Monday, September 12, 2011

pie and the capacity for virtue...

Two things more than most put me in an Emerson state of mind-fall and pie. There has been a wonderful fall like nip in the air of late and yesterday my wife made me a "back to Church apple pie" so, this morning, I had my favorite breakfast. I was going to praise Carrie's pie as "the best pie I have ever had" (which I think it is) but then I read Emerson's lecture "The Superlative" which argues for a temperance of expression. As an example of the once famous New England gift for understatement, he relates this story...

"How impatient we are, in these northern latitudes, of looseness and intemperance in speech! Our measure of success is the moderation and low level of an individual's judgment. Doctor Channing's piety and wisdom had such weight that, in Boston, the popular idea of religion was whatever this eminent divine held. But I remember that his best friend, a man of guarded lips, speaking of him in a circle of his admirers, said: "I have known him long, I have studied his character, and I believe him capable of virtue."

So I will just say of my breakfast pie, "It was adequate"

Blessings
(for more on Emerson and pie, go here)

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I believe that there's a proper place for superlatives as it relates to a spouse's baking, and especially when it's pie at breakfast.

boston unitarian said...

Hey Elizabeth,
You are quite right-it is spectacularly good pie! Hope all goes well and
blessings, BU