Familiar Letters of Henry David Thoreau

Familiar Letters of Henry David Thoreau

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1894 edition. Excerpt: ...the natural day, with which, indeed, it is often coincident. As to how to preserve potatoes from rotting, your opinion may change from year to year; but as to how to preserve your soul from rotting, I have nothing to learn, but something to practice. Thus I declaim against them; but I in my folly am the world I condemn. I very rarely, indeed, if ever, " feel any itching to be what is called useful to my fellow-men." Sometimes--it may be when my thoughts for want of employment fall into a beaten path or humdrum--I have dreamed idly of stopping a man's horse that was running away; but, perchance, I wished that he might run, in order that I might stop him;--or of putting out a fire; but then, of course, it must have got well a-going. Now, to tell the truth, I do not dream much of acting upon horses before they run, or of preventing fires which are not yet kindled. What a foul subject is this of doing good! instead of minding one's life, which should be his business; doing good as a dead carcass, which is only fit for manure, instead of as a living man, --instead of taking care to flourish, and smell and taste sweet, and refresh all mankind to the extent of our capacity and quality. People will sometimes try to persuade you that you have done something from that motive, as if you did not already know enough about it. If I ever did a man any good, in their sense, of course it was something exceptional and insignificant compared with the good or evil which I am constantly doing by being what I am. As if you were to preach to ice to shape itself into burning-glasses, which are sometimes useful, and so the peculiar properties of ice be lost. Ice that merely performs the office of a burning-glass does not do its duty. The problem of life becomes, one...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 114 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 6mm | 218g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236669029
  • 9781236669025