Why should not our whole life and its scenery be actually thus fair and distinct? All our lives want a suitable background. They should at least, like the life of the anchorite, be as impressive to behold as objects in a desert, a broken shaft or crumbling mound against a limitless horizon.
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 45, Houghton Mifflin (1906).