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Let's look down education in early New England found a religion in early New England. The New England run a song. Of a run of song. This is Donald born professor of humanities a Boston University. Have you somewhere on your reading lately come across choice bits like
these. Any more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one. But on then thinks of himself that is which determines or rather indicates his fate. As if you could kill time without injuring eternity. Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes. I was determined to know those are but a very few scattered quotations from the writings of a remarkable man a man who carved for himself. By using and developing an appreciation of nature. A prominent place in the New England Renaissance broadcast today. Henry David Thoreau one of the most original geniuses among the Transcendentalists. This is Rod right where the sound you hear in the background is that of time
time which in the New England of the early 1900s moved with the slowness and deliberation we showed you is that sound and others to point up the accomplishments of forty five short years in the life of one man a man who was a naturalist in the purest sense a man remembered mostly because he retired into the woods of Concord Massachusetts for two years so he could as he put it travel a good deal. Yes in the early 1900s New England moved slowly deliberately. This was surely true in towns like Concord where even the rivers seemed to move relax a plea for the tranquil valleys and minor hills. Life in the farmhouse on the lonely Virginia road in Concord stepped up only a little better than that July 17th 1817 when a new son was born to Cynthia and John thorough before the happy event. Mr. sorrow had been a schoolmaster but not too successful one. When Henry David was
six his father returned to the family home in Concord where he began to make graphite for lead pencils. The new youngster developed rapidly outwardly impassive. He soon became possessed of a deep feeling of early convictions about life and the meaning of it all. Concord with its many woods and nearby streams was a youngster's paradise. For Henry David. There were many walks in the woods sometimes alone sometimes with his parents. It was always kind of a fishing pole holder a shoulder and bare footed walk to a nearby stream to Tris walk it's Cranley life was congenial there was Uncle Charles Dunbar who could do wonderful sleight of hand tricks with cards who could even make knives and forks disappear as though he'd swallowed them. There was only David's mother a talkative strong minded woman and his dad who had little to say and who read a lot of Henry David's childhood moved rapidly along in the juvenile world built around
nature that is the heritage of New England's young. Intellectually Henry David developed rapidly too. Like many of his friends he read a great deal of Wordsworth attended Concord Academy and at Harvard at the age of 16. By the time he was 20 he was sending chatty humorous letters to his sister brother and Louisa Dunbar. His humor was distinctively his own. When Emerson observed later to Henry David that Harvard had all the branches of learning Henry David dryly observed. Yes indeed all the branches. And none of the roots. But nevertheless at Harvard he became mentally acquainted with the great philosophers of his time Kurt Coleridge Carlyle Wordsworth for a short time Henry David taught school in Canton Massachusetts where he boarded with the Rev. arrestees a Brunson at that time a Unitarian minister. They immediately became good friends and I become more and more firmly
convinced that moral reform must accompany political reform. I would attempt my young friend to bring about some unity of action in this respect. Then you are utterly sincere. Indeed yes Dr. joining is better described as than I. But remember that religion must be a moral and a social force. It is out of the realm of conviction of things. The two of them the minister later a champion of economic radicalism that came close to Marxism and the young man individualistic and somewhat impressionable. They had many many talks or are they never again came into contact. The Reverend Bronson had an impact on the budding Henry David opened his mind to new horizons and philosophical thought and prepared the way for the influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson upon him. In August 1837 Henry David returned to Concord from Harvard
to stay this time. He was short lean and frail. He had drawn on. Bright blue eyes and flaxen hair. He was close to his brother John now with tuberculosis and for a time Henry David helped his family in the operation of a private school. Both John and Henry David had been in love with a winsome young Lady Ellen soever. She turned them both down for matrimony with another. The school closed down and Henry David became friendly with the great Ralph Waldo Emerson Henry David had already begun to decide what he wanted to do with his life in thorough domicile Sora his concepts of nature transformed into everyday living. This was the key to their relationship. The final person who had just come to live in Concord put his finger on it. Mr. Thorold was a singular character a young man with much of wild original nature still remaining in him and so far as he is sophisticated and is
in a way and method of his own he is ugly as sin long nosed clear mild and with uncouth and somewhat rustic manners though courteous. But as Ugliness is of an honest and agreeable fashion and becomes in much better than beauty. He has repudiated our regular means of getting a living and seems inclined to lead a sort of Indian life. He is a keen and delicate observer of nature and nature in return for his love seems to adopt him as her and special child and show him secrets which few others are allowed to witness. Henry David was a frequent visitor at the Emerson homestead. Ralph Waldo Emerson found him good company. I didn't like much in my young friend. We seem to have as free an erect a mind as any I've ever met. Speaking with the other transcendentalists a new way of life the young Henry David frequently sat in on the meetings of the transcendental club he met and talked with Margaret Fuller of Theodore Parker George Ripley head of the Peabody sisters the friendship between
