Page:Familiar letters of Henry David Thoreau.djvu/293

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JET. 36.] TO HARRISON BLAKE. 269

virtue in him, if he does not add to it ; and he regards me as a gentleman able to assist him ; but if I ever get to be a gentleman, it will be by working after my fashion harder than he does. If my joints are not swollen, it must be because I deal with the teats of celestial cows before breakfast (and the milker in this case is always allowed some of the milk for his breakfast), to say nothing of the flocks and herds of Admetus afterward.

It is the art of mankind to polish the world, and every one who works is scrubbing in some part.

If the work is high and far,

You must not only aim aright,

But draw the bow with all your might.

You must qualify yourself to use a bow which no humbler archer can bend.

" Work, work, work !

Who shall know it for a bow? It is not of yew- tree. It is straighter than a ray of light ; flexi bility is not known for one of its qualities.

December 22.

So far I had got when I was called off to sur vey. Pray read the life of Haydon the painter, if you have not. It is a small revelation for these latter days ; a great satisfaction to know that he has lived, though he is now dead. Have