I hold no preference among flowers, so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous.
Edward Abbey (1927-1989)- Desert Solitaire "Cliffrose and Bayonets", p. 25 (1968)



The domination of nature leads to the domination of human nature.
Edward Abbey (1927-1989) - Beyond The Wall: Essays from the Outside, 1971

There are no vacant lots in nature.
Edward Abbey (1927-1989)- Desert Solitude, "The First Morning," p.6, Ballantine Books, NY, NY, 1968

Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.
Edward Abbey (1927-1989) - The Journey Home (1991) The Rape of the West p. 183

Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.
Edward Abbey (1927-1989)- Down the River, 148

Nature is indifferent to our love, but never unfaithful.
Edward Abbey (1927-1989) - A Voice Crying in the Wilderness, Notes from a Secret Journal, 1986, Ch,9 p86

Nature neither gives nor expects mercy.
Diane Ackerman (1948 -) - The Moon by Whale Light: And Other Adventures Among Bats, Penguins, Crocodilians, and Whales, Random House, NY,NY, 1991, 239-240.

Nature is also great fun. To pretend that nature isn't fun is to miss much of the joy of being alive.
Diane Ackerman (1948 -) - The rarest of the rare: Vanishing Animals, Timeless Worlds, Introduction, Vintage Books, NY, NY, p.xx, 1997

Nature is what wins in the end.
Abby Adams (1902-1984) - The Gardener's Gripe Book, Workmans Publishing, NY, NY, 1995, p. 10.

No matter how sophisticated you may be, a large granite mountain cannot be denied — it speaks in silence to the very core of your being.
Ansel Adams (1902-1984) - Exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.


The only things in my life that compatibly exist with this grand universe are the creative works of the human spirit.
Ansel Adams (1902-1984) - Ansel Adams: An Autobiography

Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man.
Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918) - The Education of Henry B. Adams, p. 1132, The Library of America (1983)

If there's a power above us,
(And that there is all nature cries aloud
Through all her works,) he must delight in virtue.
Joseph Addison (1672-1719) - Cato, Act V, Scene I, J Dicks, London, 1883

Nature delights in the most plain and simple diet.
Joseph Addison (1672-1719) - The Spectator, Vol I, 1826, No 162, p. 255

As long as men inquire, they will find opportunities to know more upon these topics than those who have gone before them, so inexhaustibly rich is nature in the innermost diversity of her treasures of beauty, order and intelligence.
Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (1807-1873) - The Spectator, Vol VII, No. 477, September 6, 1712, pp 19-20.

The eye of the trilobite tells us that the sun shone on the old beach where he lived; for there is nothing in nature without a purpose, and when so complicated an organ was made to receive the light, there must have been light to enter it.
Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (1807-1873) - Geological Sketches, ch. 2, 1866

Lay aside all conceit. Learn to read the book of nature for yourself. Those who have succeeded best have followed for years some slim thread which has once in a while broadended out and disclosed some treasure worth a life-long search.
Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (1807-1873) - Popular Science Monthly, Quoted by David Stair Jordan, Vol 40, 1891

Nature is the armory of genius. Cities serve it poorly, books and colleges at second hand; the eye craves the spectacle of the horizon; of mountain, ocean, river and plain, the clouds and stars; actual contact with the elements, sympathy with the seasons as they rise and roll.
Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888) - The Journals of Bronson Alcott, January, p. 187, Little Brown & Co., Boston MA, 1938.

Nature is thought immersed in matter. . .
Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888) - "Pantheon," The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, Vol II, No 1, 1868 (p. 47)

Wild roses are fairest, and nature a better gardener than art.
Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) - A Long Fatal Love Chase, 1866, Dell Publishing reprint, 1995, p 11.

Nature hath nothing made so base, but can read some instruction to the wisest man.
Charles Aleyn -Quoted in: A dictionary of thoughts: being a cyclopedia of laconic quotations from the best authors of the world, both ancient and modern, edited by Tryon Edwards, 1908. Quote improperly attributed to Tryon Edwards.

Every landscape is, as it were, a state of the soul, and whoever penetrates into both is astonished to find how much likeness there is in each detail.
Henri Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881) -The Private Journal of Henri Frédéric Amiel, Tr. H. Ward, October 31, 1852,

Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion.
Lorraine Anderson (1952 - ) - Quoted in The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women,  Gail McMeekin, Conari Press, 2000, p27.

Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, "I'm going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that's tough. I am going to snow anyway.
Maya Angelou (1928 - ) - Conversations with Maya Angelou, Ed. J. Elliot, University Press of Mississippi, (1989)

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.
Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) - Parts of Animals I.645a16

Nature makes nothing incomplete, and nothing in vain.
Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) - Politics I. 1256 b

But Nature flies from the infinite, for the infinite is unending or imperfect, and Nature ever seeks an end.
Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) - Generation of Animals I.715b15

If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is Nature's way.
Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) - Nicomanachean Ethics, 1099B, 23

There is more both of beauty and of raison d'etre in the works of nature- than in those of art.
Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) - De Partibus Animalium, I., 1, 5.

Those whose days are consumed in the low pursuits of avarice, or the gaudy frivolties of fashion, unobservant of nature's lovelinessof demarcation, nor on which side thereof an intermediate form should lie.
Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) -The History of Animals, Book VIII, Part 1, tr. D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson

Mountains inspire awe in any human person who has a soul. They remind us of our frailty, our unimportance, of the briefness of our span on this earth. They touch the heavens, and sail serenely at an altitude beyond even the imaginings of a mere mortal.
Elizabeth Aston in "The Exploits & Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy: A novel," 2005.

. . .nature indifferently copied is far superior to the best idealities.
John James Audubon - The Life and Adventures of John James Audubon, the Naturalist (1868)

Nature is the art of God - LA NATURA E L'ARTE DI DIO
Dante Alighieri (See also Sir Thomas Browne, below)



Men go forth to marvel at the height of mountains, and the huge waves of the sea, the broad flow of the rivers, the vastness of the ocean, the orbits of the stars, and yet they neglect to marvel at themselves. Variant: Men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty billows of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, and pass themselves by.
Augustine of Hippo (354–430) - Confessions (c. 397), Book 10, Chapter VIII.

A portent happens not contrary to nature, but contrary to what we know as nature.
Augustine of Hippo (354–430) - City of God, Book XXI, Chapter 8, Tr. Rev. M. Dods,

Death, like generation, is a secret of Nature.
Marcus Aurelius(121-180) - Meditations (c. 161–180 CE) IV, 5.

