A Backward Glance at Eighty eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 234 pages of information about A Backward Glance at Eighty.

But Concord is richest in the memory of the men who have lived and died there, and whose character and influence have made it a center of world-wide inspiration.  One has but to visit Sleepy Hollow Cemetery to be impressed with the number and weight of remarkable names associated with this quiet town, little more than a village.  Sleepy Hollow is one of a number of rather unusual depressions separated by sharp ridges that border the town.  The hills are wooded, and in some instances their steep sides make them seem like the half of a California canyon.  The cemetery is not in the cuplike valley, but on the side and summit of a gentle hill.  It is well kept and very impressive.  One of the first names to attract attention is “Hawthorne,” cut on a simple slab with rounded top.  It is the sole inscription on the little stone about a foot high.  Simplicity could go no farther.  Within a small radius are found the graves of Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, John Weiss, and Samuel Hoar.  Emerson’s monument is a beautiful boulder, on the smoothed side of which is placed a bronze tablet.  The inscriptions on the stones placed to the memory of the different members of the family are most fitting and touching.  This is also true of the singularly fine inscriptions in the lot where rest several generations of the Hoar family.  A good article might be written on monumental inscriptions in the Concord burial-ground.  It is a lovely spot where these illustrious sons of Concord have found their final resting-place, and a pilgrimage to it cannot but freshen one’s sense of indebtedness to these gifted men of pure lives and elevated thoughts.

The most enjoyable incident of the delightful Decoration Day on which our trip was made was a visit to Emerson’s home.  His daughter was in New York, but we were given the privilege of freely taking possession of the library and parlor.  Everything is as the sage left it.  His books are undisturbed, his portfolio of notes lies upon the table, and his favorite chair invites the friend who feels he can occupy it.  The atmosphere is quietly simple.  The few pictures are good, but not conspicuous or insistent.  The books bear evidence of loving use.  Bindings were evidently of no interest.  Nearly all the books are in the original cloth, now faded and worn.  One expects to see the books of his contemporaries and friends, and the expectation is met.  They are mostly in first editions, and many of them are almost shabby.  Taking down the first volume of The Dial, I found it well filled with narrow strips of paper, marking articles of especial interest.  The authors’ names not being given, they were frequently supplied by Mr. Emerson on the margin.  I noticed opposite one article the words “T.  Parker” in Mr. Emerson’s writing.  The books covered one side of a good-sized room and ran through the connecting hall into the quaint parlor, or sitting-room, behind it.  A matting covered the floor, candlesticks rested on the chimney-piece,

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A Backward Glance at Eighty from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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