i've republished the nathaniel rogers book, in a more competent form. 6x9 size, correctish pagination, and justified margins at little extra cost to you! it's a miracle. looks better on kindle too, and is set up to match american defiance. sorry to anyone who might have bought the first version, which was not many. but the text is there either way, which is what does matter.
gonna say it once again until someone shows me i'm wrong: the most radical writer in the most dimensions alive in the first half of the nineteenth century. other candidates whose lives overlapped: william godwin and mary wollstonecraft, tom paine, percy shelley, pierre-joseph proudhon, robert owen, fanny wright, fourier, marx, william lloyd garrison. not going to cut it, though, i think! on the other hand, there is a lot of the world that isn't england, france, and the us.
anyway, nathaniel peabody rogers was a lovely transcendentalist nature writer to boot.
[From the Herald of Freedom, July 4, 1845]
While I am writing, it is raining most magnificently and gloriously out doors. It absolutely roars, it comes down in such multitude and big drops. And how refreshing! It waters the earth. There has been but little rain, and our sandy region had got to looking dry and distressed. Every thing looks encouraged now, as the great strainer over head is letting down the shower bath. The grass darkens as it drinks it in, with a kind of delicate satisfaction. And the trees stand and take it as a cow does a carding. They hold still as a mouse, while they abide by its peltings, not moving a twig, or stirring as leaf. The dust of the wide naked street is transmuted into mud. And the stages sound over the road, as if they rattled on naked pavement. Puddles stand in all the hollows.
You can hardly see the people for umbrellas, and the clouds look as if they had not done with us. The prospect for the Canterbury meeting looks lowery. Let it rain. All for the best. It is extraineous, but I could hardly help noticing the great Rain and saying this word about it. I think the more mankind regard these beautiful doings in Nature, the more they will regard each other, and love each other, and the less they will be inclined to enslave each other. The readier abolitionists they will become. And the better.
The Rain is a great Anti-Slavery discourse. And I like to have it pour. No eloquence is richer to my spirit, or music. A thunder shower, what can match it for eloquence and poetry! That rush from heaven of the big drops - in what multitude and succession, and how they sound as they strike! How they play on the old home roof and on the thick tree tops! What music to go to sleep by, to a tired boy as he lays under the naked roof! And the great low bass thunder as it rolls off over the hills and settles down behind them - to the very centre, and you can feel the old Earth jar under your feet - that is music and poetry and life. And the lightning strikes you - what of that? It won't hurt you. "Favored man," truly, as uncle Pope says, "by touch ethereal slain." A light touch, compared to Disease's, the Doctor's - or Poverty's. I am no trifler with human destiny, but nothing that naturally happens to a man can hurt him.