The Project Gutenberg eBook on Walking by Henry David Thoreau (2023)

The Project Gutenberg eBook on Walking by Henry David Thoreau

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Title: Visits

Autor: Henry David Thoreau

Publication closes: August 1997 [eBook #1022]
[Last update: January 15, 2021]

English language

Character set encoding: UTF-8

Produced by: Q Myers and David Widger


by Henry David Thoreau

I want to say a word for nature, for absolute freedom and savagery, as opposed to a freedom and culture that is only civil: considering man as an inhabitant or part of nature, rather than a member of society. I want to make an extreme statement, if so, I can make an emphatic one, because there are already enough defenders of civilization: the Minister and the School Committee, and each of you will take care of that.

I have only met one or two people in the course of my life who understood the art of walking, that is, of walking, who had a genius, as it were, forhanging around, whose word is beautifully derived "from intermediaries who traveled the country in the Middle Ages begging for alms, under the pretext of goingto the Holy Land”, to the Holy Land, until the children exclaimed: “There goes aSaint Terrer”, a wanderer, a holy-lander. Those who never go to the Holy Land on their wanderings, as they pretend, are really only idlers and vagabonds; but the ones that go there are retards in a good way, I mean. However, some would derive the word fromlandlessno land and no house, which in a good way means you don't have a special home, but you feel at home everywhere. Because this is the secret of a successful walk. The one who is silent in a house all the time can be the greatest guardian of all; but the vagabond, in a good way, is no more vagabond than the meandering river, which all the while languidly seeks the shortest way to the sea. But I prefer the first one, which is actually the most likely derivation. Well, each time it is a kind of crusade, preached by some hermit Peter in us, to go out and recover this sacred land from the hands of the infidels.

It is true that in our days we are but delicate crusaders, even wandering ones, who do not undertake lasting and interminable enterprises. Our expeditions are carried out through walks and return at night to the old home, where we started. Half the journey is just back. We must set out for the shortest journey, perhaps in the spirit of eternal adventure, never to return, prepared to send only our embalmed hearts as relics to our desolate realms. If you are willing to leave father and mother, brother and sister, wife, child, and friends, and never see them again, if you have paid your debts, made your will, and arranged all your affairs and male free territory; then you are ready for a hike.

To come down to my own experience, my companion and I, who sometimes have company, take pleasure in imagining knights of a new or quite old order, not knights or knights, not knights or knights, but walkers, an even older order and honorable. class, I trust. The heroic and chivalrous spirit that once belonged to the Knight now seems to reside or have fallen into the Walker, not the Knight, but the Walker. It is a kind of fourth estate of the Church, the State and the People.

We felt that we were almost alone here practicing this noble art; But, to tell the truth, at least to receive their own claims, most of my fellow citizens would like to go sometimes like me, but they can't. No amount of wealth can buy the necessary leisure, freedom, and independence that are the capital of this profession. It comes only by the grace of God. It takes a direct dispensation from Heaven to become a vagabond. You must have been born into the Walker family.A walker is born, not made.Apparently some of my inhabitants can remember and have described to me some walks they took ten years ago, in which they were lucky enough to lose half an hour in the woods; but I know that they have kept on the road ever since, whatever pretensions they may have to this select class. No doubt they were lifted for a moment as if by the memory of a former state of existence when even they were rangers and bandits.

"When he came to Grene Wode,
On a happy morning
There he hardens the small notes
De byrdes mery syngynge.

"It's too far," said Robyn,
That I was here last;
I lit a lytell to shoot
You know."

I think I cannot preserve my health and my spirit unless I spend at least four hours a day, and usually more than that, walking through the woods and over the hills and fields, completely free from all worldly occupations. . You can safely say, a penny for your thoughts or a thousand pounds. When I sometimes remember that mechanics and shopkeepers sit in their workshops not only all morning but all afternoon, sitting cross-legged, many of them - as if legs were made for sitting and not for standing or walk- I think they deserve credit for not killing each other a long time ago.

Me, who can't stay a single day in my room without rusting, and when I sometimes slipped away at eleven or four in the afternoon, too late to rescue the day when the shadows of the night had already begun to mingle with the daylight, I felt as if I had committed some sin to be atoned for - I confess I am amazed at the power of resistance, not to mention the moral callousness, with my neighbors who limit themselves to shops and offices. all day for weeks and months, no, and years almost together. I don't know what kind of thing it is, sitting there now at three in the afternoon, like it's three in the morning. Bonaparte may talk of courage at three in the morning, but it is nothing for the brave to sit happily at this time of the afternoon with a self they have known all morning, to starve a garrison to which they are attached. strong ties of sympathy. I wonder if at this time, or say between four and five in the afternoon, too late for the morning papers and too early for the evening papers, there is not a general explosion up and down the street, scattering a legion of old-fashioned houses. -created notions and whims to the four winds for an outlet - and then the evil is cured.

How the female race, which is confined to the house even more than the men, bears it, I do not know; but I have reason to suspect that most of them do notstaythis at all. Early on a summer afternoon, when we brush the village dust off our skirts and hurry past the houses with their purely Doric or Gothic facades, how quiet they are, my companion whispers that probably at this hour everyone its inhabitants went to bed. It is then that I appreciate the beauty and glory of architecture, which itself never attacks, but always stands out and stands up and watches over the sleeper.

Undoubtedly, temperament and especially age have a lot to do with it. As a man ages, he increases his ability to be still and follow internal activities. He becomes late in his habit as the night of life approaches, until he finally emerges just before sunset and gets all the time he needs in half an hour.

But the time I'm talking about has nothing to do with exercise, as it is called, when the patient takes medication at fixed times, such as weights or rocking chairs; but it is in itself today's business and adventure. If you want to exercise, go in search of the sources of life. Think of a man's dumbbells dangling to his health when those springs gush forth in far-off pastures he has not sought!

Also, you have to walk like a camel, which is said to be the only animal that chews the cud when you walk. When a traveler asked Wordsworth's servant to show him his master's study, she replied: "Here is his library, but his study has no doors."

Living a lot in the open air, in the sun and the wind, will undoubtedly give a certain roughness to the character: it will grow a thicker cuticle over some of the more subtle features of our nature, as on the face and hands, or as theft work. hard manual. our hands a bit of your delicacy of touch. Staying indoors, on the other hand, can give softness and smoothness, not to mention thin skin, accompanied by increased sensitivity to certain impressions. Perhaps we should have been more susceptible to some influences important to our intellectual and moral growth if the sun had shone and the wind had blown us a little less; and it is certainly a good proportion of thick and thin skin correctly. But I believe that it is a scab that will fall off quite firmly, that the natural remedy is to be found in the relationship believed to be between night and day, winter with summer. There will be even more air and sun in our thoughts. Hard-working palms are more familiar with the finer fabrics of self-respect and heroism, the touch of which thrills the heart, than the dull fingers of idleness. It is mere sentimentality that remains immobile during the day and believes it is white, away from the thetan and the hard skin of experience.

