Page:Familiar letters of Henry David Thoreau.djvu/63
ÆT. 22.] 39
TO HELEN THOREAU.
politics, and finance, and such gossip, to the mo ments when diet and exercise are cared for, and speak to each other deliberately as out of one infinity into another, you there in time and space, and I here. For beside this relation, all books and doctrines are no better than gossip or the turning of a spit.
Equally to you and Sophia, from
Your affectionate brother,
H. D. THOREAU.
We come now to the period when Thoreau entered on more intimate relations with Emerson. There was a difference of fourteen years in their ages, which had hitherto separated them intellectually; but now the young scholar, thinker, and naturalist had so fast advanced that he could meet his senior on more equal terms, and each became essential to the other. With all his prudence and common sense, in which he surpassed most men, Emerson was yet lacking in some practical faculties; while Thoreau was the most practical and handy person in all matters of every-day life, — a good mechanic and gardener, methodical in his habits, observant and kindly in the domestic world, and attractive to children, who now were important members of the Emerson household. He was therefore invited by Emerson to make his house a home, —