Quotation by Henry David Thoreau

But it chanced the other day that I scented a white water- lily.... It is the emblem of purity.... What confirmation of our hopes is in the fragrance of this flower! I shall not so soon despair of the world for it, notwithstanding slavery, and the cowardice and want of principle of Northern men. It suggests what kinds of laws have prevailed longest and widest, and still prevail, and that the time may come when man's deeds will smell as sweet. Such is the odor which the plant emits.... It reminds me that Nature has been partner to no Missouri compromise. I scent no compromise in the fragrance of the water-lily.
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Slavery in Massachusetts" (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, pp. 407-408, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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