Quotation by Henry David Thoreau

The next summer I saw a sloop from Chatham dragging for anchors and chains just off this shore.... It is a singular employment, at which men are regularly hired and paid for their industry, to hunt to-day in pleasant weather for anchors which have been lost,—the sunken faith and hope of mariners, to which they trusted in vain; now, perchance,... if the roadsteads of the spiritual ocean could be thus dragged, what rusty flukes of hope deceived and parted chain cables of faith might again be windlassed aboard! enough to sink the finder's craft, or stock new navies to the end of time. The bottom of the sea is strewn with anchors, some deeper and some shallower, and alternately covered and uncovered by the sand, perchance with a small length of iron cable still attached,—to which where is the other end? So many unconcluded tales to be continued another time. So, if we had diving-bells adapted to the spiritual deeps, we should see anchors with their cables attached, as thick as eels in vinegar, all wriggling vainly toward their holding-ground. But that is not treasure for us which another man has lost; rather it is for us to seek what no other man has found or can find,—not be Chatham men, dragging for anchors.
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Cape Cod (1855-1865), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, pp. 162-163, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
Surprise me with a
The Columbia World of Quotations © 1996, Columbia University Press.
Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. Except as otherwise permitted by written agreement, the following are prohibited: copying substantial portions or the entirety of the work in machine readable form, making multiple printouts thereof, and other uses of the work inconsistent with U.S. and applicable foreign copyright and related laws.
Copyright ©  2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
About PRIVACY POLICY Terms Careers Advertise with Us Contact Us Suggest a Word Help