Henry David Thoreau Quotes

American Author

167 Quotes, 257 Likes

Top 10 Henry David Thoreau
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Featured QuoteWealth is the ability to fully experience life.
Henry David Thoreau

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What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. View Quote
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Tis healthy to be sick sometimes. View Quote
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To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over their tea. View Quote
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What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us. View Quote
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The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or, perchance, a palace or temple on the earth, and, at length, the middle-aged man concludes to build a woodshed with them. View Quote
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There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. View Quote
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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. View Quote
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Our moments of inspiration are not lost though we have no particular poem to show for them; for those experiences have left an indelible impression, and we are ever and anon reminded of them. View Quote
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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. View Quote
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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. View Quote
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The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. View Quote
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Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh. View Quote
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Never look back unless you are planning to go that way. View Quote
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Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes. View Quote
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It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things. View Quote
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See Also

Henry David Thoreau About Life
Henry David Thoreau About Other Topics



It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about? View Quote
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Justice is sweet and musical; but injustice is harsh and discordant. View Quote
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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. View Quote
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If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment. View Quote
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In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood. View Quote
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I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion. View Quote
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If it is surely the means to the highest end we know, can any work be humble or disgusting? Will it not rather be elevating as a ladder, the means by which we are translated? View Quote
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If misery loves company, misery has company enough. View Quote
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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. View Quote
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I was more independent than any farmer in Concord, for I was not anchored to a house or farm, but could follow the bent of my genius, which is a very crooked one, every moment. View Quote
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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. View Quote
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Before printing was discovered, a century was equal to a thousand years. View Quote
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Beware of all enterprises that require a new set of clothes. View Quote
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How does it become a man to behave towards the American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it. View Quote
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As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. View Quote
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A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man's life as in a book. Haste makes waste, no less in life than in housekeeping. Keep the time, observe the hours of the universe, not of the cars. View Quote
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A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. View Quote
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A man's interest in a single bluebird is worth more than a complete but dry list of the fauna and flora of a town. View Quote
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A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting. View Quote
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Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something. View Quote
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All good things are wild, and free. View Quote
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All men are children, and of one family. The same tale sends them all to bed, and wakes them in the morning. View Quote
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All this worldly wisdom was once the unamiable heresy of some wise man. View Quote
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An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. View Quote
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An unclean person is universally a slothful one. View Quote
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Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it. View Quote
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As if you could kill time without injuring eternity. View Quote
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Be true to your work, your word, and your friend. View Quote
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Being is the great explainer. View Quote
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Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business. View Quote
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Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations. View Quote
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Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant? View Quote
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Cultivate the habit of early rising. It is unwise to keep the head long on a level with the feet. View Quote
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Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. View Quote
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Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes. View Quote
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Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it. View Quote
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Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. View Quote
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Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still. View Quote
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Dreams are the touchstones of our character. View Quote
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Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it. View Quote
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Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new. View Quote
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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? View Quote
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Every man is the builder of a temple called his body. View Quote
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Every people have gods to suit their circumstances. View Quote
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Faith keeps many doubts in her pay. If I could not doubt, I should not believe. View Quote
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Faith never makes a confession. View Quote
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Fire is the most tolerable third party. View Quote
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Friends... they cherish one another's hopes. They are kind to one another's dreams. View Quote
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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. View Quote
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God reigns when we take a liberal view, when a liberal view is presented to us. View Quote
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Goodness is the only investment that never fails. View Quote
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Great men, unknown to their generation, have their fame among the great who have preceded them, and all true worldly fame subsides from their high estimate beyond the stars. View Quote
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He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul's estate. View Quote
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Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads. View Quote
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How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book. View Quote
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