If I venture to displace ... the microscopical speck of dust... on the point of my finger,... I have done a deed which shakes the Moon in her path, which causes the Sun to be no longer the Sun, and which alters forever the destiny of multitudinous myriads of stars.
(Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), U.S. author. Eureka, George P. Putnam (1848).
Prefiguring the "butterfly effect.")
Most events recorded in history are more remarkable than important, like eclipses of the sun and moon, by which all are attracted, but whose effects no one takes the trouble to calculate.
(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. 134, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
Your honesty is not to be based either on religion or policy. Both your religion and policy must be based on it. Your honesty must be based, as the sun is, in vacant heaven; poised, as the lights in the firmament, which have rule over the day and over the night.
(John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. Time and Tide, letter 8 (1867).)
Behold the difference between the Oriental and the Occidental. The former has nothing to do in this world; the latter is full of activity. The one looks in the sun until his eyes are put out; the other follows him prone in his westward course.
(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. 147, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
The first in time and the first in importance of the influences upon the mind is that of nature. Every day, the sun; and after sunset, night and her stars. Ever the winds blow; ever the grass grows.
(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).)