Surveyor Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
of-the-surveyor039s-theodolite
bel-air-i-am-convinced-was-laid-out-by-some-diabolic-sadist-who-deliberately-decided-not-to-use-compass-surveyor-groucho-marx
sometimes-i-imagine-surveyor-100-years-from-now-reading-my-plan-retracing-my-boundaries-finding-monuments-that-i-set-its-honor-to-make-mark-in-mark-mason
i-come-from-line-railroad-men-my-great-grandfather-was-surveyor-for-burlington-railroad
my-dad-worked-all-sorts-jobs-when-i-was-growing-up-finally-ended-up-as-surveyor-my-mum-delivers-meals-to-old-folk-around-where-we-live-we-didnt-have-much-money-when-i-was-growing
I had ceased to be a writer of tolerably poor tales and essays, and had become a tolerably good Surveyor of the Customs. That was all. But, nevertheless, it is any thing but agreeable to be haunted by a suspicion that one's intellect is dwindling away; or exhaling, without your consciousness, like ether out of a phial; so that, at every glance, you find a smaller and less volatile residuum. Of the fact, there could be no doubt; and, examining myself and others, I was led to conclusions in reference to the effect of public office on the character, not very favorable to the mode of life in question. In some other form, perhaps, I may hereafter develop these effects. Suffice it here to say, that a Custom-House officer, of long continuance, can hardly be a very praiseworthy or respectable personage, for many reasons; one of them, the tenure by which he holds his situation, and another, the very nature of his business, which-though, I trust, an honest one-is of such a sort that he does not share in the united effort of mankind. An effect-which I believe to be observable, more or less, in every individual who has occupied the position-is, that, while he leans on the mighty arm of the Republic, his own proper strength departs from him. He loses, in an extent proportioned to the weakness or force of his original nature, the capability of self-support. If he possess an unusual share of native energy, or the enervating magic of place do not operate too long upon him, his forfeited powers may be redeemable. The ejected officer-fortunate in the unkindly shove that sends him forth betimes, to struggle amid a struggling world-may return to himself, and become all that he has ever been. But this seldom happens. He usually keeps his ground just long enough for his own ruin, and is then thrust out, with sinews all unstrung, to totter along the difficult footpath of life as he best may. Conscious of his own infirmity, -that his tempered steel and elasticity are lost, -he for ever afterwards looks wistfully about him in quest of support external to himself. His pervading and continual hope-a hallucination, which, in the face of all discouragement, and making light of impossibilities, haunts him while he lives, and, I fancy, like the convulsive throes of the cholera, torments him for a brief space after death-is, that, finally, and in no long time, by some happy coincidence of circumstances, he shall be restored to office. This faith, more than any thing else, steals the pith and availability out of whatever enterprise he may dream of undertaking. Why should he toil and moil, and be at so much trouble to pick himself up out of the mud, when, in a little while hence, the strong arm of his Uncle will raise and support him? Why should he work for his living here, or go to dig gold in California, when he is so soon to be made happy, at monthly intervals, with a little pile of glittering coin out of his Uncle's pocket? It is sadly curious to observe how slight a taste of office suffices to infect a poor fellow with this singular disease. Uncle Sam's gold-meaning no disrespect to the worthy old gentleman-has, in this respect, a quality of enchantment like that of the Devil's wages. Whoever touches it should look well to himself, or he may find the bargain to go hard against him, involving, if not his soul, yet many of its better attributes; its sturdy force, its courage and constancy, its truth, its self-reliance, and all that gives the emphasis to manly character.

Nathaniel Hawthorne
i-had-ceased-to-be-writer-tolerably-poor-tales-essays-had-become-tolerably-good-surveyor-customs-that-was-all-but-nevertheless-it-is-any-thing-but-agreeable-to-be-haunted-by-susp
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