Sunday 29 May 2016


2016-22  Elbert Hubbard's  "The Boy from Missouri Valley"

Elbert \hubbard [1856-1915]

Elbert Green Hubbard [1856-1915] was a renowned  American writer, publisher, artist, philosopher, and founder of the Roycroft Arts and Crafts community, and biographer. He wrote Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great (Vols. 1-9), a series of one hundred and eighty biographies of highly influential literary figures including Charles DickensGeorge EliotJean Jacques RousseauJonathan SwiftWilliam Shakespeare, and Walt Whitmanand is best known as the author of  "A Message to Garcia".  


Well, it wasn't so very long ago only about twenty-three years. I was foreman of a factory, and he lived a thousand miles away, at Missouri Valley, Iowa.

I was twenty-four, and he was fourteen. His brother was traveling for the Firm, and one day this brother showed me a letter from the lad in Missouri Valley. The missive was so painstaking, so exact, and revealed the soul of the child so vividly, that I laughed aloud a laugh that died away to a sigh.

The boy was beating his wings against the bars of Missouri Valley; he wanted opportunity. And all he got was unending toil, dead monotony, stupid misunderstanding, and corn-bread and molasses.

There wasn't love enough in Missouri Valley to go round that was plain. The boy's mother had been of the Nancy Hanks type, worn, yellow and sad and had given up the fight and been left to sleep her long sleep in a prairie grave on one of the many migrations. The father's ambition had got stuck in the mud, and under the tongue-lash of a strident, strenuous, gee-haw consort, he had run up the white flag. The boy wanted to come East.

It was a dubious investment, a sort of financial plunge, a blind pool to send for this buckwheat midget. The fare was thirty-three dollars and fifty cents. The Proprietor, a cautious man, said that the boy wasn't worth the money. There were plenty of boys; the alleys swarmed with them. So there the matter rested.

But the lad in Missouri Valley didn't let it rest long. He had been informed that we did not consider him worth thirty three dollars and fifty cents, so he offered to split the difference. He would come for half -- he could ride on half-fare -- the Railroad Agent at Missouri Valley said that if he bought a half-fare ticket, got on a train, and explained to the conductor and everybody that he was eleven, going on twelve, and stuck to it, it would be all right; and he would not expect any wages until he had paid us back.

He had no money of his own, all he earned was taken from him by the kind folks with whom he lived, and would be until noon of the day he was twenty-one years old. Did we want to invest sixteen dollars and seventy five cents in him?

We waxed reckless and sent the money more than that, we sent a twenty-dollar bill. We plunged!

In just a week the investment arrived. He did not advise when he would come, or how. He came, we saw, he conquered. Why should he advise of his coming? He just reported, and his first words were the Duke's motto : "I am here."

..."I am here!" said the lad, and he planked down on the desk three dollars and twenty-five cents. It was the change from the twenty-dollar bill. "Didn't you have to spend any money on the way here?" I asked. "No, I had all I wanted to eat," he replied, and pointed to a basket that sat on the floor.

I called in the Proprietor, and we looked the lad over. We walked around him twice, gazed at each other, and adjourned to the hallway for consultation. The boy was not big enough to do a man's work, and if we set him to work in the factory with the city boys, they would surely pick on him and make life for him very uncomfortable.

He had a half-sad and winsome look that had won from our hard hearts something akin to pity. He was so innocent, so full of faith, and we saw at a glance that he had been overworked, underfed -- at least misfed -- and underloved. He was different from other boys and in spite of the grime of travel, and the freckles, he was pretty as a ground-squirrel.

His faith made him whole: he won us. But why had we brought him to the miserable and dirty city this grim place of disillusionment! "He might index the letter-book?" I ventured. "That's it, yes, let him index the letter-book."

So I went back and got the letter-book. But the boy's head only come to the top of the stand-up desk, and when he reached for the letter-book on the desk he had to grope for it. I gave him my high-stool, but this was too low.

"I know what to do" he said. Through the window that looked from the office to the shipping-room, he had espied a pile of boxes. "I know what to do!" In a minute he had placed two boxes end to end, nailed them together, clinched the nails, and carried his improvised high-stool into the office. "I know what to do!" And he usually did; and does yet.

