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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-Walden by Henry David Thoreau


exhaustion at the foot of a tree, whose loneliness was relieved by the
grotesque visions with which, owing to bodily weakness, his
diseased imagination surrounded him, and which he believed to be
real. So also, owing to bodily and mental health and strength, we
may be continually cheered by a like but more normal and natural
society, and come to know that we are never alone.

I have a great deal of company in my house; especially in the
morning, when nobody calls. Let me suggest a few comparisons, that
some one may convey an idea of my situation. I am no more lonely
than the loon in the pond that laughs so loud, or than Walden Pond
itself. What company has that lonely lake, I pray? And yet it has not
the blue devils, but the blue angels in it, in the azure tint of its
waters. The sun is alone, except in thick weather, when there
sometimes appear to be two, but one is a mock sun. God is alone-but
the devil, he is far from being alone; he sees a great deal of
company; he is legion. I am no more lonely than a single mullein or
dandelion in a pasture, or a bean leaf, or sorrel, or a horse-fly, or a
bumblebee. I am no more lonely than the Mill Brook, or a
weathercock, or the north star, or the south wind, or an April shower,
or a January thaw, or the first spider in a new house.

I have occasional visits in the long winter evenings, when the snow
falls fast and the wind howls in the wood, from an old settler and
original proprietor, who is reported to have dug Walden Pond, and
stoned it, and fringed it with pine woods; who tells me stories of old
time and of new eternity; and between us we manage to pass a
cheerful evening with social mirth and pleasant views of things, even
without apples or cider-a most wise and humorous friend, whom I
love much, who keeps himself more secret than ever did Goffe or
Whalley; and though he is thought to be dead, none can show where
he is buried. An elderly dame, too, dwells in my neighborhood,
invisible to most persons, in whose odorous herb garden I love to
stroll sometimes, gathering simples and listening to her fables; for
she has a genius of unequalled fertility, and her memory runs back
farther than mythology, and she can tell me the original of every
fable, and on what fact every one is founded, for the incidents
occurred when she was young. A ruddy and lusty old dame, who
delights in all weathers and seasons, and is likely to outlive all her
children yet.

The indescribable innocence and beneficence of Nature-of sun and
wind and rain, of summer and winter-such health, such cheer, they
afford forever! And such sympathy have they ever with our race, that
all Nature would be affected, and the sunís brightness fade, and the
winds would sigh humanely, and the clouds rain tears, and the
woods shed their leaves and put on mourning in midsummer, if any
man should ever for a just cause grieve. Shall I not have intelligence
with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself?

What is the pill which will keep us well, serene, contented? Not my
or thy great-grandfatherís, but our great-grandmother Natureís
universal, vegetable, botanic medicines, by which she has kept
herself young always, outlived so many old Parrs in her day, and fed
her health with their decaying fatness. For my panacea, instead of
one of those quack vials of a mixture dipped from Acheron and the
Dead Sea, which come out of those long shallow black-schooner
looking wagons which we sometimes see made to carry bottles, let
me have a draught of undiluted morning air. Morning air! If men
will not drink of this at the fountainhead of the day, why, then, we
must even bottle up some and sell it in the shops, for the benefit of
those who have lost their subscription ticket to morning time in this
world. But remember, it will not keep quite till noonday even in the
coolest cellar, but drive out the stopples long ere that and follow
westward the steps of Aurora. I am no worshipper of Hygeia, who
was the daughter of that old herb-doctor Esculapius, and who is
represented on monuments holding a serpent in one hand, and in the
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-Walden by Henry David Thoreau



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