"... if the tongue could be corrupted, nature would still be too strong for it, & would speak the truth by a hundred other organs, which cannot be bribed." A splendid fragment from an unidentified essay or lecture on the character and nature of a deceitful men. "... I think it can hardly be denied, that every man passes for what he is worth. Its truth will more fully appear from a farther consideration of the expressions by which character is disclosed, & the nature of the efforts that are made to conceal it. There are men of bad life who are extremely careful of their conversation, whose every expression is studied who are loud in expressing reverence for what is good, & much of their speech is false in their feeling. But the most artful veil under which the dissembler can shroud himself, reaches only over some temporary expressions of the countenance, over some part of his conservation, & over some few actions. It cannot cover the innumerable expressions by which human character reveals itself.... A man is known by the company he keeps, by the books he reads, by the praise he gives, by the facts he relates, & his manner of relating them, by the trade he follows, by his amusements, by his tastes & distastes; by the motion of his eye; by his dress; by his gait; by the order of his house; by innumerable trifles which cannot be hid, — he is known by all these, not less accurately than by his gravest & most deliberate actions."
The manuscript is accompanied by a leaf from an autograph album, signed by Emerson, Concord, 28 July 1875; and a mounted photographic portrait of roughly the same date.
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