130 match(es) found in quotations


Quotations
Henry David Thoreau :
On the thirty-first day of March, one hundred and forty-two years before this, probably about this time in the afternoon, there were hurriedly paddling down this part of the river, between the pine woods which then fringed these banks, two white women and a boy, who had left an island at the mouth of the Contoocook before daybreak. They were lightly clad for the season, in the English fashion, and handled their paddles unskillfully, but with nervous energy and determination, and at the bottom of their canoe lay the still bleeding scalps of ten of the aborigines. They were Hannah Dustan, and her nurse, Mary Neff,... and an English boy, named Samuel Lennardson, escaping from captivity among the Indians. On the 15th of March previous, Hannah Dustan had been compelled to rise from childbed, and half dressed, with one foot bare, accompanied by her nurse, commence an uncertain march, in still inclement weather, through the snow and the wilderness. She had seen her seven elder children flee with their father, but knew not of their fate. She had seen her infant's brains dashed out against an apple tree, and had left her own and her neighbors' dwellings in ashes. When she reached the wigwam of her captor, situated on an island in the Merrimack, more than twenty miles above where we now are, she had been told that she and her nurse were soon to be taken to a distant Indian settlement, and there made to run the gauntlet naked.... Having determined to attempt her escape, she instructed the boy to inquire of one of the men, how he should dispatch an enemy in the quickest manner, and take his scalp. "Strike 'em there," said he, placing his finger on his temple, and he also showed him how to take off the scalp. On the morning of the 31st she arose before daybreak, and awoke her nurse and the boy, and taking the Indians' tomahawks, they killed them all in their sleep, excepting one favorite boy, and one squaw who fled wounded with him to the woods. The English boy struck the Indian who had given him the information, on the temple, as he had been directed. They then collected all the provision they could find, and took their master's tomahawk and gun, and scuttling all the canoes but one, commenced their flight to Haverhill, distant about sixty miles by the river. But after having proceeded a short distance, fearing that her story would not be believed if she should escape to tell it, they returned to the silent wigwam, and taking off the scalps of the dead, put them into a bag as proofs of what they had done, and then, retracing their steps to the shore in the twilight, recommenced their voyage.
[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, pp. 341-343, Houghton Mifflin (1906). As Thoreau later makes clear, the "apple tree" in this passage signals that this story is a new world replication of the Fall of Adam and Eve.]
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Henry David Thoreau :
The life in us is like the water in the river. It may rise this year higher than man has ever known it, and flood the parched uplands; even this may be the eventful year, which will drown out all our muskrats. It was not always dry land where we dwell. I see far inland the banks which the stream anciently washed, before science began to record its freshets. Every one has heard the story which has gone the rounds of New England, of a strong and beautiful bug which came out of the dry leaf of an old table of apple-tree wood, which had stood in a farmer's kitchen for sixty years, first in Connecticut, and afterward in Massachusetts,—from an egg deposited in the living tree many years earlier still, as appeared by counting the annual layers beyond it; which was heard gnawing out for several weeks, hatched perchance by the heat of an urn. Who does not feel his faith in a resurrection and immortality strengthened by hearing of this? Who knows what beautiful and winged life, whose egg has been buried for ages under many concentric layers of woodenness in the dead dry life of society, deposited at first in the alburnum of the green and living tree, which has been gradually converted into the semblance of its well-seasoned tomb,—heard perchance gnawing out now for years by the astonished family of man, as they sat round the festal board,—may unexpectedly come forth from amidst society's most trivial and handselled furniture, to enjoy its perfect summer life at last! I do not say that John or Jonathan will realize all this; but such is the character of that morrow which mere lapse of time can never make to dawn. The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.
[Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, pp. 366-367, Houghton Mifflin (1906). "John or Jonathan" refer to the two stereotypes of England and America during Thoreau's day: John Bull and his wayward son, "Jonathan" (the predecessor of "Uncle Sam").]
Read more quotations about / on: life
Henry David Thoreau :
With a bending sail we glided rapidly by Tyngsborough and Chelmsford, each holding in one hand half of a tart country apple pie which we had purchased to celebrate our return, and in the other a fragment of the newspaper in which it was wrapped, devouring these with divided relish, and learning the news which had transpired since we sailed. The river here opened into a broad and straight reach of great length, which we bounded merrily over before a smacking breeze, with a devil-may-care look in our faces, and our boat a white bone in its mouth, and a speed which greatly astonished some scow boatmen whom we met. The wind in the horizon rolled like a flood over valley and plain, and every tree bent to the blast, and the mountains like school-boys turned their cheeks to it.... Thus we sailed, not being able to fly, but as next best, making a long furrow in the fields of the Merrimack toward our home, with our wings spread, but never lifting our heel from the watery trench; gracefully plowing homeward with our brisk and willing team, wind and stream, pulling together, the former yet a wild steer, yoked to his more sedate fellow. It was very near flying, as when the duck rushes through the water with an impulse of her wings, throwing the spray about her before she can rise. How we had stuck fast if drawn up but a few feet on the shore!
[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, pp. 384-385, Houghton Mifflin (1906).]
