Henry David Thoreau Quotes


Not till we are completely lost or turned round do we appreciate the vastness and strangeness of Nature.

When a noble deed is done who is likely to appreciate it? They who are noble themselves.

That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another s. We see so much only as we possess.

It is necessary not to be Christian to appreciate the beauty and significance of the life of Christ.

The virtue which we appreciate we to some extent appropriate.

For many years I was a self-appointed inspector of snowstorms and rainstorms and did my duty faithfully though I never received payment for it.

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.

Is there any such thing as wisdom not applied to life?

How little do the most wonderful inventions of modern times detain us. They insult nature. Every machine or particular application seems a slight outrage against universal laws.

He is not a true man of science who does not bring some sympathy to his studies and expect to learn something by behaviour as well as application.

If you're familiar with a principle you don't have to be familiar with all of its applications.

Almost all wild apples are handsome. They cannot be too gnarly and crabbed and rusty to look at. The gnarliest will have some redeeming traits even to the eye.

Philanthropy is almost the only virtue which is sufficiently appreciated by mankind.

The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality.

Nature has no human inhabitant who appreciates her.

There is just as much beauty visible to us in the landscape as we are prepared to appreciate and not a grain more. ... A man sees only what concerns him.

Not by constraint or severity shall you have access to true wisdom but by abandonment and childlike mirth-fulness. If you would know aught be gay before it.

Spring. March fans it April christens it and May puts on its jacket and trousers.

All the past is here present to be tried; let it approve itself if it can.

One who knew how to appropriate the true value of this world would be the poorest man in it. The poor rich man! all he has is whathe has bought.

If you see a man approaching you with the obvious intent of doing you good you should run for your life.

We are enabled to apprehend at all what is sublime and noble only by the perpetual instilling and drenching of the reality that surrounds us. We can never have enough of nature.

The fruits eaten temperately need not make us ashamed of our appetites nor interrupt the worthiest pursuits. But put an extra condiment into your dish and it will poison you.

The sport of digging the bait is nearly equal to that of catching the fish when one's appetite is not too keen.

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.

I have a deep sympathy with war; it so apes the gait and bearing of the soul.

Should not every apartment in which man dwells be lofty enough to create some obscurity overhead where flickering shadows may play at evening about the rafters?

Shall I not rejoice also at the abundance of the weeds whose seeds are the granary of the birds?

Friends will be much apart. They will respect more each other's privacy than their communion.

The Friend asks no return but that his Friend will religiously accept and wear and not disgrace his apotheosis of him. They cherish each other's hopes. They are kind to each other's dreams.

Inexpressibly beautiful appears the recognition by man of the least natural fact and the allying his life to it.

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

The inhabitants of Canada appeared to be suffering between two fires --the soldiery and the priesthood.

I have traveled a good deal in Concord; and everywhere in shops and offices and fields the inhabitants have appeared to me to be doing penance in a thousand remarkable ways.

Nature would not appear so rich the profusion so rich if we knew a use for everything.

There is none who does not lie hourly in the respect he pays to false appearance.

I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance and obsequious attendance but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board.

If some are prosecuted for abusing children others deserve to be prosecuted for maltreating the face of nature committed to their care.

In my cheapest moments I am apt to think that it is n't my business to be "seeking the spirit " but as much its business to be seeking me.

Behave so the aroma of your actions may enhance the general sweetness of the atmosphere.

Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.

I should have liked to come across a large community of pines which had never been invaded by the lumbering army.

A man thinks as well through his legs and arms as this brain.

What are men celebrating? They are all on a committee of arrangements and hourly expect a speech from somebody. God is only the president of the day and Webster is his orator.

The startings and arrivals of the cars are now the epochs in the village day.

It is a great art to saunter !

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

This world is but a canvas to our imagination.

If to chaffer and higgle are bad in trade they are much worse in Love. It demands directness as of an arrow.

While my friend was my friend he flattered me and I never heard the truth from him. When he became my enemy he shot it to me on a poisoned arrow.

Be as the sailor who keeps the polestar in his eye. By so doing we may not arrive at our port within a calculable period but we will maintain a true course.