We found him a boarding-place with a worthy widow whose children had all grown big and flown. Her house was empty, and so was her mother-heart; she was like that old woman in Rab, who was placed on the surgeon's table and given chloroform, and who held to her breast an imaginary child, and crooned a lullaby to a babe, dead thirty years before. So the boy boarded with the widow and worked in the office.

He indexed the letter-book, he indexed everything. And then he filed everything, letters, bills, circulars. He stamped the letters going out, swept the office, and dusted things that had never been dusted before. He was orderly, alert, active, cheerful, and the Proprietor said to me one day, "I wonder how we ever got along without that boy from Missouri Valley!"

...Twenty-three years! That factory has grown to be the biggest of its kind in America. The red-haired boy from Missouri Valley is its manager. Emerson says, "Every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man."

Sunday 22 May 2016


2016-21  Elbert Hubbard's   "A Message to Garcia"

Elbert Hubbard [1856-1915]
"A Message to Garcia" is a best-selling inspirational essay by Elbert Hubbard, published in 1899. It has been made into two motion pictures. The essay bemoans the difficulty of finding employees who obey instructions without needless questions, work diligently without supervision, take initiative to overcome obstacles, and complete assignments promptly. It bewails the number of incompetent, lazy, thoughtless, obstructionist, employees who impede the work of the good employees, while admitting that these benighted people may not be able to help themselves.

In Elbert Hubbard's own words: "This literary trifle, "A Message to Garcia," was written one evening after supper, in a single hour. It was on 22 February, 1899, Washington's Birthday, and we were just going to press with the March "Philistine." The thing leaped hot from my heart, written after a trying day, when I had been endeavoring to train some rather delinquent villagers to abjure the comatose state and get radioactive. The immediate suggestion, though, came from a little argument over the teacups, when my boy Bert suggested that Rowan* was the real hero of the Cuban War. Rowan had gone alone and done the thing-- carried the message to Garcia. 

It came to me like a flash! Yes, the boy is right, the hero is the man who does his work--who carries the message to Garcia. I got up from the table, and wrote "A Message to Garcia." I thought so little of it that we ran it in the Magazine without a heading. The edition went out, and soon orders began to come for extra copies of the March "Philistine," a dozen, fifty, a hundred; a thousand and a million. The article was reprinted in over two hundred magazines and newspapers. It has been translated into all written languages. Over forty million copies of "A Message to Garcia" have been printed. This is said to be a larger circulation than any other literary venture has ever attained during the lifetime of the author, in all history!"

Rowan [1857-1943]
*Colonel Andrews Summers ROWAN was born in Gap Mills, Virginia, in 1857. He was an American officer and graduated of West Point class of 1881. 
In the years before the Spanish American War, Rowan served several frontiers posts and with military intelligence in Latin America. He was interested in Cuba in particular and wrote a book about the island. With tensions between the United States and the Spanish (who then ruled Cuba) growing, President William McKinley saw value in establishing contact with the Cuban rebels who could prove a valuable ally in case of war with Spain. 
McKinley asked Colonel Arthur Wagner to suggest an officer to make contact with Garcia’s rebels. Wagner suggested Rowan who then travelled to Cuba via Jamaica. Rowan met Garcia in the Oriente Mountains and established a rapport. Rowan was presented the “Distinguished Service Cross” for his extraordinary heroism in action in connection with the operations in Cuba in May, 1898.

 "A Message to Garcia" [1899]
  By Elbert Hubbard 

In all this Cuban business there is one man stands out on the horizon of my memory like Mars at perihelion. When war broke out between Spain and the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents [Garcia]. Garcia was somewhere in the mountain vastness of Cuba, no one knew where. No mail nor telegraph message could reach him. The President must secure his cooperation, and quickly. 

What to do! Some one said to the President, "There’s a fellow by the name of Rowan will find Garcia for you, if anybody can." Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. 

Garcia, leader of Cuban Rebels
How "the fellow by the name of Rowan" took the letter, sealed it up in an oil-skin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, and in three weeks came out on the other side of the Island, having traversed a hostile country on foot, and delivered his letter to Garcia, are things I have no special desire now to tell in detail. 

