200 Henry David Thoreau Quotes On Life And How To Live

Over 200 of the most quoted Henry David Thoreau quotes and thoughts – an extensive collection.

Henry David Thoreau – Philosopher and Author

Henry David Thoreau was an American author, philosopher, and naturalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection on simple living in natural surroundings. As an advocate of civil disobedience, Thoreau was an influential thinker in the development of modern liberalism and anarchism.

The works of Henry David Thoreau have been quoted by many people across a wide variety of fields. Here are some notable Henry David Thoreau quotes:

The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend.

– Henry David Thoreau

The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend. - Henry David Thoreau

Inspirational Quotes by Henry David Thoreau

One farmer says to me, ‘You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make bones with;’ and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying his system with the raw material of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plow along in spite of every obstacle.

– Henry David Thoreau


Before printing was discovered, a century was equal to a thousand years.

– Henry David Thoreau


How insufficient is all wisdom without love.

– Henry David Thoreau


Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.

– Henry David Thoreau


We are born as innocents. We are polluted by advice.

– Henry David Thoreau


The perception of beauty is a moral test.

– Henry David Thoreau


I love you not as something private and personal, which is my own, but as something universal and worthy of love, which I have found.

– Henry David Thoreau


It is usually the imagination that is wounded first, rather than the heart; it being much more sensitive.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.

– Henry David Thoreau


Why should we be in such desperate haste 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.

– Henry David Thoreau


Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live.

– Henry David Thoreau


What is the singing of birds, or any natural sound, compared with the voice of one we love?

– Henry David Thoreau


For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever.

– Henry David Thoreau


The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.

– Henry David Thoreau


All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one… characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.

– Henry David Thoreau


David Thoreau Quotes

Justice is sweet and musical; but injustice is harsh and discordant.

– Henry David Thoreau


I have found that hollow, which even I had relied on for solid.

– Henry David Thoreau


It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man.

– Henry David Thoreau


Goodness is the only investment that never fails.

– Henry David Thoreau

Goodness is the only investment that never fails. - Henry David Thoreau


We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


You must live in the present – launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.

– Henry David Thoreau


I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born.

– Henry David Thoreau


Through our own recovered innocence we discern the innocence of our neighbors.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


Simplify your life. Don’t waste the years struggling for things that are unimportant. Don’t burden yourself with possessions. Keep your needs and wants simple and enjoy what you have. Don’t destroy your peace of mind by looking back, worrying about the past. Live in the present. Simplify!

– Henry David Thoreau


Enthusiasm is a supernatural serenity.

– Henry David Thoreau


The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest.

– Henry David Thoreau


It is best to avoid the beginnings of evil.

– Henry David Thoreau


Men have a respect for scholarship and learning greatly out of proportion to the use they commonly serve.

– Henry David Thoreau


Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul.

– Henry David Thoreau

Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul. - Henry David Thoreau


Quotes by Thoreau

As in geology, so in social institutions, we may discover the causes of all past changes in the present invariable order of society.

– Henry David Thoreau


Things do not change; we change.

– Henry David Thoreau


The path of least resistance leads to crooked rivers and crooked men.

– Henry David Thoreau


Not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something.

– Henry David Thoreau


There are old heads in the world who cannot help me by their example or advice to live worthily and satisfactorily to myself but I believe that it is in my power to elevate myself this very hour above the common level of my life.

– Henry David Thoreau


Thaw with her gentle persuasion is more powerful than Thor with his hammer. The one melts, the other breaks into pieces.

– Henry David Thoreau


Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl: it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling.

– Henry David Thoreau


Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.

– Henry David Thoreau


I have thought there was some advantage even in death, by which we mingle with the herd of common men.

– Henry David Thoreau


Life in us is like the water in a river.

– Henry David Thoreau

Life in us is like the water in a river. - Henry David Thoreau


It is too late to be studying Hebrew; it is more important to understand even the slang of today.

– Henry David Thoreau


It is what a man thinks of himself that really determines his fate.

– Henry David Thoreau


Be resolutely and faithfully what you are; be humbly what you aspire to be.

– Henry David Thoreau


The rich man is always sold to the institution which makes him rich.

– Henry David Thoreau


That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest.

– Henry David Thoreau


In wilderness is the preservation of the world.

– Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quotes

After the first blush of sin comes its indifference.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

– Henry David Thoreau


There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.

– Henry David Thoreau


Men are born to succeed, not to fail.

– Henry David Thoreau

Men are born to succeed, not to fail. - Henry David Thoreau


Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame.

– Henry David Thoreau


None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.

