《瓦尔登湖》 梭罗著 宋德利译
Where I Lived, and What I Lived for
 I was seated by the shore of a small pond, about a mile and a half south of the village of Concord and somewhat higher than it, in the midst of an extensive wood between that town and Lincoln, and about two miles south of that our only field known to fame, Concord Battle Ground; but I was so low in the woods that the opposite shore, half a mile off, like the rest, covered with wood, was my most distant horizon. For the first week, whenever I looked out on the pond it impressed me like a tarn high up on the side of a mountain, its bottom far above the surface of other lakes, and, as the sun arose, I saw it throwing off its nightly clothing of mist, and here and there, by degrees, its soft ripples or its smooth reflecting surface was revealed, while the mists, like ghosts, were stealthily withdrawing in every direction into the woods, as at the breaking up of some nocturnal conventicle. The very dew seemed to hang upon the trees later into the day than usual, as on the sides of mountains.
 This small lake was of most value as a neighbor in the intervals of a gentle rain-storm in August, when, both air and water being perfectly still, but the sky overcast, mid-afternoon had all the serenity of evening, and the wood thrush sang around, and was heard from shore to shore. A lake like this is never smoother than at such a time; and the clear portion of the air above it being, shallow and darkened by clouds, the water, full of light and reflections, becomes a lower heaven itself so much the more important. From a hill-top near by, where the wood had been recently cut off, there was a pleasing vista southward across the pond, through a wide indentation in the hills which form the shore there, where their opposite sides sloping toward each other suggested a stream flowing out in that direction through a wooded valley, but stream there was none. That way I looked between and over the near green hills to some distant and higher ones in the horizon, tinged with blue. Indeed, by standing on tiptoe I could catch a glimpse of some of the peaks of the still bluer and more distant mountain ranges in the northwest, those true-blue coins from heaven's own mint, and also of some portion of the village. But in other directions, even from this point, I could not see over or beyond the woods which surrounded me. It is well to have some water in your neighborhood, to give buoyancy to and float the earth. One value even of the smallest well is, that when you look into it you see that earth is not continent but insular. This is as important as that it keeps butter cool. When I looked across the pond from this peak toward the Sudbury meadows, which in time of flood I distinguished elevated perhaps by a mirage in their seething valley, like a coin in a basin, all the earth beyond the pond appeared like a thin crust insulated and floated even by this small sheet of interverting water, and I was reminded that this on which I dwelt was but dry land.
虽然从我门口向外望到的各个景点还要紧凑得多，但至少我并不感觉拥挤和狭窄。那里还有牧场足够我展开想象的翅膀。一片高地上面布满低矮的栎木丛，湖的对岸就是从那里逐渐升高的。这片高地一直向西方的大平原和鞑靼草原延伸开去，这为游牧家庭提供了充分的天地。“除了当一个自由享受广袤天地的人之外，在这个世界上别无幸福可言” – 印度至尊达摩达尔在其牧羊需要新的和更大的牧场时如是说。
 Though the view from my door was still more contracted, I did not feel crowded or confined in the least. There was pasture enough for my imagination. The low shrub oak plateau to which the opposite shore arose stretched away toward the prairies of the West and the steppes of Tartary, affording ample room for all the roving families of men. "There are none happy in the world but beings who enjoy freely a vast horizon" — said Damodara, when his herds required new and larger pastures.
 Both place and time were changed, and I dwelt nearer to those parts of the universe and to those eras in history which had most attracted me. Where I lived was as far off as many a region viewed nightly by astronomers. We are wont to imagine rare and delectable places in some remote and more celestial corner of the system, behind the constellation of Cassiopeia's Chair, far from noise and disturbance. I discovered that my house actually had its site in such a withdrawn, but forever new and unprofaned, part of the universe. If it were worth the while to settle in those parts near to the Pleiades or the Hyades, to Aldebaran or Altair, then I was really there, or at an equal remoteness from the life which I had left behind, dwindled and twinkling with as fine a ray to my nearest neighbor, and to be seen only in moonless nights by him. Such was that part of creation where I had squatted, —
"There was a shepherd that did live,
And held his thoughts as high
As were the mounts whereon his flocks
Did hourly feed him by."
What should we think of the shepherd's life if his flocks always wandered to higher pastures than his thoughts?