When we walk, we naturally go to fields and forests: what would become of us if we only went to a garden or a shopping mall? Even some sects of philosophers felt the need to import the forest for themselves, since they did not come to the forest. "They planted groves and walks in the Platanes", where they wentsubdial senderismoon outdoor porches. Of course, it is useless to direct our steps towards the forest if they do not lead us there. I get scared when it turns out that I walked a kilometer in the forest physically, without getting there in spirit. In my afternoon walk I forgot all my morning occupations and my obligations to society. But sometimes it happens that I can't easily get rid of the village. The thought of some job crosses my mind and I'm not where my body is, I'm out of my mind. On my travels, I wanted to come to my senses. What business do you have in the forest if I think of something outside the forest? I'm suspicious of myself and can't help but shudder when I'm so involved in even what's called good deeds, because that can sometimes happen.

My neighborhood offers many good walks; and although for so many years I walked almost every day, and sometimes for several days in a row, I still did not get tired of them. A new vision is a great happiness and I can still have it every evening. A walk of two or three hours will bring you as strange a country as you hoped to see. A single farm I haven't seen before is sometimes as good as the King of Dahomey's domain. In fact, there is a kind of harmony to be discovered between the possibilities of the landscape in a circle of ten miles in radius, or the limits of an afternoon walk, and sixty years of human life. It will never be fully known to you.

Nowadays, almost all the so-called human improvements, like building houses and cutting down the forest and all the big trees, simply deform the landscape and make it tamer and cheaper. A town that would start by burning the fences and coming out of the woods! I saw the half-eaten fences, their ends lost in the middle of the prairie, and some mundane wretch with a surveyor guarding their borders, while heaven guarded him, and I did not see angels coming and going, but searching through an old hole of wood. pole in the middle of paradise. I looked again and saw him standing in the middle of a Stygian swamp, surrounded by demons, and no doubt he had found his limits, three small stones where a stake had been driven, and when I looked closer I saw that the Prince of Darkness there was his surveyor.

I can easily walk ten, fifteen, twenty, any number of miles, starting at my own doorstep, not passing a house, not crossing a road, except where the fox and the mink do: first along the river, and then the stream. , and then the themed meadows and trees side. There are square kilometers in my neighborhood that have no inhabitants. From many hills I can see civilization and distant human dwellings. The peasants and their works are little more distinguished than the bells and their caves. The man and his business, the church, the state and the school, trade and commerce, industry and agriculture, even politics, the most alarming of all, I am glad to see how little space they occupy in the landscape. . Politics is only a narrow field, and the narrower road leads there. Sometimes I direct the traveler there. If you want to enter the political world, take the right path: follow that man in the market, keep his dust in your eyes and he will take you right there; because he also has only his place, and does not occupy all the space. I walk out of her like a bean field into the woods, and she's forgotten. In half an hour I can go to a part of the earth's surface where a man does not stop from one year to the next, and therefore there is no politics, because it is just like the smoke of a man's cigar.

The town is where the roads lead, a kind of extension of the road, like a lake into a river. It is the body whose paths are the arms and legs: a common or square place, the public highway and ordinary travelers. The word is from Latin.villathat along withthrough the, a path, or greaterbymiviejo, Varro is originally fromvehicle, to transport, because the town is where things are transported to and from. It was said that those who made their living by banding togethermake a veil. Hence also the Latin wordbroughtis oursdisgusting; alsovillain. This suggests the kind of degeneracy that the villagers are subject to. They are tired of the journey that happens to them without traveling themselves.

Some won't even go; others walk the roads; some go to parties. The roads are made for horses and businessmen. I don't travel much in them, comparatively speaking, because I'm in no hurry to get to whatever tavern, grocery store, delivery barn, or warehouse they take me to. I'm a good travel horse, but not a roadster by choice. The landscaper uses the figures of men to mark the foreign country. He would not make such use of my figure. I go out into a nature into which the ancient prophets and poets entered, Menu, Moses, Homer, Chaucer. You can call it America, but it is not America: neither Américo Vespucci, nor Columbus, nor the others were its discoverers. There is a truer amount of this in mythology than in any so-called American history that I have ever seen.

However, there are some ancient roads that can be trodden with pleasure, as if they are suffering somewhere now that they are almost gone. There's the Old Marlborough Road, which doesn't lead to Marlborough now, I think, unless it leads to Marlborough. I'm more daring to talk about it here because I suspect there are one or two of these roads in every city.


Where once they dug for money,
But I never found any;
where sometimes martial miles
single files,
Elias Wood,
I fear nothing:
no other man
Elisha Red Dugan—
O man of wild habits,
partridges and rabbits,
Who cares
Just to set traps,
who lives alone,
Close to the bone;
And where life is sweeter
Eat constantly.
When spring touches my blood
With the instinct to travel,
can i get enough gravel
No Old Marlborough Road.
no one fixes it
Because no one wears it;
It's a lifestyle,
As the Christians say.
there are not many
who goes in there
Invited Only
what an irish
what is what is
But an address out there,
And the mere possibility
Go somewhere?
large stone guide plates,
But no traveler;
Cenotaphs of cities
The name of their crowns.
worth going to see
Where youcanto be.
what a king
made the case,
I still wonder;
Define how or when,
Of which chosen,
Gourgas o Lee,
¿Clark o Darby?
they are a lot of effort
To be something forever;
shining stone planks,
Where a traveler can moan,
and in a sentence
Dig all that is known
As you can read,
In your greatest need.
I know one or two
Lines that would do,
Literature that could stay
All over the country,
How could a man remember
Until next December,
And read again in the spring,
After defrosting.
If with the fantasy unfolded
you leave home,
you can go around the world
Old Marlborough Road.

(Video) Relaxation Rewind! A Winter Walk, by Henry David Thoreau | ASMR Quiet Reading for Relaxation & Sleep

Currently, in this neighborhood, most of the land is not privately owned; the landscape is not owned and the walker enjoys a comparable freedom. But possibly the day will come when it will be divided into the so-called pleasure camps, where a few will enjoy only a restricted and exclusive pleasure, when the fences will multiply and traps and other machines will be invented to confine men. forpublicway, and walking on the face of God's earth must be interpreted as trespassing on some man's ground. To exclusively enjoy a thing is generally to exclude oneself from the true enjoyment of it. So let us take advantage of our opportunities before the bad days come.