No form of nature is inferior to art; for the arts merely imitate natural forms. - Variant: There is no nature which is inferior to art, the arts imitate the nature of things.
Marcus Aurelius (121–180) - Meditations. xi. 10.

One cannot fix one's eyes on the commonest natural production without finding food for a rambling fancy.
Jane Austen (1775-1817) - Mansfield Park, 1814

Nature is often hidden; sometimes overcome; seldom extinguished.
Sir Francis Bacon - Essays, "Of Nature, In Men," (speaking of the nature of man) 1627

Art is man added to Nature.
Sir Francis Bacon - Descriptio Globi Intellectus (1612).

Nature to be commanded must be obeyed.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) - Novum Organum (The New Organon) (1620) - bk. 1, aph. 129

The breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air than in the hand.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) - Bacon's Essays, "Of Gardens," 1627

In nature, things move violently to their place, and then calmly in their place.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) - Bacon's Essays, "Of Great Places," p. 27, 1627

Art is man added to Nature.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) -Descriptio Globi Intellectus, 1612

God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed it is the purest of human pleasures. It is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man; without which, buildings and palaces are but gross handiworks.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) - Essays, "Of Gardens," 1627

Man, being servant and interpreter of Nature, can do and understand so much and so much only as he as observed in fact or thought of the course of nature; beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) - The New Organon (1620) in James Spedding, Robert Ellis and Douglas Heath (eds.), The works of Francis Bacon (1877-1901), Vol 4, p. 47.

Art is man's nature; nature is God's art.
Phillip James Bailey - Festus, Pr the Jubilee revision, (1839)

What is Art, monsieur, but Nature concentrated?
Qu’est-ce que l’Art, monsieur? C’est la Nature concentrée.
Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) - Illusions perdues, vol I, 1839, trans. Ellen Marriage, ch. I, section 5

God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.
J.M. Barrie - Courage, pg 1, 1922

I was obliged, at last, to come to the conclusion that the contemplation of nature alone is not sufficient to fill the human heart and mind.
Henry Walter Bates (1825-1892) - The Naturalist on the River Amazons, Vol 2, ch 3, London, 1863, p. 186

For you teach very clearly by your behaviour how slowly and how meagerly our senses proceed in the investigation of ever inexhaustible nature.
Biambatista Beccaria (1716-1781) - Elettricismo artificiale (1772), vii-viii, in Antonio Pace, Franklin and Italy, 1958, p. 58.

It is the end of art to inoculate men with the love of nature. But those who have a psssion for nature in the natural way, need no pictures nor gallereies. Spring is their designer, and the whole year their artist.
Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) - Star Papers, or Experiences of Art and Nature, "A Discourse of Flowers," Beecher, Applewood Books, Bedford MA, 1855, p.94.

Believe me, you will find more lessons in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you what you cannot learn from masters.
Experto crede: aliquid amplius invenies in silvis, quam in libris. Ligna et lapides docebunt te, quod a magistris audire non possis.
Bernard of Clairvaux - St. Bernard - Epistola CVI, sect. 2; translation from Edward Churton The Early English Church ([1840] 1841) p. 324.

People who want to see the beauty of nature from motorboats and automobiles would obviously be just as pleased, and as fully recreated, at a drive-in movie.
Wendell Berry (1934 - ) The Unforseen Wilderness: An Essay on Kentucky's Red River George, University Press of Kentucky, 1971

Nature is always lavish of her gifts even to the most insignificant forms. The butterflies and moths are richly dowered in this respect.
Anne Besant (1847-1933) - "The Clothes' Moth," Our Corner, Vol 4, No. 1, July 1884, p40

Touch the earth, love the earth, her plains, her valleys, her hills, and her seas; rest your spirit in her solitary places. For the gifts of life are the earth’s and they are given to all, and they are the songs of birds at daybreak, Orion and the Bear, and the dawn seen over the ocean from the beach.
Henry Beston (1888-1968) - The Outermost House (1928)

Into every empty corner, into all forgotten things and nooks, Nature struggles to pour life, pouring life into the dead, life into life itself.
Henry Beston (1888-1968) - "Lantern on the Beach," The Outermost House (1928)


When the Pleiades and the wind in the grass are no longer a part of the human spirit, a part of very flesh and bone, man becomes, as it were a kind of cosmic outlaw, having neither the completeness and integrity of the animal nor the birthright of a true humanity.
Henry Beston (1888-1968) - The Outermost House (1928)

The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.
Henry Beston (1888-1968) - "The Headlong Wave,", The Outermost House, Chapter III, p 43, Rinehart & Co, NY, NY, (1928)

As well expect Nature to answer your human values as to come into your house and sit in a chair.
Henry Beston (1888-1968) - The Outermost House, Chapter X, p221, Rinehart & Co, NY, NY, (1928)

What is Art, but Nature concentrated?
Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) - Illusions perdues, vol I: Un grand homme de province à Paris, 1re partie [Lost Illusions, vol. I: A Distinguished Provincial at Paris, part I] (1839), translated by Ellen Marriage, ch. I, section 5.

If we study Nature attentively in its great evolutions as in its minutest works, we cannot fail to recognize the possibility of enchantment — giving to that word its exact significance.
Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) - Seraphita (1835), Ch. 2: Seraphita. Translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley.

