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The Preacher Merely Spectral

A snowstorm was falling around us.  The snowstorm was real, the preacher merely spectral, and the eye felt the sad contrast in looking at him, and then out of the window behind him into the beautiful meteor of the snow.  He had lived in vain.  He had not one word intimating that he had laughed or wept, was married or in love, had been commended or cheated, or chagrined.  If he had ever lived and acted, we were none the wiser for it.  The capital secret of his profession, namely, to convert life into truth, he had not learned.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature Addresses & Lectures, Emerson's Complete Writings, (Wm. Wise & Co., 1926, I), pp. 137-138.