Henry D. Thoreau

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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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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.
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