If It may be said of Emerson's Writings that
Lurketh Nature veritable,
Thoreau should be given much, perhaps most, of the credit. For Emerson owed as much to Thoreau in respect to the material world as Thoreau owed to him in respect to the world of spirit. Remove the details of material nature from Emerson's essays, and you will rob them of much of their charm and power, since the author would be in perpetual danger of soaring aloft, balloon-fashion, among his “Circles” in worlds unrealised. Remove them from his Poems, where the sensuous, the concrete, is vitally necessary, and the poetry itself is gone with them. By a most happy conjunction of events, the very man who perhaps of all his countrymen had most to give Emerson, was his fellow-townsman, his friend, his companion in countless walks to the pine-groves, a valued assistant in editing the Dial, the guardian of his hearth while he sojourned abroad, and a sympathetic interpreter and critic of his inner life. Their friendship was not, of course, a free union of personalities, though we must make allowance for the stiffnesses of the Puritan tradition and bear in mind that, if Emerson would as soon think of embracing a tree as putting his arm around Henry, the forbidding Henry could be a charming Piper of Hamelin to the Emerson children, could sing his favorite “Tom Bowling” under the shelter of a rock during a shower in the presence of R. W. E. himself, and, when the mood was right, could dance with something like abandon.