The decline in literature indicates a decline in the nation. The two keep pace in their downward tendency.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

All places where women are excluded tend downward to barbarism; but the moment she is introduced, there come in with her courtesy, cleanliness, sobriety, and order.
Harriet Beecher Stowe downward quote

The way by which you may get money almost without exception leads downward.
— Henry David Thoreau

Were a star quenched on high,For ages would its light,Still travelling downward from the sky,Shine on our mortal sight. So when a great man dies,For years beyond our ken,The light he leaves behind him liesUpon the paths of men.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Why level downward to our dullest perception always, and praise that as common sense? The commonest sense is the sense of men asleep, which they express by snoring.
— Henry David Thoreau