Quotation by Henry David Thoreau

The most foreign and picturesque structures on the Cape, to an inlander, not excepting the salt-works, are the windmills,—gray- looking, octagonal towers, with long timbers slanting to the ground in the rear, and there resting on a cart-wheel, by which their fans are turned round to face the wind.... They looked loose and slightly locomotive, like huge wounded birds, trailing a wing or a leg, and reminded one of pictures of the Netherlands. Being on elevated ground, and high in themselves, they serve as landmarks,—for there are no tall trees, or other objects commonly, which can be seen at a distance in the horizon; though the outline of the land itself is so firm and distinct, that an insignificant cone, or even a precipice of sand, is visible at a great distance from over the sea. Sailors making the land commonly steer either by the windmills, or the meeting-houses. In the country, we are obliged to steer by the meeting-houses alone. Yet the meeting-house is a kind of windmill, which runs one day in seven, turned either by the winds of doctrine or public opinion, or more rarely by the winds of Heaven, where another sort of grist is ground, of which, if it be not all bran or musty, if it be not plaster, we trust to make the bread of life.
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Cape Cod (1855-1865), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, pp. 34-35, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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