Emerson and thorough ripens Emerson a lonely man detected greatness and an individual spirit in his friend who loved the wood so much thorough appreciating the interest responded. Then Emerson presented his protege with an interesting invitation. Come in. I dislike bothering you with your studies but I understand you wish to see me. Yes Mike we have everything. Henry I'm about to leave for another series of lectures and I'll be gone for some time. Is that so sir. I knew you were going but I didn't realize you were leaving so soon. The thought has occurred to me that perhaps you would like to move into our home here. There's a room at the top of the stay as it would give you a quiet nook for rest writing and meditation. You'd be free to come and go as you please. Henry David decided to try the
arrangement for a month and he stayed two years. He soon became part of the household. He argued good naturedly with Emerson's Aunt Mary. He played with the Emerson children who regarded him as personal property. He became very attached to Emerson's wife Lydian to whom he referred as his sister. Henry David still enjoyed his walks in the woods. It took the media like to make sure his was not just a philosophical interest in it but a living interest. I actually lived in to Concord run but deep thinking conquered having intellectual discussions of the transcendentalists the other the Concord of the woods on world and pond or indeed travelled much in Concord. We developed the ability to be awake not only to the theories of nature but to its delights as well. Men are constantly dinning in my hears death via theories and plausible solutions of the universe. But ever there is no help and I return again to my
shoreless island in this ocean and Fathom unceasingly for a bottom that will hold an anchor that it may not drag. It was almost always in the words of General David found he could drop his anchor and have a lock on to something substantial. He contributed pieces to the dial. After two years he became restless and went to New York. His brother John had died suddenly. He felt he needed a change of scenery. On good letters of introduction to Horace Greeley editor of The New York Tribune and other leaders in the journalistic field he secured a position teaching. He spent his first paycheck on sightseeing trips and a new pair of pants that cost $2 and a quarter. He hoped to sell some of his writing but discovered there was a difference between writing for the market and writing for one's satisfaction.
I was sent to the office of the lady's companion but I could not write anything companionable. The Shockley returned to Concord. He refused to join the Brook Farm experiment. No true one brave person will be content to live on such a footing with his fellow and himself as the laws of every household now require. I am impatient to withdraw myself from under its roof as an unclean spot. There is no circulation there. It is full of stagnant in the 30 papers. Henry David had been looking for circulation for a long time. The idea of living in the woods had been sneaking up on him. He conceived Walden as an illustration to his neighbors that a man could get back to basics Wilden was an experiment in living and he proved his point. I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately to front only the essential facts of life to see if I could not learn what it had to teach and not
when I came to die discover that I had not lived. Henry David now made his living by odd jobs. He was awakening his neighbors to his ideas of nature. He earned only enough to live. He borrowed an axe from al-Qaida and build a hut at a cost of twenty eight dollars and 12 cents on the shores of Walden Pond. And there he settled down to live deliberately. He wanted to study to observe and he felt even the scholar could get something out of a bit of manual labor from time to time. Emphasis on the time to time for work to Henry David had the overtone only of buying food and necessities. He was not a materialist. He felt the innate function of man was to live not work. He still uses the device of the paradox a device which Emerson frequently found annoying. Why should not the scholar if he is really wiser than the multitude do coursework now and then. Why not let his greater wisdom the neighbor him to do without things.
Best thought of the two years of world in part and behind the experiment stood him like a godfather to Henry David Henry David was putting into practice many of the series route world or had expounded to him. Henry David didn't have to worry about the lecture schedules of family heritage Emerson's essays including make sure we're responsible for the character of Sorrows adventure into the economy of essential living as though by way of forecast. Emerson had even reckon of a sort of world in dream experiment. Then as I say self-reliance his disciples throw was of course translating these ideas into action. Yes. In his dwellings so small you could hardly entertain an echo in it. And David arranged three chairs one for solitude two for friendship and three for society. He raised beans potatoes corn and turnips. His food cost him an average of twenty seven cents
a week. He got up at sunrise and bathed in the world and pond often sat on the sunny doorway of his truck lost in his own thoughts and observations. And he wasn't lonely. His friends came to call his. On a whimper from his intellectual friends Emerson Channing Bronson or her. Children came by looking for barriers and often stopped at work. Trans people strolling in the woods dropped by to pass the time of day. There were hunters fishermen dream deep thinkers. Well searching for the freedom of the soul and the like those of the hawk. It wasn't quite the ordinary thing to do. Go into the woods to live alone and write. But Henry David knew what he was doing. If a man does not keep pace with his companions perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears however measured or far away. If one advances confidently in the direction of his
dreams and endeavors to live the life which he had imagined he will meet with success unexpected in common hours and reciting the sound and nature was filled with friendly notes. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake not by mechanical aids but by an infinite expectation of the dawn which does not possess a cutscene are sound asleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture or to carve a statue and so to make a few objects beautiful but it is far more glorious to carbon paint the very atmosphere in medium through which we look which Marley we can do to affect the quality of the day. That is the highest advance every man is tasked to make his life even in its details.