What makes it sometimes so difficult to decide where we want to go? I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in nature that, if we unconsciously surrender to it, will lead us on the right path. We don't care which way we go. There is a right path; but we are too prone to recklessness and stupidity to take the wrong one. We would very much like to take that walk that we have not yet taken in this real world, which is perfectly symbolic of the path that we love to travel in the inner and ideal world; and sometimes, no doubt, we find it difficult to choose our direction because it does not yet clearly exist in our idea.

When I leave home for a walk, still not knowing where to put my head and giving in to my instinct to decide for myself, I discover, strange and capricious as it may seem, that I finally and inevitably settle in the South. to the west, towards a certain grove or meadow or pasture or hill in that direction. My needle takes time to settle: it varies a few degrees and doesn't always point southwest, true, and you have good authority for that variation, but it's always between west and south-southwest. That is the future to me, and the earth seems more inexhaustible and richer from that side. The contour that would circumscribe my travels would not be a circle, but a parabel, or rather like one of those cometary orbits that are supposed to be non-recurring curves, in this case opening towards the west, where my house occupies the place of the sun. . Sometimes, indecisively, I walk round and round a room until I decide for the umpteenth time that I want to go southwest or west. To the east I go only by force; But west I go free There is no business that takes me. It is hard for me to believe that I will find beautiful landscapes or enough wild nature and freedom behind the eastern horizon. I'm not excited about the prospect of a hike there; but I think that the forest, which I see on the western horizon, stretches unbroken towards the setting sun, and there are no towns or villages in it of sufficient importance to disturb me. Let me live wherever I want, on this side is the city, in that desert, and more and more I leave the city and retreat to the desert. I would not give so much importance to this fact, if I did not believe that such a thing is the predominant tendency of my compatriots. I have to go to Oregon, not Europe. And this is how the nation moves, and I can say that humanity advances from east to west. In a few years we have witnessed the phenomenon of a south-eastern migration in the settlement of Australia; but it seems to us a retrograde movement, and judging from the moral and physical character of the first generation of Australians, it has yet to be a successful experiment. The Eastern Tatars believe that there is no West beyond Tibet. "There the world ends", they say; "There is nothing there but a sea without beaches." It's the wild east where they live.

We head east to reconnoiter the history and study the works of art and literature, retracing the steps of the race; we head west as if we were in the future, striving for ventures and adventures. The Atlantic is a lectic current, in our wake, on which we had the opportunity to forget the old world and its institutions. If he fails this time, there may be one more chance of the race before he reaches the shores of the Styx; and it is in the Lethe of the Pacific Ocean, which is three times as wide.

I do not know how significant it is, or to what extent it is a testimony to uniqueness, that an individual should thus, in his smallest instance, consent to the general movement of the race; but I know that something like the instinct of air in birds and quadrupeds, which in some cases is known to have influenced the tribe of squirrels, and led them into a general and mysterious movement, where they have been seen, say some, crossing the wider rivers, each on its own particular chip, its tail upturned like a sail and connecting narrower streams with its dead - something likefuroraffecting domestic cattle in spring, and spoken of as a worm on its tail, affects nations and individuals, perennially or from time to time. It's not a flock of wild geese cackling over our town, but it does disturb real estate values ​​here a bit, and if I were a real estate agent, I'd probably take that disturbance into account.

"Some people go on a pilgrimage,
And flattened to look for strange tronds".

Every sunset I witness inspires me to go to a far west and just as beautiful as the one where the sun sets. It seems to wander west every day, tempting us to follow. He is the great Western pioneer whom the nations follow. We dream all night long of those peaks on the horizon, even if they are nothing more than steam, gilded at last by their rays. The island of Atlantis and the islands and gardens of the Hesperides, a kind of earthly paradise, appear to have been the great west of antiquity, shrouded in mystery and poetry. Who has not seen in the imagination, looking at the western sky, the gardens of the Hesperides and the basis of all these fables?

Columbus felt the western trend more strongly than anyone before him. He obeyed and found a new world for Castilla y León. The herd of men in those days smelled of fresh pastures from afar.

"And now the sun has spread over all the hills,
And now it has been launched in the western bay;
Finallyhehe got up and put on his blue cloak;
Tomorrow to new forests and new pastures."

In what part of the globe is an area of ​​the same size as that occupied by the majority of our states, so fertile and so rich and varied in its products, and at the same time so inhabitable by Europeans, as this one? Michaux, who knew only a fraction of them, says that "the species of large trees are much more numerous in North America than in Europe; in the United States there are more than one hundred and forty species over thirty feet in height; in France there are only thirty that reach that size." Later botanists more than confirm the observations of him. Humboldt came to America to fulfill his youthful dreams of tropical vegetation, and saw it in its greatest perfection in the primeval forests of the Amazon, the most gigantic desert on earth, which he so eloquently described. The geographer Guyot, himself a European, goes further, further than I am willing to follow him; but not when he says: "Just as the plant is made for the animal, as the vegetable world is made for the animal world, so America is made for man in the Old World... Man in the Old World follows his path". he leaves the highlands of Asia and descends from station to station towards Europe. Each of his steps is marked by a new civilization, superior to the previous one, with greater power of development. Having reached the Atlantic, he halts on its shores an unknown sea, whose borders he does not know, and for a moment retraces his steps." When he has exhausted the rich soil of Europe and is revived, "he resumes his adventurous course westward as in the early days." So far Guyot.

From this western impulse, upon coming into contact with the Atlantic barrier, commerce and the current company arose. The young Michaux, in his Travels to the West of the Alleghanies in 1802, says that the common question in the newly settled West was: "What part of the world do you come from?" As if these vast and fertile regions were naturally the meeting place and meeting point. earth for all the inhabitants of the globe".

To use an old-fashioned Latin word, I might say,Eastern Light; from WestFRUIT. From the eastern light; of the fruit of the west.

Sir Francis Head, an English traveler and Governor-General of Canada, reports that "both in the northern and southern hemispheres of the New World, nature not only outlined her works on a larger scale, but painted the whole picture in richer colors." ... and lighter colors than those used to delineate and embellish the Old World... The sky of America seems infinitely higher, the sky is bluer, the air is fresher, the cold is more intense, the moon seems larger , the stars are brighter, the thunder is louder, the lightning is vivid, the wind is stronger, the rains are heavier, the mountains are higher, the rivers are longer, the forests are larger, the plains They are wider." This statement could at least contradict Buffon's account of this part of the world and its productions.

