Henry David Thoreau: Walden, and Civil Disobedience (unabridged)

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Henry David Thoreau: Walden, and Civil Disobedience (unabridged)

Catalogue No:

NAX27012

Release date:

28th June 2010

Barcode:

9789626342701

Length:

11 hours 41 minutes

Medium:

download only
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Henry David Thoreau: Walden, and Civil Disobedience (unabridged)


Read by Rupert Degas

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In 1845 Henry David Thoreau, one of the principal New England Transcendentalists, left the small town of Concord for the country. Beside the lake of Walden he built himself a log cabin and returned to nature, to observe and reflect – while surviving on eight dollars a year. From this experience emerged Walden, one of the great classics of American literature, and a deeply personal reaction against the commercialism and materialism that Thoreau saw as the main impulses of mid-19th-century America. Here also is Civil Disobedience, Thoreau’s essay on just resistance to government which not only challenged the establishment of his day but has been used as a flag for later campaigners from Mahatma Ghandi to Dr Martin Luther King.

Henry David Thoreau: Walden (Unabridged)

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

It is said that Deucalion and Pyrrha created men…

When we consider what, to use the words…

The greater part of what my neighbors call good…

The grand necessity, then, for our bodies…

I do not mean to prescribe rules to strong…

Not long since, a strolling Indian went to sell baskets…

As this business was to be entered into…

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes…

All costume off a man is pitiful or grotesque.

However, if one designs to construct a dwelling-house…

If it is asserted that civilization is a real advance…

As Chapman sings, 'The false society of men…'

Most men appear never to have considered…

We now no longer camp as for a night, but have settled…

Though we are not so degenerate but that we…

By the middle of April, for I made no haste…

There is some of the same fitness in a man's building…

Boards … $8.03+, mostly shanty boards.

How could youths better learn to live than by at once…

This spending of the best part of one's life earning money…

Granted that some public works would not have been constructed…

Yes, I did eat $8.74, all told; but I should not thus unblushingly…

In cold weather it was no little amusement to bake…

Thus I could avoid all trade and barter, so far as my food…

A lady once offered me a mat, but as I had no room to spare…

As I preferred some things to others, and especially valued…

While my townsmen and women are devoted in so many ways…

If you give him money, he will perhaps buy more rags with it.

Being a microcosm himself, he discovers…

Complemental Verses: … The Pretensions of Poverty

The real attractions of the Hollowell farm, to me…

I was seated by the shore of a small pond…

Morning brings back the heroic ages.

In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life…

For my part, I could easily do without the post-office.

I have read in a Hindoo book, that 'there was a king's son…'

Reading: With a little more deliberation in the choice…

The crowds of men who merely spoke the Greek and Latin tongues…

The works of the great poets have never yet been read…

I aspire to be acquainted with wiser men than this…

It is time that we had uncommon schools…

Sounds: But while we are confined to books…

It was pleasant to see my whole household effects…

The Fitchburg Railroad touches the pond…

I watch the passage of the morning cars with the same feeling…

What recommends commerce to me is its enterprise…

While these things go up other things come down.

When other birds are still, the screech owls…

I am not sure that I ever heard the sound of cock-crowing…

Solitude: This is a delicious evening, when the whole body…

I have never felt lonesome, or in the least oppressed…

We are the subjects of an experiment…

I have a great deal of company in my house…

Visitors: I think that I love society as much as most…

For my own part, I was never so effectually deterred…

He was about twenty-eight years old, and had left Canada…

I asked him if he ever wished to write his thoughts.

Yet I never, by any manoeuvring, could get him to take…

Men of almost every degree of wit called on me…

The Bean-Field: Meanwhile my beans, the length of whose…

As I had little aid from horses or cattle, or hired men…

The hawk is aerial brother of the wave which he sails over…

It was on the whole a rare amusement, which…

We should really be fed and cheered if when we met a man…

The Village: After hoeing, or perhaps reading and writing…

It was very pleasant, when I stayed late in town…

Every man has to learn the points of compass again…

The Ponds: Sometimes, having had a surfeit of human society…

The scenery of Walden is on a humble scale…

The water is so transparent that the bottom can easily be…

But the pond has risen steadily for two years…

There have been caught in Walden pickerel…

A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature.