Worldly or the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour. We cannot do justice to Paros Weldon in one broadcast to savor its flavor. You must read it yourself. But here as described by Henry David Thoreau are some of the sounds he heard during those two years and the words he put with them. As I sit at my window this summer afternoon hawks are circling above my clearing the tent of a of wild pigeons flying by twos and threes athwart my view of approaching restless on the two pine boughs above by house. Gives a voice to the air. A fish often pulls the glassy surface of the pond and brings up a fish. A mink steals out of the mine before my door and seizes a frog by the shore. The edge is bending under the weight of the reed birds flitting hither and thither and for the last half hour I have heard the rattle
of railroad cars now dying away. And then reviving like the beat of a partridge and they travel as from Boston to the country. The whistle of the locomotive penetrates my woods summer and winter sounding like the scream of a hawk sailing over some farmer's yard informing me that many restless city merchants are arriving within the circle of the time or adventurous country traders from the other side as they come under one horizon. They shout their warning to get on the track to the other road sometimes to the circle so that the cars are gone by and all the rest lyst world with them and the fishes in the pond no longer feel their rumbling I am more alone than ever that evening the distant glowing of some calm in the horizon beyond the woods sounded sweet melodious and at first I could mistake it for the voices of certain minstrels by whom I as was sometimes serenaded who might be
straining to hear the name. But soon I was not unpleasantly disappointed when it was prolonged to the cheap unnatural music. But. When other birds were still. The screech. I want to take up the strain like mourning women with their ancient Oulu their dismal scream is truly Ben Jones only in Rise midnight hags. It is no honest and blunt to wit to wound the poets but without jesting. A most solemn graveyard ditty. The mutual consolations of suicide lovers remembering the pangs and the delights of Soprano love in the end. I rejoice that there are I won't let them do the idiotic and maniac and hooting for man it is a sound admirably suited to Swann. Henry David Thoreau heard many other sounds to the baying of dogs wagons rumbling over bridges many others. I never
found the road I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude. Our life was frittered away by detail simplified. Simplify and simplify he did. While others allowed the complications of the industrial revolution of changing times to enter their lives he lived resolutely in the woods with his thoughts and with his sounds in all his writings he expressed his philosophy of individual ism and extol the right of men to withdraw from civilization and the conventions of society at LB. Henry David Thoreau found paradise where during his experiment in the woods the mind of Henry David was gradually rejecting the ideas of a mechanical utopia. He mentally forks the industrial revolution. He was increasingly suspicious of the growing functions of government but the abolitionist movement of the whole economic system he was trying to escape the job to make money system by
living modestly and by the work of his own hands. Somehow I managed to escape the tentacles of the government. That is until until it was discovered that he hadn't paid his pro taxes for six years. Orcutt had already gone to jail for refusing to pay the tax and Henry David was to follow his example. But I did not fully understand the story Henry. You came to town to get a mended shoe from the cobbler and I stayed in town in the jail. But why did they select you as an example my good friend. I will not let my dollar buy a man or a musket one with the one I will still make what you will get what advantage of the state I can. The government is using these taxes to finance the Mexican War. When a sixth of the population of a nation which is undertaken to be the refuge of liberty are slaves and the whole country is unjustly overrun and conquered by a power an army and subjected to military law.
