Henry David Thoreau Quotes. Below is a collection of famous Henry David Thoreau quotes. Here you can find the most popular and greatest quotes by Henry David Thoreau. Share these quotations with your friends and family.

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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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"In wilderness is the preservation of the world."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"What is called resignation is confirmed desperation."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"Ignorance and bungling with love are better than wisdom and skill without."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. Men will believe what they see."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"Be not simply good - be good for something."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"The universe seems bankrupt as soon as we begin to discuss the characters of individuals."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"There is more of good nature than of good sense at the bottom of most marriages."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"Things do not change; we change."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, an they who edit and read it are old women over their tea."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features, the sea-coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, the thunder-cloud, and the rain which lasts three weeks and produces freshets. We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"We are made happy when reason can discover no occasion for it. The memory of some past moments is more persuasive than the experience of present ones. There have been visions of such breadth and brightness that these motes were invisible in their light."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"You must not blame me if I do talk to the clouds."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul's estate."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"If a man constantly aspires is he not elevated?"

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"Man is the artificer of his own happiness."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"Most men would feel insulted if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now."

by Henry David Thoreau

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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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"That devilish Iron Horse, whose ear-rending neigh is heard throughout the town, has muddied the Boiling Spring with his foot, and he it is that has browsed off all the woods on Walden shore, that Trojan horse, with a thousand men in his belly, introduced by mercenary Greeks! Where is the country's champion, the Moore of Moore Hall, to meet him at the Deep Cut and thrust an avenging lance between the ribs of the bloated pest?"

by Henry David Thoreau

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"Men have become the tools of their trade."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"In wildness is the preservation of the world."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"Nature and human life are as various as our several constitutions. Who shall say what prospect life offers to another?"

by Henry David Thoreau

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"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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"I learned this, at least, by my experiment; 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. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. 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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"I have been breaking silence these twenty-three years and have hardly made a rent in it."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"Beware of all enterprises that require a new set of clothes."

by Henry David Thoreau

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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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his friends for his life."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"We do not learn by inference and deduction and the application of mathematics to philosophy, but by direct intercourse and sympathy."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"Every ambitious would-be empire, clarions it abroad that she is conquering the world to bring it peace, security and freedom, and it is sacrificing her sons only for the most noble and humanitarian purposes. That is a lie; and it is an ancient lie, yet generations still rise and believe it."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"'Tis healthy to be sick sometimes."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"[Water is] the only drink for a wise man."

by Henry David Thoreau

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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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"A grain of gold will gild a great surface, but not so much as a grain of wisdom. - from Live Without Principle"

by Henry David Thoreau

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"A man may acquire a taste for wine or brandy, and so lose his love for water, but should we not pity him"

by Henry David Thoreau

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"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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"A man cannot be said to succeed in this life who does not satisfy one friend."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"A simple and independent mind does not toil at the bidding of any prince."

by Henry David Thoreau

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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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"After the first blush of sin comes its indifference."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"All good things are wild, and free."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"All good things are cheap: all bad are very dear."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"All perception of truth is the detection of an analogy."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"All perception of truth is the detection of an analogy we reason from our hands to our head."

by Henry David Thoreau

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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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"Always you have to contend with the stupidity of men."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"An unclean person is universally a slothful one."

by Henry David Thoreau

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


by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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"As if there were safety in stupidity alone."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"As for the pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs."

by Henry David Thoreau

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"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."

by Henry David Thoreau

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

by Henry David Thoreau

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