Out of the Past
Thoreau
November 15






Costumes and Masks
Henry David Thoreau
American Writer

The Frozen Pond by George Williams
The Frozen Pond
by George Williams

Portrait of a Young Woman in a Lace Hat, 1891 by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Portrait of a Young Woman in a Lace Hat
by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Woodsburner: A Novel
Woodsburner: A Novel
by ~ John Pipkin

Autumnal Tints
Autumnal Tints
Audio CD
Reading by Brett Barry.

"Wild Apples" and Other Natural History Essays
"Wild Apples"
and Other Natural History Essays


Walden and Other Writings
Walden and Other Writings
Kindle Edition

Kindle
Kindle
6" Display, U.S. & International Wireless



         

Here is a rainy day, which keeps me in the house.

Asked Therien this afternoon if he had got a new idea this summer. "Good Lord!" says he, "a man that has to work as I do, if he does not forget the ideas he has had, he will do well. Maybe the man you work with is inclined to race; then, by gorry, your mind must be there; you think of weeds."

I am pleased to read in Stoever's Life of Linnaeus (Trapp's translation) that his father, being the first learned man of his family, changed his family name and borrowed that of Linnaeus (Linden-tree-man) from a lofty linden tree which stood near his native place - "a custom," he says, "not unfrequent in Sweden, to take fresh appellations from natural objects."

What more fit than that the advent of a new man into a family should acquire for it, and transmit to his posterity, a new patronymic? Such a custom suggests, if it does not argue, an unabated vigor in the race, relating it to those primitive times when men did, indeed, acquire a name, as
memorable and distinct as their characters. It is refreshing to get to a man whom you will not be satisfied to call John's son or Johnson's son, but a new name applicable to himself alone, he being the first of his kind. We may say there have been but so many men as there are surnames, and of all the John-Smiths there has been but one true John Smith, and he of course is dead. Get yourself therefore a name, and better a nickname than
none at all.

There was one enterprising boy came to school to me whose name was "Buster," and an honorable name it was. He was the only boy in the school, to my knowledge, who was named.

1851


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