Linnaeus said long ago: "I don't know what you want to dohappy, smoothplantisAmericanis" (I don't know what's sweet and cheerful about the appearance of American plants); and I believe that in this country there are none, or at most very few,african beastsAfrican animals, as the Romans called them, and which, also in this respect, are particularly suitable for human habitation. We are told that within three miles of the center of the Indian city of Singapore, some of the inhabitants are taken annually by tigers; but the traveler can lie in the woods at night almost anywhere in North America without fear of wild animals.

It is an encouraging testimony. If the moon looks bigger here than it does in Europe, the sun probably looks bigger too. If the sky in America seems infinitely higher and the stars brighter, I think these facts are emblematic of the height to which the philosophy, poetry, and religion of its inhabitants may one day rise. In the end, immaterial heaven may seem so much higher to the American mind, and the tracks that star in it so much brighter. Because I believe that the climate responds to man in this way, because there is something in the mountain air that nourishes the spirit and inspires. Will not man grow to greater intellectual and physical perfection under these influences? Or does it matter how many foggy days there are in your life? I believe that we will be more imaginative, that our thoughts will be clearer, fresher and more ethereal, like our skies, our ever-widening understanding, like our plains, our intellects in general on a larger scale, like our thunder and lightning, our rivers. , mountains and forests, and our heart must correspond in breadth, depth and grandeur to our interior seas. Perhaps something, you don't know what, appears to travelerspanicmiglabra, of happiness and peace, on our faces. What else is the world moving towards and why was America discovered?

For Americans, it goes without saying...

"To the west, the star of the empire follows its course.

As a true patriot, I would be ashamed to think that Adam in paradise was better off than his compatriot in this country.

Our sympathies for Massachusetts are not limited to New England; While we may be far from the South, we are sympathetic to the West. There is the home of the youngest children, when among the Scandinavians they went to sea to seek their inheritance. It is too late to study Hebrew; it is more important to understand even today's jargon.

A few months ago I went to see a view of the Rhine. It was like a dream from the Middle Ages. I floated its historical stream in more than imagination, under bridges built by the Romans and repaired by later heroes, past towns and castles whose names were music to my ears, each the subject of a legend. There were Ehrenbreitstein, Rolandseck and Coblentz, whom I only knew from history. They were ruins that had great interest. There seemed to rise from its waters and from its vine-covered hills and valleys a soft music like that of the crusaders on their way to the Holy Land. I floated under the spell as if I had been transported to a house of heroes, breathing an air of chivalry.

Soon after I went to see a view of the Mississippi, and as I rode up the river in daylight, and watched the steamboats go by, the rising cities talked, looked at the new ruins of Nauvoo, saw the Indians coming toward west across the creek, and just as I had looked at the Mosel before, now I looked at the Ohio and the Missouri and heard the legends of Dubuque and Wenona's Cliff—still thinking more of the future than of the priest's present—I saw that it was a Rhine stream of another kind; that the foundations of the castle have not yet been laid and the famous bridges over the river have not yet been laid; and i felt itthis was the heroic age itself, although we do not know, because the hero is usually the simplest and the darkest of men.

The West, of which I speak, is but another name for the wild; and what he was prepared to say is that in the desert is the preservation of the world. Each tree sends its fibers in search of nature. Cities matter at all costs. Men plow and navigate it. From the forest and the desert come the tectonics and the barking that hardens humanity. Our ancestors were savages. The story of Romulus and Remus being nursed by a she-wolf is not a meaningless fable. The founders of every state that has risen to prominence have drawn their nourishment and strength from an equally wild source. Because the children of the empire were not fed by the wolf, they were conquered and driven out by the children of the northern forests, which they were.

I believe in the forest and the meadow and the night where the grain grows. We call for an infusion of fir hemlock or arbor vitae in our tea. There is a difference between eating and drinking to gain strength and for myself. Hottentots greedily swallow the marrow of kudu and other antelope raw, naturally. Some of our North Indians eat the Arctic reindeer raw, as well as various other parts, including the tops of the antlers, as long as they are soft. And in that they may have stolen a march against chefs in Paris. They take what normally fuels the fire. That's probably better than the butcher's beef and pork to make a man. Give me a savage whose sight no civilization can bear, as if we lived in the marrow of koodoos eaten raw.

There are some mountain ranges that border the jungle thrush tribe that it would wander: wild lands where no settler has ever occupied; Which, I mean, I'm used to by now.

The African hunter Cumming tells us that the fur of the eland, as well as that of most other antelope that has just been slaughtered, exudes the most delicious smell of trees and herbs. I would that every man were a wild antelope, so much a part of nature, that his very person sweetly announced our sense of his presence and reminded us of the parts of nature he frequented most. I am not inclined to be satirical when the hunter's coat gives off even the smell of musk; it is a sweeter fragrance to me than that which normally emanates from the robes of the merchant or scholar. When I go into his closets and touch his clothes, I remember the grassy plains and flowery meadows they frequented, but also the bags of the gunpowder merchants and, before that, the libraries.

Tanned skin is more than respectable, and perhaps olive green is a better color than white for a man, a forest dweller. "The Pale White Man!" I'm not surprised the African felt sorry for him. The naturalist Darwin says: "A white man bathing next to a Tahitian was like a plant made pale by the gardener's art in comparison with a beautiful dark green that grew vigorously in open fields."

Ben Jonson exclaimed:

"How close to good is what is fair!"

So I would say,-

"How close to good is what iswild!

(Video) A Winter Walk, by Henry David Thoreau (ASMR Quiet Reading for Relaxation & Sleep)

Life consists of savagery. The liveliest is the wildest. Not yet subjugated to man, his presence invigorates him. The one who incessantly advanced and never rested from his work, who grew rapidly and demanded endlessly from life, always found himself in a new country or desert and surrounded by the raw material of life. He climbed up the spreading trunks of the forest's primeval trees.

Hope and the future for me are not in the cultivated meadows and fields, not in the cities and villages, but in the trembling and impenetrable swamps. In the past, when I've analyzed my preference for a farmhouse I was thinking of buying, I've often found that I've only been drawn to a few square stalks of an impenetrable, bottomless swamp: a natural wash in one corner of the . It was the jewel that dazzled me. I get more of my livelihood from the swamps around my hometown than from the cultivated gardens of the town. There is no richer parterre in my eyes than the dense beds of the dwarf Andromeda (Casandra calyculata), which covers these sore spots on the Earth's surface. Botany can do no more than tell me the names of the shrubs that grow there: the tall bilberry, andromeda panicle, lamb killer, azalea, and rodora, all standing on the quivering sphagnum. I often think that I would like to have this mass of dull red shrubbery in front of my house, omitting other flower beds and borders, transplanted fir trees and window boxes, even gravel driveways: to have this fertile spot under my windows, they were not used some ground bars. imported only to cover the sand that was thrown in the excavation of the basement. Why not put my house, my living room, behind this lot, instead of behind the meager collection of curiosities, the poor excuse of nature and art, that I call my front lawn? It's an attempt to clean up and make a decent appearance when the carpenter and bricklayer have left, but done by the passerby as well as the inhabitant within. The most elegant front fence has never been a pleasant study object for me; the more elaborate decorations, acorn-fed tapas or whatever, soon tired and disgusted me. Take your paintings to the edge of the swamp, so that (although this may not be the best place for a dry cellar) there is no access to citizens from that side. The front gardens are not made for walking, but maximum, and you can walk to the back.

