John Burroughs

John Burroughs (April 3, 1837-March 29, 1921) was an American naturalist and essayist important in the evolution of the U.S. conservation movement. According to biographers at the American Memory project at the Library of Congress, John Burroughs was the most important practitioner after Thoreau of that especially American literary genre, the nature essay. By the turn of the century he had become a virtual cultural institution in his own right: the Grand Old Man of Nature at a time when the American romance with the idea of nature, and the American conservation movement, had come fully into their own

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A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.
A man can get discouraged many times but he is not a failure until he begins to blame somebody else and stops trying.
Blessed is the man who has some congenial work, some occupation in which he can put his heart, and which affords a complete outlet to all the forces there are in him.
For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice -- no paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service.
How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.
I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.
It is always easier to believe than to deny. Our minds are naturally affirmative.
Life is a struggle, but not a warfare.
Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral.
Science has done more for the development of western civilization in one hundred years than Christianity did in eighteen hundred years.
Some men are like nails, very easily drawn; others however are more like rivets never drawn at all.
Temperament lies behind mood; behind will, lies the fate of character. Then behind both, the influence of family the tyranny of culture; and finally the power of climate and environment; and we are free, only to the extent we rise above these.
The lesson which life repeats and constantly enforces is 'look under foot.' You are always nearer the divine and the true sources of your power than you think.
The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are.
The secret of happiness is something to do.
The spirit of man can endure only so much and when it is broken only a miracle can mend it.
The tendinous part of the mind, so to speak, is more developed in winter the fleshy, in summer. I should say winter had given the bone and sinew to literature, summer the tissues and the blood.
The very idea of a bird is a symbol and a suggestion to the poet. A bird seems to be at the top of the scale, so vehement and intense his life. . . . The beautiful vagabonds, endowed with every grace, masters of all climes, and knowing no bounds -- how many human aspirations are realised in their free, holiday-lives -- and how many suggestions to the poet in their flight and song

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