每一个早晨都是一个愉快的邀约，它使我的生活每天都是一样简朴，和大自然在一起，我会说我变得天真无邪。 我一直都像希腊人那样，对曙光是一个虔诚的崇拜者。我早早起床，湖里沐浴，顶礼膜拜，这是我做的最佳课业。据说中国商代成汤王的浴盆上刻有这样的箴言：“苟日新，日日新，又日新。”意思是“如果能够一天新，就应保持天天新，新了还要更新，要永远新下去。”黎明时分，我正开着门窗坐在室内，一只蚊子在我的房间里做了一次看不见，猜不着的旅行，发出轻轻的嗡嗡声，就像喇叭唱出名誉赞美歌那样深深地感动了我。那是荷马的安魂曲，空中的《伊里亚特》和《奥德赛》，唱的是它自己的愤怒和漂泊。其间也有一些有关宇宙的东西，那是一种落地式广告，一直在宣传这个世界永恒的活力和生生不息的能力，直到被禁为止。清晨是一天中最值得记忆的时光，它是万物苏醒的时刻。此后我们就不再困倦，至少有一个小时，我们的一部分官能处于苏醒过程，而这部分官能会使我们在日夜之间其余的时间里都处于麻木不仁的状态。如果我们的苏醒不是靠自己的精神，而是靠他人的机械性推动；如果我们的苏醒不是靠自己最新获得的力量和抱负，以及陪伴它们的那种悠扬美妙的宇宙之乐，而是靠工厂的铃声；如果我们的苏醒不是靠一股弥漫在空气中的香气 – 如果一觉醒来，没有获得一种比睡觉前更崇高的生命，黑暗就会结出甜果，它会证明自己黑倒是黑，并不比光明差。而如果这也可以被称之为白天，那么我们从这样的一天里所能期待的就会少之又少。一个人如果不相信每天都包含一个比他已经亵渎的那个更早一些，更加神圣的黎明时刻，这个人对生活就是绝望的，而他正在追求的则是一条每况愈下和日益黑暗的道路。一个人感觉上的生命有一部分停止之后，他的灵魂，或者生命的器官每天都会更新，他的精神就会重新尝试它所能创造的高贵的生命。一切值得记忆的事件，我应该说，都是在早晨的时间里和在一个早晨的氛围中发生的。印度的吠陀经说：“一切智力都是和早晨一起苏醒的。”诗歌和艺术，还有人们最好的，最值得记忆的行动都是从这一时辰开始的。一切像神话人物门农那样的诗人和英雄都是黎明之子，他们的音乐都是在日出时刻产生的。活力四射的思想都与太阳同步，对他而言，一天的时间就是一个永久的早晨。这和时钟说的，和人们的态度和劳动无关。早晨是我清醒的时间，在我心中有一个黎明。道德的修炼就是为抛弃睡眠而努力。如果他们从来就没有睡过觉，那他们何以将一天的时间搞得如此糟糕？他们的计算能力也并非如此之差。如果他们不是成天昏昏沉沉，懵懵懂懂，他们本来是可以有所成就的。数以百万计的人为了体力劳动而醒来的，但是一百万个人里只有一个人是为有效地运用知识而醒来的，在一亿个人里只有一个人是为了追求一种诗人的或神圣的生活而醒来的。醒着就是活着。我从来就没有遇到过一个相当清醒的人。如果遇到，我该如何凝视他那张脸呢？
 Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself. I have been as sincere a worshipper of Aurora as the Greeks. I got up early and bathed in the pond; that was a religious exercise, and one of the best things which I did. They say that characters were engraven on the bathing tub of King Tching Thang to this effect: "Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again." I can understand that. Morning brings back the heroic ages. I was as much affected by the faint hum of a mosquito making its invisible and unimaginable tour through my apartment at earliest dawn, when I was sitting with door and windows open, as I could be by any trumpet that ever sang of fame. It was Homer's requiem; itself an Iliad and Odyssey in the air, singing its own wrath and wanderings. There was something cosmical about it; a standing advertisement, till forbidden, of the everlasting vigor and fertility of the world. The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night. Little is to be expected of that day, if it can be called a day, to which we are not awakened by our Genius, but by the mechanical nudgings of some servitor, are not awakened by our own newly acquired force and aspirations from within, accompanied by the undulations of celestial music, instead of factory bells, and a fragrance filling the air — to a higher life than we fell asleep from; and thus the darkness bear its fruit, and prove itself to be good, no less than the light. That man who does not believe that each day contains an earlier, more sacred, and auroral hour than he has yet profaned, has despaired of life, and is pursuing a descending and darkening way. After a partial cessation of his sensuous life, the soul of man, or its organs rather, are reinvigorated each day, and his Genius tries again what noble life it can make. All memorable events, I should say, transpire in morning time and in a morning atmosphere. The Vedas say, "All intelligences awake with the morning." Poetry and art, and the fairest and most memorable of the actions of men, date from such an hour. All poets and heroes, like Memnon, are the children of Aurora, and emit their music at sunrise. To him whose elastic and vigorous thought keeps pace with the sun, the day is a perpetual morning. It matters not what the clocks say or the attitudes and labors of men. Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me. Moral reform is the effort to throw off sleep. Why is it that men give so poor an account of their day if they have not been slumbering? They are not such poor calculators. If they had not been overcome with drowsiness, they would have performed something. The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?