The point I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, "Where is he at?" 

By the Eternal! there is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college of the land. 

It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies: do the thing - "Carry a message to Garcia!" 

General Garcia is dead now, but there are other Garcias. No man, who has endeavored to carry out an enterprise where many hands were needed, but has been well nigh appalled at times by the imbecility of the average man - the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it. 

Slip-shod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, and half-hearted work seem the rule; and no man succeeds, unless by hook or crook, or threat, he forces or bribes other men to assist him; or mayhap, God in His goodness performs a miracle, and sends him an Angel of Light for an assistant. 

You, reader, put this matter to a test: You are sitting now in your office - six clerks are within call. Summon any one and make this request: "Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio". 

Will the clerk quietly say, "Yes, sir," and go do the task? On your life, he will not. He will look at you out of a fishy eye and ask one or more of the following questions: Who was he? Which encyclopedia? Where is the encyclopedia? Was I hired for that? Don’t you mean Bismarck? What’s the matter with Charlie doing it? Is he dead? Is there any hurry? Shan’t I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself? What do you want to know for? 

And I will lay you ten to one that after you have answered the questions, and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him try to find Garcia - and then come back and tell you there is no such man. Of course I may lose my bet, but according to the Law of Average, I will not. 

Now if you are wise you will not bother to explain to your "assistant" that Correggio is indexed under the C’s, not in the K’s, but you will smile sweetly and say, "Never mind," and go look it up yourself. 

And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift, are the things that put pure Socialism so far into the future. If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all? A first-mate with knotted club seems necessary; and the dread of getting "the bounce" Saturday night, holds many a worker to his place.

Advertise for a stenographer, and nine out of ten who apply, can neither spell nor punctuate - and do not think it necessary to. Can such a one write a letter to Garcia? "You see that bookkeeper," said the foreman to me in a large factory. "Yes, what about him?" "Well he’s a fine accountant, but if I’d send him up town on an errand, he might accomplish the errand all right, and on the other hand, might stop at four saloons on the way, and when he got to Main Street, would forget what he had been sent for." Can such a man be entrusted to carry a message to Garcia? 

We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy expressed for the "downtrodden denizen of the sweat-shop" and the "homeless wanderer searching for honest employment," and with it all often go many hard words for the men in power. 

Nothing is said about the employer who grows old before his time in a vain attempt to get frowsy ne’erdo-wells to do intelligent work; and his long patient striving with "help" that does nothing but loaf when his back is turned. 

In every store and factory there is a constant weeding-out process going on. The employer is constantly sending away "help" that have shown their incapacity to further the interests of the business, and others are being taken on. 

No matter how good times are, this sorting continues, only if times are hard and work is scarce, the sorting is done finer- but out and forever out, the incompetent and unworthy go. It is the survival of the fittest. 

Self-interest prompts every employer to keep the best - those who can carry a message to Garcia. I know one man of really brilliant parts who has not the ability to manage a business of his own, and yet who is absolutely worthless to any one else, because he carries with him constantly the insane suspicion that his employer is oppressing, or intending to oppress him. He cannot give orders; and he will not receive them. Should a message be given him to take to Garcia, his answer would probably be, "Take it yourself." 

Tonight this man walks the streets looking for work, the wind whistling through his threadbare coat. No one who knows him dare employ him, for he is a regular fire-brand of discontent. He is impervious to reason, and the only thing that can impress him is the toe of a thick-soled No. 9 boot. Of course I know that one so morally deformed is no less to be pitied than a physical cripple; but in our pitying, let us drop a tear, too, for the men who are striving to carry on a great enterprise, whose working hours are not limited by the whistle, and whose hair is fast turning white through the struggle to hold in line dowdy indifference, slip-shod imbecility, and the heartless ingratitude, which, but for their enterprise, would be both hungry and homeless. 

Have I put the matter too strongly? Possibly I have; but when all the world has gone a-slumming I wish to speak a word of sympathy for the man who succeeds the man who, against great odds has directed the efforts of others, and having succeeded, finds there’s nothing in it: nothing but bare board and clothes. I have carried a dinner pail and worked for day’s wages, and I have also been an employer of labor, and I know there is something to be said on both sides. 

