The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Volume 8 (of 20)


Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

The following alternate spellings were noted, but retained:

  • Shakspeare and Shakespeare
  • Minot and Minott


Star-flowers (Trientalis) (page 266)

Fair Haven Pond from the Cliffs





1850-September 15, 1851



All rights reserved



CHAPTER I. 1850 (t. 32-33)

The Religion of the Hindoos---Narrow Shoes---The Town of Bedford---A Visit to Haverhill and the Dustin House---Taste in Eating---Sawing Buttonwood Logs---The Insanity of Heroes---The Sand Cherry---Life in a Small Meadow---Turtle and Horned Pout---Limestone---The Energy of Our Ancestors---A New Bosphorus---Sippio Brister's Gravestone---Fences---Driving Cows to Pasture---Setting Fire to the Woods---The Incendiary---The View from Goodman's Hill in Sudbury---A Burner of Brush---Tending a Burning---The Regularity of the Cars---The Levels of Life---A Proposed Method of Fighting Wood-Fires---The Yezidis---Insects over the River---Cows in a Pasture---Horses Fighting---The Advantages of a Fire in the Woods---Walking by Night---An Indian Squaw---A Button from the Marquis of Ossoli's Coat---Bones on the Beach---Fresh Water in Sand-Bars---Rags and Meanness---Tobacco Legislation---An Ideal Friend---Conforming---A Drunken Dutchman---Legs as Compasses---Walks about Concord---Meadow-Hay---The Old Marlborough Road---Surface of Water---The Money-Digger---The Railroad---Tall Ambrosia---The Ways of Cows---Flocks of Birds---A Great Blue Heron---The Elm---Uncle Charles Dunbar---Lines on a Flower growing in the Middle of the Road---A Beautiful Heifer---Water the Only Drink---On the River---Music---The Canadian Excursion---Living and Loving one's Life---Canadian Houses---A Frog in the Milk---Apostrophe to Diana---Aground at Patchogue---The Relics of a Human Body on the Beach---Echoes---Sawmills---Begging Indians---The Indian and his Baskets---Uncle Charles on the Dock at New York---Nature in November---The Approach of Winter---Changes vi made in Views from the cutting down of Woods---Cats run Wild---The Growth of a Wood---Canadian Greatcoats---A Root Fence---Wild Apples---An Old Bone---A Miser and his Surveyor---The Remains of a Coal-Pit---The Pickerel in the Brooks---Wildness---The Attraction of the West---Frightened Cows---The Passing of the Wild Apple---Begging Governments---Old Maps---The First Cold Day---A New Kind of Cranberry---The Discoveries of the Unscientific Man---The Sportiveness of Cattle---Fair Haven Pond---Friends and Acquaintances---Summer Days in Winter---A Muskrat on the Ice---An Encampment of Indians at Concord---Indian Lore---Indian Inventions---Instinct in Women---The Little Irish Boy---Puffballs---An Ocean of Mist.
CHAPTER II. December, 1850 (t. 33)

Moss---Circulation in Plants---The First Snow---Blue-Curls and Indigo-weed---Hands and Feet---Sweet-Gale---Promethea Cocoons---Frozen-thawed Apples---Swamps in Winter---An Old-fashioned Snow-Storm---A Shrike with Prey---The Death of Friends---Notes from Gordon Cumming---Blue Jays.
CHAPTER III. January-April, 1851 (t. 33)

A Visit to the Clinton Gingham-Mills---Behavior---The Knowledge of an Unlearned Man---Snow-covered Hills---The Walker Errant---Sauntering---Freedom---F. A. Michaux on Certain Trees---Divine Communications---The Tameness of English Literature---Quotations from Ovid---Panoramas of the Rhine and the Mississippi---The Fertility of America---Midwinter---Sir John Mandeville on the Peoples of the Earth---A Society for the Diffusion of Useful Ignorance---America the She Wolf To-day---The Gregariousness of Man---The Edge of the Meadow---Fleets of Ice-Flakes---Waterfalls within Us---The Ice-Flakes again---Antiquity---The Health of the Farmer---Eating---The Fallibility of Friends---Moral Freedom---Manners and Character---Getting a Living---Actinism---The Floating Crust of the Meadow---Mythology vii and Geology---Law and Lawlessness---Carrying off Sims---Governor Boutwell---Concord and Slavery---The Fugitive Slave Law---Slavery and the Press---Mahomet---The Sentence of the Judge---The Servility of Newspapers---A False Idea of Liberty---Real and Actual Communications---The Cat---Love and Marriage.
CHAPTER IV. May, 1851 (t. 33)

Purity---An Optical Illusion---A Mountain Tarn---Experiments in Living---The Caliph Omar---The Harivansa---The Taming of Beasts and Men---The Study of Nature---False Teeth or a False Conscience---Taking Ether---Moonlight---Notes from Michaux---Vegetation and Human Life---The Development of the Mind---The Mind and its Roots---Man our Contemporary---Names---Wild Apples and their Names---An Inspiring Regret---Medical Botany---The Designs of Providence---True Sites for Houses---The View from the Wayland Hills---An Organ-Grinder---Materia Medica---Tobacco---More Names for Wild Apples.
CHAPTER V. June, 1851 (t. 33)

