Henry David Thoreau Quotes

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can let alone.
To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, an they who edit and read it are old women over their tea.
Men are born to succeed, not to fail.
Dreams are the touchstones of our character.
I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will.
The man who goes alone can start today but he who travels with another must wait till the other is ready, and it may be along time before they get off.
Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.
I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.
It is not enough to be busy the question is what are we busy about
I do not wish to kill nor to be killed, but I can foresee circumstances in which these things would be by me unavoidable.
Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.
Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.
The world is but a canvas to the imagination.
There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at its root.
The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way.
That government is best which governs least. - from Civil Disobedience
Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.
Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.
When I read some of the rules for speaking and writing the English language correctly...I think-- Any fool can make a rule And every fool will mind it.
There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living. - from Live Without Principle
The ways by which you may get money almost without exception lead downward. - from Live Without Principle
The lawyer's truth is not Truth, but consistency or a consistent expediency.
The universe seems bankrupt as soon as we begin to discuss the characters of individuals.
What a man thinks of himself that is what determines, or rather indicates his fate.
True friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance.
It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.
It takes two to speak truth - One to speak, and another to hear.
Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is in prison.
A grain of gold will gild a great surface, but not so much as a grain of wisdom. - from Live Without Principle
When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.
To reget deeply is to live afresh.
The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible And indescribably as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, A segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, this is no other life but this.
Life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages.
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.
Nature abhors a vacuum, and if I can only walk with sufficient carelessness I am sure to be filled.
We are always paid for our suspicion by finding what we suspect.
That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.
There are now-a-days professors of philosophy but not philosophers.
Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his friends for his life.
Why should we be in such desperate hast to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
However mean your life is, meet it and live it do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are the richest.
If a man constantly aspires is he not elevated
In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high.
What old people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new.
We shall see but a little way if we require to understand what we see.
Make the most of your regrets. . . . To regret deeply is to live afresh.
Whatever sentence will bear to be read twice, we may be sure was thought twice.
However mean your life is, meet it and live it do not shun it and call it hard names. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.
The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.
We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.
Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought. Every man is the lord of a realm beside which the earthly empire of the Czar is but a petty state, a hummock left by the ice.
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestioned ability of a man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.
None can be an impartial or wise observer of human life but from the vantage ground of what we should call voluntary poverty.
Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul.
Faint heart never won true friend. O my friend, may it come to pass, once, that when you are my friend I may be yours.
It is never too late to give up our prejudices.
Arthur Schopenhauer Only he is successful in his business who makes that pursuit which affords him the highest pleasure sustain him.
The language of friendship is not words, but meanings. It is an intelligence about language.
All perception of truth is the detection of an analogy we reason from our hands to our head.
It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
Goodness is the only investment that never fails.
The language of friendship is not words but meanings.
Men have become the tools of their tools.
Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.
What does education often do It makes a straight-cut ditch of a free, meandering brook.
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
There is no rule more invariable than that we are paid for our suspicions by finding what we suspect.
My friend is one... who take me for what I am.
Do not despair of life. Think of the fox, prowling in a winter night to satisfy his hunger. His race survives I do not believe any of them ever committed suicide.
Dwell as near as possible to the channel in which your life flows.
No one is so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.
Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life We are determined to be starved before we are hungry. Men say that a stitch in time saves nine, and so they take a thousand stitiches today to save nine tomorrow.
We are sometimes made aware of a kindness long passed, and realize that there have been times when our friends' thoughts of us were of so pure and lofty a character that they passed over us like the winds of heaven unnoticed when they treated us not as what we were, but as what we aspired to be. -- from A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
One may discover a new side to his most intimate friend when for the first time he hears him speak in public. He will be stranger to him as he is more familiar to the audience. The longest intimacy could not foretell how he would behave then.
Government never furthered any enterprise but the alacrity with which it got out of the way.
What is called genius is the abundance of life and health.
In wildness is the preservation of the world. - from Walking
What is a country without rabbits and partridges They are among the most simple and indigenous animal products ancient and venerable familes known to antiquity as to modern times of the very hue and substance of Nature, nearest allied to leaves and to the ground.
I have lived some thirty-odd years on this planet, and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors.
We seem but to linger in manhood to tell the dreams of our childhood, and they vanish out of memory ere we learn the language.
There is no remedy for love but to love more.
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend.
Friends do not live in harmony merely, as some say, but in melody.
To affect the quality of the day that is the art of life.
The man for whom law exists -- the man of forms, the Conservative, is a tame man.
The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when someone asked me what I thought , and attended to my answer.
I have learned this at least by my experiment that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
The cost of a things is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
Time is but the stream I go a-fishin in. I drink at it, but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. It's thin current slides away, but eternity remains.
If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.
A man is wise with the wisdom of his time only, and ignorant with its ignorance. Observe how the greatest minds yield in some degree to the superstitions of their age.
I hear many condemn these men because they were so few. When were the good and the braver every in a majority
How often we find ourselves turning our backs on our actual friends, that we may go and meet their ideal cousins.
I stand in awe of my body.
I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.
Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.
Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good be good for something.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. Men will believe what they see.
In what concerns you much, do not think that you have companions know that you are alone in the world.
Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.
Live each season as it passes breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
What people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can.
What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on
Water is the only drink for a wise man.
Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.
The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly.
Man is the artificer of his own happiness.
He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul's estate.
Things do not change we change.
Every man is the builder of a temple called his body.
I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.
How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.
Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed in them.
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