April 3, 1856

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Hosmer is overhauling a vast heap of manure in the rear of his barn, turning the ice within it up to the light. Yet he asks despairingly what life is for, and says he does not expect to stay here long. But I have just come from reading Columella, who describes the same kind of spring in that, to him, new spring of the world with hope, and I suggest to be brave and hopeful with nature.


Human life may be transitory and full of trouble, but the perennial mind whose survey extends from that spring to this, from Columella to Hosmer, is superior to change. I will identify myself with that which did not die with Columella and will not die with Hosmer.


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