What is a course of history or philosophy, or poetry, no matter how well selected, or the best society, or the most admirable routine of life, compared with the discipline of looking always at what is to be seen? Will you be a reader, a student merely, or a seer?—Walden
What would we not give for some great poem to read now, which would be in harmony with the scenery,—for if men read aright, methinks they would never read anything but poems. No history nor philosophy can supply their place.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
What youthful philosophers and experimentalists we are!—Walden
You might say of a philosopher that he was in this world as a spectator.—Journal, 31 October 1850
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