Instead of water we got here a draught of beer,... a lumberer's drink, which would acclimate and naturalize a man at once,which would make him see green, and, if he slept, dream that he heard the wind sough among the pines.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Ktaadn" (1848) in The Maine Woods (1864), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 3, p. 30, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
It seems not more reasonable to leave the right of printing unrestrained, because writers may be afterwards censured, than it would be to sleep with doors unbolted, because by our laws we can hang a thief.
(Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. "Milton," Lives of the English Poets (1779-1781).
Discussing Milton's Areopagitica.)
A farmer, a hunter, a soldier, a reporter, even a philosopher, may be daunted; but nothing can deter a poet, for he is actuated by pure love. Who can predict his comings and goings? His business calls him out at all hours, even when doctors sleep.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Winter Visitors," Walden (1854).)
We must be very suspicious of the deceptions of the element of time. It takes a good deal of time to eat or to sleep, or to earn a hundred dollars, and a very little time to entertain a hope and an insight which becomes the light of our life.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).)
Such is always the pursuit of knowledge. The celestial fruits, the golden apples of the Hesperides, are ever guarded by a hundred-headed dragon which never sleeps, so that it is an Herculean labor to pluck them.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Wild Apples" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 307, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
Thoreau refers here to one of the labors of Hercules in Greek mythology.)