I am speaking of the life of a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children; who has undertaken to cherish it and do it no damage, not because he is duty-bound, but because he loves the world and loves his children.
Wendell Berry (1934- ) - The Unforeseen Wilderness : An Essay on Kentucky's Red River Gorge (1971), p. 33 - Misattributed to James Audubon

Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.
Wendell Berry (1934- ) - From the endorsement statement for The Dying of the Trees (1997) by Charles E. Little

We're living, it seems, in the culmination of a long warfare — warfare against human beings, other creatures and the Earth itself.
Wendell Berry (1934- ) - Commencement address at Lindsey Wilson College (14 May 2005)

To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.
Wendell Berry (1934- ) - The Gift of Good Land, North Point Press, 1981, p. 270

Nature is always lavish of her gifts even to the most insignificant forms. The butterflies and moths are richly dowered in this respect.
Anne Besant (1847-1933) - The Clothes' Moth, Our Corner, Vol. 4, No 1, July, 1884 (p. 40)

Nature is part of our humanity, and without some awareness and experience of that divine mystery, man ceases to be man.
Henry Beston (1888-1968) - The Outermost House, Forward (p. ix), Rinehart & Co. NY, NY, 1928

If there is one thing clear about the centuries dominated by the factory and the wheel, it is that although the machine can make everything from a spoon to a landing-craft, a natural join in earthly living is something it never has and never will be able to manufacture. It has given us conveniences (often most uncomfortable) and comforts (often most inconvenient) but human happiness was never on its tray of wares.
Henry Beston (1888-1968) - Northern Farm: A chronicle of Maine, Down East Books, 1988

Nature always tends to act in the simplest way.
Johann Bernoulli (1700-1782) - Essay on the Brachistochrone, Acta Eruditorum, May 1697

Nature is just enough; but men and women must comprehend and accept her suggestions.
Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825-1921) - "Sex and Evolution," in The Neglected Canon: Nine Women Philosophers: First to the Twentieth Century, ed Dykeman, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1999, p. 350

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity . . . and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.
William Blake (1757-1827) - The Letters of William Blake, ed Geoffrey Keynes (1956,) Letter to Rev. Dr. Trusler, August 23, 1799

In Nature nothing remains constant. Everything is in a perpetual state of transformation, motion and change.
David Bohm (1917-1992) - Causality and Chance in Modern Physics, Chapter 1, p1, University of Penn. Press, 1957

Nature always springs to the surface and manages to show what she is. It is vain to stop or try to drive her back. She breaks through every obstacle, pushes forward, and at last makes for herself a way.
Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux - Sat. xi 43.

Man is wise and constantly in quest of more wisdom; but the ultimate wisdom, which deals with beginnings, remains locked in a seed. There it lies, the simplest fact of the universe and at the same time the one which calls forth faith rather than reason.
Hal Borland (1900-1978) - "The Certainty - April 5," Sundial of the Seasons (1964)

There are no idealists in the plant world and no compassion. The rose and the morning glory know no mercy. Bindweed, the morning glory, will quickly choke its competitors to death, and the fence row rose will just as quietly crowd out any other plant that tried to share its roothold. Idealism and mercy are human terms and human concepts.
Hal Borland (1900-1978) - Book of Days, 22 July, 1976, 1976

There are some things, but not too many, toward which the countryman knows he must be properly respectful if he would avoid pain, sickness and injury. Nature is neither punitive nor solicitous, but she has thorns and fangs as wells as bowers and grassy banks.
Hal Borland (1900-1978) - Beyond your Doorstep: A handbook to the Country, Ch. 13, p. 303, 1962

Nature seems to look after her own only up to a certain point; beyond that they are supposed to fend for themselves.
Hal Borland (1900-1978)
- The Enduring Pattern, "Life, Flesh and Blood: Amphibians," (p.185), Simon & Schuster, NY, NY, 1959

Nothing in nature is as simple as it sometimes seems when reduced to words.
Hal Borland (1900-1978) - The Enduring Pattern, "Life, Flesh and Blood: Reptiles," (p.189), Simon & Schuster, NY, NY, 1959

Nature always looks out for the preservation of the universe.
Robert Boyle (1627-1691 ) - A free Enquiry into the Vulgarly Received Notion of Nature, Section IV, Cambridge University Press, 1996, p 31

Man masters nature not by force, but by understanding.
Jacob Bronowski (1908-1974) - "The Creative Mind," Science and Human Values (1956), Lecture given at MIT, Feb 26, 1953

Now nature is not at variance with art, nor art with nature, they being both servants of his providence: art is the perfection of nature; were the world now as it was the sixth day, there were yet a chaos; nature hath made one world, and art another. In brief, all things are artificial; for nature is the art of God.
Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682) - Religio Medici, Part 1, (sec. 16) 1642 - See also Dante Alighieri, above

Thus there are two books from whence I collect my Divinity; besides that written one of God, another of his servant Nature, that universal and public Manuscript, that lies expans'd unto the eyes of all; those that never saw him in the one, have discovered him in the other.
Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682) - Religio Medici, Part 1, Section 16., 1642

Nature is none other than God in all things.
Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) - Quoted in Elements of Pantheism (2004), Paul A. Harrison

Nature does not tolerate the whimsical and the inane; all her structures are on principles, and she allows no others.
J. Ingram Bryan (1868-1953) - The Interpretation of Nature in English Poetry, Ch 1 (p. 6) Tokyo, Japan, 1932

The great workman of nature is time.
George-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707-1788) - 'Les Animaux Sauvages', Historie Naturelle, 1756, Quoted in Jacques Rooger, The Life Sciences in Eighteenth-Century French Thought, ed K. Benson, tr R. Ellrich, 1997, p468.

Nature is the system of laws established by the Creator for the existence of things and for the succession of creatures. Nature is not a thing, because this thing would be everything. Nature is not a creature, because this creature would be God. But one can consider it as an immense vital power, which encompasses all, which animates all, and which, subordinated to the power of the first Being, has begun to act only by his order, and still acts only by his concourse or consent . . . Time, space and matter are its means, the universe its object, motion and life its goal.
George-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707-1788) - 'De La Nature: Premiere Vue', Historie naturelle, generale et particuliere avec la descritpion du cabinet du roi (1764), Vol 12, iii-1v. Tr Phillip R. Sloan

All scientists have found that preconceived notions, dogmas, and all personal prejudice and bias, must be set aside, listening patiently, quietly and reverently to the lessons, one by one, which Mother Nature has to teach, shedding light on that which was before a mystery, so that all who will may see and know. She conveys her truths only to those who are passive and receptive.
Luther Burbank (1849-1926) - "How to Produce New Trees, Fruits and Flowers," Proceedings of the American Pomological Society, Session of 1895, Volumes 24-26, Twenty-Fourth Session, p. 59.

The serenity produced by the contemplation and philosophy of nature is the only remedy for prejudice, superstition, and inordinate self-importance, teaching us that we are all a part of Nature herself, strengthening the bond of sympathy which should exist between ourselves and our brother man. . .
Luther Burbank (1849-1926) - "How to Produce New Trees, Fruits and Flowers," Proceedings of the American Pomological Society, Session of 1895, Volumes 24-26, Twenty-Fourth Session, p. 61.

