Out of the Past
Thoreau
February 23






and Other Natural History Essays



         

Wednesday. Melvin tells me that he saw shiners while fishing in Walden yesterday. The ice-men worked till midnight night before last at Loring's Pond, to improve the short cold.

I think myself in a wilder country, and a little nearer to primitive times, when I read in old books which spell the word savages with an l (salvages), like John Smith's "General Historie of Virginia, etc.," reminding me of the derivation of the word from sylva. There is some of the wild wood and its bristling branches still left in their language. The savages they described are really salvages, men of the woods.
1853
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