The front aspect of great thoughts can only be enjoyed by those who stand on the side whence they arrive.

As long as possible live free and uncommitted. It makes but little difference whether you are committed to a farm or the county jail.

When the State wishes to endow an academy or university it grants it a tract of forest land: one saw represents an academy a gang a university.

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

There is a chasm between knowledge and ignorance which the arches of science can never span.

Concord's little arch does not span all our fate nor is what transpires under it law for the universe.

The mason asks but a narrow shelf to spring his brick from; man requires only an infinitely narrower one to spring his arch of faith from.

If it is necessary omit one bridge over the river go round a little there and throw one arch at least over the darker gulf of ignorance which surrounds us.

In the unbending of the arm to do the deed there is experience worth all the maxims in the world.

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

If within the sophisticated man there is not an unsophisticated one then he is but one of the devil's angels.

To the innocent there are neither cherubim nor angels.

We slander the hyena; man is the fiercest and cruelest animal.

The Mississippi the Ganges and the Nile ... the Rocky Mountains the Himmaleh and Mountains of the Moon have a kind of personal importance in the annals of the world.

In some pictures of Provincetown the persons of the inhabitants are not drawn below the ankles so much being supposed to be buried in the sand.

Man makes very much such a nest for his domestic animals of withered grass and fodder as the squirrels and many other wild creatures do for themselves.

I have no doubt that it is part of the destiny of the human race in its gradual improvement to leave off eating animals.

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.

I am too easily contented with a slight and almost animal happiness. My happiness is a good deal like that of the woodchucks.

I am struck by the simplicity of light in the atmosphere in the autumn as if the earth absorbed none and out of this profusion of dazzling light came the autumnal tints.

Every man who has ever been earnest to preserve his higher or poetic faculties in the best condition has been particularly inclined to abstain from animal food

When any real progress is made we unlearned and learn anew what we thought we knew before.

All perception of truth is the detection of an analogy.

What sort of philosophers are we who know absolutely nothing of the origin and destiny of cats?

I know a good woman who thinks that her son lost his life because he took to drinking water only.

When you travel to the Celestial City carry no letter of introduction. When you knock ask to see God --none of the servants.

The little things in life are as interesting as the big ones.

Love does not analyze its object.

The violence of love is as much to be dreaded as that of hate.

Men must speak English who can write Sanskrit; they must speak a modern language who write perchance an ancient and universal one.

On every hand we observe a truly wise practice in education in morals and in the arts of life the embodied wisdom of many an ancient philosopher.

The ancient philosophers Chinese Hindu Persian and Greek were a class than which none has been poorer in outward riches none so rich inward.

No way of thinking or doing however ancient can be trusted without proof.

I found that they knew but little of the history of their race and could be entertained by stories about their ancestors as readily as any way .

The improvements of ages have had but little influence on the essential laws of man's existence: as our skeletons probably are not to be distinguished from those of our ancestors.

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.

It is not enough to be a hardworking person. Equally important is the job you are working at.

The art of life of a poet's life is not having anything to do to do something.

We are more anxious to speak than to be heard.

Be not anxious to avoid poverty. In this way the wealth of the universe may be securely invested.

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

A fortified town is like a man cased in the heavy armor of antiquity with a horse-load of broadswords and small arms slung to him endeavoring to go about his business.

We do not associate the idea of antiquity with the ocean nor wonder how it looked a thousand years ago as we do of the land for it was equally wild and unfathomable always.

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

Why will we be imposed on by antiquity?

Nothing but great antiquity can make graveyards interesting to me. I have no friends there.

There are theoretical reformers at all times and all the world over living on anticipation.

I live in the present. I only remember the past and anticipate the future.

Any sincere thought is irresistible.

Genius is not a retainer to any emperor.

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

One revelation has been made to the Indian another to the white man.

We cannot put a noose around another man's neck without first hanging ourselves.

One man lies in his words and gets a bad reputation; another in his manners and enjoys a good one.

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

The dry grasses are not dead for me. A beautiful form has as much life at one season as another.

What avails it that another loves you if he does not understand you? Such love is a curse.

