Page:Familiar letters of Henry David Thoreau.djvu/311
JET. 37.] THOREAU AND RICKETSON. 287
kind and frank letter, but delayed to answer it thus long because I have little skill as a corre spondent, and wished to send you something more than my thanks. I was gratified by your prompt and hearty acceptance of my book. Yours is the only word of greeting I am likely to receive from a dweller in the woods like my self, from where the whippoorwill and cuckoo are heard, and there are better than moral clouds drifting, and real breezes blowing. From that year until his death in 1862 we exchanged visits annually, and letters more frequently. He was much interested in the botany of our region, finding here many marine plants he had not be fore seen. When our friendship began, the ad mirers of his only two published books were few; most prominent among them were Emer son, Alcott, and Channing of Concord, Messrs. Blake and T. Brown of Worcester, Mr. Marston Watson of Plymouth, and myself. Many ac cused him of being an imitator of Emerson; others thought him unsocial, impracticable, and ascetic. Now he was none of these ; a more original man never lived, nor one more thor oughly personifying civility ; no man could hold a finer relationship with his family than he."
In reply to Thoreau s letter just quoted, Mr. Ricketson wrote further of himself and his local ity, and Thoreau thus continued :