Friday, January 10, 2014
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals
(July 6, 1840):
Whenever I read Plutarch or look at a Greek
vase I am inclined to accept the common opinion
of the learned that the Greeks had cleaner wits
than any other people in the Universe. But there
is anything but Time in my idea of the antique.
A clear and natural expression by word or deed
is that which we mean when we love and praise
the antique. In society I do not find it; in modern books seldom; but the moment I get into
the pastures I find antiquity again. Once in the
fields with the lowing cattle, the birds, the trees,
the waters and satisfying outlines of the landscape, and I cannot tell whether this is Tempe,
Thessaly and Enna, or Concord and Acton.