Yes, perverse as it may seem to me, if I were proposed to live near the most beautiful garden that human art has ever imagined, or in a dreary swamp, I would certainly choose the swamp. How all your labors were in vain for me, citizens!

My state of mind inevitably arises from external sadness. Give me the sea, the desert or the desert! In the desert, clean air and solitude make up for the lack of moisture and fertility. The traveler Burton says about this - "Yourmoralimprovement; you become honest and cordial, hospitable and determined... In the desert, the spirits only arouse disgust. There is great pleasure in a mere animal existence.” Those who have traveled a lot through the Tartary steppes say: “Returning to cultivated lands, the restlessness, confusion and restlessness of civilization oppressed and suffocated us; the air seemed to fail us, and we felt at every moment as if we were going to die of suffocation". a swamp like a sacred place, - athe Saint. There is the force of nature, the marrow. Wild trees cover virgin mold, and the same soil is good for people and trees. A man's health requires as many acres of meadow for his vision as his farm requires much manure. There is the strong meat that he feeds on. A city is saved no more by the just who are in it than by the forests and swamps that surround it. A city where a primeval forest undulates above while another primeval forest rots below: such a city is poised to cultivate not only grain and potatoes, but also poets and philosophers for centuries to come. In such a land Homer, Confucius and the others grew up, and from such a desert come the first to eat locusts and wild honey.

Conserving wild animals often involves creating a forest for them to live in or call upon. It is so with man. A hundred years ago they sold peeled bark from our own forest on our streets. In the very appearance of these primitive and savage trees there was, as I saw it, a tanning principle that hardened and consolidated the fibers of human thought. Oh! I already shudder for those comparatively degenerate days in my hometown when you can't collect a good load of thick crust and we no longer produce tar or turpentine.

Civilized nations (Greece, Rome, England) have been sustained by primeval forests that once rotted where they are. They survive as long as the soil is not depleted. Unfortunately for human culture! little can be expected of a nation when the vegetable mold is exhausted and it is forced to compost the bones of its parents. There the poet subsists only on his own superfluous fat, and the philosopher is reduced to the marrow of his bones.

It is said that the job of Americans is to "cultivate the virgin land" and that "agriculture here is already taking on proportions unknown elsewhere." I believe that the farmer surpasses the Indians because he redeems the prairie, thus making himself stronger and, in some ways, more natural. I searched for a man the other day a single straight line, one hundred and thirty-two rods long, through a swamp, at the entrance of which the words Dante read about the entrance to the infernal regions might have been written: " Abandon all hope, you who know" - that is, to go out again sometime; where I once saw my master swim up to his neck for his life on his property, though it was still winter. He had another similar swamp, which I could not examine, because it was completely submerged, and yet in relation to a third swamp, which I could not examine.reviewfrom a distance he told me, true to his instinct, that he would not say goodbye to it for any reason, because of the mud it contained. And this man intends to put a ditch around everything in forty months and rescue it with the magic of his shovel. I refer to him only as the type of a class.

The weapons with which we conquer our most important victories, to be inherited from father to son, are not the sword and spear, but the mattock, the mower, the spade and mattock, rusty with the blood of many. meadows and dirty with the dust of many hard fields. The wind itself carried the Indian's cornfield to a meadow and pointed out the path that he could not follow. He had no better tool for diving into the ground than a shell. But the farmer is armed with plow and shovel.

In literature we are only attracted to the wild. Lethargy is just another name for meekness. It is the uncivilized, free, wild thinking in Hamlet and the Iliad, in all the scriptures and mythologies not taught in schools, that delights us. Just as the wild duck is swifter and more beautiful than the tame, so the wild one - the gray duck - is the thought that 'in the midst of the falling dew it sways over the swamps. A truly good book is something as natural and unexpected and inexplicably beautiful and perfect as a wild flower found on the prairies of the West or the wilds of the East. Genius is a light that makes darkness visible, like lightning that can destroy the very temple of knowledge, not a candle burning in the heart of the race, which pales in the light of common day.

English literature, from the days of the minstrels to the poets of the lake - Chaucer, Spenser and Milton, and even Shakespeare included - does not have a very fresh air and, in fact, a wild tension. It is essentially a domesticated and civilized literature, mirroring Greece and Rome. Her desert is a green forest, her wild husband is a Robin Hood. There is a lot of bright love for nature, but not so much for nature itself. His records tell when his wild animals died, but not when the wild man in him died.

Humboldt's science is one thing, poetry another. The poet of today, despite all the discoveries of science and the accumulated knowledge of humanity, has no advantage over Homer.

Where is the literature that expresses nature? He would be a poet who could print winds and currents at his service, to speak for him; words thrown at his primary senses, as peasants drive stakes into the spring that has raised the frost; who derived the words from him as many times as he used them, transplanted them next to him with soil attached to the roots; whose words were so true and fresh and natural that they seemed to expand like buds when spring approached, though they were half suffocated between two musty leaves in a library, yea, to blossom and bear fruit there, after their kind, yearly, to the end . faithful reader, in tune with the surrounding nature.

I know of no poetry to quote that adequately expresses this desire for wildlife. Approached from this angle, the best poetry is tame. I don't know where I can find in any literature, ancient or modern, some story containing nature that even I know. You will see that I demand something like no Augustan or Elizabethan era, like no otherculture, in short can give. Mythology is closer to that than anything else. How much more fertile is nature, at least, in Greek mythology than in English literature! Mythology is the harvest that the Old World produced before its soil was exhausted, before imagination and fancy were affected by filth; and which it still carries, wherever its primordial power does not diminish. All other literature exists only as elms that shade our homes; but this is like the great dragon tree of the western islands, as old as humanity, and whether it lasts or not, it will last the same; for the decay of other literature forms the soil in which it thrives.

The West is preparing to unite its fables with those of the East. How the Ganges, Nile and Rhine valleys produced their crops, it is not yet known what the Amazon, Plateau, Orinoco, St. Lawrence and Mississippi will produce. Perhaps, when American freedom becomes a fiction of the past, as it is to some extent a fiction of the present, the poets of the world will draw inspiration from American mythology.

