This is the image of the full or partial text of an article entitled "Professor Hazzens Lecture on Emerson", printed in the Rockford Register of 1885-02-25. This article is in the public domain, because it was published in the United States before 1923.
Professor Hftzzen’s Locturo on Emerson# There coBpea ?tnetBon flreti ■ whoiso rich words,
ie some of it pr-i-noi »Ub, not even prose | „,
I’m speaking ol meters j some poems .have welled .From the rare depths of soulttat have ne'er- been
, excelled.,, ; . - T ■ ■,
All admire, thtjilah #oatcel/;$lfee6p\djrtB ie1# got
To meet snqU a primitive Paean aahe,V. . Who le willing toworelilp.tliu.etareund the euh,
A convert to nothing but-Jltoerflott.; ’:' T. -.
—J, it, Lbmll,
,. Those Who have beenentertttlneaand charmed , by Professor Hazzen’s lectures on "Tennyson,’’: "Every Man a Ulng,” and “Longfellow,” were not a little surprised, and many, tfcmuut be confessed, wore disappointed at the character of ,hls‘ lecture on Emerson last evening, It was anticipated that It would be a literurj treat, gems of poetic quotation, a gentle sauntering In fields of beautiful' rhetoric and oharmlng thoughts, a" dallying w.lth themuseos wooed by one of her most faithful,, most Impressionable adn’ers» Inetead of this, however, the audience, were plunged into a cavern of metaphysics, suddenly, unexpectedly,' 'rel'febtlesjly^ and there doomed to wrestle with most In-trlcate, qn;get-at-able theories of philosophy. Tho drop was bo unanticipated tbat even the professor can scarcoly blame one' for rebelling at tho shook, The lecture, was not one which the ordinary mind would care to comprehend or struggle with, and probably the ordinary mind could not comprehend It anyhow* The professor evidently understood' It himself has doubtless been an ardent student of the deepest problems of transcendental-Ism, but be makfis the mistake of suppoa-ing tha\ every listener U equally learned and enthusiastic In this dlftlcult branch of knowledge, or rather of the unknowable. Now If he bad taken Dr, Kerr, H. H, Wal-db; and a certalh seiie’ct coterie from the audience oil Into a corner, and with them discussed tljese utterly great, Intangibilities, a clellghtful'seance would have* been the result, But a popular lecture must be adapted to the popular mind, Mr, Hazzen’^l^ppy treatment of Longfellow shows that'he oan give a highly popular lecture upon almost any distinguished literary name,' There Is quite an open field for'a similar treatment of Emerson, thd poet, The professor, therefore, missed a fine op port unity', If ’he had only thrown ; philosophy to 'the dogs’, and led his 1 isten-ere.lnto this oharmed kingdom I Emerson: Is not so haokneyed as Longfellow, He has much fewer readers, but there are touohes of the beautiful In poetioconcep. tlons, which oiler an Intelligent reader, such as Prof, Hazzen, a delightful field In which to lead hU followers, with ’ever varying flowers and fruits awaiting the mas. ter’a hand to pluck and enjoy In their most delicate'perfume and flavor,
'The lecturo gave evidence of close study, d«ep thought, and a zealous Inter, eat which the professor himself says ‘'might be considered1 cranklsm,” In his enthuiiaspi he was capable'of verbal sole, cisms and grammatical Inaccuracies which were surprising in one so learned, In his bright,’ attractive Longfellow- lee* ture such a phrase bb "WebBter dons more than Graut,” might not be noticed or at least would be overlooked In the absorb* ing Merest' In the1 thought/ ’ In this met-aphy&lc&l, Emersonian effort, however, the Ubteners were Inclined to grasp at any ^etraffl whicK should bring [ him down to.an'ordinary eftrth level, so a grammatical error was as welcome as a fribas-seed rodent to a' starving arctic explorer/ Wandering la the lofty latitudes of the pole i and such pronunciation as “phenom. en-tfr” for "phenomena,'1' *<dat-<3?,,t for “data" and “Gutter" for “Goethe” -were as keenly relished b£" Mr, Hazzen’s accomplices or abceEBorles after the fact, as a chew of Ploughshare 'plug by a hungry sailor up in the mild mast.
•Prof, Hazzfen Is arbitrary and original in his cl.neslfloatlon" of the, great', 6lie would suppose that in selecting four great men Shakespeare’s name would appear, But alas I the Bitrd. of Avon was not only Ignored but Was belittled, The professor’s disapproval of his lmperfe6t life and personal'ohiraoter, on. a so muoh lower plane tiian his intellectual sphere, led to the dehUl of that mental pre-emi. nence which is almost universally conceded him by modern opinion, The lectur-’ er'sfour. great men are Moses, the He-brew lawgiver; Plato, the father of phll-osopby;'Alfred the Great, founder of. the English monat'oliy, and Emerson, Probably no speaker or writer save. Prof. Hazzen b as adopted- just this classification. It seems eo ,unex*' peoted that it almost lays Prof, Hazzen open to the charge of desiring«tp seem eccentric,' OertaWly Alfred hlmfeelfi' ali though! a warrior of admitted courage, would hardly haVe had the brftvery to claim suoh supreme greatness. Although he was a man of'intellect, n noble Warrior, a gtf&d king, yet the clrcumstanoes attending his reign and the subsequent greatness of the British kingdbni magnified his importance In history* ’ He was rather a child of destiny than a mun of superlative 'greAtnesq,;- The professor might be right In claiming that, In his combination of intellect, genius, and purity of HfOj Emer-sbn was the greatefet maft oi all - the^agfesr Yet lq hlB'oharttcterl^atlonB Mr. Hazzen is given to striking superlatives, such as by most persons would be consldered ‘an exaggeration of a man’s1 Importance,
Of America's four greatest men, the lecturerinsisted’? that^ftshlrigron^/'Wdb'. ster, Lincoln and Emersoa'took rank, He ,paid great ’ tribute Webster, .-“But don't for heaven’s bike,” he said, “take the picture of Webster In the last Century^ Magazine as a good- representation*of' his1 presence. Webster under a stovepipe hat would be like delaying & diamond'under the spoilt of ,’a tea kettle, Webster I done more to save,the unlou than Grant, The union would have been saved without Grant, but not' wlthoutfWeb$ter7';,!‘fle, taught U0 its value.... What1 Webster did for politics, what Ohannlng did for religion, Emerson did for oonscldncS,", The speake?" referred to the' pulpit,.“The toadying, sycophantic, vacillating pulpit a? represented by Newman.” “ The babbling Itlnernucy of Mppd^.'and the-. Boy Preacher,” and also unfavorably charac* prized B B o b S
Ingersoll and others,':, r.’
The next lecture will be on “ Carlyle," March 10/and'his:he«reis ;will wilt wi# ihtereatthemannerin'whl'ohhe will'tt'e^t1 ,the grim old1 cynic and sage, of Chelsea,' who with Emerson is Prof, Hazzen’s prime favorite.
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This is the ocr text of an article from the Wednesday, February 25, 1885 issue of the Rockford...