In the streets and in society I am almost invariably<br/>cheap and dissipated, my life is unspeakably mean.<br/>No amount of gold or respectability would in the least<br/>redeem it,-- dining with the Governor or a member of Congress!<br/>But alone in the distant woods or fields,<br/>in unpretending sprout-lands or pastures tracked by rabbits,<br/>even in a bleak and, to most, cheerless day, like this,<br/>when a villager would be thinking of his inn,<br/>I come to myself, I once more feel myself grandly related,<br/>and that cold and solitude are friends of mine.<br/>I suppose that this value, in my case, is equivalent<br/>to what others get by churchgoing and prayer.<br/>I come home to my solitary woodland walk as the homesick go home.<br/>I thus dispose of the superfluous and see things as they are,<br/>grand and beautiful. I have told many that I walk every day<br/>about half the daylight, but I think they do not believe it.<br/>I wish to get the Concord, the Massachusetts, the America,<br/>out of my head and be sane a part of every day.
My Aunt Maria asked me to read the life of Dr. Chalmers,<br/>which, however, I did not promise to do.<br/>Yesterday, Sunday, she was heard through the partition<br/>shouting to my Aunt Jane, who is deaf, 'Think of it!<br/>He stood half an hour today to hear the frogs croak,<br/>and he wouldn't read the life of Chalmers.'
Society is commonly too cheap. We meet at very short intervals, not having had time to acquire any new value for each other. We meet at meals three times a day, and give each other a new taste of that musty old cheese that we are. We have had to agree on a certain set of rules, called etiquette and politeness, to make this frequent meeting tolerable and that we need not come to open war. We meet at the post office, and at the sociable, and at the fireside every night; we live thick and are in each other's way, and stumble over one another, and I think that we thus lose some respect for one another.