– Henry David Thoreau


Truth is always in harmony with herself, and is not concerned chiefly to reveal the justice that may consist with wrong-doing.

– Henry David Thoreau


No face which we can give to a matter will stead us so well at last as the truth. This alone wears well.

– Henry David Thoreau


There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted.

– Henry David Thoreau


Say what you have to say, not what you ought. Any truth is better than make-believe.

– Henry David Thoreau


There is no just and serene criticism as yet.

– Henry David Thoreau

There is no just and serene criticism as yet. - Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


There is always a present and extant life, be it better or worse, which all combine to uphold.

– Henry David Thoreau


Be yourself, not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.

– Henry David Thoreau


In my afternoon walk I would fain forget all my morning occupations and my obligations to society.

– Henry David Thoreau


Quotes by Henry David Thoreau

Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only indispensable but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.

– Henry David Thoreau


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

– Henry David Thoreau


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.

– Henry David Thoreau


That government is best which governs least.

– Henry David Thoreau


 


Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.

– Henry David Thoreau


O for a man who is a man, and, as my neighbor says, has a bone in his back which you cannot pass your hand through!

– Henry David Thoreau


I love Nature partly because she is not man, but a retreat from him. None of his institutions control or pervade her. There a different kind of right prevails. In her midst, I can be glad with an entire gladness.

– Henry David Thoreau


It is the greatest of all advantages to enjoy no advantage at all.

– Henry David Thoreau


What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.

– Henry David Thoreau


Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.

– Henry David Thoreau


All men are children, and of one family. The same tale sends them all to bed, and wakes them in the morning.

– Henry David Thoreau


It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers, any more than it is to make sheep ferocious.

– Henry David Thoreau


A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority.

– Henry David Thoreau


If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.

– Henry David Thoreau


There is a danger that we lose sight of what our friend is absolutely, while considering what she is to us alone.

– Henry David Thoreau


Quotes from Henry David Thoreau

Only he is successful in his business who makes that pursuit which affords him the highest pleasure sustain him.

– Henry David Thoreau


In a world of peace and love, music would be the universal language.

– Henry David Thoreau

In a world of peace and love, music would be the universal language. - Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


Till we have loved we have not imagined the heights of love.

– Henry David Thoreau


We know but a few men, a great many coats and breeches.

– Henry David Thoreau


The lawyer’s truth is not Truth, but consistency or a consistent expediency.

– Henry David Thoreau


Surely joy is the condition of life.

– Henry David Thoreau

Surely joy is the condition of life. - Henry David Thoreau


Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes

– Henry David Thoreau


What you get by achieving your goals is to as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

– Henry David Thoreau


Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.

– Henry David Thoreau


For an impenetrable shield, stand inside yourself.

– Henry David Thoreau


We shall see but a little way if we require to understand what we see.

– Henry David Thoreau


There is but one stage for the peasant and the actor.

– Henry David Thoreau


Faith never makes a confession.

– Henry David Thoreau

Faith never makes a confession. - Henry David Thoreau


An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.

– Henry David Thoreau


A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.

– Henry David Thoreau


Famous Henry David Thoreau Quotes

There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


All good things are wild and free.

– Henry David Thoreau


Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.

– Henry David Thoreau


True friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance.

– Henry David Thoreau


Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


There is no rule more invariable than that we are paid for our suspicions by finding what we suspect.

– Henry David Thoreau


If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see.

– Henry David Thoreau


The question is not what you look at, but what you see.

– Henry David Thoreau


Faith keeps many doubts in her pay. If I could not doubt, I should not believe.

– Henry David Thoreau

 


It is after all with men, and not with parchment, that I quarrel.

– Henry David Thoreau


Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.

– Henry David Thoreau


Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

– Henry David Thoreau


I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.

– Henry David Thoreau


Tis healthy to be sick sometimes.

– Henry David Thoreau


Quotes Thoreau

I have been as sincere a worshipper of Aurora as the Greeks.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.”

– Henry David Thoreau


Grow wild according to thy nature… Enjoy the land but own it not.

– Henry David Thoreau


It is never too late to give up our prejudices.

– Henry David Thoreau


The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


I believe that water is the only drink for the wise man.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?

– Henry David Thoreau


Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.

– Henry David Thoreau


I can alter my life by altering my attitude. He who would have nothing to do with thorns must never attempt to gather flowers.

– Henry David Thoreau


Men have become the tools of their tools.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.

– Henry David Thoreau


If misery loves company, misery has company enough.

– Henry David Thoreau


What is once well done is done forever.

– Henry David Thoreau

What is once well done is done forever. - Henry David Thoreau


Best Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


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?