The wildest dreams of wild men are no less true, though they may not be praiseworthy in the most common sense among Englishmen and Americans today. Not all truth is recommended to common sense. Nature has room for both wild clematis and cabbage. Some expressions of truth remember, others simplyreasonable,as the phrase says,-others prophetically. Some forms of illness can even prophesy forms of health. The geologist found that the figures of snakes, griffins, flying dragons and other fanciful heraldry ornaments have their prototypes in fossil species that became extinct before the creation of man and therefore "indicate a vague and obscure knowledge of a state of existence former". The Hindus dreamed that the earth rested on an elephant, and the elephant on a tortoise, and the tortoise on a serpent; and though it may be a minor coincidence, it will not be out of place to say here that a turtle fossil, large enough to support an elephant, has recently been discovered in Asia. I confess that I am in favor of these wild fantasies that transcend the order of time and development. They are the most sublime recreation of the intellect. The partridge loves peas, but not the ones that come in the pot.

In short, all good things are wild and free. There is something about a line of music, whether produced by an instrument or by the human voice - take the sound of a bugle on a summer night - for example - that in its savagery, to put it mildly, reminds me of the screams uttered by wild animals in their native forests. This is as far as I can understand your savagery. Give me wild men as friends and neighbors, not tame ones. The ferocity of nature is but a feeble symbol of the terrible fecundity that good men and lovers meet with.

I even love to see domesticated animals reclaim their original rights: any evidence that they have not completely lost their original wild habits and vigour; as when my neighbor's cow leaves her pasture in early spring and swims boldly across the river, a cold gray tide, twenty-five or thirty yards wide, swollen with melting snow. It's the buffalo crossing the Mississippi. Such exploitation gives the herd a certain dignity in my eyes, already worthy. The seeds of instinct are preserved under the thick skins of cattle and horses, like seeds within the earth, indefinitely.

Any sportsmanship in cattle is unexpected. I once saw a herd of a dozen bulls and cows running and somersaulting in clumsy sport, like big mice, even like kittens. They would shake their heads, raise their tails, and run up and down a hill, and I could tell by their horns, as well as their activity, their relationship to the deer tribe. But unfortunately! a sudden rush¡Hov!it would have extinguished their ardor instantly, reducing them from venison to meat and hardening their sides and sinews like the locomotive. Who but the Evil One yelled "What!" for the humanity? In fact, the life of cattle, like that of many men, is nothing more than a kind of locomotion; they move one way at a time, and the man next to his machinery meets the horse and ox halfway. Regardless of which part the whip touched, he is paralyzed. Who would ever think of asidefrom any of the nimble cat tribe we've talked about for a while.sideof meat?

I rejoice that horses and bulls must be tamed before they can become slaves to men, and that men themselves have some wild things to sow before they can become submissive members of society. Undoubtedly, all men are subjects equally fit for civilization; and since most, like dogs and sheep, are tamed by the hereditary mind, there is no reason why others should break their nature so that they can be reduced to the same level. Men are basically the same, but many were made to be different. If a little use is made of it, one man will do almost as well as another; whether a high level of individual experience should be considered. Anyone can patch up a hole to protect it from the wind, but no other man could serve so rarely as the author of this illustration has. Confucius says: "Tiger and leopard skins, when tanned, are like dog and sheep skins." But taming tigers is no more a part of true culture than raising ferocious sheep; and tanning their hides to make shoes is not the best use that can be made of them.

When I look at a list of names of men in a foreign language, such as military officers or writers who have written on a certain subject, I am again reminded that there is nothing in a name. The name Menschikoff, for example, has nothing to my ears more human than a moustache, and could belong to a mouse. Just as Polish and Russian names are for us, so are ours for them. It is as if they were named after the child's litany:Iery-wiy ichery van, título-tol-tan. I see in my mind a herd of wild creatures swarming the earth, and the shepherd has made a barbaric sound in his own dialect to each one of them. Men's names are, of course, as cheap and meaningless asbosemiBakke, the names of the dogs.

I think it would be a great help to philosophy if men were simply referred to in the crude terms in which they are known. It would be enough to know the genus and perhaps the race or variety to know the individual. We are not prepared to believe that every soldier in a Roman army had his own name, because we do not suppose that he had his own character. Currently, our only real names are nicknames. I met a boy who, due to his peculiar energy, was called "Buster" by his little friends, and rightly replaced his last name. Some travelers say that an Indian did not give him a name at first, but he deserved it, and his name was his fame; and among some tribes he acquired a new name with each new feat. It is unfortunate when a man uses only one name for convenience that he has not earned name or fame.

I won't let mere names set me apart, but I still see men ingest them all. A familiar name can't make a man less of a stranger to me. It can be given to a wildling who secretly holds his own title in the wildling-won forest. We have a savage in us, and a savage name may be registered somewhere as ours. I see my neighbor, who has the family nickname of William or Edwin, take it off with his jacket. It does not cling to it when it is asleep or angry, or excited by some passion or inspiration. I seem to hear some of his relatives at that time pronounce his wild original name in a melodious or astonishing language.

Here is our great, wild, and exalted mother, Nature, lying down with as much beauty and care for her children as the leopard; and yet we are accustomed from within to society, to that culture which is nothing more than an interaction between man and man, a kind of inner and outer creation, producing at best a mere English nobility, a civilization destined to have a limit. .

In society, in the best institutions of men, it is easy to detect a certain rush. When we should still be growing children, we are already little men. Give me a crop that imports a lot of land from the meadows and deepens the soil, not one that depends only on heating dung and improved implements and cultural forms!

I have heard of many poor island students who would grow faster, both intellectually and physically, if, instead of staying up so late, they honestly slept through a fool's allowance.

There may be an excess of even informative light. Niepce, a Frenchman, discovered "actinism," that force of the sun's rays that produces a chemical action; that granite boulders, stone structures, and metal statues "are equally destructively affected in the hours of sunlight, and, were it not for nature's no less marvelous provisions, would soon perish under the delicate touch of the subtler agencies in the universe". But he pointed out that "bodies that underwent this change in daylight had the power to restore themselves to their original conditions at night, when that excitement no longer affected them." Hence it has been inferred that "the hours of darkness are as necessary to the inorganic creation as we know night and sleep to be to the organic kingdom." Even the moon does not shine every night, but gives way to darkness.

I do not want every man or every part of a man to be cultivated, any more than I want every acre of land to be cultivated: a part will be cultivated, but the greater part will be meadow and forest, serving not only immediate use, but also preparing a mold for the distant future, due to the annual decay of the vegetation it supports.

