Page:Writings of Henry David Thoreau (1906) v2.djvu/110

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II

WHERE I LIVED, AND WHAT I LIVED FOR

At a certain season of our life we are accustomed to consider every spot as the possible site of a house. I have thus surveyed the country on every side within a dozen miles of where I live. In imagination I have bought all the farms in succession, for all were to be bought, and I knew their price. I walked over each farmer's prem- ises, tasted his wild apples, discoursed on husbandry with him, took his farm at his price, at any price, mort- gaging it to him in my mind ; even put a higher price on it, — took everything but a deed of it, — took his word for his deed, for I dearly love to talk, — cultivated it, and him too to some extent, I trust, and withdrew when I had enjoyed it long enough, leaving him to carry it on. This experience entitled me to be regarded as a sort of real-estate broker by my friends. Wherever I sat, there I might live, and the landscape radiated from me ac- cordingly. WTiat is a house but a sedes, a seat ? — better if a country seat. I discovered many a site for a house not likely to be soon improved, which some might have thought too far from the village, but to my eyes the vil- lage was too far from it. Well, there I might live, I said ; and there I did live, for an hour, a summer and a winter life; saw how I could let the years run off, buffet the