A Week On The Concord And Merrimack Rivers By Henry David Thoreau

 -   The whole
history of commerce was made manifest in that scow turned bottom
upward on the shore.  Thus did men - Page 230
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The Whole History Of Commerce Was Made Manifest In That Scow Turned Bottom Upward On The Shore.

Thus did men begin to go down upon the sea in ships; _quaeque diu steterant in montibus altis, Fluctibus ignotis insultavere carinae;_ "and keels which had long stood on high mountains careered insultingly (_insultavere_) over unknown waves." (Ovid, Met.

I. 133.) We thought that it would be well for the traveller to build his boat on the bank of a stream, instead of finding a ferry or a bridge. In the Adventures of Henry the fur-trader, it is pleasant to read that when with his Indians he reached the shore of Ontario, they consumed two days in making two canoes of the bark of the elm-tree, in which to transport themselves to Fort Niagara. It is a worthy incident in a journey, a delay as good as much rapid travelling. A good share of our interest in Xenophon's story of his retreat is in the manoeuvres to get the army safely over the rivers, whether on rafts of logs or fagots, or sheep-skins blown up. And where could they better afford to tarry meanwhile than on the banks of a river?

As we glided past at a distance, these out-door workmen appeared to have added some dignity to their labor by its very publicness. It was a part of the industry of nature, like the work of hornets and mud-wasps.

The waves slowly beat, Just to keep the noon sweet, And no sound is floated o'er, Save the mallet on shore, Which echoing on high Seems a-calking the sky.

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