There are other letters for the child to learn besides those invented by Cadmus. The Spanish have a good term to express this wild and dark perception:brown grammar— Reddish grammar, a kind of mor-wit, derived from the same leopard to which I referred.

We have heard of a Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. They say knowledge is power and the like. I think there is such a need in a society for the spread of useful ignorance, what we will call beautiful knowledge, useful knowledge in a higher sense: because what most of our vaunted people call knowledge is just a presumption that we know that something is wrong with us. steals. the benefit of our real ignorance? What we call knowledge is often our positive ignorance; ignorance our negative knowledge. Through years of patient work and reading the newspapers - for what are libraries of science but newspaper archives - a man collects a myriad of facts, memorizes them, and then, at some point in his life, goes out to the street to the big fields. of thought, he just goes to graze like a horse and leaves all his harness in the stable. He sometimes told the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge: -Go to the pasture. You've been eating hay for quite some time. Spring has come with its green harvest. Individual cows are put out to pasture before the end of May; though I have heard of an unnatural farmer who kept his cow in the barn and fed her hay all year long. So many times the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge takes care of its cattle.

A man's ignorance is sometimes not only useful but beautiful, while his so-called knowledge is often worse than useless, as well as ugly. Who is better to deal with: the one who knows nothing about a subject, and what is extremely rare, he knows that he knows nothing, or the one who really knows something about the subject, but thinks he knows everything?

My desire for knowledge is intermittent, but my desire to bathe my head in an atmosphere unknown to my feet is eternal and constant. The most we can achieve is not knowledge, but sympathy for intelligence. I don't know if this higher knowledge is anything more definitive than a novel and a great surprise at the sudden revelation of the inadequacy of all that we used to call knowledge: a discovery that there is more to heaven and earth than we dream of. . in our philosophy. It is the theistic illumination of the sun. man can'tsablein any sense superior to this, more than can appear calm and impunity before the sun: Ὁς τὶ νοῶν, οὐκεῖνοννοήσεις, - "Thou shalt not perceive it, as a certain thing," saith the Oracle.

There is something servile in the habit of looking for a law that we can obey. We can study the laws of matter at our convenience, but a successful life knows no laws. It is certainly an unfortunate discovery that a law traps us where we did not know we were trapped before. Live free, child of the mist - and when it comes to knowledge, we are all children of the mist. The man who takes the liberty of living is superior to all laws by virtue of his relation to the legislator. "It is active duty," says the Vishnu Purana, "that is not for our bondage; it is knowledge that is for our liberation: all other duties are good except weariness; all other knowledge is but the cunning of an artist... "

(Video) Henry David Thoreau | Audiobook | Book | Free E-Book

It is remarkable how few events or crises there are in our stories, how little exercise we have given our minds, how few experiences we have had. I want to make sure I grow tall and fast, even if my own growth disturbs this monotonous serenity, even if it means struggling through long dark and humid nights or gloomy seasons. It would be nice if our whole life was a divine tragedy instead of this trivial comedy or farce. Dante, Bunyan, and others seem to have been more trained in their minds than we are: they were subject to a kind of culture that our district schools and colleges don't consider. Even Muhammad, though many may scream his name, had a lot more to live for, nay, and die for, than they usually do.

When, at rare intervals, a tank appears, perhaps riding on the train tracks, the carriages pass without his hearing. But soon, by an inexorable law, our lives pass and the cars return.

"Pon the breeze, wanders unseen,
and bend the thistles around the Loire by storms,
Traveling in the windy valleys,
Why did you leave my ear so soon?

While almost all men feel a pull toward society, few are strongly drawn to nature. In their relation to nature, men seem to me for the most part, despite their art, inferior to animals. It is not always a beautiful relationship, as in the case of animals. How little appreciation of the beauty of the landscape there is among us! We must say that the Greeks called the world Κόσμος Beauty or Order, but we do not clearly see why they did so, and at best we consider this just a curious philological fact.

For my part, I feel that, in relation to nature, I live a kind of frontier life, on the fringes of a world into which I make only occasional and transient forays, and my patriotism and loyalty to the state whose territories I seem to enter and withdraw, are of a swamp soldier. For a life I call natural, I would gladly follow even a will-o'-the-wisp through swamps and fathomless veils, but no moon or firefly has shown me the way. Nature is such a great and universal personality that we have never seen one of its attributes. The wanderer in the familiar fields that stretch around my native city, sometimes finds himself in a different land than the one described in the deeds of his owners, as in a distant field on the border of present-day Concordia, where he ceases its jurisdiction, and the idea suggested by the word Concord ceases to be suggested. These farms that I myself have measured, these boundaries that I have set, seem vaguely still as in a mist; but they don't have the chemistry to fix them; they disappear from the surface of the glass, and the picture the painter has painted stands out slightly below. The world we are generally familiar with leaves no trace and will have no birthday.

I went for a walk in Spauldings Gård the other afternoon. I watched as the sets lit up on the opposite side of a towering pine forest. Its golden rays swept through the forest passages as if they were in a noble hall. It astonished me that an ancient and entirely admirable and brilliant family should settle there in that part of the country called Concord, unknown to me, whose servant was the sun, who had not entered into society in the town, who had no name. I saw your park, your playground, beyond the woods in Spaulding's blackberry meadow. The pines provided them with gables as they grew. His house was not obvious to see; trees grew through it. I don't know if I heard the sound of suppressed joy or not. They seemed to recline under the rays of the sun. They have sons and daughters. They are doing very well. The farmer's wagon path, which leads directly to his parlor, does not bother them in the least, as the muddy bottom of a swimming pool is sometimes visible through the reflected sky. They've never heard of Spaulding and don't know she's his neighbor, though I did hear him whistle as he led his team around the house. Nothing compares to the tranquility of their lives. His coat of arms is simply a lichen. I saw it painted on pines and oaks. His loft was high up in the trees. They are not politicians. There was no sound of work. I did not notice them weaving or spinning. Yet when the wind died down and hearing disappeared, I discovered the sweetest musical hum imaginable, like that of a distant beehive in May, perhaps the sound of your thoughts. They had no idle thoughts, and no one outside could see their work, since their industry was not entrenched in knots and excess.

But I have trouble remembering them. They fade irretrievably from my mind even now as I speak and struggle to remember them and myself. Only after a long and serious effort to remember my best thoughts, I again become aware of their coexistence. If it wasn't for families like this, I think I would have to move out of Concord.