– Henry David Thoreau


Books are to be distinguished by the grandeur of their topics even more than by the manner in which they are treated.

– Henry David Thoreau


The fibers of all things have their tension and are strained like the strings of an instrument.

– Henry David Thoreau


Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends… Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.

– Henry David Thoreau


A lawyer’s truth is not truth. It is consistency, or consistent expediency

– Henry David Thoreau

A lawyer's truth is not truth. It is consistency, or consistent expediency - Henry David Thoreau


All this worldly wisdom was once the unamiable heresy of some wise man.

– Henry David Thoreau


I have a room all to myself; it is nature.

– Henry David Thoreau

I have a room all to myself; it is nature. - Henry David Thoreau


If this world were all man, I could not stretch myself, I should lose all hope. He is constraint, she is freedom to me. He makes me wish for another world. She makes me content with this.

– Henry David Thoreau


What is called genius is the abundance of life and health.

– Henry David Thoreau


If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of Earth Day quotes that inspire an eco-friendly lifestyle.

– Henry David Thoreau


I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business.

– Henry David Thoreau


In the meanest are all the materials of manhood, only they are not rightly disposed.

– Henry David Thoreau


In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high.

– Henry David Thoreau


Front yards are not made to walk in, but, at most, through, and you could go in the back way.

– Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Sayings

Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.

– Henry David Thoreau


How can any man be weak who dares to be at all?”

– Henry David Thoreau


There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.

– Henry David Thoreau


The only people who ever get anyplace interesting are the people who get lost.

– Henry David Thoreau


Some are reputed sick and some are not. It often happens that the sicker man is the nurse to the sounder.

– Henry David Thoreau


To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity and trust.

– Henry David Thoreau


It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right.

– Henry David Thoreau


Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new.

– Henry David Thoreau


Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.

– Henry David Thoreau


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.

– Henry David Thoreau


What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

– Henry David Thoreau


I have an immense appetite for solitude, like an infant for sleep, and if I don’t get enough for this year, I shall cry all the next.

– Henry David Thoreau


If an injustice requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the government machine.

– Henry David Thoreau


The language of friendship is not words but meanings.

– Henry David Thoreau

The language of friendship is not words but meanings. - Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


Wise Words from Henry David Thoreau

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.

– Henry David Thoreau


The savage in man is never quite eradicated.

– Henry David Thoreau


Alas! how little does the memory of these human inhabitants enhance the beauty of the landscape!

– Henry David Thoreau


Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.

– Henry David Thoreau


We are always paid for our suspicion by finding what we suspect.

– Henry David Thoreau


The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.

– Henry David Thoreau


Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.

– Henry David Thoreau


The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.

– Henry David Thoreau


There is only one path to heaven. On Earth, we call it love.

– Henry David Thoreau


Do what nobody else can do for you. Omit to do anything else.

– Henry David Thoreau


How many things there are concerning which we might well deliberate whether we had better know them.

– Henry David Thoreau


Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.

– Henry David Thoreau

Wealth is the ability to fully experience life. - Henry David Thoreau


I have a great deal of company in the house, especially in the morning when nobody calls.

– Henry David Thoreau


I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.

– Henry David Thoreau


When we walk, we naturally go to the fields and woods – what would become of us, if we walked only in a garden or a mall?

– Henry David Thoreau


Dreams are the touchstones of our character.

– Henry David Thoreau

Dreams are the touchstones of our character. - Henry David Thoreau


Quotations by Henry David Thoreau

Not till we are completely lost or turned around…do we begin to find ourselves.

– Henry David Thoreau


What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?

– Henry David Thoreau


Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?

– Henry David Thoreau


The universe is wider than our views of it.

– Henry David Thoreau


Where there is an observatory and a telescope, we expect that any eyes will see new worlds at once.

– Henry David Thoreau


Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.

– Henry David Thoreau


If a man walk 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 whole day as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen. As if a town had no interest in its forests but to cut them down!

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


The rarest quality in an epitaph is truth.

– Henry David Thoreau


I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad.”

– Henry David Thoreau


Instead of noblemen, let us have noble villages of men.

– Henry David Thoreau


The world is but a canvas to our imagination.

– Henry David Thoreau


To have done anything just for money is to have been truly idle.

– Henry David Thoreau


It takes two to speak the truth: one to speak, and another to hear.

– Henry David Thoreau


We should distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


Best Thoreau Quotes

There is no remedy to love, but to love more.

– Henry David Thoreau

There is no remedy to love, but to love more. - Henry David Thoreau


Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.

