Spirit is the life that itself cuts into life: with its own torment it increases its own knowledge. Did you already know that?
(Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 4, p. 134, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Zarathustra, in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Second Part, "On the Famous Wise Men," (1883).)
What have I to do with plows? I cut another furrow than you see.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 54, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
It does not matter what the whip is; it is none the less a whip, because you have cut thongs for it out of your own souls.
(John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. address, 1865, Royal Military Academy, repr. in The Works of John Ruskin, vol. 18, eds. E.T. Cook and Alexander Weddesburn (1905). lecture 3, sct. 119, Crown of Wild Olives (1865).)
Milton, Madam, was a genius that could cut a Colossus from a rock; but he could not carve heads upon cherry-stones.
(Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Quoted in Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, June 13, 1784 (1791).
Said to author Hannah More when she wondered how a poet capable of writing Paradise Lost had written such poor sonnets.)