Mr. Emerson has a great deal to answer for, if he is to be held responsible for the effects of his style on a certain class of American literature. To him, in fact, it seems to be owing that certain writers, who have something to say, cannot be content, notwithstanding the excellent examples of style which they have in some of their countrymen, to give it plain utterance in plain language, but will wrap it up in a mystical, spasmodic, and stilted style, and will, instead of allowing their sentences to flow easily on, insist on jerking them out like water from a narrow-necked bottle. Some of them certainly strive very hard to be incoherent, and to attain to a delirium of exaltation in which they rave in extravagant tropes and incongruous metaphors. We do not intend this statement to be applied strictly to the author of “American Religion,” although he certainly goes some way in the direction of delirium, and does injustice to his ideas by the grotesque style in which he clothes them. Take, for example, any sentence at random from his pages:—
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