Quotation by Henry David Thoreau

There were many vessels, like gulls, skimming over the surface of the sea, now half concealed in its troughs, their dolphin- strikers plowing the water, now tossed on the top of the billows.... Some of these vessels lagged behind, while others steadily went ahead. We narrowly watched their rig and the cut of their jibs, and how they walked the water, for there was all the difference between them that there is between living creatures. But we wondered that they should be remembering Boston and New York and Liverpool, steering for them, out there; as if the sailor might forget his peddling business on such a grand highway. They had perchance brought oranges from the Western Isles; and were they carrying back the peel? We might as well transport our old traps across the ocean of eternity. Is that but another "trading flood," with its blessed isles? Is Heaven such a harbor as the Liverpool docks?
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Cape Cod (1855-1865), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, pp. 105-106, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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