in Thoreau’s Journal:
A man asked me the other night whether such and such persons were not as happy as anybody, being conscious, as I perceived, of much unhappiness himself and not aspiring to much more than an animal content. “Why!”, said I… “the stones are happy, Concord River is happy, and I am happy too… The most brutish and inanimate objects that are made suggest an everlasting and thorough satisfaction; they are the homes of content. Wood, earth, mould, etc., exist for joy. Do you think that Concord River would have continued to flow these millions of years…if it had not been happy…?” When I look up a fragment of a walnut shell this morning, I saw by its grain and composition, its form and color, etc., that is was made for happiness. The most brutish and inanimate objects that are made suggest an everlasting and thorough satisfaction. They are the homes of content. Wood, earth, mould, etc., exist for joy.