By twos and threes, some with hurried steps and downcast eyes, others more slowly and with free glances at the staring men, they gathered to the centre of the square, where, in surplice and band, there awaited them godly Master Bucke and Master Wickham of Henricus. I stared with the rest, though I did not add my voice to theirs.
We give you hearty thanks for your hospitality, and wish you a very good night." As I spoke I would have taken the bundle from him, but he tucked it under his arm, and, passing us, opened the garden gate. "Did I forget to tell you," he said, "that worthy Master Bucke is well of the fever, and returns to his own to-morrow? His house and church are no longer mine. I have no charge anywhere.
They marched him not back from the pulpit to gaol. There were but five ministers in Virginia, and there were a many more sick to visit and dead to bury. Master Bucke, still feeble in body, tarried up river discussing with Thorpe the latter's darling project of converting every imp of an Indian this side the South Sea, and Jeremy slipped into his old place.
Maurice Bucke, now passed out of this plane of life, wrote a book entitled "Cosmic Consciousness," in which he describes a number of these cases, including his own, Walt Whitman's and others, and in which he holds that this stage of consciousness is before the race and will gradually come to it in the future.
R.M. Bucke, John Burroughs, Geo.W. Childs, good ones in Boston, and Carnegie and R.G. Ingersoll in New York; and yet perhaps the tenderest and gratefulest breath of my heart has gone, and ever goes, over the sea-gales across the big pond. About myself at present. Then I have publish'd two prose works, "Specimen Days," and a late one, "November Boughs."
A new race is being born from us, and this new race will in the near future, possess the earth." Dr. Bucke later published an article in a current magazine, illustrating the illumination of his friend Walt Whitman, and supplemented with an account of his own experience. We quote briefly from Dr.
Wherefore, when at midday I met good Master Wickham rowing down from Henricus to Jamestown, to offer his aid to Master Bucke in his press of business to-morrow, I gave the good man Godspeed, and thought his a fruitful errand and one pleasing to the Lord." "Amen," I yawned. "I love the land, and call it home. My withers are unwrung."
Much light is thrown upon Whitman's literary methods and aims by a remark which he once made in conversation with Dr. Bucke: "I have aimed to make the book simple, tasteless, or with little taste, with very little or no perfume. The usual way is for the poet or writer to put in as much taste, perfume, piquancy, as he can; but this is not the way of nature, which I take for model.
From 1877 or '8 to '83 or '4 I was well enough to travel around, considerably journey'd westward to Kansas, leisurely exploring the Prairies, and on to Denver and the Rocky Mountains; another time north to Canada, where I spent most of the summer with my friend Dr. Bucke, and jaunted along the great lakes, and the St. Thus the last 14 years have pass'd.
Bucke said: "I have, in the last three years, collected twenty-three cases of this so-called cosmic consciousness. In each case the onset or incoming of the new faculty is always sudden, instantaneous. Among the unusual feelings the mind experiences, is a sudden sense of being immersed in flame or in a brilliant light.