11.05.2005

Thoreau's Journal: 05-Nov-1857

For a man to pride himself on this kind of wealth, as if it enriched him, is as ridiculous as if one struggling in the ocean with a bag of gold on his back should gasp out, “I am worth a hundred thousand dollars!” I see his ineffectual struggles just as plainly, and what it is that sinks him.

2 comments:

ACM said...

sort of curious about the line or two just preceding this (not that one can't extrapolate reasonably)...

Greg said...

The paragraph before reads:

"And where does your eastern stuff go to? [Note: Refers...to the lumber operations of the Maine woods.] Whose houses does it build? It has build Bangor, and what is the precise value of Bangor, omitting the lumber on its wharves? Western stuff is good enough for me. I think that this craving a better material than we deserve, and wasting what we get, is the secret of bankruptcy. And what is it, after all, but lumber? I do not wish to see any poor men in rich houses. I would rather see one rich man in a poor house. No more cripples on stilts..."

That paragraph ends in that ellipsis.