American essayist, poet and naturalist; wrote Walden.
Autograph Manuscript, two full pages, quarto, undated .
“As we grow old we live more coarsely, we relax a little in the disciplines, and to some extent cease to obey our first instincts. We are more careless about our diet & our chastity. But we would be fastidious to the extreme of sanity. All wisdom is the reward of a discipline conscious or unconscious.
Cultivate reverence. It is as if you were so much more respectable yourself.
How shall a man continue his culture after manhood?
The art of Life! Was there ever anything memorable written upon it? By what discipline to secure the most of life-with what care to watch our thoughts! To observe what transpires-not in the streets but in the mind & heart of me. I do not remember any page which will tell me how to spend this evening. I do not so much wish to know how to economise time-as how to spend it by what means to grow rich. That the day may not have been in vain.
“How to live-how to get the most of life-as you teach the young hunter how to entrap his game. How to extract its honey from the flower of the world. That is my every day business. I am as busy as a bee about it. I ramble over all fields in that errand, and am never so happy as when I feel myself heavy with honey & wax. I am like a bee searching the livelong day for the sweets of nature. Do I not impregnate and intermix the flowers-produce rare and finer varieties by transferring my eyes from one to another? I do as naturally & as joyfully with my own humming music seek honey all the day. With what honied thought my experience yields me I take a bee-line to my cell. It is with flowers I would deal. Where is the flower there is the honey-which is perchance the nectareous portion of the fruit-there is to be the fruit; and no
Henry David Thoreau’s writings appear in two of his works. Most of the first paragraph occurs in Life Without Principle, which was given as a lecture in 1854. Only life lived with principle and purpose, Thoreau insisted, was worth living [Robert E. Spiller, Literary History of the United States]. Life Without Principle was posthumously published in 1866 in A Yankee in Canada, which also included Civil Disobedience. The last two paragraphs of the manuscript occur under the entry for September 7, 1851 of his journals, a record of his activity and thought.
Autograph material of Henry David Thoreau is rare. A manuscript page with the philosophical content of this example is very rare. To many people, Thoreau and Walden define the art of life. In this manuscript, you can feel the power of Henry David Thoreau’s thought, of just what he learned about the art of life sitting in his cabin on Walden Pond.
Matted in egg shell and mint green with a bust length engraving of the philosopher. In a carved gilt frame with green trim measuring 19 inches wide by 16 1/2 inches high.
This item is associated with these categories in our inventory:
- Literature – American