 We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour. If we refused, or rather used up, such paltry information as we get, the oracles would distinctly inform us how this might be done.
 I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to "glorify God and enjoy him forever."
 Still we live meanly, like ants; though the fable tells us that we were long ago changed into men; like pygmies we fight with cranes; it is error upon error, and clout upon clout, and our best virtue has for its occasion a superfluous and evitable wretchedness. Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail. In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quick sands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion. Our life is like a German Confederacy, made up of petty states, with its boundary forever fluctuating, so that even a German cannot tell you how it is bounded at any moment. The nation itself, with all its so-called internal improvements, which, by the way are all external and superficial, is just such an unwieldy and overgrown establishment, cluttered with furniture and tripped up by its own traps, ruined by luxury and heedless expense, by want of calculation and a worthy aim, as the million households in the land; and the only cure for it, as for them, is in a rigid economy, a stern and more than Spartan simplicity of life and elevation of purpose. It lives too fast. Men think that it is essential that the Nation have commerce, and export ice, and talk through a telegraph, and ride thirty miles an hour, without a doubt, whether they do or not; but whether we should live like baboons or like men, is a little uncertain. If we do not get out sleepers, and forge rails, and devote days and nights to the work, but go to tinkering upon our lives to improve them, who will build railroads? 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? We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us. Did you ever think what those sleepers are that underlie the railroad? Each one is a man, an Irishman, or a Yankee man. The rails are laid on them, and they are covered with sand, and the cars run smoothly over them. They are sound sleepers, I assure you. 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. And when they run over a man that is walking in his sleep, a supernumerary sleeper in the wrong position, and wake him up, they suddenly stop the cars, and make a hue and cry about it, as if this were an exception. I am glad to know that it takes a gang of men for every five miles to keep the sleepers down and level in their beds as it is, for this is a sign that they may sometime get up again.
 Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry. Men say that a stitch in time saves nine, and so they take a thousand stitches today to save nine tomorrow. As for work, we haven't any of any consequence. 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, since burn it must, and we, be it known, did not set it on fire — or to see it put out, and have a hand in it, if that is done as handsomely; yes, even if it were the parish church itself. Hardly a man takes a half-hour's nap after dinner, but when he wakes he holds up his head and asks, "What's the news?" as if the rest of mankind had stood his sentinels. Some give directions to be waked every half-hour, doubtless for no other purpose; and then, to pay for it, they tell what they have dreamed. After a night's sleep the news is as indispensable as the breakfast. "Pray tell me anything new that has happened to a man anywhere on this globe" — and he reads it over his coffee and rolls, that a man has had his eyes gouged out this morning on the Wachito River; never dreaming the while that he lives in the dark unfathomed mammoth cave of this world, and has but the rudiment of an eye himself.
