…Inspired by their activities, he began a study of the temperature of Walden and the various nearby ponds, rivers, and springs. It was the first of the many statistical studies that were to become so much a part of his life. Like many of his contemporaries, he found himself developing a mania for charts and temperatures, heights, depths, weights, and dates. It disturbed him, but he was never able to free himself from the habit.
The icemen were by no means Thoreau’s only visitors. Hardly a day went by that he did not visit the village or was not visited at the pond. Shortly after Thoreau arrived,five of the workmen on the nearby Fitchburg Railroad dropped in to see what he was doing. When he told them of his plans, one replied, “Sir, I like your notions. I think I shall live so myself. Only I should like a wilder country, where there is more game. I have been among the Indians near Appalachicola. I have lived with them. I like your kind of life. Good day. I wish you success and happiness.”
Before the second day was over, his sister Sophia arrived for a visit. She had so worried about him that she had not slept the previous night, and now used the excuse of bringing out some food to reassure herself that he had survived what she thought of as the rigor of the wilds. But she soon got over her worries, and he made a point of stopping off regularly at his parents’ house to reassure them all. ( to be continued)…
(see link at end)…The rock on which every attempt to rid man of his shackles is ultimately wrecked is man’s unwillingness to pay the price of freedom — the price which Thoreau cheerfully paid. Every “cause” must crash on it. For, when the theorizing is done, the books are all written, the debates have been resolved into a formula for action, there remains always this irremovable obstacle: one must live. By this dodge the lipservers simply admit that the worth they put on their ideal is less than that they put on their accustomed way of living or the prospect of improving it. The ideal is something nice to talk about, to use as a tonic for one’s sluggish intellectual liver, but when it comes to giving up something for it, that is a different matter. It is more pleasant to make one’s peace with the going order, right or wrong. And if someone pricks your conscience, you get rid of him by declaring that “the time is not ripe,” or by saying, “wait until I make my pile.” Read More:http://mises.org/daily/5033