Henry D. Thoreau

Houghton, Mifflin, 1892 - 324 ページ
"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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300 ページ - Flattered to tears this aged man and poor; But no - already had his deathbell rung: The joys of all his life were said and sung: His was harsh penance on St Agnes
146 ページ - This is a good man ; here is nothing for me;" but when his master came to the prayer of the publican, " God be merciful to me a sinner...
213 ページ - My purpose in going to Walden Pond was not to live cheaply nor to live dearly there, but to transact some private business with the fewest obstacles...
128 ページ - They say there is a young lady in New Haven who is beloved of that great Being who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight...
181 ページ - Fed the same flock by fountain, shade, and rill. Together both, ere the high lawns appeared Under the opening eyelids of the morn...
246 ページ - He saw beneath dim aisles, in odorous beds, The slight Linnaea hang its twin-born heads, And blessed the monument of the man of flowers, Which breathes his sweet fame through the northern bowers. He heard, when in the grove, at intervals, With sudden roar the aged pine-tree falls, — One crash, the death-hymn of the perfect tree, Declares the close of its green century.
269 ページ - His form was of the manliest beauty. His heart was kind and soft; Faithful below he did his duty, But now he's gone aloft. Tom never from his word departed His virtues were so rare ; His friends were many and true-hearted, His Poll was kind and fair : And then he'd sing so blithe and jolly; Ah, many's the time and oft! But mirth is turned to melancholy, For Tom is gone aloft.
208 ページ - ... and the dilapidated fences, which put such an interval between me and the last occupant; the hollow and lichencovered apple trees, gnawed by rabbits, showing what kind of neighbors I should have; but above all, the recollection I had of it from my earliest voyages up the river, when the house was concealed behind a dense grove of red maples, through which I heard the house-dog bark.
205 ページ - God wills us free, Man wills us slaves, I will as God wills : God's will be done. Here lies the body of JOHN JACK, A native of Africa, who died March, 1773, aged about sixty years.
208 ページ - Hollowell farm, to me, were ; its complete retirement, being about two miles from the village, half a mile from the nearest neighbor, and separated from the highway by a broad field ; its bounding on the river, which the owner said protected it by its fogs from frosts...