Henry D. Thoreau

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Houghton, Mifflin, 1882 - 324 oldal
"When in 1879, 1 was asked by my friend Charles Dudley Warner to write the biography of Thoreau which follows, I was by no means unprepared. I had known this man of genius for the last seven years of his too short life; had lived in his family, and in the house of his neighbor across the way, Ellery Channing, his most intimate friend outside of that family; and had assisted Channing in the preparation and publication of his Thoreau, the Poet-Naturalist, the first full biography which appeared. I received from Mr. Blake ... the correspondence of Thoreau and his college essays, with some other papers of Henry s and his own ... I perceived that the character and genius of Thoreau could not be well understood unless some knowledge was had of the Concord farmers, scholars, and citizens, among whom he had spent his days, and who have furnished a background for that scene of authorship which the small town of Concord has presented for now more than seventy years. Therefore ... I sketched therefrom the character of our interesting community, which gave color and tone to the outlines of this thoughtful scholar s career. ... Much misconception of his character and the facts of his life still prevails; and singular statements have been made in text-books, as to his origin and training. One authority described Thoreau as descended from farmer folk in Connecticut, who were recent immigrants from France. So far as I know, not a single ancestor of his ever dwelt in Connecticut; they were all merchants; and though his Thoreau ancestors spoke French, or a patois of it, in Jersey, there is no evidence that any of them had lived in France for more than five centuries. This initial authentic biography, with its few errors corrected, now comes forth in a new edition, which will long be found useful, in the manner indicated, and I hope, may be received as the earlier edition has been, with all the favor which its modest aim deserves."--From the preface.

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296. oldal - Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one already." And again: — " I know this well, that if one thousand, if one hundred, if ten men whom I could name, — if ten honest men only, — ay, if one honest man,
324. oldal - Flattered to tears this aged man and poor; But no — already had his death-bell rung, The joys of all his life were said and sung." He died on the 6th of May, 1862, and had a public funeral from the parish church a few days later. On his coffin his friend
297. oldal - if one honest man, ceasing to hold slaves, were actually to withdraw from this copartnership, and be locked up in the county jail therefor, it would be the abolition of slavery in America. Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.
219. oldal - was not to live cheaply, nor to live dearly there, but to transact some private business with the fewest obstacles." He lived a life of labor and study in his hut. Emerson says, " as soon as he had exhausted the advantages of that solitude, he abandoned it.
275. oldal - the time and oft! But mirth is changed to melancholy, For Tom is gone aloft. " Yet shall poor Tom find pleasant weather When He who all commands Shall give, to call life's crew together, The word to pipe all hands. Thus death, who kings
204. oldal - deep value of his mind and great heart. His soul was made for the noblest society; he had in a short life exhausted the capabilities of this world; whereever there is knowledge, wherever there is virtue, wherever there is beauty, he will find a home.
257. oldal - The same friend said of him: — " It was a pleasure and a privilege to walk with him. He knew the country like a fox or bird, and passed through it as freely by paths of his own. Under his arm he carried an old music-book to press plants
297. oldal - Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison." This sounded hollow then, but when that embodiment of
295. oldal - expressed by him early in a prayer which he threw into this verse : — " Great God ! I ask Thee for no meaner pelf, Than that I may not disappoint myself ; That in my conduct I may soar as high As I
256. oldal - He knew how to sit immovable, a part of the rock he rested on, until the bird, the reptile, the fish, which had retired from him, should come back and resume its habits, — nay, moved by curiosity, should come to him and watch him.

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