We used to say in New England that fewer and fewer pigeons visit each year. Our forests give them no mast. Thus it seems that fewer and fewer thoughts visit each man that grows from year to year, for the grove of our minds is laid waste, sold to feed the needless fire of ambition, or sent to the mill, and hardly a branch remains for them. Sit down. . about. They no longer build and no longer reproduce with us. In a fairer season, perhaps a dim shadow floats across the mindscape, rejectedfingerof a thought in its spring or autumn migration, but when we look up we are unable to discover the substance of the thought itself. Our winged thoughts become superior birds. They no longer fly and reach only a greatness of Shanghai and Cochinchina. Thosebig thoughts, othank you menyou find out!

We embrace the earth, how rare we are! I think we can hold out a little longer. We can climb a tree, at least. I found my account in tree climbing once. It was a tall white pine, on top of a hill; and although it started well, I was well rewarded for it, because I discovered new mountains on the horizon, the likes of which I had never seen before, much more land and sky. He could have walked under the tree for sixty-ten years, but he certainly would never have seen them. But above all I discovered around me - it was almost the end of June - right at the tips of the highest branches, some tiny and delicate red flowers in the shape of a cone, the fertile flower of the white pine, looking towards the sky. I immediately took the upper tower into town and showed it to the strange jurors walking the streets, for it was trial week, and to the farmers, loggers, woodcutters, and hunters, and no one had ever seen anything like it before. , but they wondered when a star fell. Let's talk about ancient architects who finished their work on the top of the columns as well as the more visible lower parts! Nature from the beginning expanded the small flowers of the forest only towards the sky, over the heads of men and without observing them. We only see the flowers that are under our feet in the meadows. The pines have grown their delicate flowers on the highest branches of the forest every summer for a long time, over the heads of Nature's red children, as well as her white children; however, hardly a farmer or hunter in the country saw them.

Above all, we cannot avoid living in the present. He is blessed by all mortals who do not waste any moment of past life reminiscing about the past. Unless our philosophy hears the rooster crow in every pen within our horizon, it is too late. This sound often reminds us that we are getting rusty and out of date in our work and thinking habits. His philosophy goes back to more recent times than ours. There is something insinuated by him that is a new testament: the gospel according to this time. He did not stay behind, he got up early and left early, and being where he is is being in the season, in the first line of time. It is an expression of the health and health of nature, the pride of the whole world, - health like a spring bud, a new spring for the muses, to celebrate this last moment. Where he lives, no fugitive slave laws are passed. Who has not betrayed his teacher many times since the last time he heard that note?

The merit of this bird's lineage lies in its exemption from any claim. The singer can easily move us to tears or laughter, but where is he who can awaken in us pure joy in the morning? When, in dreary dumps, breaking the awful silence of our wooden pavement on a Sunday, or perhaps a watchman in the mourning house, I hear a rooster crow far or near, I think to myself: "Are any of us well?" , Worldwide?" case, "- and with a sudden shock I come to my senses.

We had a remarkable sunset one day last November. I was walking through a meadow, the source of a small stream, when at last, just before sunset, after a cold gray day, the sun reached a clear layer on the horizon, and the softest sunlight and clear of the morning it fell on dry. grass. and in the stems of the trees on the opposite horizon, and in the leaves of the bushes on the hillside, as our shadows stretched across the meadow to the east, as if we were splinters in its rays. It was a light that we could not imagine before, and also the air was so warm and serene that nothing could transform that meadow into a paradise. When we reflected that this was not a one-time phenomenon that would never happen again, but would happen forever, an infinite number of nights, and would cheer and soothe the last child to walk there, it was even more glorious.

The sun sets on some secluded meadow, where not a single house is to be seen, with all the glory and splendor it showers on the cities, and perhaps as never before, - where there is only a solitary falcon that can take its wings golden for him , or just a musquash looks out of his hut, and there is a small burgundy stream in the middle of the swamp, which is just beginning to meander, slowly meandering around a decaying stump. We walked in a light so pure and brilliant, And it gilded the grass and withered leaves, A light so soft and still, I thought I had never bathed in such a golden stream, Without a ripple or a murmur. The west side of every forest and high ground shone like the edge of Elysium, and the sun behind us felt like a gentle shepherd leading us home at night.

Thus we wander towards the holy land, until the sun one day shines brighter than ever, perhaps it will shine in our minds and hearts and illuminate all our lives with a great waking light, as warm and calm and golden as on a bench. in the fall.


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The Project Gutenberg eBook on Walking by Henry David Thoreau? ›

"Walking" is a transcendental essay that analyzes the relationship between man and nature, trying to find a balance between society and our raw animal nature.

What is Thoreau's essay Walking about? ›

"Walking" is a transcendental essay that analyzes the relationship between man and nature, trying to find a balance between society and our raw animal nature.

What is Thoreau's most famous poem? ›

Walden is unquestionably Thoreau's major work. He condenses the two years he had actually spent in the cabin into a single year, and, beginning with summer, takes the reader through the seasons at the pond.

How to download all Project Gutenberg books? ›

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How long is Walking by Henry David Thoreau? ›

Product information
Publisher‎Chump Change (April 23, 1851)
Paperback42 pages
7 more rows

What was Thoreau's main message? ›

Thoreau's central message in Walden is to live simply, independently, and wisely.

What was Thoreau's main message or main idea? ›

The main idea of "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau is to find the meaning of life. He set out to contemplate life and himself and to find out man's role in the world.

What is Thoreau's most famous quote? ›

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.

What was Thoreau's last words? ›

Aware he was dying, Thoreau's last words were "Now comes good sailing", followed by two lone words, "moose" and "Indian". He died on May 6, 1862, at age 44.

Who did Henry David Thoreau love? ›

You could say that the story of Thoreau and Emerson was a love story. It was complicated, however, by Thoreau's growing attachment to his mentor's wife. Lidian Emerson was an unlikely love object for Thoreau.

What is the purpose of Thoreau's essay? ›

Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience espouses the need to prioritize one's conscience over the dictates of laws. It criticizes American social institutions and policies, most prominently slavery and the Mexican-American War.

What does Thoreau mean by the art of Walking? ›

To engage in this kind of walking, Thoreau argues, we ought to reconnect with our wild nature: When we walk, we naturally go to the fields and woods: what would become of us, if we walked only in a garden or a mall?

What is Six Walks in the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau about? ›

Six Walks is the moving account of Shattuck's journey to find peace by undertaking six of Thoreau's nineteenth-century walks: along Cape Cod, up Mount Katahdin and Mount Wachusett, from Massachusetts to Rhode Island, through the Allagash, and then, a few years later, back to the Cape.

Why did Thoreau write his essay? ›

Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), perhaps best known as the author of Walden, was a deep believer in the demands of conscience over the demands of the state. His refusal in July 1846 to pay a tax led him to write the essay Civil Disobedience, which was to exercise a great influence on subsequent generations of thinkers.


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