Chapter 5 Solitude
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This is the same paragraph I just used...... and as you can see it links itself to the Chapter on visitors by mentioning the informality of Thoreau's life. Here were are introduced to the clues Thoreau would have that guests had stopped by and left, little things that wouldn't be apparent to me or maybe to you......
"When I return to my house I find that visitors have been there and left their cards, either a bunch of flowers, or a wreath of evergreen, or a name in pencil on a yellow walnut leaf or a chip. They who come rarely to the woods take some little piece of the forest into their hands to play with by the way, which they leave, either intentionally or accidentally. One has peeled a willow wand, woven it into a ring, and dropped it on my table. I could always tell if visitors had called in my absence, either by the bended twigs or grass, or the print of their shoes, and generally of what sex or age or quality they were by some slight trace left, as a flower dropped, or a bunch of grass plucked and thrown away, even as far off as the railroad, half a mile distant, or by the lingering odor of a cigar or pipe. Nay, I was frequently notified of the passage of a traveller along the highway sixty rods off by the scent of his pipe."
In the Chapter "Visitors," this informality continues..... there's only a few chairs, unexpected groups might be left to stand, and he muses on how differently gathering are in his "small" home in comparison to ".....houses, both public and private, with their almost innumerable apartments, their huge halls and their cellars for the storage of wines and other munitions of peace, appear to me extravagantly large for their inhabitants."