"To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?
"...but before the owner gave me a deed of it, his wife—every man has such a wife—changed her mind and wished to keep it..."
For my part, I could easily do without the post-office. I think that there are very few important communications made through it. To speak critically, I never received more than one or two letters in my life—I wrote this some years ago—that were worth the postage.
When completed, the edition's three volumes will include every extant letter written or received by Thoreau--in all, almost 650 letters, roughly 150 more than in any previous edition, including dozens that have never before been published. Correspondence 1 contains 163 letters, ninety-six written by Thoreau and sixty-seven to him.
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.
I confess, that practically speaking, when I have learned a man's real disposition, I have no hopes of changing it for the better or worse in this state of existence.
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