Quotation by Henry David Thoreau

The nearest beach to us on the other side, whither we looked, due east, was on the coast of Galicia, in Spain, whose capital is Santiago, though by old poets' reckoning it should have been Atlantis or the Hesperides; but heaven is found to be farther west now.... A little south of east was Palos, where Columbus weighed anchor, and farther yet the pillars which Hercules set up; concerning which when we inquired at the top of our voices what was written on them,—for we had the morning sun in our faces, and could not see distinctly,—the inhabitants shouted Ne plus ultra (no more beyond), but the wind bore to us the truth only, plus ultra (more beyond), and over the Bay westward was echoed ultra (beyond). We spoke to them through the surf about the Far West, the true Hesperia, heos peras or end of the day, the This Side Sundown, where the sun was extinguished in the Pacific, and we advised them to pull up stakes and plant those pillars of theirs on the shore of California, whither all our folks were gone,—the only ne plus ultra now. Whereat they looked crestfallen on their cliffs, for we had taken the wind out of all their sails.
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Cape Cod (1855-1865), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, pp. 177-179, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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