Out of the Past

Thoreau

July 25






Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
American Writer

Datura
Datura

Angel's Trumpet
Swiping Behind the Cop's Back. Boston 1915
Swiping Behind the Cop's Back. Boston 1915 
Hull, Massachusetts 1895
Hull, Massachusetts 1895
Hull Through Time
Hull Through Time
America Through Time


Citizen Thoreau
Citizen Thoreau
Walden, Civil Disobedience, Life Without Principle, Slavery in Massachusetts, A Plea for Captain John Brown

Walden & Civil Disobedience
Walden & Civil Disobedience

New England Beyond Criticism
New England Beyond Criticism
In Defense of Americas First Literature
Walden
Walden

Thumbing Through Thoreau
Thumbing Through Thoreau
A Book of Quotations by Henry David Thoreau

Walden
Walden
Kindle Edition


Walden, or Life in the Woods Poster
Walden, or Life in the Woods

Poster


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



         

Friday. Started for Clark's Island at 7 a.m.

At 9 a. m. took the Hingham boat and was landed at Hull. There was a pleasure party on board, apparently boys and girls belonging to the South End, going to Hingham. There was a large proportion of illdressed
and ill-mannered boys of Irish extraction. A sad sight to behold! Little boys of twelve years, prematurely old, sucking cigars! I felt that if I were their mothers I should whip them and send them to bed. Such children
should be dealt with as for stealing or impurity.

What right have parents to beget, to bring up, and attempt to educate children in a city? There is no such squalidness in the country . You would have said that they must all have come from the house of correction and the farm-school, but such a company do the boys
in Boston streets make. The birds have more care for their young, where they place their nests. What are a city's charities? She cannot be charitable any more than the old philosopher could move the earth, unless she has a resting-place without herself. A true culture is more possible to the savage than to the boy of average intellect, born of average parents, in a great
city. I believe that they perish miserably. How can they be kept clean, physically or morally? It is folly to attempt to educate children within a city; the first step must be to remove them out of it.

On the beach at Hull, and afterwards all along the shore to Plymouth, I saw the datura, the variety (redstemmed), methinks, which some call Tatula instead of Stramonium. I felt as if I was on the highway of the
world, at sight of this cosmopolite and veteran traveller. It told of commerce and sailors' yarns without end. It grows luxuriantly in sand and gravel. This Captain Cook among plants, this Norseman or sea pirate, viking or king of the bays, the beaches. It is not an innocent
plant; it suggests commerce, with its attendant vices.

Ascended to the top of the hill, where is the old French fort, with the well said to be ninety feet deep, now covered. I saw some horses standing on the very top of the ramparts, the highest part of Hull, where there was hardly room to turn round, for the sake of the breeze. It was excessively warm, and their instincts, or their experience perchance, guided them as surely to the summit as it did me.


Man needs to know but little more than a lobster in order to catch him in his traps. Here were many lobster traps on the shore. The beds of dry seaweed or eel-grass on the beach remind me of narrow shavings.

On the farther hill in Hull, I saw a field full of Canada thistles close up to the fences on all sides, while beyond them there was none. So much for these fields having been subjected to different culture. So a differ
ent culture in the case of men brings in different weeds.
As are the virtues, so are the vices. Weeds come in with the seeds, though perhaps much more in the manure. Each kind of culture will introduce its own weeds.




I am bothered to walk with those who wish to keep step with me. It is not necessary to keep step with your companion, as some endeavor to do.

As I walked on the beach (Nantasket), panting with thirst, a man pointed to a white spot on the side of a distant hill (Strawberry Hill he called it) which rose from the gravelly beach, and said that there was a pure and cold and unfailing spring; and I could not help admiring that in this town of Hull, of which I had heard, but now for the first time saw, a single spring should appear to me and should be of so much value. I found Hull indeed, but there was also a spring on that parched, unsheltered shore; the spring, though I did not visit it, made the deepest impression on my
mind. Hull, the place of the spring and of the well
.
This is what the traveller would remember. All that he remembered of Rome was a spring on the Capitoline Hill! 

1851

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