Friday, July 26, 2013



Henry David Thoreau, Journals (Nov. 18, 1858):
The fruitless enterprise of some persons who rush helter-skelter, carrying out their crazy scheme,—merely "putting it through," as they phrase it,—reminds me of those thistle-downs which, not being detained nor steadied by any seed at the base, are blown away at the first impulse and go rolling over all obstacles. They may indeed go fastest and farthest, but where they rest at last not even a thistle springs. I meet these useless barren thistle-downs driving over the fields. They remind me of busy merchants and brokers on 'change doing business on credit, gambling with fancy stocks, that have failed over and over again, assisted to get a-going again to no purpose—a great ado about nothing,—all in my eye,—with nothing to deposit, not of the slightest use to the great thistle tribe, not even tempting a jackass. When you right or extricate one of these fellows and set him before the wind again, it is worth the while to look and see if he has any seed of success under him. Such a one you may know afar—he floats more slowly and steadily—and of his enterprise expect results.

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