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.


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.