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.


Anonymous said...

It would appear that Thoreau was considering other's pride in possessing lumber from the Maine woods rather than the more common "western" local lumber, and this discussion is followed by an ellipsis mark and then today's quote. So whether part of the passage was illegible or edited out or considered unimportant by Thoreau in explaining further how lumber to build houses was status in his time.
I imagine that Thoreau would be amused at all the OSB, veneer and plywood that is used to build houses today; and at how his idea of a cottage or hut has changed to a luxurious aspect nowadays.

Northland said...

Yeah, and Thoreau would be astonished by the American lifestyle of profligate consumption of today. His yankeefrugality would be offended.