...after lecturing twice this winter i feel that i am in danger of cheapening myself by trying to become a successful lecturer ie. to interest my audiences. i am disappointed to find that most that i am and value myself for is lost, or worse than lost, on my audience. i fail to get even the attention of the mass. i should suit them better if i suited myself less. i feel that the public demand an average man, - average thoughts and manners - not originality, nor even absolute excellence. you cannot interest them except as you are like them and sympathize with them. i would rather that my audience come to me than that i should go to them, and so they be sifted… henry david thoreau 06 dec 1854