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

Men reverence one another not yet God.

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.

All that is told of the sea has a fabulous sound to an inhabitant of the land and all its products have a certain fabulous quality as if they belonged to another planet.

Every man has to learn the points of the compass again as often as he awakes whether from sleep or any abstraction.

And by another year Such as God knows with freer air More fruits and fairer flowers Will bear While I droop here.

We are ever dying to one world and being born into another.

We live thick and are in each other's way and stumble over one another and I think we thus lose some respect for one another.

If I ever see more clearly at one time than at another the medium through which I see is clearer.

Every nail driven should be as another rivet in the machine of the universe you carrying on the work.

Death is beautiful when seen to be a law and not an accident. It is as common as life.

The kind uncles and aunts of the race are more esteemed than its true spiritual fathers and mothers.

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

Morning work! By the blushes of Aurora and the music of Memnon what should be man's morning work in this world?

The silence sings. It is musical. I remember a night when it was audible. I heard the unspeakable.

We are constantly invited to be who we are.

A modern author would have died in infancy in a ruder age.

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

Summer passes into autumn in some unimaginable point of time like the turning of a leaf.

There is a certain perfection in accident which we never consciously attain.

There are two classes of authors: the one write the history of their times the other their biography.

The authority of government . . . can have no pure right over my person and property but what I concede to it.

In literature it is only the wild that attracts us.

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

I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality.

The highest that we can attain to is not Knowledge but Sympathy with Intelligence.

The most attractive sentences are not perhaps the wisest but the surest and soundest.

You only need sit still long enough in some attractive spot in the woods that all its inhabitants may exhibit themselves to you by turns.

One attraction in coming to the woods to live was that I should have leisure and opportunity to see the spring come in.

One of the most attractive things about the flowers is their beautiful reserve.

Both place and time were changed and I dwelt nearer to those parts of the universe and to those eras in history which had most attracted me.

I am resolved that I will not through humility become the devil's attorney. I will endeavor to speak a good word for the truth.

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.

There is no such thing as accomplishing a righteous reform by the use of "expediency." There is no such thing as sliding up- hill.In morals the only sliders are backsliders.

He who receives an injury is to some extent an accomplice of the wrong-doer.

It is tranquil people who accomplish much.

You may tell by looking at any twig of the forest ay at your very wood-pile whether its winter is past or not.

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

He who eats the fruit should at least plant the seed; ay if possible a better seed than that whose fruit he has enjoyed.

If you are a seer whenever you meet a man you will see all that he owns ay and much that he pretends to disown behind him.

The purity men love is like the mists which envelope the earth and not like the azure ether beyond.

The moose is singularly grotesque and awkward to look at. Why should it stand so high at the shoulders? Why have so long a head? Why have no tail to speak of?

The theories and speculations of men concern us more than their puny accomplishment. It is with a certain coldness and languor that we loiter about the actual and so-called practical.

A thoroughbred business man cannot enter heartily upon the business of life without first looking into his accounts.

A true account of the actual is the rarest poetry for common sense always takes a hasty and superficial view.

This life we live is a strange dream and I don't believe at all any account men give of it.

For if we take the ages into our account may there not be a civilization going on among brutes as well as men?

I do not know where to find in any literature whether ancient or modern any adequate account of that Nature with which I am acquainted.

How shall we account for our pursuits if they are original? We get the language with which to describe our various lives out of acommon mint.

I would not have any one adopt my mode of living on any account...

What a pity if we do not live this short time according to the laws of the long time --the eternal laws!

To act collectively is according to the spirit of our institutions.

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

Homeliness is almost as great a merit in a book as in a house if the reader would abide there. It is next to beauty and a very high art.

To be right is more honorable than to be law abiding.

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

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.

Only that day dawns to which we are awake.

We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake.

Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me.

To be awake is to be completely alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake.

In dreams we see ourselves naked and acting out our real characters even more clearly than we see others awake.

Even in our democratic New England towns the accidental possession of wealth and its manifestation in dress and equipage alone obtain for the possessor almost universal respect.

It is best to avoid the beginnings of evil.

Heaven might be defined as the place which men avoid.

