Thursday, November 12, 2009

a loose screw...

Father Taylor, Methodist minister to the sailors at Seaman's Bethel Chapel in Boston and model for Melville's Father Mapple loved Emerson but had little good to say about his philosophy. Emerson, for his part, deeply admired Taylor. "what splendor, what sweetness, what richness, what depth, what cheer!"
Of transcendentalism, Taylor, after hearing some discourse (not by Emerson) or other said, "It would take as many sermons like that to convert a human soul as it would quarts of skimmed milk to make a man drunk."
And yet he loved Emerson, saying of him, "Mr Emerson is one of the sweetest creatures God ever made; there is a screw loose somewhere in the machinery, yet I cannot tell where it is, for I never heard it jar. He must go to heaven when he dies, for if he went to hell the devil would not know what to do with him."


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