Page:Familiar letters of Henry David Thoreau.djvu/91

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AET. 25.] TO R. W. EMERSON. 67

feather, not a straw, is intrusted; that packet is empty. It is only committed to us, and, as it were, all things are committed to us.

The kindness I have longest remembered has been of this sort,—the sort unsaid; so far behind the speaker’s lips that almost it already lay in my heart. It did not have far to go to be communicated. The gods cannot misunderstand, man cannot explain. We communicate like the burrows of foxes, in silence and darkness, under ground. We are undermined by faith and love. How much more full is Nature where we think the empty space is than where we place the solids!—full of fluid influences. Should we ever communicate but by these? The spirit abhors a vacuum more than Nature. There is a tide which pierces the pores of the air. These aerial rivers, let us not pollute their currents. What meadows do they course through? How many fine mails there are which traverse their routes! He is privileged who gets his letter franked by them.

I believe these things.

Henry D. Thoreau.

Emerson replied to these letters in two epistles of dates from February 4 to 12, 1843,—in the latter asking Thoreau to aid him in editing the April number of the "Dial," of which