January 28, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Perhaps I can never find so good a setting for my thoughts as I shall thus have taken them out of.  The crystal never sparkles more brightly than in the cavern. The world have always loved best the fable with the moral. The children could read the fable alone, the grown-up read both. The truth so told has the best advantages of the most abstract statement, for it is not the less universally applicable. Where else will you ever find the true cement for your thoughts? How will you ever rivet them together without leaving the marks of the file? Yet Plutarch did not so; Montaigne did not so. Men have written travels in this form, but perhaps no man’s daily life has been rich enough to be journalized.