Page:Familiar letters of Henry David Thoreau.djvu/368

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Could I not be content, then, to be a cedar post, which lasts twenty-five years? Would I not rather be that than the farmer that set it ? or he that preaches to the farmer? and go to the heaven of posts at last ? I think I should like that as well as any would like it. But I should not care if I sprouted into a living tree, put forth leaves and flowers, and bore fruit.

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite, only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of ! my extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague, indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.

What are all these years made for ? and now another winter comes, so much like the last? Can t we satisfy the beggars once for all ?

Have you got in your wood for this winter ? What else have you got in? Of what use a great fire on the hearth, and a confounded little fire in the heart? Are you prepared to make a decisive campaign, to pay for your costly tui-