Friday, August 27, 2010

Pipe lore: Emerson and Carlyle

I have been re-reading a collection of anecdotes recently and have come across a couple of pipe-related anecdotes. I will be filing these under the category of "pipe lore."

At one point in his life, Ralph Waldo Emerson traveled to Europe to meet his poetic idols: William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Thomas Carlyle.
Among the sages who Emerson sought out on his visit to Europe was the notoriously reticent and difficult Thomas Carlyle. He called on Carlyle one evening and was given a pipe, while the host took one himself. They sat together smoking in perfect silence until bedtime, and on parting shook hands most cordially, congratulating each other on the fruitful time they had enjoyed together.