Page:Familiar letters of Henry David Thoreau.djvu/92

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


he had taken charge. Among other things, Emerson desired a manuscript of Charles Lane, Alcott’s English friend, to be sent to him in New York, where he was detained several weeks by his lectures. He added : "Have we no news from Wheeler? Has Bartlett none? " Of these persons, the first, Charles Stearns Wheeler, a college classmate of Thoreau, and later Greek tutor in the college, had gone to Germany,—where he died the next summer,—and was contributing to the quarterly "Dial." Robert Bartlett, of Plymouth, a townsman of Mrs. Emerson, was Wheeler’s intimate friend, with whom he corresponded.[1] To this editorial

  1. An interesting fact in connection with Thoreau and Wheeler (whose home was in Lincoln, four miles southeast of Concord) is related by Ellery Channing in a note to me. It seems that Wheeler had built for himself, or hired from a farmer, a rough woodland study near Flint s Pond, half way from Lincoln to Concord, which he occupied for a short time in 1841-42, and where Thoreau and Channing visited him. Mr. Channing wrote me in 1883: "Stearns Wheeler built a " shanty" on Flint’s Pond for the purpose of economy, for purchasing Greek books and going abroad to study. Whether Mr. Thoreau assisted him to build this shanty I cannot say, but I think he may have; also that he spent six weeks with him there. As Mr. Thoreau was not too original and inventive to follow the example of others, if good to him, it is very probable this undertaking of Stearns Wheeler, whom he regarded (as I think I have heard him say) a heroic character, suggested his own experiment on Walden. I believe I visited this shanty with Mr. Thoreau. It was very plain, with bunks of straw, and built in the Irish manner. I think Mr. Wheeler