There is no excellence, per se, in poverty; rags are no recommendation; and all employers are not rapacious and high-handed, any more than all poor men are virtuous. 

My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the "boss" is away, as well as when he is at home. And the man who, when given a letter for Garcia, quietly take the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing aught else but deliver it, never gets "laid off," nor has to go on a strike for higher wages. 

Civilization is one long anxious search for just such individuals. Anything such a man asks shall be granted; his kind is so rare that no employer can afford to let him go. He is wanted in every city, town and village- in every office, shop, store and factory. The world cries out for such: he is needed, and needed badly - the man who can carry a message to Garcia. 

                                                                    THE END

YouTube Audio: "A Message to Garcia" by Elbert Hubbard: [Click Here]

"A Message to Garcia: Will You Deliver It? Actionfoundation: [Click Here]

"A Message to Garcia and Other Classic Success Writings" by EH: [Click Here]

Sunday 15 May 2016


2016-20 Homeopathy: Arsenicum Album

Arsenicum Album

The cardinal symptoms of Arsenicum Album are anguish, restlessness, prostration, burning pains relieved by heat and midnight, after midnight and 1 a.m.  [and 1 p.m.] aggravation. Fear of death, not the Aconite fear, but an anxiety and a feeling that it is useless to take any medicine, as he is surely going to die.

Symptoms of Arsenicum Album
Dr. Hahnemann says in his Materia Medica Pura, "A sensible homeopathic physician will not give this remedy unless he is convinced that its peculiar symptoms have the greatest possible resemblance to those of the patient to be cured. When this is the case, it is certain to be efficacious... Such employment of Arsenic has shown its curative power in countless cases: in various kinds of fevers, in varicose veins, in vomiting after almost every kind of food, excessive loss of blood at the menstrual period, in constipation, in leucchorroea, in indurations of the liver, painful swelling of the inguinal glands, etc."

Dr. Kent says that from the time of Hahnemann this has been one of the polychrests, one of the most frequently indicated medicines, and one of the most extensively used. 

Ars Alb should be thought of in ailments from alcoholism, ptomaine poisoning, stings, dissecting wounds, chewing tobacco; ill effects from decayed food or animal matter; odor of discharges is putrid; in complaints that return annually. Anæmia and chlorosis. Degenerative changes. Gradual loss of weight from impaired nutrition.

Arsenicum Album
Useful In:Key Symptoms:
ANXIETYAnxious & restless. Moves about all the time.
thinks it's worthless to take remedy.
ASTHMAShortness of breath. Feeling of suffocation on lying down;
Onset midnight or soon after
COLDSProfuse, burning, watery nasal discharge with sneezing, irritating nose & upper lip;
eyes & nose red; cold tends to go down into chest
DIARRHEAScanty, dark, offensive stool with burning pain in anus, followed by great weakness;
after eating or drinking;
from too much fruit or iced drinks
EYESAching, burning and shooting pains in the eyes.
Watering eyes worse in bright light or motion. Pink eye- red, swollen.
granulated lids; tears hot & burning with intense aversion to light
FOOD POISONINGPrime remedy in ptomaine poisoning;especially after tainted meat or spoiled food; vomiting & purging, "going both ways at once"
FLUChilly, restless, anxious, peevish;
fears death;
burning pains relieved by heat;
thirsty for sips of cold water;
red hot, needle-like pains;
feels as if ice-water or boiling water running through veins
SKINTop remedy for skin ailments-psoriasis, flaky scalp, dry eczema.
Symptoms that burn yet improved by heat application. Feels better in the Summer.
Children who have skin that is dry and rough.
Symptoms are often worse on the right side, with cold applications, and
after eating offending foods or drinking alcohol.
Itching, burning, swelling, skin eruptions. Dry, scaly skin.
SORE THROATBurning in pharynx;
difficulty swallowing;
thirsty for sips of cold water, but stomach intolerant
STOMACHIndigestion, heartburn with burning.
difficulty swallowing;
with nausea & intense thirst
vomiting simultaneous with diarrhea

William Boericke: Homeopathic MM: Arsenicum Album: [Click Here]

YouTube Video: Tips on using Arsenicum Album: [Click Here]

Dr Misha Norland talks about Arsenicum Album: [Click Here]

Sunday 8 May 2016


2016-19  Homeopathy: Aconite

Aconitum Napellus
"My heart is disquieted within me: and the fear of death is fallen upon me." These words of the Psalmist are practically the provings of Aconite. Dr. Kent says, "Aconite is like a great storm. It comes, sweeps over and passes away." It is a short-acting remedy. 