Nature's law affirm instead of prohibit. If you violate her laws, you are your own prosecuting attorney, judge, jury, and hangman.
Luther Burbank (1849-1926) - The Harvest of the Years, Luther Burbank, Wilbur Hall, Houghton Mifflin company, 1931, p. 267.

Nature is never more truly herself, than in her grandest form.
Edmund Burke (1729-1797) - The works of the Right Hon. Edmund Burke: With a Biographical and Critical Introduction, "Letters on a Regicide Peace," Holdsworth & Ball, London, 1834, p. 324.

Never did nature say one thing and wisdom say another.
Edmund Burke (1729-1797) - The works of the Right Hon. Edmund Burke: With a Biographical and Critical Introduction, "Letters on a Regicide Peace," Holdsworth & Ball, London, 1834, p. 324.

Look abroad through Nature's range,
Nature's mighty law is change.
Robert Burns (1759-1796) - Let not woman e'er complain, 1794.

In the order of nature we may behold the ways of the Eternal.
John Burroughs (1837-1921) - The Light of Day

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
John Burroughs (1837-1921) - Time and Change, 247.

One of the hardest lessons we have to learn in this life, and one that many persons never learn, is to see the divine, the celestial, the pure, in the common, the near at hand – to see that heaven lies about us here in this world.
John Burroughs (1837-1921) - "The Divine Soil," The Atlantic Monthly, April, 1908, p 440.

Nature exists for man no more than she does for monkeys, and is as regardless of his life or pleasure or success as she is of the fleas. Her waves will drown him, her fire burn him, and her earth devour him, her storms and lightning smite him, as if he were only a dog.
John Burroughs (1837-1921) - The Heart of Burrough's Journals, Jan 17, 1866, p. 46, Houghten Mifflin Co., Boston, 1928

Nature will not be conquered, but gives herself freely to her true lover — to him who revels with her, bathes in her seas, sails her rivers, camps in her woods, and with no mercenary ends, accepts all.
John Burroughs (1837-1921) - The Heart of Burrough's Journals, Jan 17, 1866, p. 46, Houghten Mifflin Co., Boston, 1928

Nature is not benevolent; Nature is just, gives pound for pound, measure for measure, makes no exceptions, never tempers her decrees with mercy, or winks at any infringement of her laws.
John Burroughs (1837-1921) - Harvest of a Quiet Eye: The Natural World of John Burroughs, The Gospel of Nature, 5 (p. 149, 1976

To the scientist Nature is a storehouse of facts, laws, processes; to the artist she is a storehouse of pictures; to the poet she is a storehouse of images, fancies, a source of inspiration; to the moralist she is a storehouse of precepts and parables; to all she may be a source of knowledge and joy.
John Burroughs (1837-1921) - "The Art of Seeing Things," Leaf and Tendril (1908)

The art of nature is all in the direction of concealment.
John Burroughs (1837-1921) - "The Art of Seeing Things," Leaf and Tendril (1908)


The life of nature we must meet halfway; it is shy, withdrawn, and blends itself with a vast neutral background. We must be initiated; it is an order the secrets of which are well guarded.
John Burroughs (1837-1921)- "The Art of Seeing Things," Leaf and Tendril (1908)

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in it's roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more.
Lord Byron (1788-1824) - "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage," Canto IV, CLXXVIII, The complete works of Lord Byron, Galignani And Co., Paris, 1841, p. 146.

Did I say the book of nature is a catechism? Yes, But, after it answers the first question with "God," nothing but questions follow.
George W. Cable, (1844-1925) - Madame Delphine, Charles Scribner's Sons, NY, NY, 1896, p 36.

Autumn is a second Spring when every leaf is a flower.
Albert Camus (1913-1960) - As quoted in Visions from Earth (2004) by James R. Miller, p. 126

The laws of nature may be operative up to a certain limit, beyond which they turn against themselves to give birth to the absurd.
Albert Camus (1913-1960) - The Myth of Sisyphus and other Essays, "Philosophical Suicide," p37, Tr Justin O'Brien, Alfred A. Knopf, NY, NY, 1978

The greatest joy in nature is the absence of man.
Bliss Carman (1861-1929) - New York Times review of Mr. Carman's Prose; A Volume Of Little Essays By The Canadian Poet. (1903)

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again." And when they wake up in the summer, Kitty, they dress themselves all in green, and dance about — whenever the wind blows —
Louis Carroll -Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871)

Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. Whatever the vexations or concerns of their personal lives, their thoughts can find paths that lead to inner contentment and to renewed excitement in living.
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) - The Sense of Wonder, (1956)

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.
Rachel Carson (1907-1964)- The Sense of Wonder, (1956)

Nature reserves some of her choice rewards for days when her mood may appear to be somber.
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) - The Sense of Wonder, (1956)

Some of nature's most exquisite handiwork is on a miniature scale, as anyone knows who has applied a magnifying glass to a snowflake.
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) - The Sense of Wonder (1956)

There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) -The Sense of Wonder (1956)

The "control of nature" is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man.
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) - Silent Spring, Houghton Miffin, 1962

We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) - Silent Spring, Houghton Miffin, 1962, p. 277

. . . the more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race.
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) - Speech accepting the John Burroughs Medal (April 1952)

More and more as we come closer and closer in touch with nature and its teachings are we able to see the Divine and are therefore fitted to interpret correctly the various languages spoken by all forms of nature about us.
George Washington Carver (1864-1943) - How to Search for Truth, letter to Hubert W. Pelt (1930-02-24)

I love to think of nature as having unlimited broadcasting stations, through which God speaks to us every day, every hour and every moment of our lives, if we will only tune in and remain so.
George Washington Carver (1864-1943) - How to Search for Truth, letter to Hubert W. Pelt (1930-02-24)

Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God.
George Washington Carver (1864-1943) - Quoted in George Washington Carver: Agricultural Innovator, Helga Schier, ABDO Publishing, MN, 2008, p. 79

The mind, in proportion as it is cut off from free communication with nature, with revelation, with God, with itself, loses its life, just as the body droops when debarred from the air and the cheering light from heaven.
William Ellery Channing (1780-1842) - Remarks on the Character and Writings of Fénelon (1843)

Every year we hear of large numbers of people making trips at the expense of much money and a great deal of time, in order to look upon the far famed dress of Nature . . . And I do not think that this is to be deplored: but, nevertheless, there is no reason why the most of us, who cannot afford such a great outlay, should sit aside and bemoan the fact; for, if ever there was a true saying, it is the statement that all about us, beneath our feet, above our head, on the right hand, on the left - yes, everywhere - are to be found subjects which are as well worth our careful attention as in the loveliest combination of water, hill and dale that the earth can show.
A. C. Chant - Papers read before the Mathematical and physical society of Toronto during the Year 1890-91, Baker, Alfred; Delury, A. T. and Chant, A. C., "The Structure of Matter," p31, Rowsell & Hutchison, Toronto, Canada, 1891

All nature is a vast symbolism: Every material fact has sheathed within it a spiritual truth.
Edwin Hubble (E.H.) Chapin (1814-1880)- Living Words (1869)

The dawn of life is like the dawn of day, full of purity, visions and harmonies.
François de Chateaubriand (1768-1848) - René, Translated by A.S.Kline, 2010.

