"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."
"How many women ... waste life away the prey of discontent, who might have practised as physicians, regulated a farm, managed a shop, and stood erect, supported by their own industry, instead of hanging their heads surcharged with the dew of sensibility, that consumes the beauty to which it at first gave lustre ..."
"Women are told from their infancy, and taught by the example of their mothers, that a little knowledge of human weakness, justly termed cunning, softness of temper, outward obedience, and a scrupulous attention to a puerile kind of propriety, will obtain for them the protection of man; and should they be beautiful, every thing else is needless, for, at least, twenty years of their lives."