Words matter. These are the best Henry David Thoreau Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man.
I am sorry to think that you do not get a man’s most effective criticism until you provoke him. Severe truth is expressed with some bitterness.
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.
The lawyer’s truth is not Truth, but consistency or a consistent expediency.
Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.
All this worldly wisdom was once the unamiable heresy of some wise man.
It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.
Men are born to succeed, not to fail.
It is best to avoid the beginnings of evil.
There is no remedy for love but to love more.
As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.
The Artist is he who detects and applies the law from observation of the works of Genius, whether of man or Nature. The Artisan is he who merely applies the rules which others have detected.
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
Alas! how little does the memory of these human inhabitants enhance the beauty of the landscape!
I have the habit of attention to such excess, that my senses get no rest – but suffer from a constant strain.
Goodness is the only investment that never fails.
In wildness is the preservation of the world.
Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed by them.
Only he is successful in his business who makes that pursuit which affords him the highest pleasure sustain him.
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
To be admitted to Nature’s hearth costs nothing. None is excluded, but excludes himself. You have only to push aside the curtain.
May we so love as never to have occasion to repent of our love!
Only that day dawns to which we are awake.
There never was and is not likely soon to be a nation of philosophers, nor am I certain it is desirable that there should be.
True friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance.
The universe is wider than our views of it.
An unclean person is universally a slothful one.
Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.
What old people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new.
There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted.
The life which men praise and regard as successful is but one kind. Why should we exaggerate any one kind at the expense of the others?
If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.
It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.
Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed… Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.
Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
I have a great deal of company in the house, especially in the morning when nobody calls.
Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.
There is one consolation in being sick; and that is the possibility that you may recover to a better state than you were ever in before.
It is better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are… than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise.
Justice is sweet and musical; but injustice is harsh and discordant.
Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.
Through our own recovered innocence we discern the innocence of our neighbors.
It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.
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.
The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest.
If a man constantly aspires is he not elevated?
There is no just and serene criticism as yet.
It is too late to be studying Hebrew; it is more important to understand even the slang of today.
What is called genius is the abundance of life and health.
Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
It is what a man thinks of himself that really determines his fate.
To be awake is to be alive.
I have seen how the foundations of the world are laid, and I have not the least doubt that it will stand a good while.
In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood.
If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.
In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high.
If I seem to boast more than is becoming, my excuse is that I brag for humanity rather than for myself.
God reigns when we take a liberal view, when a liberal view is presented to us.
What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?
The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness.
Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new.
I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark.
If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.
Every man casts a shadow; not his body only, but his imperfectly mingled spirit. This is his grief. Let him turn which way he will, it falls opposite to the sun; short at noon, long at eve. Did you never see it?
Being is the great explainer.
What is human warfare but just this; an effort to make the laws of God and nature take sides with one party.
It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers, any more than it is to make sheep ferocious.
To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.
It is never too late to give up our prejudices.
Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
The law will never make a man free; it is men who have got to make the law free.
How sweet is the perception of a new natural fact!
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 life, do your work, then take your hat.
There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living.
Truths and roses have thorns about them.
Men have become the tools of their tools.
Before printing was discovered, a century was equal to a thousand years.
They can do without architecture who have no olives nor wines in the cellar.
Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.
Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself.
Front yards are not made to walk in, but, at most, through, and you could go in the back way.
The savage in man is never quite eradicated.
Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul.
Every day or two, I strolled to the village to hear some of the gossip which is incessantly going on there, circulating either from mouth to mouth, or from newspaper to newspaper, and which, taken in homeopathic doses, was really as refreshing in its way as the rustle of leaves and the peeping of frogs.
Things do not change; we change.
Thaw with her gentle persuasion is more powerful than Thor with his hammer. The one melts, the other breaks into pieces.
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