Page:Familiar letters of Henry David Thoreau.djvu/468
442 FRIENDS AND FOLLOWERS. [1861,
brandishes his sword, three swords are seen in air. The account of Ospah and Brodir and Bri an s battle is the only historical account of that engagement, which the Irish talk so much of ; for I place little trust in O Halloran s authority, though the outline is the same in both.
Darwin s " Origin of Species " may be fanci ful, but it is a move in the right direction. Em erson s " Conduct of Life " has done me good ; but it will not go down in England for a gener ation or so. But these are some of them already a year or two old. The book of the season is Du Chaillu s " Central Africa," with accounts of the Gorilla, of which you are aware that you have had a skeleton at Boston for many years. There is also one in the British Museum ; but they have now several stuffed specimens at the Geographical Society s rooms in Town. I sup pose you will have seen Sir Emerson Tennent s " Ceylon," which is perhaps as complete a book as ever was published ; and a better monument to a governor s residence in a great province was never made.
We have been lately astonished by a foreign Hamlet, a supposed impossibility ; but Mr. Fech- ter does real wonders. No doubt he will visit America, and then you may see the best actor in the world. He has carried out Goethe s idea of Hamlet as given in the " Wilhelm Meister,"