A Visit to Worcester---A Fallen Oak---Angelica and Hemlock---Transcendentalism---The Past and the Future---Who boosts You?---F. A. Michaux on the Ohio---Various Trees---Our Garments and the Trees'---A Moonlight Walk---Crossing Bridges at Night---Air-Strata at Night---A Book of the Seasons---South American Notes from Darwin's "Voyage of a Naturalist"---Moonlight---Breathing---The Shimmering of the Moon's Reflections on the Rippled Surface of a Pond---The Bittern's Pumping---Twilight---Music Out-of-Doors---The Whip-poor-will's Moon---Fireflies---Darwin again---The Rapid Growth of Grass---The Birch the Surveyor's Tree---Criticism---Calmness---The Wood Thrush's Song---The Ox's Badges of Servitude---A Visit to a Menagerie---Old Country Methods of Farming---The Hypthral Character of the "Week"---Dog and Wagon---Haying begun---The Fragrance of the Fir. viii
CHAPTER VI. July, 1851 (t. 33-34)

Travellers heard talking at Night---Potato-Fields---Hubbard's Bridge---Moonlight---Sam, the Jailer---Intimations of the Night---Shadows of Trees---Perez Blood's Telescope---The Chastity of the Mind---A Rye-Field---A Visit to the Cambridge Observatory---Charles River---A Gorgeous Sunset---The Forms of Clouds---A Moonlight Walk---The Light of the Moon---Waterfalls within Us---Another Moonlight Walk---Eating a Raw Turnip---The Experience of Ecstasy---The Song Sparrow---Berry-Picking---Signs of the Season---The First of the Dog-Days---Pitch Pine Woods---The Ideal Self---The Life of the Spirit---A Proposed Occupation---The River's Crop---An Old Untravelled Road---A Black Veil---A Human Footprint---The Gentleman---An Immortal Melody---Wild Pigeons---Mirabeau as a Highwayman---Ambrosial Fog---Maimed Geniuses---The Charm of the French Names in Canada---Walking and Writing---Swallows---The Moods of the Mind---Drought---A South Shore Excursion---On the Hingham Boat---Hull---The Cohasset Shore---Daniel Webster's Farm---A Mackerel Schooner---Clark's Island---A Boat Swamped---Digging Clams---The Rut of the Sea---Seals in Plymouth Harbor---Shells and Seaweeds---The Sailboat---Webster's Nearest Neighbor---A Hard Man---Plymouth.
CHAPTER VII. August, 1851 (t. 34)

Return to Concord---An Ill-managed Menagerie---A Summer Evening---A Musical Performer---The Moon and the Clouds---The Nearness of the Wild---Travelling---Profitable Interest---The Spread of Inventions---The Inspiring Melodies---An Unheeded Warning---Sounds of a Summer Night---The Moon's War with the Clouds---First Signs of Morning---The Dawn---Thistle and Bee---Cool Weather---Delight in Nature---The Snake in the Stomach---The Haying---Dogs and Cows---British Soldiers in Canada---Liberty in Canada---Canadian Fortifications---Prehensile Intellects---The Poet and his Moods---Knowing one's Subject---The ix Revolution of the Seasons---Rattlesnake-Plantain---The Creak of the Crickets---Botanical Terms---The Cardinal-Flower---The Canadian Feudal System---Government---The Flowering of the Vervain---The Conspicuous Flowers of the Season---The Visit to Canada---De Quincey's Style---Charity and Almshouses---Men observed as Animals---The Price Farm Road---Snake and Toad---An August Wind---Cutting Turf---Burning Brush---The Telegraph---The Fortress of Quebec---A Faithful Flower---Potato Balls---The Seal of Evening---Solitude in Concord---The Names of Plants.
CHAPTER VIII. September, 1851 (t. 34)

Disease the Rule of Existence---Finding one's Faculties---Telegraphs---Moose-lipped Words---Cato's De Re Rustica---The Horse and Man---Health and Disease---The Telegraph Harp---Walking in England---A Walk to Boon's Pond in Stow---The Farmer and His Oxen---Tempe and Arcadia---Footpaths for Poets---Writing on Many Subjects---Dammed Streams---The Dog of the Woods---J. J. G. Wilkinson---Fastidiousness---A Lake by Moonlight---A Formalist---The Fullness of Life---Creatures of Institutions--- Moments of Inspiration---Gladness---A September Evening---Singing heard at Night---Moonlight on the River---Fair Haven by Moonlight---Northern Lights---Soaring Hawks---The Grass and the Year---The Sky at Night---A Factory-Bell---Sunrise---The Color of the Poke---The Stone-mason's Craft---Moral Effort---Benvenuto Cellini---An Endymion Sleep---The Mountains in the Horizon---The Telegraph Harp---Perambulating the Bounds---A Pigeon-Place---An Elusive Scent---The Cross-leaved Polygala.


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