her nephew drift, but also left a runningnchorus of comment and analysis on hisncourse which is more penetrating thannanything done by secular scholars sincenthen.nChanning charted the Unitarianncourse fot the Transcendentalists, but henwas not Emerson’s only exemplar. Therenis hardly a sentence of Emerson’s thatndoes not echo a previous thought, andnDr. Allen deserves credit for recognizingnthis much. On the other hand, he makesna deep obeisance to Emerson’s charactern—a subject for which a deeper examinationnis needed. The most important aspectnof the Emerson family, after all, wasnits poverty during Emerson’s childhood,nyouth and early manhood. His fathernhad died, and the widow and childrennlived off genteel charity. It was from thisnsituation, with his mother operating anboarding house, that Emerson made anfavorable marriage to a sickly youngnheiress. Before they were wed he insistednon a will, giving rise to suspicion, butnEmerson rose above it. His bride diednbefore she was twenty-one. Since hisnvstfe’s family had been heavily strickennby tuberculosis, it is difficult to believenthat he did not anticipate her death andnequally difficult to believe that he wouldnhave married her had she been poor. Itnwas a period when land, houses, carriages,nhorses, incomes were far more importantnthan they are today, for there wasnno governmental Santa Claus in thenwings. One could, literally, starve tondeath. Emerson fought hard for hisnyoung wife’s estate. Only after he wonndid he discover that he had doubts aboutnthe divinity of Jesus and the significancenof Communion. Buttressed by his newnincome, he left the Second Church ofnBoston. It would be inaccurate to say thatnEmerson had not expressed dissent withnvarious Christian tenets before he receivednhis inheritance, but he found thenministry supportable before, and insupportablenafter. Let us grant that Emersonnwas young, and that he did not remarrynsoon, or hastily. He was a man of austerenand controlled habits, and the inheritancendid not go to his head; he, did notndissipate or sow wild oats. He lent moneynto his brothers; he helped his mother.nHe went to England and met Carlyle,nwhom he later helped—and who helpednhim. That is the nature of writers who admirenone another’s work; no sin in that.nHe met persons of intellect and influencenat a time when London was the center ofnthe English-speaking world. He begannhis praises of the English, which contributednto his literary success.nThrough the 1840’s and 1850’snEmerson turned out small, preciousnworks, with ideas taken largely from Persiannpoets and Platonic philosophy, tonthe quiet applause of a small but steadilynmore influential coterie. There is a con-ndenying the divinity of Jesus, and sanknbelow other commentators in expressingnhis disgust at the reverence accorded tonthe “person” ofjesus. His position was asnanti-Christian as is possible to assume.nHe turned, however, a benign eye towardnHinduism, with its multiple gods,ntoward Buddhism, with its multiplenhells, toward Persian poets of a vanishednepoch and toward the elite mischief ofnPlato. His Platonism was typical of hisntimes: similar illusions were coursingnthrough Britain and Germany, wherenthe Higher Criticism held that Troy hadnnever existed, that the Bible was all mythnand superstition, that Jesus never lived,nthat whatever relics remained of AtticnGreece and Imperial Rome were, in somen”The Father of Us AH” [The title of a review of Waldo Emerson]n—Alfred KazinnNew York Review of Booksn”… this orphic saint …”ntemporary myth to the effect that thenTranscendentalists, of which Emersonnwas a prototype, were more ethical thannreligious in their inclinations, but thisndoes not hold up. They were, after all,nmainly clergymen, not simply membersnof congregations. Emerson was a minister.nHe was known, all his life, as the Reverend.nSo were the majority of his colleagues,nfrom Hedges to Higginson,nChanning to Parker. For reasons that donnot bear analysis, American historiansnand literati have persistently reftised tonmention these clerical facts of life. Thatnabolitionism was largely a ministerialnmovement is one of the best-hidden seaetsnof American history.* The Transcendentalistsnwere religious dissenters,nand Channing and Emerson were amongntheir leaders.nEmerson went beyond Channing inn*In my own work on the lunatic fringe of the abolitionistsn(Tie Secret Six), the New York TimesnBook Company editors rigorously excised everyn”Rev.” attached to every name in the ms. Inrestored the titles and the editors removed themnagain without notice, thus maintaining the secularnmyth of abolitionism.nnn—Timenfashion, holy and worthy of worship.nEmerson was a part of a trend, enough ofna Victorian to believe that he should havenbeliefs. There was, therefore, a clericalncadence to Emerson’s prose which madenit especially effective when it was freshlyndelivered. Emerson was the spokesmannfor what one commentator called thenAmerican Hegelians, devotees of HighernQiticism, searchers for a faith among thenrelics and ruins of Asia and Greece, whonturned to politics for salvation. Ofncourse, Emerson did not move all thenway all at once. He read Persian poetsnand Greek philosophy in translation andntaught himself to read German. He tooknhis Hegel from Carlyle and his ideasnwherever he could find them. Dr. Allennmentions some of these ideas, but hisntreatment is light. The growing anti-industrialismnof Transcendentalism nevernseems to attract his attention. In fact, henquotes Emerson on railroads in order tongive just the opposite impression. Dr.nAllen cites the essay on Self-Reliance atngreat length, but to Emerson self-reliancendid not include the entrepreneurnand was not intended to apply to in-nJuly/Aiigustl98Sn