his return from Western Massachusetts:
[Sept. 2-3]
From Mr. Haven's garret bed I sallied forth Tuesday morning towards Hubbardston, but my cramped limbs made little speed. After dining in Hubbardston I walked seven miles farther to Princeton, designing to ascend Wachusett with my tall cousin Thomas Greenough, if I should find him there, and then set out for home in the next day's stage. But when morning came, and the stage was brought, and the mountain was a mile and a half away, learned again an old lesson, that, the beldam Disappointment sits at Hope's door. I jumped into the stage and rode aways Wachusett untrod. At Sterling, I learned that Oliver Blood studies physic in Worcester. At Boston I saw Nat Wood on his way to Amherst, N. H., to study law, his pedagogical career being terminated - O fortunate nimium. [See note 1 at bottom.]

Close-cooped in a stage-coach with a score of happy, dusty rustics, the pilgrim continued his ride to Waltham, and alighting there, spent an agreeable evening at Rev. Mr. Ripley's. [See note 2] Home he came from thence the next morning, right glad to sit down once more in a quiet well-fed family at Canterbury.


Note 1: Blood and Wood were his classmates. [Editors' note]

Note 2: Rev. Samuel Ripley, minister of Waltham, was step-uncle of the Emerson boys, and always a kind friend and benefactor, especially to Waldo. [Editors' note]

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