"It is generally supposed that they who have long been conversant with the ocean can foretell, by certain indications, such as itsroar and the notes of sea-fowl, when it will change from calm to storm; but probably no such ancient mariner as we dream of exists; they know no more, at least, than the older sailors do about this voyage of life on which we are all embarked. Nevertheless, we love to hear the sayings of old sailors, and their accounts of natural phenomena which totally ignore, and are ignored by, science; and possibly they have not always looked over the gunwale so long in vain."
"Whether he sleeps or wakes,--whether he runs or walks,--whether he uses a microscope or a telescope, or his naked eye,--a man never discovers anything, never overtakes anything, or leaves anything behind, but himself. Whatever he says or does, he merely reports himself. If he is in love, he loves; if he is in heaven, he enjoys; if he is in hell, he suffers. It is his condition that determines his locality."
"What an admirable training is science for the more active warfare of life! Indeed, the unchallenged bravery which these studies imply, is far more impressive than the trumpeted valor of the warrior."
"Linnæus, setting out for Lapland, surveys his "comb" and "spare shirt," "leathern breeches" and "gauze cap to keep off gnats," with as much complacency as Bonaparte a park of artillery for the Russian campaign. The quiet bravery of the man is admirable."
"He who is conversant with the supernal powers will not worship these inferior deities of the wind, waves, tide, and sunshine. Butwe would not disparage the importance of such calculations as we have described. They are truths in physics because they are true in ethics."
"Let us not succumb to nature. We will marshall the clouds and restrain tempests; we will bottle up pestilent exhalations; we willprobe for earthquakes, grub them up, and give vent to the dangerous gas; we will disembowel the volcano, and extract its poison, take its seed out. We will wash water, and warm fire, and cool ice, and underprop the earth. We will teach birds to fly, and fishes to swim, and ruminants to chew the cud. It is time we looked into these things."