Our housekeeping is mendicant, our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlor soldiers. We shun the ragged battle of fate, where strength is born.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Self-Reliance," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
I believe you to be a brave and a skillful soldier, which, of course, I like. I also believe you do not mix politics with your profession, in which you are right.
(Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. letter to Joseph Hooker, Jan. 26, 1863. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 6, p. 78, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990).
Preliminary words to calling a general on the carpet.)
Man is not a farmer, or a professor, or an engineer, but he is all. Man is priest, and scholar, and statesman, and producer, and soldier.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Oration, August 31, 1837, delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Cambridge, Massachusetts. "The American Scholar," repr. In Emerson: Essays and Lectures, ed. Joel Porte (1983).)
It is not enough that our life is an easy one. We must live on the stretch, retiring to our rest like soldiers on the eve of a battle, looking forward to the strenuous sortie of the morrow.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "The Service: Qualities of the Recruit" (1840), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 279, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
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).)