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Henry David Thoreau :
It would be a pleasant pastime to find suitable names for the hundred varieties which go to a single heap at the cider-mill. Would it not tax a man's invention,—no one to be named after a man, and all in the lingua vernacula? Who shall stand godfather at the christening of the wild apples? It would exhaust the Latin and Greek languages, if they were used, and make the lingua vernacula flag. We should have to call in the sunrise and the sunset, the rainbow and the autumn woods and the wild-flowers, and the woodpecker and the purple finch and the squirrel and the jay and the butterfly, the November traveler and the truant boy, to our aid.
[Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Wild Apples" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 315, Houghton Mifflin (1906).]
Read more quotations about / on: butterfly, rainbow, sunset, purple, autumn
Henry David Thoreau :
Every wild apple shrub excites our expectation thus, somewhat as every wild child. It is, perhaps, a prince in disguise. What a lesson to man! So are human beings, referred to the highest standard, the celestial fruit which they suggest and aspire to bear, browsed on by fate; and only the most persistent and strongest genius defends itself and prevails, sends a tender scion upward at last, and drops its perfect fruit on the ungrateful earth. Poets and philosophers and statesmen thus spring up in the country pastures, and outlast the hosts of unoriginal men.
[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). This passage concludes a long meditation upon the life cycle of the wild apple tree, browsed upon by cattle in the field in which it sprouts, battered by the elements, and yet triumphant at the last.]
Read more quotations about / on: fate, spring, perfect, child
Saunders Redding :
Except for the beast fables, which are anciently derived from the world's multi-racial heritage, American Negro humor is rooted in social oppression. And—again excepting the animal fables—it differs from classical Western and white American humor in another respect. It is totally devoid of those myth-making and myth-transmuting elements and symbols that appeal so deeply to the American mind in the works of the tall-tale tellers such as Davy Crockett, Seba Smith, Mike Fink, and Mark Twain. There are no Rip Van Winkles, Johnny Appleseeds, Paul Bunyans, or Calamity Janes—and none bearing the faintest resemblance to them—in Negro American humor. The myth-making figures in the literature of black Americans are the blues-haunted characters. They are Stagolee, John Henry, and Big Boy; they are Mary Lou, Frankie, and Sister Caroline. And they are not funny, least of all to the nameless hundreds of folk-Negroes who created them and the still-living thousands who love them and perpetuate them in song and story.
[Saunders Redding (1906-1988), U.S. educator. Laughing on the Outside, introduction, ed. Philip Sterling, Grosset (1965).]
Read more quotations about / on: humor
Billie Jean King :
I ... like being successful. I somehow always knew that I would succeed. I had a great sense of destiny from the time I was very young.... When I was only about five or six years old, I was standing with my mother in the kitchen at home in Long Beach. I told her flat out that when I grew up I was going to be the best at something. She just smiled and kept peeling potatoes or whatever it was she was doing. She said, "Yes, dear; yes, of course, dear," as if I had simply said that I was going to my room or going to eat an apple ...
[Billie Jean King (b. 1943), U.S. tennis player. Billie Jean, ch. 2 (1982). King became the world's top-ranked woman tennis player.]
Read more quotations about / on: beach, destiny, mother, home, time
Peg Bracken :
Kitchens were different then, too—not only what came out of them, but their smells and sounds. A hot pie cooling smells different from a frozen pie thawing. Oilcloth and linoleum and apples in an open bowl and ruffled rubber aprons make a different aromatic mix from Formica and ceramic tile and mangoes in an acrylic fruit ripener and plastic-coated aprons printed with "Who invited all these tacky people?" And the kitchen sounds. I am not sure that today's kitchen is noisier. But the noises are different. Today you get the song of the food processor and the blender, the intermittent hum of the reefer and the freezer, the buzz-slosh-and-grunt of the dishwasher, the violently audible digestive processes of the waste disposal in the sink. Then it was the whir and clatter of the hand-powered eggbeater, the thunk-thunk-thunk of somebody mashing potatoes, or, in green-pea season, the crisp pop of pea pod and the rattle-rattle-rattle of peas into the pan.
[Peg Bracken (b. 1918), U.S. humorist. A Window Over the Sink, ch. 5, Harcourt Brace (1981).]
Read more quotations about / on: today
Ian Shoales :
People on the East Coast regard people west of, say, Philadelphia as either slightly cute or slightly repugnant, alien life forms. Any show that comes from out of town to New York invariably gets a review which says in effect, "They might like this stuff in Hicksville, but this is the Apple, Kids. This is the eye of God." Californians don't have that kind of arrogance, luckily, because they can't pay attention long enough to finish anything. That's why so many Californians are consultants or producers, and so many people in the East are writers or directors. Never mind that most writers on the best-seller lists couldn't put a well-formed sentence together if you gave them the glue, or that the so-called "serious" writers only write about writers writing stories about writers writing stories, the two coasts are still the cultural power centers of America: books, theater, and art in the East; movies, music, and TV in the West.
[Ian Shoales (b. 1949), U.S. author, radio commentator. "Bicoastal," I Gotta Go, Putnam (1985).]
Read more quotations about / on: people
John Ashbery :
For the shoe pinches, even though it fits perfectly. Apples were made to be gathered, also the whole host of the world's ailments and troubles. There is no time like the present for giving in to this temptation. Tomorrow you'll weep what of it?
[John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "The Ecclesiast."]
Read more quotations about / on: tomorrow, time, world
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