hanjabanja (andabusers) wrote,

Henry David Thoreau - Cape Cod

p1: "Take Time by the forelock. It is also the safest part to take a serpent by."

p29: "The Pilgrims appear to have regarded themselves as Not Any's representatives."
By Heman Doane: "Two hundred years have, on the wings of Time, / Passed with their joys and woes, since thou, Old Tree! / Put forth thy first leaves in this foreign clime, / Transplanted from the soil beyond the sea. / ***** / [These stars represent the more clerical lines, and also those which have deceased.]"

p33, by Rev Samuel Treat: "Thou must erelong go to the bottomless pit. Hell hath enlarged herself, and is ready to receive thee. There is room enough for thy entertainment ..."

p40: "The breakers looked like droves of a thousand white horses of Neptune, rushing to the shore, with their white manes streaming far behind; and when at length the sun shone for a moment, their manes were rainbow-tinted. Also, the long kelpweed was tossed up from time to time, like the tails of sea-cows sporting in the brine."
On a Cape Cod wrecker: "It was like an old sail endowed with life, - a hanging cliff of weather-beaten flesh, - like one of the clay boulders which occurred in that sand bank. He had on a hat which had seen salt water, and a coat of many pieces and colors, though it was mainly the color of the beach, as if it had been sanded. His variegated back - for his coat had many patches, even between the shoulders - was a rich study to us, when we had passed him and looked around. It might have been dishonorable for him to have so many scars behind, it is true, if he had not had many more and more serious ones in front. He looked as if he sometimes saw a doughnut, but never descended to comfort; too grave to laugh, too tough to cry; as indifferent as a clam, - like a sea-clam with hat on and legs, that was out walking the strand."

p47, from Seaweed by Henry wadsworth Longfellow: "When descends on the Atlantic / The gigantic / Storm-wind of the equinox, / Landward in his wrath he scourges / The toiling surges, / Laden with sea-weed from the rocks."

p49: "Before the land rose out of the ocean, and became dry land, chaos reigned; and between high and low water mark, a sort of chaos reigns still, which only anomalous creatures can inhabit."

p53: "... we put our eyes, by turns, to a knot-hole in the door, and, after long looking, without seeing, into the dark, - not knowing how many shipwrecked men's bones we might see at last, looking with the eye of faith, knowing that, though to him that knocketh it may not always be opened, yet to him that looketh long enough through a knot-hole the inside shall be visible, - for we had had some practice of looking inward, - by steadily keeping our other ball covered from the light meanwhile, putting the outward world behind us, ocean and land, and the beach, - till the pupil became enlarged and collected the rays of light that were wandering in that dark (for the pupil shall be enlarged by looking; there never was so dark a night but a faithful and patient eye, however small, might at last prevail over it), - after all this, I say, things began to take shape to our vision, - if we may use this expression where there was nothing but emptiness, - and we obtained the long wished-for insight."

p54: "Indeed, it was the wreck of all cosmical beauty there within."

p72: "The saffron-robed Dawn rose in haste from the streams / Of Ocean, that she might bring light to immortals and to mortals."

p74: "Is Heaven such a harbor as the Liverpool docks?"

p75: "They were alone with the beach and the sea, whose hollow roar seemed addressed to them, and I was impressed as if there was an understanding between them and the ocean which necessarily left me out, with my snivelling sympathies. That dead body had taken possession of the shore, and reigned over it as no living one could, in the name of a certain majesty which belonged to it."

p82: "It was literally (or littorally) walking down to the shore ..."

p84: "The heroes and discoverers have found true more than was previously believed, only when they were expecting and dreaming of something more than their contemporaries dreamed of, or even themselves discovered, that is, when they were in a frame of mind befitted to behold the truth. Referred to the world's standard, they are always insane."

p86, Humphrey Gilbert 1583 "We are as near to Heaven by sea as by land."
"There must be something monstrous, methinks, in a vision of the sea bottom from over some bank a thousand miles from the shore, more awful than its imagined bottomless; a drowned continent, all livid and frothing at the nostrils, like the body of a drowned man, which is better sunk deep than near the surface."

p104: "... the shining torch of the sun fell into the ocean."

p119: "Thus he struggled, by every method, to keep his light shining before men. Surely the light-house keeper has a responsible, if an easy, office. When his lamp goes out, he goes out; or, at most, only one such accident is pardoned."

p133: "Every vessel is an ark."

p152: "The godlike part of the cod, which, like the human head, is curiously and wonderfully made, forsooth has but little less brain in it, - coming to such an end! to be craunched by cows! I felt my own skull crack from sympathy. What if the heads of men were to be cut off to feed the cows of a superior order of beings who inhabit the islands in the ether? Away goes your fine brain, the house of thought and instinct, to swell the cud of a ruminant animal!"

p167, Sir Ferdinand Gorges, in Maine Hist. Coll., Vol II, p68): an "Imaginary Province called Laconia".

p185: "... in the shape of an egg-shell painted red, and placed high on iron pillars, like the ovum of a sea monster floating on the waves, - destined to be phosphorescent."
"... but when your light goes out, it will be a sign that the light of your life has gone out also."

p192: "Here is the spring of springs, the waterfall of waterfalls."
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