I think that it is not too soon for an honest man to rebel and revolutionize solo convictions they disapprove of and that is not for me to say sir. I do not rebel against my duties to society. It is the will of the rulers of the state. I would object if the rulers have no essential right to interfere with my moral integrity. I should be the judge as to what my money is to find out. Well sir good luck to you. But I think your battle is lost. Why don't you just pay the money and be done with it. The principle of the principle. Henry David was in jail only one night. He was released on a relative paid his tax. The experiment's result of the writing of Sorrow's famous essay civil disobedience. I heartily accept the motto that government is best which governs least and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically carried out it finally amounts to this point John so I believe that government is best which
governs not at all. And when men are prepared for it that would be the kind of government which they will have. Government is it sort of pounded away at his basic premise. The most liberal government becomes a tyranny when it denies the right of the individual to be responsible for his intellectual and moral integrity. Yes it can overrule him but if it does he must resist in some manner. If the man's integrity is based on values which are indispensable to a self respecting man then resistance is indispensable and will become a power. Unconquerable in the long run even by any force in our own times there's essays there's a sourcebook Gandhi in his Indian campaigning for civil resistance would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious state which also I have imagined but not yet anyway I've seen it. They're all up world in LBM September of 1847.
He wrote in his journal there was a little stagnation. It may be about two o'clock in the afternoon the world's X on Crete as if it needed greasing. Perhaps it seemed to me I had several more lives to live and could not spare any more time for that one. I did not wish to take a cabin passage but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world all of which meant he had to adjust to the meaning of his experience in the woods and was ready to move on. Henry David again went to live with the Emersons. He had several manuscripts rejected had one published at his own expense the publisher asked him to take back the unsold copies as he was crap for storage space. Taking his pen in hand the smile on his face and Larry David wrote my library has been enriched today by seven hundred by humans all written by myself. There were other chapters in the life of Henry David thorough too lengthy to use here. His travels which were rather limited. The disappointment of having well been published but not
accepted or appreciated by the public. His career as Inspector of snowstorms otherwise known as chief surveyor of the town of Concord he was active in lecturing and did some writing. He was now reaching the afternoon of his life. He lived quietly in the town remaining somewhat aloof from the other residents maintaining his contacts with his friends. He sauntered along the street with his own peculiar walk often surely thinking of the happy days at Walton time he probably sensed was creeping up on him. His sister Helen to whom he was very close died in 1849 seven years later Henry David was himself ill with tuberculosis. It is said he caught cold while sitting in the snow counting the rings on a tree. He made a trip to Minnesota in an effort to improve his health but his health refused to be improved. The civil war began the year before Henry David died. The world he so loved
had apparently gone mad. And although we never talked much about it when gathered that it was on his mind a great deal. He resigned himself to the idea that he was going to return permanently to the nature he so loved. He worked as he was able to work according to his strength. The Atlantic Monthly hired him to do a series of articles based on nature to the very end. He proved to be awake is to be alive. Waldron was an implementation of man thinking thought and action to be awake is to be alive. If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours rather than love than money than fame give me truth. Great God. I ask people know me know how. And that I may not
disappoint myself. But in my action I may sorrow as high. As I can now discern what is clear. Is to be alive. There's a better place because of this man David thorough his soul was made by the noblest society he had in his joint life exhausted the capabilities of his were. Right and there is knowledge. Wherever there is virtually everything you do. You will find a. Heavenly David there is more data drawn. We have never and so we have never quite our garden. Such was the story of his one time sometimes it was the New England run us all. This has been the New England songs written and produced at Boston University
for the National Association of educational broadcasters in cooperation with the fund for adult education. The new songs was produced and directed by George W. Sloan Jr. assisted by William bag and Mel grey. Our script was written by said Diamond Dr. Richard C. carpenter was a research and content consultant Professor Donald born and are now writers our cast included John Codman Jr. Larry Hanson. Milt handsome. Stan Martin said men and which birdsongs heard were from the AL and Kellogg collection department of Ornithology Cornell University. We wish to thank the Massachusetts Audubon Society for their cooperation in preparation of this broadcast. The music for this program was taken from position places. To listen again next week to the new songs and program number eight.
A little strangeness between us. It's the story of Nathaniel Hawthorne. His friends and his activities. This is the take network.
New England renaissance
To be awake is to be alive!
Producing Organization
WBUR (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on Henry David Thoreau. It features select quotations from Walden and his other writing.
Series Description
A dramatic re-creation of the New England Renaissance produced at Boston University.
Broadcast Date
New England--History--1775-1865
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Director: Sloan, George, W., Jr.
Producer: Boston University
Producing Organization: WBUR (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
Speaker: Bourne, Donald
Speaker: Rightmire, Rod
Subject: Carpenter, Richard, 1916-
Writer: Diamond, Sidney, A.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-2-7 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:44
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Chicago: “New England renaissance; To be awake is to be alive!,” 1954-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 1, 2024,
MLA: “New England renaissance; To be awake is to be alive!.” 1954-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 1, 2024. <>.
APA: New England renaissance; To be awake is to be alive!. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from