That man's best works should be such bungling imitations of Nature's infinite perfection, matters not much; but that he should make himself an imitation, this is the fact which Nature moans over, and deprecates beseechingly. Be spontaneous, be truthful, be free, and thus be individuals! is the song she sings through warbling birds, and whispering pines, and roaring waves, and screeching winds.
Lydia M. Child (1802-1880) - Letters from New York, Letter XXXVIII, p276, C.S. Francis & Company, NY, NY 1945

When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.
Chinese Proverb


Things perfected by nature are better than those finished by art.
Lat., Meliora sunt ea quae natura quam illa quae arte perfecta sunt.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (Tully)(106-43 B.C.) - De Natura Deorum (II, 34)

I follow nature as the surest guide, and resign myself with implicit obedience to her sacred ordinances.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (Tully) (106-43 B.C.) - Cicero: the Orations translated by Duncan, the Offices by Cockman, Volume 3, Cato: Or, An Essay on Old Age

Nature has circumscribed the field of life within small dimensions, but has left the field of glory unmeasured.
"Etenim, Quirites, exiguum nobis vitae curriculum natura circum- scripsit, immensum gloriae."
Marcus Tullius Cicero (Tully) (106-43 B.C.) - Pro C. Eabirio perduellionis reo, X., 30.

Law is the highest reason implanted in Nature, which commands what ought to be done and forbids the opposite.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (Tully)(106-43 B.C.) - De legibus, I, vi, 8.

Not in opinion but in nature is law founded.
neque opinione sed natura constitutum esse jus
Marcus Tullius Cicero (Tully)(106-43 B.C.) - De legibus, I, x, 28

Nature abhors annihilation.
Ab interitu naturam abhorrere.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (Tully)(106-43 B.C.) - De Finibus (V, 11, 3) 

Nature herself makes the wise man rich.
Sapientem locupletat ipsa Natura.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (Tully)(106-43 B.C.) - De Finibus (II, 28, 90) 

The beauty of the world and the orderly arrangement of everything celestial makes us confess that there is an excellent and eternal nature, which ought to be worshiped and admired by all mankind.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (Tully)(106-43 B.C.) - Divin. vol. ii, p.72

The gossamer web of life, spun on the loom of sunlight from the breath of an infant Earth, is nature's crowning achievement on this planet.
Preston E. Cloud (1912-1991) - Oasis in Space, Earth History from the Beginning, W.W. Norton & Co, NY, 1988, p. 42.

Overall, rocks, wood and water, brooded the spirit of repose, and the silent energy of nature stirred the soul to its innermost depths.
Thomas Cole (1801-1884) - Essay in American Scenery, American Monthly Magazine, January 1836

. . .nature is still predominant, and there are those who regret that with the improvements of cultivation the sublimity of the wilderness should pass away: for those scenes of solitude from which the hand of nature has never been lifted, affect the mind with a more deep toned emotion than aught which the hand of man has touched. Amid them the consequent associations are of God the creator--they are his undefiled works, and the mind is cast into the contemplation of eternal things.
Thomas Cole (1801-1884) - Essay in American Scenery, American Monthly Magazine, January 1836

And rural nature is full of the same quickening spirit--it is, in fact, the exhaustless mine from which the poet and the painter have brought such wondrous treasures--an unfailing fountain of intellectual enjoyment, where all may drink, and be awakened to a deeper feeling of the works of genius, and a keener perception of the beauty of our existence. For those whose days are all consumed in the low pursuits of avarice, or the gaudy frivolities of fashion, unobservant of nature's loveliness, are unconscious of the harmony of creation--
Thomas Cole (1801-1884) - Essay in American Scenery, American Monthly Magazine, January 1836

All argument will vanish before one touch of nature.
George Colman (The Younger) - Poor Gentleman (act V, 1)

Your deepest roots are in nature. No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of life you lead, you remain irrevocably linked with the rest of creation.
Charles Cook - Awakening to Nature, Charles Cook, Contemporary Books, 2001

Now that we're essentially an indoor species, walled off from the world of other life forms, we're divorced from the very domain that supports and sustains our lives.
Charles Cook - Awakening to Nature, Charles Cook, Contemporary Books, 2001, p.3.

The idea of regularly acknowledging our indebtedness to the natural world and giving thanks for the many gifts we receive from it, or considering other species to be our close "relations" which many indigenous peoples still do, couldn't be more alien to most of us.
Charles Cook - Awakening to Nature, Charles Cook, Contemporary Books, 2001, p.5.

There is new life in the soil for every man. There is healing in the trees for tired minds and for our overburdened spirits, there is strength in the hills, if only we will lift up our eyes. Remember that nature is your great restorer.
President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) - The mind of the President: as revealed by himself in his own words. 1926, p302.

Nature is but a name for an effect,
Whose cause is God.
William Cowper (1731-1800) - The Task (1785) Book VI, Winter Walk at Noon, l. 223

Nature, exerting an unwearied power,
Forms, opens, and gives scent to every flower;
Spreads the fresh verdure of the field, and leads
The dancing Naiads through the dewy meads.
William Cowper (1731-1800) - Table Talk. Line 690.
(Naiads = Greek Mythology - a type of nymph who presided over fountains, wells, springs, streams, and brooks; meads = meadow)

...Nature—the word that stands for the baffling mysteries of the Universe. Steadily, unflinchingly, we strive to pierce the inmost heart of Nature, from what she is to reconstruct what she has been, and to prophesy what she yet shall be. Veil after veil we have lifted, and her face grows more beautiful, august, and wonderful, with every barrier that is withdrawn.
Sir William Crookes (1832-1919) - in Practical Mind Reading, William Walker Atkinson, Lesson 1, p9, British association for the Advancement of Science, Bristol, England. 1908

All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child.
Marie Curie - Pierre Curie (1923), as translated by Charlotte Kellogg and Vernon Lyman Kellogg, p. 162

All the forces in nature that are the most powerful, are the most quiet.
John Cumming (1807-1881) - The Daily Life, 1855, p 256.

