Thoreau's Journal: 17-Oct-1857

The trainees are out with their band of music, and I find my account in it, though I have not subscribed for it. I am walking with a hill between me and the soldiers. I think, perhaps, it will be worth the while to keep within hearing of these strains this afternoon. Yet I hesitate. I am wont to find music unprofitable; it is a luxury. It is surprising, however, that so few habitually intoxicate themselves with music, so many with alcohol. I think, perchance, I may risk it, it will whet my senses so; it will reveal a glory where none was seen before. It is remarkable that men too must dress in bright colors and march to music once in the year. Nature, too, assumes her bright hues now, and think you a subtile music may not be heard amid the hills? No doubt these strains do sometimes suggest to Abner, walking behind in his red-streaked pants, an ideal which he had lost sight of, or never perceived. It is remarkable that our institutions can stand before music, it is so revolutionary.


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Anonymous said...

What a fortuitous selection for today - I came into the office late this morning after attending a piano lesson (my first, after a number of years without any formal study). The question on my mind has very much been "Is this a luxury that I don't have the time or money for?" Who knows? But perhaps it will "reveal a glory" of some sort or another. As always, thanks for this site.