– Henry David Thoreau


God reigns when we take a liberal view, when a liberal view is presented to us.

– Henry David Thoreau


Night is certainly more novel and less profane than day.

– Henry David Thoreau


That 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

– Henry David Thoreau


Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.

– Henry David Thoreau


I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

– Henry David Thoreau


We need the tonic of wildness… At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.

– Henry David Thoreau


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?

– Henry David Thoreau


I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.

– Henry David Thoreau


How does it become a man to behave towards the American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.

– Henry David Thoreau


It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?

– Henry David Thoreau


I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.

– Henry David Thoreau


Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.

– Henry David Thoreau


The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


Thoreau Quotes

Enemies publish themselves. They declare war. The friend never declares his love.

– Henry David Thoreau


As if you could kill time without injuring eternity

– Henry David Thoreau


When it’s time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived.

– Henry David Thoreau

When it's time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived. - Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.

– Henry David Thoreau


Every people have gods to suit their circumstances.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.

– Henry David Thoreau


I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.

– Henry David Thoreau


Nothing goes by luck in composition. It allows of no tricks. The best you can write will be the best you are.

– Henry David Thoreau


I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark.

– Henry David Thoreau


Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.

– Henry David Thoreau


Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.

– Henry David Thoreau


What is human warfare but just this an effort to make the laws of God and nature take sides with one party.

– Henry David Thoreau


Quotes Henry David Thoreau

What old people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new.

– Henry David Thoreau


We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.

– Henry David Thoreau


Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.

– Henry David Thoreau


Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.

– Henry David Thoreau


It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.

– Henry David Thoreau


This world is but canvas to our imaginations.

– Henry David Thoreau

This world is but canvas to our imaginations. - Henry David Thoreau


If you can speak what you will never hear, if you can write what you will never read, you have done rare things.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.

– Henry David Thoreau


Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself.

– Henry David Thoreau


Only that traveling is good which reveals to me the value of home and enables me to enjoy it better.

– Henry David Thoreau


Only that day dawns to which we are awake.

– Henry David Thoreau

Only that day dawns to which we are awake. - Henry David Thoreau


A farmer, a hunter, a soldier, a reporter, even a philosopher, may be daunted; but nothing can deter a poet, for he is actuated by pure love. Who can predict his comings and goings? His business calls him out at all hours, even when doctors sleep.

– Henry David Thoreau


They can do without architecture who have no olives nor wines in the cellar.

– Henry David Thoreau


Live your life, do your work, then take your hat.

– Henry David Thoreau


While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them. It has created palaces, but it was not so easy to create noblemen and kings.

– Henry David Thoreau


Wise Words by Henry David Thoreau

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.

– Henry David Thoreau


If I seem to boast more than is becoming, my excuse is that I brag for humanity rather than for myself.

– Henry David Thoreau


An unclean person is universally a slothful one.

– Henry David Thoreau


The law will never make a man free; it is men who have got to make the law free.

– Henry David Thoreau


A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority.

– Henry David Thoreau

A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority. - Henry David Thoreau


Is the babe young? When I behold it, it seems more venerable than the oldest man.

– Henry David Thoreau


In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood.

– Henry David Thoreau


Being is the great explainer.

– Henry David Thoreau


Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.

– Henry David Thoreau


It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

– Henry David Thoreau


It appears to be a law that you cannot have a deep sympathy with both man and nature.

– Henry David Thoreau


As for doing good; that is one of the professions which is full. Moreover I have tried it fairly and, strange as it may seem, am satisfied that it does not agree with my constitution.

– Henry David Thoreau


Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.

– Henry David Thoreau


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.

– Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Phrases

The language of excitement is at best picturesque merely. You must be calm before you can utter oracles.

– Henry David Thoreau


To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.

– Henry David Thoreau


There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.

– Henry David Thoreau


The phenomena of the year take place every day in a pond on a small sale. Every morning, generally speaking, the shallow water is being warmed more rapidly than the deep, though it may not be made so warm after all, and every evening it is being cooled more rapidly until the morning. The day is an epitome of the year. The night is the winter, the morning and evening are the spring and fall, and the noon is the summer.

– Henry David Thoreau


We are not what we are, nor do we treat or esteem each other for such, but for what we are capable of being.

– Henry David Thoreau


It often happens that a man develops a deeper love and friendship with his pet cat or dog than he does with most of the other humans in his life.

– Henry David Thoreau


I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary.

– Henry David Thoreau


How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.

– Henry David Thoreau

Final Quotes by HD Thoreau

If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man.

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things..”

Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.

“I have no doubt that it is part of the destiny of the human race in it’s gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals.”

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