A field of water betrays the spirit that is in the air.

I was pleased to hear of the old log canoe…

I have said that Walden has no visible inlet nor outlet…

Flint's Pond! Such is the poverty of our nomenclature.

Since the wood-cutters, and the railroad, and I myself…

Baker Farm: Sometimes I rambled to pine groves, standing like…

So the Muse fables. But therein, as I found…

If he and his family would live simply, they might all go…

Higher Laws: As I came home through the woods…

There is a period in the history of the individual…

I believe that every man who has ever been earnest…

Who has not sometimes derived an inexpressible satisfaction…

Man flows at once to God when the channel of purity is open.

Brute Neighbours: Sometimes I had a companion in my fishing…

Why do precisely these objects which we behold make a world?

Commonly I rested an hour or two in the shade at noon…

There was not one hireling there. I have no doubt…

In the fall the loon (Colymbus glacialis) came, as usual…

It is said that loons have been caught in the New York lakes…

House-Warming: In October I went a-graping to the river meadows…

When I came to build my chimney I studied masonry…

I had in my cellar a firkin of potatoes, about two quarts…

The pond had in the meanwhile skimmed over in the shadiest…

In 1845 Walden froze entirely over for the first time…

Every man looks at his wood-pile with a kind of affection.

The moles nested in my cellar, nibbling every third potato…

Former Inhabitants and Winter Visitors

Breed's hut was standing only a dozen years ago…

The last inhabitant of these woods before me was an Irishman…

At this season I seldom had a visitor.

The one who came from farthest to my lodge…

Winter Animals: When the ponds were firmly frozen…

In the course of the winter I threw out half a bushel of ears…

In dark winter mornings, or in short winter afternoons…

The hunter who told me this could remember one Sam Nutting…

The Pond: in Winter After a still winter night I awoke…

When I strolled around the pond in misty weather…

William Gilpin, who is so admirable in all that relates…

Given, then, the length and breadth of the cove…

When the ice-men were at work here in '46–7, the cakes…

They went to work at once, plowing, barrowing, rolling…

Ice is an interesting subject for contemplation.

Spring: The opening of large tracts by the ice-cutters…

It took a short siesta at noon, and boomed once more…

It was a warm day, and he was surprised to see…

The whole cut impressed me as if it were a cave…

When the sun withdraws the sand ceases to flow…

When the ground was partially bare of snow…

Such is the contrast between winter and spring.

Through our own recovered innocence we discern…

Beside this I got a rare mess of golden and silver…

Conclusion: To the sick the doctors wisely recommend…

It is said that Mirabeau took to highway robbery…

Why level downward to our dullest perception…

No face which we can give to a matter will stead us so well…

I live in the angle of a leaden wall, into whose composition…

Consider the China pride and stagnant self-complacency…

Henry David Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (Unabridged)

On the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

A common and natural result of an undue respect for law…

This principle being admitted, the justice of every particular…

Oh for a man who is a man, and, as my neighbor says…

Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them…

I know this well, that if one thousand, if one hundred…

To such the State renders comparatively small service…

I wondered that it should have concluded at length…

I was to see my native village in the light of the Middle Ages…

You do not resist cold and hunger, the winds and the waves…

There are really no blows to be given by him but defensive ones.

The Guardian

“Rupert Degas’s cool, elegant reading, with just a hint of the geeky weirdo lurking as he lists the ingredients in Latin of Cato’s recipe for bread, achieves the impossible. You can’t turn it off.”

The Observer

“Rupert Degas is an excellent narrator for Thoreau’s mesmerising meditations which are totally captivating – and pertinent.”

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