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  • Lance Mannion
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Kit Stolz

Countless writers have published their complete diaries; Emerson's is one of the very few that really deserves the reading. And it's worth pointing out that although Emerson was the great man in Concord and New England in his time, he remained sweet-tempered and generous with his support and time, not just to Thoreau, but to others he didn't know, or hardly knew, such as Whitman and Muir.

Here's a thought from him about blogging, about 150 years before the practice was invented:

"Happy is he who looks only into his work to know if it will succeed, never into the times or the public opinion; and who writes from the love of imparting certain thoughts and not from the necessity of sale--who writes always to the unknown friend."

(Those last three words are italicized, by the way, though I don't know how to do that in these Comments boxes.)

And here's a personal favorite, from l852:

"When we have arrived at the question, the answer is already near."

blue girl

Kit: Here's how you italicize phrases in a comment thread! I just learned and am more than happy to share my knowledge!

Do this first:

then immediately without inserting any spaces, type what you want to be italicized...

then, with no spaces again... type this:

Don't forget the backslash before the *i* to end the italics. That one was tricky for me!

Good luck!

blue girl

Ok. I'm so good at italicizing things now that it didn't work the way I wanted it to...

Here's the only way I know how to explain it to you now...

Before phrase: Hit *shift comma, i, shift period" -- at the end of the phrase, hit *shift comma, backslash, i, shift period"

shift comma = <

shift period = >

Hee-hee. Hope it works for ya!

Kevin Wolf

Very nice piece, Lance. I may have to pick up this Emerson collection. It's a pleasure to browse the thoughts of a thinker.

There's too many thoughts from non-thinkers (if you will allow an oxymoron) stinking up the joint these days.


Another passage from Thoreau that remains true today: just substitute "homeowners" for "farmers" and "houses" for "farms".

When I consider my neighbors, the farmers of Concord, who are at least as well off as the other classes, I find that for the most part they have been toiling twenty, thirty, or forty years, that they may become the real owners of their farms, which commonly they have inherited with encumbrances, or else bought with hired money -- and we may regard one third of that toil as the cost of their houses -- but commonly they have not paid for them yet… On applying to the assessors, I am surprised to learn that they cannot at once name a dozen in the town who own their farms free and clear. If you would know the history of these homesteads, inquire at the bank where they are mortgaged. The man who has actually paid for his farm with labor on it is so rare that every neighbor can point to him. I doubt if there are three such men in Concord.

harry near indy

a wonderful post, lance.

iirc, on hee haw they had a guy who wore a pullover sweater with a collar and had about two-day growth of beard. he was the newsguy on the show.

one time he said, "well, the news today was the same as it was yesterday. it just happened to different people."

after i read your emerson excerpts, i thought -- how true.

Kit Stolz

Thanks, blue girl! I copied your instructions and will try them out at the first opportunity...

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