from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A previous world or state of the world; specifically, the world before the flood.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
I do not read Emerson much now, except to try to get myself back into the atmosphere of that foreworld when a paradox, or a startling affirmation, dissolved or put to flight a vast array of commonplace facts.
Again, in 'Self-Reliance,' he says, 'Trust thyself; insist on yourself; obey thy heart, and thou shalt reproduce the foreworld again.'
We know what a vast stretch of time has gone to the making of it; that it has been baked and boiled and frozen and thawed, acted upon by sun and star and wind and rain; mixed and remixed and kneaded and added to, as the housewife kneads and moulds her bread; that it has lain under the seas in the stratified rocks for incalculable ages; that chemical and mechanical and vital forces have all had a hand in its preparation; that the vast cycles of animal and vegetable life of the foreworld have contributed to its fertility; that the life of the sea, and the monsters of the earth, and the dragons of the air, have left their ashes here, so that when I stir it with my hoe, or turn it with my spade, I know I am stirring or turning the meal of a veritable grist of the gods.