Our Life Is Frittered Away By Detail Simplify Simplify Essay

From 1845 to 1847, Thoreau lived alone and in relative isolation in a cabin on Walden Pond, outside Concord, New Hampshire.In "Where I Lived, and What I Lived for," Thoreau explains why he decided to live alone in the woods.If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned, or one vessel wrecked, or one steamboat blown up, or one cow run over on the Western Railroad, or one mad dog killed, or one lot of grasshoppers in the winterwe never need read of another. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for a myriad instances and applications?

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When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence, that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality. By closing the eyes and slumbering, and consenting to be deceived by shows, men establish and confirm their daily life of routine and habit everywhere, which still is built on purely illusory foundations.

Children, who play life, discern its true law and relations more clearly than men, who fail to live it worthily, but who think that they are wiser by experience, that is, by failure.

[18] Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life?

We are determined to be starved before we are hungry.

As for Spain, for instance, if you know how to throw in Don Carlos and the Infanta, and Don Pedro and Seville and Granada, from time to time in the right proportionsthey may have changed the names a little since I saw the papersand serve up a bull-fight when other entertainments fail, it will be true to the letter, and give us as good an idea of the exact state or ruin of things in Spain as the most succinct and lucid reports under this head in the newspapers: and as for England, almost the last significant scrap of news from that quarter was the revolution of 1649; and if you have learned the history of her crops for an average year, you never need attend to that thing again, unless your speculations are of a merely pecuniary character.

If one may judge who rarely looks into the newspapers, nothing new does ever happen in foreign parts, a French revolution not excepted. how much more important to know what that is which was never old!

And if railroads are not built, how shall we get to heaven in season?

But if we stay at home and mind our business, who will want railroads? Did you ever think what those sleepers are that underlie the railroad? The rails are laid on them, and they are covered with sand, and the cars run smoothly over them. And every few years a new lot is laid down and run over; so that, if some have the pleasure of riding on a rail, others have the misfortune to be ridden upon.

Men say that a stitch in time saves nine, and so they take a thousand stitches today to save nine tomorrow. We have the Saint Vitus' dance, and cannot possibly keep our heads still.

If I should only give a few pulls at the parish bell-rope, as for a fire, that is, without setting the bell, there is hardly a man on his farm in the outskirts of Concord, notwithstanding that press of engagements which was his excuse so many times this morning, nor a boy, nor a woman, I might almost say, but would forsake all and follow that sound, not mainly to save property from the flames, but, if we will confess the truth, much more to see it burn After a night's sleep the news is as indispensable as the breakfast.

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