a scotchman in the woods of maine ( henry david thoreau )

McCauslin was a Kennebec man, of Scotch descent, who had been a water man twenty-two years, and had driven on the lakes and head-waters of the Penobscot five or six springs in succession, but was now settled here to raise supplies for the lumberers and for himself.

 

He entertained us aday or two with true Scotch hospitality, and would accept no recompense for it.

 

A man of a dry wit and shrewdness, and a general intelligence which I had not looked for in the backwoods.

 

In fact, the deeper you penetrate into the woods, the more intelligent, and, in one sense, less countrified do you find the inhabitants; for always the pioneer has been a traveler, and, to some extent, a man of the world; and, as the distances with which he is familiar are greater, so is his information more general and far reaching than the villagers.

 

If I were to look for a narrow, uninformed, and countrified mind, as opposed to the intelligence and the refinement which are thought to emane from cities, it would be amon the rusty inhabitants of an old-settled country, on farms all run and gone to seed with life-everlasting, in the towns about Boston, even on the high-road in Concord, and not in the backwoods of Maine.

 

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(text curated by rinaldo rasa , excerpt from the maine woods by henry david thoreau , 1846 )

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Tuesday March 7 2017


 

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6 thoughts on “a scotchman in the woods of maine ( henry david thoreau )

  1. I agree in part. Ignorance can be found anywhere, from the ivied halls of “higher learning” institutions, to the inbred backwoods of Virginia, Alabama, Olso, or Moscow.

    For sheer racist, supremacist ignorance, just read this specific post on this blog, here, where the author quotes:

    “…if you’re living off grid, growing your own food and so on, you’re basicly a true rebel — unlike the idiots running around in the streets with their underwear showing, protesting against something it’s fashionable to protest against, while smashing things up.”

    https://bull-hansen.com/2017/03/05/why-i-am-passionate-about-bushcraft/

    It amazes me that a person who seems to possess wisdom is, essentially, just another xenophobic hate-monger who criticizes what he doesn’t understand, and sees himself and his lifestyle as “perfect” and “ideal.”

    Liked by 1 person

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