blunders when he climbed Katahdin.
But if he was not impeccable as a naturalist or woodsman, who has ever had more fun out of his enthusiasm than Thoreau
, and who has ever stimulated as many men and women in the happy use of their eyes?
He would have had slight patience with much of the sentimental nature study of our generation, and certainly an intellectual contempt for much that we read and write about the call of the wild; but no reader of his books can escape his infection for the freedom of the woods, for the stark and elemental in nature.
's passion for this aspect of life may have been selfish, wolflike, but it is still communicative.
Once, toward the close of his too brief life, Thoreau
“signed on” again to an American ideal, and no man could have signed more nobly.
It was the cause of Freedom, as represented by John Brown
of Harper's Ferry
and Scotch blood in the furtive hermit suddenly grew hot. Instead of renouncing in disgust the “uncivil chaos called Civil Government,” Thoreau
challenged it to a fight.
Indeed he had already thrown down the gauntlet in Slavery in Massachusetts
, which Garrison
had published in the Liberator
And now the death upon the scaffold of the