Quotations About / On: NATURE

  • 51.
    Nature is commonplace. Imitation is more interesting.
    (Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. Quoted in Charlie Chaplin, My Autobiography, ch. 20 (1964).)
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  • 52.
    Human-nature will not change.
    (Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. response to a serenade, Nov. 10, 1864. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 8, p. 101, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990).)
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  • 53.
    The most damaging prejudice consists of banning any kind of investigation of nature.
    (Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Travels, from Makarie's Archive (1829).)
  • 54.
    Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.
    (John Updike (b. 1932), U.S. author, critic. Self-Consciousness: Memoirs, ch. 3 (1989).)
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  • 55.
    Nature has made up her mind that what cannot defend itself shall not be defended.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Courage," Society and Solitude (1870).)
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  • 56.
    There is in my nature, methinks, a singular yearning toward all wildness.
    (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).)
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  • 57.
    Searching nature I taste self but at one tankard, that of my own being.
    (Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889), British poet, Jesuit priest. Comments on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. Poems and Prose of Gerard Manley Hopkins, ed. W.H. Gardner (1953).)
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  • 58.
    It is Nature's own bird which lives on buds and diet-drink.
    (Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 305, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
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  • 59.
    How meanly and grossly do we deal with nature!
    (Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Paradise (To Be) Regained" (1843), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 284, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
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  • 60.
    Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, Introduction (1836, revised and repr. 1849). Emerson goes on to explain that by "nature" he means everything that is "not me," hence not only the trees and the sun and the moon, but other people, art, as well as one's own body. This formulation with its Cartesian echoes becomes articulated in more acrimonious (and ironic) terms in the essay "Self-Reliance," when Emerson writes: "Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say 'I think,' 'I am,' but quotes some saint or sage." The saint or sage is, of course, Descartes.)
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