Nature throws her choicest treasures at their feet, but they walk over them disregardful and insensible; while it is true that some even of the commonest productions of the sea productions which are unnoticed from their very abundance would well repay careful study and patient investigation.
William E. Damon - Ocean Wonders: Companion for the Seaside, preface (p.v), D. Appleton & Co, NY, NY, 1879

The more I study Nature, the more I become impressed with ever-increasing force that the contrivances and beautiful adaptations slowly acquired through each part, occasionally varying in a slight degree, but in many ways, with the preservation of those variations which were beneficial to the organism under complex and ever-varying conditions of life, transcend in an incomparable manner the contrivances and adaptations which the most fertile imagination of man could invent.
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) - The Various Contrivances by which Orchids are Fertilised by Insects, Chapter IX (p285), John Murray, London, 1904

When man gives his whole heart to Nature, and has no cares outside, it is surprising how observant he becomes, and how curious he is to know the cause of things.
William Davies II (1871-1940) - Nature, Ch. I (p. 15), B.T. Batsford, Ltd, London, 1914

Nature is beautiful, and you are in her bosom. That voice of comfort which speaks in the breezes of morning, may visit your mind, that the delightful influences which the green leaves, the blue sky, the moonbeams and clouds of the evening diffuse over the universe, may in their powers of soul-healing, visit your day visions, is my desire and hope.
Sir Humphry Davy (1718-1829) - Fragmentary Remains, Literary and Scientific, of Sir Humphry Davy, Chapter I (p.14), John Churchill, London, 1858

The whole language of nature informs us, that in animated beings there is something above our powers of investigation; something which employs, combines, and arranges the gross elements of matter — a spark of celestial fire, by which life is kindled and preserved, and which, if even the instruments it employs are indestructible in their essence, must itself, of necessity, be immortal.
Sir Humphry Davy (1718-1829) - Memoirs of the Life of Sir Humphry Davy, ed. John Davy, (Vol 1), Chapter 3, p 218, London, 1836

The true wisdom of the philosopher ought to insist in enjoying everything. Yet we apply ourselves to dissecting and destroying everything that is good in itself, that has virtue, albeit the virtue there is in mere illusions. Nature gives us this life like a toy to a weak child. We want to see how it all works; we break everything. There remains in our hands, and before our eyes, stupid and opened too late, the sterile wreckage, fragments that will not again make a whole. The good is so simple.
Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) - The Journal of Eugene Delacroix, Tr Walter Pach, Tuesday, June 1, 1824 (p. 92), Covici, NY, NY, 1937

Nature creates unity even in the parts of a whole.
Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) - The Journal of Eugene Delacroix, Tr Walter Pach, Jan. 25, 1857, Covici, NY, NY, 1937

Man's home is nature; his purposes and aims are dependent for execution upon natural conditions. Separated from such conditions they become empty dreams and idle indulgences of fancy.
John Dewey (1859-1952) - Democracy and Education (1916) Section 21

Nature is the mother and the habitat of man, even if sometimes a stepmother and an unfriendly home.
John Dewey (1859-1952) - Originally published 1934. Art as Experience, ch. 2, Capricorn Books (1958)

Unfortunately, nature is very much a now-you-see-it, now-you-don't affair. A fish flashes, then dissolves in the water before my eyes like so much salt. Deer apparently ascend bodily into heaven; the brightest oriole fades into leaves.
Annie Dillard (1945- ) - Pilgrim At Tinker Creek, Ch 2 p16, Harpers Magazine Press, 1974

Nature is a book of many pages and each page tells a fascinating story to him who learns her language. Our fertile valleys and craggy mountains recite an epic poem of geologic conflicts. The starry sky reveal gigantic suns and space and time without end.
Andrew Ellicott Douglas (1867-1962) - Annual Report of the board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, 1922, Some Aspects of the Use of the Annual Rings of Trees in Climatic Study, p 223, Government Printing Office, 1924

For Art may err, but Nature cannot miss.
John Dryden (1631–1700) - The Cock and the Fox. Line 452.

The belief that we can manage the Earth and improve on Nature is probably the ultimate expression of human conceit, but it has deep roots in the past and is almost universal.
Rene J. Dubos, (1901-1982), The Wooing of the Earth, 1980.

The peace of nature and of the innocent creatures of God seems to be secure and deep, only so long as the presence of man and his restless and unquiet spirit are not there to trouble its sanctity.
Tomas De Quincey, "Preliminary Confessions" (1821- 56)

Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge.
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) - attributed in multiple sources but without citation

We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature's inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. ... I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) - Uncommon Friends : Life with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel & Charles Lindbergh (1987) by James Newton, p. 31

Everything in nature invites us constantly to be what we are.
Gretel Ehrlich (1946 - ) - Essay "On Water," in Words from the Land: Encounters with Natural History Writing, ed. S. Trimble, Peregrine Smith Books, 1988.

Nature shows us only the tail of the lion. But there is no doubt in my mind that the lion belongs with it even if he cannot reveal himself to the eye all at once because of his huge dimension.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) - Letter to H. Zangger (10 March 1914), quoted in The Curious History of Relativity by Jean Eisenstaedt (2006), p. 126

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe", a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) - Quoted in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Dec 1981, Vol 37, No 10, p52. A shorter, different version of the quote appears in a letter to Robert S. Marcus, Feb 12, 1960. The quote there states:
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe", a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is in the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish the delusion but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.
http://www.onbeing.org/blog/einstein-sleuthing/3637 Whether or not Einstein later expanded the passage is unknown.

