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Thoreau shortened the title to Walden upon publication of the second edition of the work in 1862.
Occasionally, he opens the book and reads a few pages.
It was not for nought, he says, that Alexander the Great took The Iliad with him wherever he went on his long marches in foreign lands.
Thoreau describes the cottage he constructed in woods near Walden Pond, about one mile from Concord, Mass.
The dwelling is on the land of his friend, fellow writer Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Unfortunately, too many people go the way of crowd, allowing others to determine or dictate their destiny.
And so, they do not live life fully; something is missing.If you give him money, he will perhaps buy more rags with it.I was wont to pity the clumsy Irish laborers who cut ice on the pond, in such mean and ragged clothes, while I shivered in my more tidy and somewhat more fashionable garments, till, one bitter cold day, one who had slipped into the water came to my house to warm him, and I saw him strip off three pairs of pants and two pairs of stockings ere he got down to the skin, though they were dirty and ragged enough, it is true, and that he could afford to refuse the extra garments which I offered him, he had so many intra ones. The tone of Walden ranges from lighthearted to deeply serious.He still has plastering to do and a chimney to build. Hollowell regretted her and her husband's decision to sell the place, and she asked Thoreau to sell the farm back to them. The real attractions of the Hollowell farm, to me, were: its complete retirement, being, about two miles from the village, half a mile from the nearest neighbor, and separated from the highway by a broad field; its bounding on the river, which the owner said protected it by its fogs from frosts in the spring, though that was nothing to me; the gray color and ruinous state of the house and barn, and the dilapidated fences, which put such an interval between me and the last occupant; the hollow and lichen-covered apple trees, nawed by rabbits, showing what kind of neighbors I should have; but above all, the recollection I had of it from my earliest voyages up the river, when the house was concealed behind a dense grove of red maples, through which I heard the house-dog bark. ("Where I Lived, and What I Lived for")Thoreau spends part of his time at Walden reading books.Reminiscing, Thoreau says he once decided to purchase a farm and live on it. ("Where I Lived, and What I Lived for")to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. He keeps a copy of Homer's Illiad on a table in his house.The cottage has a room fifteen feet long and ten feet wide, an attic, a closet, windows on each side of the cottage, and a brick fireplace. consisted of a bed, a table, a desk, three chairs, a looking-glass three inches in diameter, a pair of tongs and andirons, a kettle, a skillet, and a frying-pan, a dipper, a wash-bowl, two knives and forks, three plates, one cup, one spoon, a jug for oil, a jug for molasses, and a japanned lamp," Thoreau notes ("Economy").Thoreau paid .50 for the materials, which include boards and nails from the shanty of an Irishman with whom he struck a bargain. In addition, he borrows some needed items, such as an axe.He also incurred expenses for oil, clothing, household goods and tools, and various other items. Before completing the dwelling, he plants beans, potatoes, corn, peas, and turnips.Thoreau takes up residence in his new home on July 4, 1845. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my text.There, he built a small dwelling on the northern shore of the pond.If one walked around the pond, he would cover 1.7 miles.