就我而言，没有邮局依然很容易地生活。我想我也没有什么重要的信息要通过邮局来传递。说正经的，我在生活中收到的信只有一两封而已 – 写信只是我在几年前的事 – 那两封信是值得邮递的。便士邮政一般来说就是一种特殊的制度，通过它你可以一本正经地把一个便士交给一个人，这样就可以得到他通常在笑谈中安全表达的思想。我敢说，我从来没有在一份报纸上读到过任何值得纪念的新闻。如果我们读到的新闻是关于一个人遭抢劫，或遭谋杀，或死于事故，或一所房子失火，或一条船被撞毁，或一只汽艇爆炸，或一只牛从西铁的铁轨上跑过，或一只狗被杀，或一群蝗虫在冬天里出现 – 我们从来不需要读到其他的新闻。一条足够。如果了解相关原则，你对它的应用和无数事例还在意什么呢？对于一位哲学家来说，所有的新闻，正如人们所说，都是道听途说。编者和读者都是一边喝茶一边扯淡的老年长舌妇。然而即便如此，对这种小道传闻贪婪有加的仍然大有人在。正如我听说的，有一天，大家争先恐后地涌向报馆一个办公室前去听国际新闻，我最后一个到那里时发现报馆几块厚玻璃给挤碎了 – 我认真地想想，这可是一条好新闻，只要耍一点小聪明，提前十二个月，甚至二十年就可以写得准确无误。以西班牙为例，如果你知道如何把唐·卡洛斯和公主，唐·彼得罗，以及塞维利亚和格拉纳达这些名字一遍又一遍地按照正确比例放到一起 – 自从我看到相关报纸以后，它们可能发生一点变化 – 当其他娱乐形式失败之后，这些名字改头换面，可能就会变成一条斗牛的消息，字母是对的，而且向我们提供的也是有关西班牙一些东西的现状或遗存所隐含的思想，犹如报纸上与此相关的绝大多数简洁和清晰的报告那样。再来说说英国吧。来自那个地区有意义的最新的新闻片段总是与1649年革命相关。如果你了解那里每年平均年成的历史，你就根本无需在意那件事，除非你的投机行动带有金钱特点。如果一个人可以判断究竟是谁难得读报，在国外就什么新鲜事也不会发生了，即便法国革命也不例外。
 For my part, I could easily do without the post-office. I think that there are very few important communications made through it. To speak critically, I never received more than one or two letters in my life — I wrote this some years ago — that were worth the postage. The penny-post is, commonly, an institution through which you seriously offer a man that penny for his thoughts which is so often safely offered in jest. And I am sure that I never read any memorable news in a newspaper. 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 winter — we never need read of another. One is enough. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for a myriad instances and applications? To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over their tea. Yet not a few are greedy after this gossip. There was such a rush, as I hear, the other day at one of the offices to learn the foreign news by the last arrival, that several large squares of plate glass belonging to the establishment were broken by the pressure — news which I seriously think a ready wit might write a twelve-month, or twelve years, beforehand with sufficient accuracy. 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 proportions — they may have changed the names a little since I saw the papers — and 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.
什么样的新闻啊! 知道什么是永远不老的东西该是何等重要！蓬伯玉（卫大夫）派使者到孔子那里去了解情况。孔子和他坐在一起问：“你的主人想做什么事？”使者回答说：“我的主人想减少自己的过错，可是做不到。”使者离开后，孔子说：“多么可敬的使者，多么可敬的使者啊！”周末休息日里，传教士没有用冗长的传道词打扰昏昏欲睡的农夫的耳朵 - 因为如果一周时间都没有很好地度过，星期天则是恰如其分的结局，但并不是新一周新鲜而勇敢的开始 – 他就会带着传道活动被拖长的尾巴，如雷贯耳一般地大声喊到：“打住！停止！为什么看起来这么快，而不是很慢？”
 What news! how much more important to know what that is which was never old! "Kieou-pe-yu (24)(great dignitary of the state of Wei) sent a man to Khoung-tseu to know his news. Khoung-tseu caused the messenger to be seated near him, and questioned him in these terms: What is your master doing? The messenger answered with respect: My master desires to diminish the number of his faults, but he cannot accomplish it. The messenger being gone, the philosopher remarked: What a worthy messenger! What a worthy messenger!" The preacher, instead of vexing the ears of drowsy farmers on their day of rest at the end of the week — for Sunday is the fit conclusion of an ill-spent week, and not the fresh and brave beginning of a new one — with this one other draggle-tail of a sermon, should shout with thundering voice, "Pause! Avast! Why so seeming fast, but deadly slow?"
 Shams and delusions are esteemed for soundest truths, while reality is fabulous. If men would steadily observe realities only, and not allow themselves to be deluded, life, to compare it with such things as we know, would be like a fairy tale and the Arabian Nights' Entertainments. If we respected only what is inevitable and has a right to be, music and poetry would resound along the streets. 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. This is always exhilarating and sublime. 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. I have read in a Hindoo book, that "there was a king's son, who, being expelled in infancy from his native city, was brought up by a forester, and, growing up to maturity in that state, imagined himself to belong to the barbarous race with which he lived. One of his father's ministers having discovered him, revealed to him what he was, and the misconception of his character was removed, and he knew himself to be a prince. So soul," continues the Hindoo philosopher, "from the circumstances in which it is placed, mistakes its own character, until the truth is revealed to it by some holy teacher, and then it knows itself to be Brahme." I perceive that we inhabitants of New England live this mean life that we do because our vision does not penetrate the surface of things. We think that that is which appears to be. If a man should walk through this town and see only the reality, where, think you, would the "Mill-dam" go to? If he should give us an account of the realities he beheld there, we should not recognize the place in his description. Look at a meeting-house, or a court-house, or a jail, or a shop, or a dwelling-house, and say what that thing really is before a true gaze, and they would all go to pieces in your account of them. Men esteem truth remote, in the outskirts of the system, behind the farthest star, before Adam and after the last man. In eternity there is indeed something true and sublime. But all these times and places and occasions are now and here. God himself culminates in the present moment, and will never be more divine in the lapse of all the ages. And we are enabled to apprehend at all what is sublime and noble only by the perpetual instilling and drenching of the reality that surrounds us. The universe constantly and obediently answers to our conceptions; whether we travel fast or slow, the track is laid for us. Let us spend our lives in conceiving then. The poet or the artist never yet had so fair and noble a design but some of his posterity at least could accomplish it.