The very face of Aconite [patient] expresses FEAR. Aconite is curative in ailments from fright, mental or physical, even to jaundice, just as Chamomilla is curative in ailments caused by rage and anger, or Staphisagria in ailments caused by real or imagined insults and grievances. 

But the fears of Aconite are more or less intangible. The known, the definite has no terrors for Aconite. It has not the fear of poverty of Bryonia, the fear of approach of Arnica or the fear when alone of Arsenicum and Argentum nitricumAconite [patient] has not only the fear of death, but also predicts the hour of death.

Aconite is indispensable in households for sudden, severe effects, following chills and frights, with restlessness, anxiety and fear.   

Dr. Hahnemann says, "Aconite is the first and foremost remedy in inflammations of the windpipe [croup, membraneous laryngitis], in various kinds of inflammations of the throat and fauces, where in addition to thirst and quick pulse, there are mental agitation, and agonizing tossing about."  


Useful for:Key Symptoms:
 FEVERSudden violent onset, after exposure to cold, dry wind Restlessness
Bad effects of fright
 EYE INJURYAs first-aid, to diminish inflammation and relieve pain
Scratch on cornea
 DENTAL PROBLEMSFear of treatment
 SURGERYFearful anticipation
 COLDSFirst stages of common cold
Sneezing & dripping
Clear, hot, watery nasal discharge
Burning, sensitive throat
Throbbing headache
Roaring in ears
Eyes feel dry, hot & sandy
Averse to light
Eyes red, inflamed, watery
 COUGH/CROUPFirst remedy for croup
Constant short, dry cough
Sudden Onset during night, after exposure to cold, dry winds
Wakens soon after midnight with anxiety & croupy, barking cough
 EARACHEExternal ear painful, swollen, red, hot
Sensitive to noise
Frantic with pain
 COLICGas up and down
Intense thirst for cold water
 HEADACHEHeavy, throbbing, bursting pain
Sensation of fullness in forehead
Sensation of band around head
Feels as if hair were pulled or stood on end
Dizziness, worse on rising & shaking head
 URINARY  PROBLEMSBladder Infections
Painful urination
Anxiety at start of urination
Urine scanty, hot, red
Sudden retention of urine from chill or fright

YouTube Video: Aconite - Tips for Beginners: [Click Here]

William Boericke: Homeopathic MM: Aconite: [Click Here]

Sunday 1 May 2016


2016-18  Thoreau H D: Walden:  "Where I lived and what I lived for"

Henry David Thoreau [1817-1862]
Henry David Thoreau [1817-1862] was a philosopher, poet, essayist, and naturalist as well as an outspoken social critic. He was born in Concord, Massachusetts, and was educated of Harvard. He worked at a variety of professions, from land surveyor to teacher to pencil maker. He is best known for his book "Walden, or Life in the Woods", published in 1854. 
"I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only. I lived there two years and two months." 
With these words, Henry David Thoreau began the tale of his experiment of simple living at Walden PondOver the course of the next three hundred-odd pages, Thoreau outlined his philosophy of life, politics, and nature, laying the foundation for a secure place in the canon of great American writers

Thoreau's words expressed the concerns of many of his contemporaries as industrialization and war permanently altered the world around them, just as they struck a chord in a generation of young people in the 1960s and 1970s who opposed the modern military-industrial complex and sought peace and simplicity in their lives. For many, Walden has served as a touchstone.

This selection is from the second chapter of Walden titled --

                       WHERE I LIVED, AND WHAT I LIVED FOR

I was seated by the shore of a small pond, about a mile and a half south of the village of Concord and somewhat higher than it, in the midst of an extensive wood between that town and Lincoln, and about two miles south of that our only field known to fame, Concord Battle Ground; but I was so low in the woods that the opposite shore, half a mile off, like the rest, covered with wood, was my most distant horizon. 

