4.16.2005

Thoreau's Journal: 16-Apr-1857

Almost a month ago, at the post-office, Abel Brooks, who is pretty deaf, sidling up to me, observed in a loud voice, which all could hear, “Let me see, your society is pretty large, ain’t it?” “Oh, yes, large enough,” said I, not knowing what he meant. “There’s Stewart belongs to it, and Collier, he’s one of them, and Emerson, and my boarder” (Pulsifer), “and Channing, I believe, I think he goes there.” “You mean the walkers; don’t you?” “Ye-es, I call you the Society. All go to the woods; don’t you?” “Do you miss any of your wood?” I asked. “No, I hain’t worried any yet. I believe you’re a pretty clever set, as good as the average,” etc., etc.

Telling Sanborn of this, he said that, when he first came to town and boarded at Holbrook’s, he asked H. how many religious societies there were in town. H. said that there were three,—the Unitarian, the Orthodox, and the Walden Pond Society.

2 comments:

Larry Ayers said...

Hey, I love the idea of this site!

Take a look at my blog; I've written about Thoreau and his journals several times:

http://www.silphium.net/blog

michael hoerman said...

Thanks for a very cool site. My first thought was that it was a very good spoof. Yes, I suppose so! It's interesting to me that the tone and conversance of HDT's dirary entries are not unlike, in tone and spirit, if not actual language used, those of, say, Silliman. Now, there are those who would hang me for suggesting that *anything* of the transcendentalists could be relevant today (and they did attempt to do so last year in Atlanta). Emulation of style would, of course, be insincere. But to search beyond the now-dated language (a distinct Middlesex Co. dialect), the concerns in these entries will be found, I think, to be not unlike many contemporary concerns. Anyway, I'm going to be canoeing the Concord River soon, before the season brings out the hoardes. Looking forward to it. A man in a canoe (then or now) can't claim the river, but can allow its experience to move him briefly. Should be fun.