"Hetty [Burney's sister] set down to the harpsichord and sung ... we departed this life of anguish and misery, and rested our wearysouls in the Elysian field--my papa's study--there, freed from the noise and bustle of the world enjoyed the harmony of chattering--and the melody of music!"
"Truly fertile Music, the only kind that will move us, that we shall truly appreciate, will be a Music conducive to Dream, which banishes all reason and analysis. One must not wish first to understand and then to feel. Art does not tolerate Reason."
"If you love music, hear it; go to operas, concerts and pay fiddlers to play to you; but I insist on your neither piping nor fiddling yourself. It puts a gentleman in a very frivolous, contemptible light.... Few things would mortify me more than to see you bearing a part in a concert, with a fiddle under your chin, or a pipe in your mouth."
"Musick is certainly a very agreeable Entertainment, but if it would take the entire Possession of our Ears, if it would make us incapable of hearing Sense, if it would exclude Arts that have a much greater Tendency to the Refinement of human Nature; I must confess I would allow it no better Quarter than Plato has done, who banishes it out of his Common-wealth."
"Ah, the pickerel of Walden! when I see them lying on the ice, or in the well which the fisherman cuts in the ice, making a littlehole to admit the water, I am always surprised by their rare beauty, as if they were fabulous fishes, they are so foreign to the streets, even to the woods, foreign as Arabia to our Concord life. They possess a quite dazzling and transcendent beauty ... as if they were the pearls, the animalized nuclei or crystals of the Walden water. They, of course, are Walden all over and all through; are themselves small Waldens in the animal kingdom, Waldenses."
"While almost all men feel an attraction drawing them to society, few are attracted strongly to Nature. In their reaction to Naturemen appear to me for the most part, notwithstanding their arts, lower than the animals. It is not often a beautiful relation, as in the case of the animals. How little appreciation of the beauty of the landscape there is among us! We have to be told that the Greeks called the world Kosmos, Beauty, or Order, but we do not see clearly why they did so, and we esteem it at best only a curious philological fact."
"Ask a toad what beauty is, the supreme beauty, the to kalon. He will tell you it is his lady toad with her two big round eyes coming out of her little head, her large flat snout, yellow belly, brown back."