Page:Familiar letters of Henry David Thoreau.djvu/294

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270 FRIENDS AND FOLLOWERS. [1853,

you met with the letter of a Turkish cadi at the end of Layard s " Ancient Babylon " ? that also is refreshing, and a capital comment on the whole book which precedes it, the Oriental genius speaking through him.

Those Brahmins " put it through." They come off, or rather stand still, conquerors, with some withered arms or legs at least to show ; and they are said to have cultivated the faculty of abstraction to a degree unknown to Europeans. If we cannot sing of faith and triumph, we will sing our despair. We will be that kind of bird. There are day owls, and there are night owls, and each is beautiful and even musical while about its business.

Might you not find some positive work to do with your back to Church and State, letting your back do all the rejection of them? Can you not go upon your pilgrimage, Peter, along the winding mountain path whither you face? A step more will make those funereal church bells over your shoulder sound far and sweet as a natural sound.

" Work, work, work ! "

Why not make a very large mud-pie and bake it in the sun ! Only put no Church nor State into it, nor upset any other pepper-box that way. Dig out a woodchuck, for that has no thing to do with rotting institutions. Go ahead.