让我们像大自然那样审慎地度过一天的时间，不要因落在铁道上的每一个坚果壳儿和蚊子翅膀而出轨。让我们早早起床，或者禁食，或用早餐，轻抚慢揉，莫要骚动，任凭人来人往，让钟声响起，让孩子哭叫 – 决定就这样度过这一天。我们为何要认输，为何要随波逐流？让我们莫伤悲，莫卷入那位于子午线浅滩之上、被称之为正餐的可怕的激流漩涡。度过危难，便会平安，其余的路都在山下。仿效尤里西斯，莫放松，振精神，扬帆起航，另找出路，寻寻觅觅，永不止息。如果发动机发出哨声，那就随它的便，直到它痛苦万分，声嘶力竭。如若钟声响起，我们为何要撒腿就跑？我们将思考它们像何种音乐。让我安定下来，努力工作，脚踏实地，穿过污泥浊水一般的意见、偏见、传统、欺骗、外观，所有这些都如洪水泛滥，淹没地球，流经巴黎和伦敦，流经纽约、波士顿及康科德，流经教会和政府，穿过诗歌、哲学和宗教，直到我们来到一个可称之为坚硬的底部和岩石的地方，而且说，这就是，没错，而后开始，这里有一个支点，处在大洪水与寒霜烈火之下，你可以修筑一堵墙或建立一个国家，或安全地竖起一根灯杆，或者也许是一只计量器，然而不是测量尼罗河的水位计，而是一只测量现实的仪器，将来的年代会知道欺骗和虚假的洪水一次又一次地聚积，最后该有多深。如果你面对面地站在事实前面，你就会看到太阳照射在它两边的表面上，那似乎就是一只匕首，你能感觉到它甜蜜的刀刃，劈开你的心脏和骨髓，将你一分为二，以便使你愉快地决定自己的道德生涯。或生或死，我们渴望的只是现实。如果我们濒临死亡，那就让我们听一听喉咙里的咯咯声，感觉一下四肢的寒冷；如果我们还活着，那就让我们开始做事。
 Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature, and not be thrown off the track by every nutshell and mosquito's wing that falls on the rails. Let us rise early and fast, or break fast, gently and without perturbation; let company come and let company go, let the bells ring and the children cry — determined to make a day of it. Why should we knock under and go with the stream? Let us not be upset and overwhelmed in that terrible rapid and whirlpool called a dinner, situated in the meridian shallows. Weather this danger and you are safe, for the rest of the way is down hill. With unrelaxed nerves, with morning vigor, sail by it, looking another way, tied to the mast like Ulysses. If the engine whistles, let it whistle till it is hoarse for its pains. If the bell rings, why should we run? We will consider what kind of music they are like. Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe, through Paris and London, through New York and Boston and Concord, through Church and State, through poetry and philosophy and religion, till we come to a hard bottom and rocks in place, which we can call reality, and say, This is, and no mistake; and then begin, having a point d'appui, below freshet and frost and fire, a place where you might found a wall or a state, or set a lamp-post safely, or perhaps a gauge, not a Nilometer, but a Realometer, that future ages might know how deep a freshet of shams and appearances had gathered from time to time. If you stand right fronting and face to face to a fact, you will see the sun glimmer on both its surfaces, as if it were a cimeter, and feel its sweet edge dividing you through the heart and marrow, and so you will happily conclude your mortal career. Be it life or death, we crave only reality. If we are really dying, let us hear the rattle in our throats and feel cold in the extremities; if we are alive, let us go about our business.
 Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. I would drink deeper; fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars. I cannot count one. I know not the first letter of the alphabet. I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born. The intellect is a cleaver; it discerns and rifts its way into the secret of things. I do not wish to be any more busy with my hands than is necessary. My head is hands and feet. I feel all my best faculties concentrated in it. My instinct tells me that my head is an organ for burrowing, as some creatures use their snout and fore paws, and with it I would mine and burrow my way through these hills. I think that the richest vein is somewhere hereabouts; so by the divining-rod and thin rising vapors I judge; and here I will begin to mine.