The wonder of nature does not become smaller because one cannot measure it by the standards of human moral and human aims.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) - 7 August 1941 letter discussing responses to his essay "Science and Religion" (1941)

Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) - Response to atheist Alfred Kerr in the winter of 1927 - as quoted in The Diary of a Cosmopolitan (1971) by H. G. Kessler

Nature conceals her secrets because she is sublime, not because she is a trickster.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) - Letter to Oscar Veblen, April 30, 1930.

Nature repairs her ravages, but not all. The uptorn trees are not rooted again; the parted hills are left scarred; if there is a new growth, the trees are not the same as the old, and the hills underneath their green vesture bear the marks of the past rending. To the eyes that have dwelt on the past, there is no thorough repair.
George Eliot - The Mill on the Floss (1860)

When Nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Address: The Method of Nature

To the dull mind nature is leaden; To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Journal May 20, 1831 Illumination


The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Journals (1822-1863), 25 May 1843

Nature is saturated with Deity.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - "The Relation of Intellect to Natural Science," Deilvered June 8, 1848, in The Later Lectures of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1843-1871, Vol 1, Ed. Bosco, p. 162

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Lectures and Biographical Sketches (Education)

The universe is represented in every one of its particles. Everything in Nature contains all the powers of Nature.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Essay: "Compensation"

Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Essays, First Series, "History" 1841



Nature is a rag-merchant, who works up every shred and ort and end into new creations; like a good chemist, whom I found, the other day, in his laboratory, converting his old shirts into pure white sugar.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Essays and Lectures, "The Conduct of Life," VII Considerations by the Way, 1860.

Power is in nature the essential measure of right.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Self Reliance

Nature is no sentimentalist, — does not cosset or pamper us. We must see that the world is rough and surly, and will not mind drowning a man or a woman; but swallows your ship like a grain of dust. The cold, inconsiderate of persons, tingles your blood, benumbs your feet, freezes a man like an apple. The diseases, the elements, fortune, gravity, lightning, respect no persons.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - The Conduct of Life: Fate (1860, rev. 1876)

Nature is a tropical swamp in sunshine, on whose purlieus we hear the song of summer birds, and see prismatic dewdrops, - but her interiors are terrific, full of hydras and crocodiles.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - "Moral Sense," in The Later Lectures of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1843-1871: 1855-1871, ed Bosco & Myerson, 2010.


Standing on the bare ground, — my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, — all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Nature - Ch. 1.

Old & New put their stamp to everything in Nature. The snowflake that is now falling is marked by both. The present moment gives the motion & the color of the flake: Antiquity, its form & properties. All things wear a luster which is the gift of the present & a tarnish of time.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks 5:286

To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty . . . it beholds every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Essay: "Beauty"

As I walked in the woods I felt what I often feel that nothing can befall me in life, no calamity, no disgrace (leaving me my eyes) to which Nature will not offer a sweet consolation. Standing on the bare ground with my head bathed by the blithe air, & uplifted into the infinite space, I become happy in my universal relations. The name of the nearest friend sounds then foreign & accidental. I am the heir of uncontained beauty and power.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks JMN 5:18-19

I thought as I rode in the cold pleasant light of Sunday morning how silent & passive nature offers, every morn, her wealth to man; she is immensely rich, he is welcome to her entire goods, which he speaks no word, only leaves over doors ajar, hall, store room, & cellar. He may do as he will: if he takes her hint & uses her goods, she speaks no word; if he blunders & starves, she says nothing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks 5:253

At the gates of the forest, the surprised man of the world is forced to leave his city estimates of great and small, wise and foolish.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Essay VI, Nature

[Nature:] How cunningly she hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses, and violets, and morning dew!
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Progress of Cuture - Address Read Before The Phi Beta Kappa Society At Cambridge, July 18, 1867.

Nature never hurries: atom by atom, little by little, she achieves her work. The lesson one learns in fishing, yachting, hunting, or planting, is the manners of Nature; patience with the delays of wind and sun, delays of the seasons, bad weather, excess or lack of water,—patience with the slowness of our feed, with the parsimony of our strenght, with the largeness of sea and land we must traverse, etc.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Essay, Farming, in Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Routledge & Sons, London, 1883, p. 239.

Nature is an endless combination of repetition of a very few laws. She hums the old well-known air through innumerable variations.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Essays, First Series, "History" 1841

It is very odd that Nature should be so unscrupulous. She is no saint . . .
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841-44, 20 May, 1843, ed Edward Waldo Emerson, p. 405

One's appreciation of nature is never more acuet than when a bit of nature is injected into one's flesh.
Howard Ensign Evans (1919-2002) - The Pleasures of Entomology: Portraits of Insects and the People Who Study them, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C., 1985, p. 221

When I consider the multitude of associated forces which are diffused through nature — when I think of that calm balancing of their energies which enables those most powerful in themselves, most destructive to the world's creatures and economy, to dwell associated together and be made subservient to the wants of creation, I rise from the contemplation more than ever impressed with the wisdom, the beneficence, and grandeur, beyond our language to express, of the Great Disposer of us all.
Michael Faraday - quoted in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) p. 428

Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.
Richard Feynman (1918-1988) - The Character of Physical Law (1965)

To those who do not know mathematics it is difficult to get across a real feeling as to the beauty, the deepest beauty of nature . . . . If you want to learn about nature, to appreciate nature, it is necessary to understand the language that she speaks in.
Richard Feynman (1918-1988) - The Character of Physical Law (1965) Ch. 2.

But see that the imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man.
Richard Feynman (1918–1988) - The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist, 1998.

It turns out that all life is interconnected with all other life.
Richard Feynman (1918–1988) - The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist, 1998.

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.
Richard Feynman (1918–1988) - Rogers Commission Report into the Challenger Crash (June 1986) Appendix F - Personal Observations on Reliability of Shuttle

All nature wears one universal grin.
Henry Fielding (1707-1754) - Tom Thumb the Great, Act I, sc. i, (1730)

The fact of progress is written plain and large on the page of history; but progress is not a law of nature.
H.A.L. Fisher (1865-1940) - A History of Europe, Preface (p.v), Edward Arnold Publishers LTD, London, England, 1936

Nature is so varied in its modes of action, so multiple in the manisftations of its power, that we have no night to set any limits to its capabilities.
Camile Flammarion (1842-1925) - Popular Astronomy, Book II, Ch 5, Chatto & Windus, London, England, 1894, p 134.

