Out of the Past

Thoreau
February 16






and Other Natural History Essays



         

By this time in the winter I do not look for those clear, sparkling mornings and delicate leaf frosts, which, methinks, occur earlier in the winter, as if the air of winter was somewhat tarnished and debauched - had lost its virgin purity.

Every judgment and action of a man qualifies every other, i. e. corrects our estimate of every other, as, for instance, a man's idea of immortality who is a member of a church, or his praise of you coupled with his praise of those whom you do not esteem. For
in this sense a man is awfully consistent, above his own consciousness.


All a man's strength and all his weakness go to make up the authority of any particular opinion which he may utter. He is strong or weak with all his strength and weakness combined.

If he is your friend, you may have to consider that he loves you, but perchance he also loves gingerbread.




Snows again this morning. For the last month the weather has been remarkably changeable; hardly three days together alike.

To Walden and Flint's; return by Turnpike.
Saw two large hawks circling over the woods by Walden, hunting - the first I have seen since December15th.

That Indian trail on the hillside about Walden was revealed with remarkable distinctness to me standing on the middle of the pond, by the slight snow melt that had lodged on it forming a clear white line unobscured by weeds and twigs. (For snow is a great revealer not only of tracks made in itself, but even in the earth before it fell.) It was quite distinct in marry places where you would not have noticed it before. A light snow will often reveal a faint foot or cart track in a field which was hardly discernible before, for it reprints it, as it were, in clear white type, alto relievo.

1854

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