Thoreau's Journal: 17-Jan-1852

One day two young woman—a Sunday—stopped at the door of my hut and asked for some water. I answered that I had no cold water but I would lend them a dipper. They never returned the dipper, and I had a right to suppose they came to steal. They were a disgrace to their sex and to humanity. Pariahs of the moral world. Evil spirits that thirsted not for water but threw the dipper into the lake. Such as Dante saw. What the lake to them but liquid fire and brimstone? They will never know peace till they have returned the dipper. In all the worlds this is decreed.


Anonymous said...

He must have really enjoyed that dipper.

Cathy said...

I read the account of the purloined dipper and experienced a mixture of incredulity that in that serene setting there still lurked the senseless cruelty of humans and a tinge of relief that tv doesn't account for all adolescent incivility. So much folly is just bred in the bone.