Aesthetic Papers

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"Beautie is not as fond men misdeeme,

An outward show of things that only seeme.


Vouchsafe, then, O Thou most Almightie Spright!

From whom all gifts of wit and knowledge flow,
To shed into my breast some sparkling light
Of thine Eternall Truth, that I may show
Some little beames to mortall eyes below
Of that immortall Beautie, there with Thee,
Which in my weake distraughted mynd I see."





Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1849, by

Elizabeth P. Peabody,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.

No. 21, School-street.


The character and purpose of this Work are indicated by its title, and by the articles of the present number. The Editor wishes to assemble, upon the high æsthetic ground (away from the regions of strife, in any bad sense), writers of different schools,—that the antagonistic views of Philosophy, of Individual and of Social Culture, which prevail among the various divisions of the Church, and of the Scientific and Literary world, may be brought together, and a white radiance of love and wisdom be evolved from the union of the many-colored rays, that shall cultivate an harmonious intellectual and moral life in our country. Individuals of all parties have already expressed, by letters and in conversation, their interest in this plan; and the Editor hopes another number may present a practical exemplification of the fact, that all believe that on the æsthetic ground all may meet.

Whether Reviewing shall form a large part of the matter of this Publication is a question to be answered by future numbers. The object is good matter; and no form is prescribed to the author who is alive. One of the Editor's correspondents says upon this head:—"There is one species of periodical which I should like to see established; and that is, a Censor of periodicals, a Review of Reviews, where judgments, unjust or inadequate, expressed in other journals, should be reconsidered and overruled; where arti cles, written in a bad spirit, should meet with just reprobation. As it is, reviewers, and editors of journals, are a class of men who are never called to account. I would have a court constituted especially for that order. I would have such writers as ——, and such articles as ——, brought to the bar, tried, and judged according to their deserts."

No one is better qualified for this duty than the author of the suggestion; and the Editor will rejoice to have him or others put the plan into execution in future numbers, and hereby gives invitation to them to do it.

The plan of publication for this Work is like that of the "British and Foreign Review," which has been the model of its form, size, and type; namely, that a number should appear whenever a sufficient quantity of valuable matter shall have accumulated to fill 256 pages. This will in no case happen more than three times a year; perhaps not oftener than once a year.

The terms of patronage proposed are peculiar to itself. No person is asked to subscribe for more than one number in advance; but whoever is so far pleased with the current number as to desire another is requested to send an order to that effect to the Editor, who is also Publisher, No. 13, West-street, Boston. When a sufficient number of orders are given to pay for the publication, including compensation to the authors, a new number will be printed; the Editor being content to receive such profit as may accrue from the sale of other numbers not subscribed for beforehand. The Publisher's subscribers will have the numbers at $1, payable on delivery. The price at the bookstores will be $1.25.

Boston, May, 1849.


Introduction.—The word "Æsthetic."

Article. Page.
I. Criticism.—S. G. Ward, Esq. 5
II. Music. J. S. Dwight, Esq. 25
III. War.—R. Waldo Emerson, Esq. 36
IV. Organization.—Parke Godwin, Esq. 50
V. Genius.—Mr. Sampson Reed 58
VI. The Dorian Measure, with a Modern Application.—The Editor. 64
VII. Correspondence.—J. J. G. Wilkinson, Esq. Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, London 112
VIII. Main-street.—N. Hawthorne, Esq. 145
IX. Abuse of Representative Government.—S. H. Perkins, Esq. 174
X. Resistance to Civil Government; a Lecture delivered in 1847. H. D. Thoreau, Esq 189
XI. Language.—The Editor 214
XII. Vegetation about Salem, Mass.—An English Resident 224


Crawford's Orpheus.—The Editor 110
A Spirit's Reply 111
Hymn of a Spirit Shrouded 211
Meditations of a Widow 212
The Twofold Being 245
The Favorite 247

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.