One of the elementary rules of nature is that, in the absence of a law prohibiting an event or phenomenon, it is bound to occur with some degree of probability. To put it simply and crudely: Anything that can happen does happen.
Kenneth W. Ford (1926- ) - Scientific American, "Magnetic Monopoles," Vol 209, No. 6, December 1963, p. 122.

Nature is ever making signs to us, she is ever whispering to us the beginnings of her secrets; the scientific man must ever be on the watch, ready at once to lay hold of Nature's hint, however small, to listen to her whisper, however low.
Sir Michael Foster (1836-1907) - Introduction to Science, Ch 1, Williams & Norgate, London, 1916, p 16.

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
Ann Frank (1929-1945) - The Diary (12 June 1942 - 1 August 1944)

Nature provides exceptions to every rule.
Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) -"The Great Lawsuit: Man vs Men, Woman vs Women," The Dial, IV July 1843, 180.

The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) -

Nature . . . is inexorable and immutable; she never transgresses the laws imposed upon her, nor cares a whit whether her abstruse reasons and methods of operations are understandable to men.
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) Essay in response to the Grand Duchess Christina, Quoted in Aspects of Western Civilization: Problems and Sources in History, ed Rodgers, 1988.

If you could see the earth illuminated when you were in a place as dark as night, it would look to you more splendid than the moon.
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) - "Dialogue concerning the Two Chief World Systems," 1632, Salviati p 88



More and more Americans feel threatened by runaway technology, by large-scale organization, by overcrowding. More and more Americans are appalled by the ravages of industrial progress, by the defacement of nature, by man-made ugliness. If our society continues at its present rate to become less livable as it becomes more affluent, we promise all to end up in sumptuous misery.
John William Gardner (1912–2002) -JOHN W. GARDNER, No Easy Victories, ed. Helen Rowan, p. 57 (1968).

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair.
Kahlil Gibran - The Prophet, On Clothes


The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life.
Jean Giraudoux (1882-1944) - The Enchanted, Act 1, (1933)

Whatever Nature undertakes, she can only accomplish it in a sequence. She never makes a leap.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) - Jeremy Naydler (ed.), Goethe On Science: An Anthology of Goethe's Scientific Writings (1996), 60.

Nothing is more consonant with Nature than that she puts into operation in the smallest detail that which she intends as a whole.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)- Jeremy Naydler (ed.), Goethe On Science: An Anthology of Goethe's Scientific Writings (1996), 59.

Nature does not suffer her veil to be taken from her, and what she does not choose to reveal to the spirit, thou wilt not wrest from her by levers and screws.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) - In James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources (1893), 119:29

In Nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it, and over it.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) - In James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources (1893), 183:24.

Nature! We are enveloped and embraced by her, incapable of emerging from her and incapable of entering her more deeply. Unbidden and unwarned, she receives us into the circuits of her dance, drifting onward with us herself, until we grow tired and drop from her arms. 
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) - (Schriften zur Natur- und Wissenschaftslehre, "Fragment über die Natur;" GA 16: 921-922)

But there is no trifling with nature; it is always true, grave, and severe; it is always in the right, and the faults and errors fall to our share. It defies incompetency, but reveals its secrets to the competent, the truthful, and the pure.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) - Goethe's opinions on the world, mankind, literature, science, and art, Tr. Otto Wenckstern, 1853, p 63.

Nature is the living, visible garment of God.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) - Faust

Nature goes her own way, and all that seems an exception is really according to order.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) - in Johann Peter Eckermann, Conversations with Goethe, Thursday, December 9, 1824, (p. 75), J.M Dent & Sons, England, 1970

Assuredly there is no more lovely worship of God than that for which no image is required, but which springs up in our breast spontaneously when nature speaks to the soul, and the soul speaks to nature face to face.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) - The Wisdom of Goethe, ed Blackie, 1883, p187

Nature knows no pause in progress and development, and attaches her curse to all inaction.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) - Die Aphorismen uber Naturwissenschaft - Werke, bd. L., section 4.

Nature! We live in her midst and know her not. She is incessantly speaking to us, but betrays not her secret. We constantly act upon her, and yet have no power over her. Variant: NATURE! We are surrounded and embraced by her: powerless to separate ourselves from her, and powerless to penetrate beyond her.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) -"Nature: Aphorisms by Goethe," Nature, Vol. 1, Thursday, November 4, 1869, tr Thomas Huxley, p. 9.

The spectacle of Nature is always new, for she is always renewing the spectators. Life is her most exquisite invention; and death is her expert contrivance to get plenty of life.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) -"Nature: Aphorisms by Goethe," Nature, Vol. 1, Thursday, November 4, 1869, tr Thomas Huxley, p. 9.

As you sit on the hillside, or lie prone under the trees of the forest, or sprawl wet-legged on the shingly beach of a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens.
Stephen Graham - The Gentle art of Tramping (1926).

Nature! We are surrounded and embraced by her - powerless to leave her and powerless to enter her more deeply. Unmasked and without warning she sweeps us away in the round of her dance and dances on until we fall exhausted in her arms. She brings forth ever-new forms: what is there, never was; what was, never will return. All is new and forever old. We live within her, and are strangers to her. She speaks perpetually with us, and does not betray her secret. We work on her constantly, and yet have no power over her.
George Christoph Tobler - written after conversations with Johann Wolfgang Goethe (28 August 1749-22 March 1832) also attributed to Goethe. Included in Goethe's Tiefurt Journal in 1783 as an accurate reflection of his thinking at the time. The full text can be found here.

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
Greek Proverb

Sometimes nature guards her secrets with the unbreakable grip of physical law. Sometimes the true nature of reality beckons from just beyond the horizon.
Brrian Greene (1963 - ) - NYT Op Ed, "Darkness on the Edge of the Universe, January 15, 2011

For all Nature is as one Great Engine, made by, and held in His Hand.
Nehemiah Grew (1641-1712) - The Anatomy of Plants With an Idea of a Philosophical History of Plants and Several Other Lectures Read Before the Royal Society, 1682, p. 80.

In the spangled sky, the rainbow, the woodland  hung with diamonds, the sward sown with pearly dew,  the rosy dawn, the golden clouds of even, the purple  mountains, the hoary rock, the blue boundless main,  Nature's simplest flower, or some fair form of laughing child or lovely maiden, we cannot see the beautiful without admiring it.
Thomas Guthrie (1803-1873) - The Way to Life, E.B.Treat & company (1891)


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