somebody & co. ( henry david thoreau – the maine woods)

The day before, we had walked into a shop, over against an inn where we stopped, the puny beginning of trade, which would grow at last into a firm copartnership in the future town or city,— indeed, it was already “Somebody & Co.,” I forget who. The woman came forward from the penetralia of the attached house, for “Somebody & Co.” was in the burning, and she sold us percussioncaps, canalès and smooth, and knew their prices and qualities, and which the hunters preferred. Here was a little of everything in a small compass to satisfy the wants and the ambition of the woods,— a stock selected with pains and care, and brought home in the wagon-box, or a corner of the Houlton team; but there seemed to me, as usual, a preponderance of children’s toys,— dogs to bark, and cats to mew, and trumpets to blow, where natives there hardly are yet. As if a child, born into the Maine woods, among the pine-cones and cedar-berries, could not do without such a sugar-man or skipping-jack as the young Rothschild has.

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(On the 31st of August, 1846)

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Tuesday February 21 2017


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