October 31, 1851

apple_barrel

*

Friday 31st  Have taken up the bedroom and stair carpets

and Bridget has cleaned the front entry

I have been very busy all day about the house

Mrs Hubbell, Ames, and Mrs S Ames have been

to Sharon  Mrs Witherell called at Mrs Swains

this afternoon but I was so busy that I could 

not accompany her.  Passed the evening in

the other part of the house.  Mr Scott painting

Mr Hawkins lectured at the methodist meeting house

 

Evelina’s autumn version of spring cleaning continued today as she tackled the upstairs carpets. Mr. Scott was still in the house, painting, and servant Bridget O’Neill cleaned the front entry which had also undergone repainting. “Very busy all day about the house,” Evelina evidently didn’t even venture out of doors.

Others did go outside. Sarah Ames Witherell paid a call on new mother Ann Swain, while Sarah Ames, Almira Ames and Mrs. Hubbel rode to nearby Sharon. Old Oliver noted in his journal that “this was a fair day + some cooler wind north west +considerable of it.”

Some miles northward, in Concord, Henry David Thoreau noted in his journal that “The wild apples are now getting palatable. I find a few left on distant trees, that the farmer thinks it not worth his while to gather. He thinks that he has better in his barrels, but he is mistaken, unless he has a walker’s appetite and imagination, neither of which can he have.”**  Two farmers in Evelina’s life, her father-in-law, Old Oliver, and her brother, Alson Gilmore, might take exception to Thoreau’s characterization of them as men without imagination.

In the evening, a Mr. Hawkins gave a lecture at the Methodist meeting house, right in the village.

* Barrel of apples, http://nbarnett2.wordpress.com/2010/02/15/the-importance-of-good-packing/

**Henry David Thoreau, Journal, http://hdt.typepad.com/henrys_blog/2004/10/october_31_1851.ht

7 thoughts on “October 31, 1851

  1. I wonder, what is a “walker’s appetite” and what is a “walker’s imagination”…??

    • Caroline, I read Thoreau’s “walker” as someone who has a naturalist’s gift of seeing and appreciating nature, someone who takes long walks in the wood simply for the sake of observing the world around him or her.

      • I guess my question was, why would HDT think…. the farmer thinks it not worth his while to gather (the apples). He thinks that he has better in his barrels [as they are cultivated], but he is mistaken [the wild ones are better], unless he [the farmer] has a walker’s appetite and imagination [which are good and vibrant], neither of which can he [the farmer] have. ….mistaken UNLESS? So, if the farmer were to have a good and vibrant imagination….nevermind, laugh….this is why I cannot pass comprehension tests in 3 minutes in college entry exams. I am totally hung up on the word “unless.”

  2. “Some miles northward, in Concord, Henry David Thoreau noted in his journal that “The wild apples are now getting palatable. I find a few left on distant trees, that the farmer thinks it not worth his while to gather. He thinks that he has better in his barrels, but he is mistaken, unless he has a walker’s appetite and imagination, neither of which can he have.”** Two farmers in Evelina’s life, her father-in-law, Old Oliver, and her brother, Alson Gilmore, might take exception to Thoreau’s characterization of them as men without imagination.” that statement is why Mao wanted to get rid of the intellectuals Well said….

  3. For better of for worse, to show you the kind of imagination Thoreau has in mind, here is the rest of his day’s entry. I believe that at least once he refers to himself as a kind of crabbed and sour apple. 🙂

    “These apples cannot be too knurly and rusty and crabbed (to look at)
    .
    The knurliest will have some redeeming traits, even to the eye You will discover some evening redness dashed or sprinkled on some protuberance or in some cavity
    .
    It is rare that the summer lets an apple go without streaking or spotting it on some part of its sphere, though perchance one side may only seem to betray that it has once fallen in a brick-yard, and the other have been bespattered from a roily ink-bottle.’
    Some red stains it will have, commemorating the mornings and evenings it has witnessed; some (lark and rusty blotches, in memory of the clouds and foggy mildewy days that have passed over it ; and a spacious field of green, reflecting the general face of nature, -green even as the fields; or yellowish ground, if it has a sunny flavor, yellow as the harvests, or russet as the hills.’ The saunterer’s apple not even the saunterer can eat in the house. The noblest of fruits is the apple. Let the most beautiful or swiftest have it.
    ,
    The robins now fly in flocks.”

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