Quotation by Henry David Thoreau

MY DEAR FRIEND,—I believe a good many conversations with you were left in an unfinished state, and now indeed I don't know where to take them up. But I will resume some of the unfinished silence. I shall not hesitate to know you. I think of you as some elder sister of mine, whom I could not have avoided,—a sort of lunar influence,—only of such age as the moon, whose time is measured by her light. You must know that you represent to me woman, for I have not traveled very far or wide,—and what if I had?... You have helped to keep my life "on loft," as Chaucer says of Griselda, and in a better sense. You always seemed to look down on me as from some elevation,—some of your high humilities,—and I was the better for having to look up. I felt taxed not to disappoint your expectation; for could there be any accident so sad as to be respected for something better than we are? It was a pleasure even to go away from you, as it is not to meet some, as it apprised me of my high relations; and such a departure is a sort of further introduction and meeting. Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, May 22, 1843, to Lidia Jackson Emerson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 76, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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