I am from time to time congratulating myself on my general want of success as a lecturer; apparent want of success, but is it not a real triumph? I do my work clean as I go along, and they will not be likely to want me anywhere again. So there is no danger of my repeating myself, and getting to a barrel of sermons, which you must upset, and begin again with.
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, February 7, 1855, to Thomas Cholmondeley, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 251, Houghton Mifflin (1906).