Saturday, April 20, 2024

HENRY DAVID THOREAU, from "A Plea for Captain John Brown" ~


We dream of foreign countries, of other times and races of man, placing

them at a distance in history or space; but let some significant event like

the present occur in our midst; and we discover, often, this distance and

this strangeness between us and our nearest neighbors. They are our 

Austrias, and Chinas, and South Sea Islands. Our crowded society be-

comes well spaced all at once, clean and handsome to the eye, — a city

of magnificent distances. We discover why it was that we never got beyond

compliments and surfaces with them before; we became aware of as many

versts between us and them as there are between a hermit in the thor-

oughfares of the marketplace. Impassable sea suddenly find their level

between us, or dumb steppes stretch themselves out there. It is the differ-

ence of constitution, of intelligence, and faith, and not streams and

mountains, that make the true and impassable boundaries between in-

dividuals and between states.


     H E N RY    D A V I D    T H O R E A U 

    from — "A Plea for Captain John Brown"