For the first week, whenever I looked out on the pond it impressed me like a tarn high up on the side of a mountain, its bottom far above the surface of other lakes, and, as the sun arose, I saw it throwing off its nightly clothing of mist, and here and there, by degrees, its soft ripples or its smooth reflecting surface was revealed, while the mists, like ghosts, were stealthily withdrawing in every direction into the woods, as at the breaking up of some nocturnal conventicle. The very dew seemed to hang upon the trees later into the day than usual, as on the sides of mountains.

Walden Pond
This small lake was of most value as a neighbor in the intervals of a gentle rain-storm in August, when, both air and water being perfectly still, but the sky overcast, mid-afternoon had all the serenity of evening, and the wood thrush sang around, and was heard from shore to shore. A lake like this is never smoother than at such a time; and the clear portion of the air above it being, shallow and darkened by clouds, the water, full of light and reflections, becomes a lower heaven itself so much the more important. 

From a hill-top near by, where the wood had been recently cut off, there was a pleasing vista southward across the pond, through a wide indentation in the hills which form the shore there, where their opposite sides sloping toward each other suggested a stream flowing out in that direction through a wooded valley, but stream there was none. 

That way I looked between and over the near green hills to some distant and higher ones in the horizon, tinged with blue. Indeed, by standing on tiptoe I could catch a glimpse of some of the peaks of the still bluer and more distant mountain ranges in the northwest, those true-blue coins from heaven's own mint, and also of some portion of the village. But in other directions, even from this point, I could not see over or beyond the woods which surrounded me. 

Thoreau's Cabin
It is well to have some water in your neighborhood, to give buoyancy to and float the earth. One value even of the smallest well is, that when you look into it you see that earth is not continent but insular. This is as important as that it keeps butter cool. When I looked across the pond from this peak toward the Sudbury meadows, which in time of flood I distinguished elevated perhaps by a mirage in their seething valley, like a coin in a basin, all the earth beyond the pond appeared like a thin crust insulated and floated even by this small sheet of interverting water, and I was reminded that this on which I dwelt was but dry land.

Though the view from my door was still more contracted, I did not feel crowded or confined in the least. There was pasture enough for my imagination. The low shrub oak plateau to which the opposite shore arose stretched away toward the prairies of the West and the steppes of Tartary, affording ample room for all the roving families of men. "There are none happy in the world but beings who enjoy freely a vast horizon"- said Damodara, when his herds required new and larger pastures...

Spring a water color, Summer an oil painting
...Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself. I have been as sincere a worshipper of Aurora as the Greeks. I got up early and bathed in the pond; that was a religious exercise, and one of the best things which I did. They say that characters were engraven on the bathing tub of King Tching-thang to this effect: "Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again." 

I can understand that. Morning brings back the heroic ages. I was as much affected by the faint burn of a mosquito making its invisible and unimaginable tour through my apartment at earliest dawn, when I was sailing with door and windows open, as I could be by any trumpet that ever sang of fame. It was Homer's requiem; itself an Iliad and Odyssey in the air, singing its own wrath and wanderings. There was something cosmical about it; a standing advertisement, till forbidden, of the everlasting vigor and fertility of the world. 

Morning Glory at Walden Pond
The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night. Little is to be expected of that day, if it can be called a day, to which we are not awakened by our Genius, but by the mechanical nudgings of some servitor, are not awakened by our own newly acquired force and aspirations from within, accompanied by the undulations of celestial music, instead of factory bells, and a fragrance filling the air- to a higher life than we fell asleep from; and thus the darkness bear its fruit, and prove itself to be good, no less than the light. 

The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?

Why I went to the Woods
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. 

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan- like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. 

Simplicity, Simplicity, Simplicity!
Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail. In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. 

Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion. 

The nation itself, with all its so- called internal improvements, which, by the way are all external and superficial, is just such an unwieldy and overgrown establishment, cluttered with furniture and tripped up by its own traps, ruined by luxury and heedless expense, by want of calculation and a worthy aim, as the million households in the land; and the only cure for it, as for them, is in a rigid economy, a stern and more than Spartan simplicity of life and elevation of purpose...