Veronique Darwin

Why Thoreau Got It Right

In Thoughts on Writing on October 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm

taken from Walden, from the chapter called “Visitors”

“I have three chairs in my house: one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.”

“Many of our houses, both public and private, with their almost innumerable apartments, their huge halls and their cellars for the storage of wines and other munitions of peace, appear to me extravagantly large for their inhabitants. They are so fast and magnificent that the latter seem to be only vermin which infest them.”

“One inconvenience I sometimes experienced in so small a house, the difficulty of getting to a sufficient distance from my guest when we began to utter the big thoughts in big words. You want room for your thoughts to get sailing trim and run a course before they make their port. … I have found it a singular luxury to talk across the pond to a companion on the opposite side. In my house we were so near that we could not begin to hear, – we could not speak low enough to be heard.”

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