I stand in awe of my body.

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.

Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify simplify.

Nature abhors a vacuum and if I can only walk with sufficient carelessness I am sure to be filled.

Most are engaged in business the greater part of their lives because the soul abhors a vacuum and they have not discovered any continuous employment for man's nobler faculties.

When the reptile is attacked at one mouth of his burrow he shows himself at another.

We are ashamed of our fear; for we know that a righteous man would not suspect danger nor incur any. Wherever a man feels fear there is an avenger.

Whatever is and is not ashamed to be is good.

You must ascend a mountain to learn your relation to matter and so to your own body for it is at home there though you are not.

The cart before the horse is neither beautiful nor useful.

Nothing can be more useful to you than a determination not to be hurried.

Books can only reveal us to ourselves and as often as they do us this service we lay them aside.

When you knock ask to see God "? none of the servants.

Nature is mythical and mystical always and works with the license and extravagance of genius. She has her luxurious and florid style as well as art.

Art is not tame and Nature is not wild in the ordinary sense. A perfect work of man's art would also be wild or natural in a good sense.

It is the art of mankind to polish the world and every one who works is scrubbing in some part.

There are secret articles in our treaties with the gods of more importance than all the rest which the historian can never know.

Have no mean hours but be grateful for every hour and accept what it brings. The reality will make any sincere record respectable.

The great art of life is how to turn the surplus life of the soul into life for the body.

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.

Wealth is measured by the level of experience in all aspects of life

You cannot hear music and noise at the same time.

If you indulge in long periods you must be sure to have a snapper at the end.

The book has never been written which is to be accepted without any allowance.

Nothing is so much to be feared as fear. Atheism may comparatively be popular with God himself.

Such is beauty ever -neither here nor there now nor then -neither in Rome nor in Athens but wherever there is a soul to admire.

I came to love my rows my beans though so many more than I wanted. They attached me to the earth and so I got strength like Antaeus.

It is no more dusky in ordinary nights than our mind's habitual atmosphere and the moonlight is as bright as our most illuminatedmoments are.

The very thrills of genius are disorganizing. The body is never quite acclimated to its atmosphere but how often succumbs and goes into a decline.

The largest pond is as sensitive to atmospheric changes as the globule of mercury in its tube.

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.

Poetry cannot breathe in the scholar's atmosphere.

I have heard of many going astray even in the village streets when the darkness was so thick you could cut it with a knife as the saying is...

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

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

The Heavens are as deep as our aspirations are high.

Even Nature is observed to have her playful moods or aspects of which man sometimes seems to be the sport.

In the production of the necessaries of life Nature is ready enough to assist man.

We begin to praise when we begin to see a thing needs our assistance.

When a man truly commits the universe will conspire to assure his success.

Nature even when she is scant and thin outwardly satisfies us still by the assurance of a certain generosity at the roots.

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

I do not wish it happens to be associated with Massachusetts either in holding slaves or in conquering Mexico. I am a little better than herself in these respects.

It is true I never assisted the sun materially in his rising but doubt not it was of the last importance only to be present at it.

Associate reverently and as much as you can with your loftiest thoughts.

My Friend is that one whom I can associate with my choicest thought.

To watch this crystal globe just sent from heaven to associate with me. While these clouds and this somber drizzling weather shut all in we two draw nearer and know one another.

The merely political aspect of the land is never very cheering; men are degraded when considered as the members of a political organization.

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

The hawk is aerial brother of the wave which he sails over and surveys those his perfect air-inflated wings answering to the elemental unfledged pinions of the sea.

It would surpass the powers of a well man nowadays to take up his bed and walk and I should certainly advise a sick one to lay down his bed and run.

There is a higher law affecting our relation to pines as well as to men. A pine cut down a dead pine is no more a pine than a dead human carcass is a man.

We perceive and are affected by changes too subtle to be described.

Every man looks at his wood-pile with a kind of affection.

A distinguished clergyman told me that he chose the profession of a clergyman because it afforded the most leisure for literary pursuits. I would recommend to him the profession of a governor.

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

The present hour is always wealthiest when it is poorer than the future ones as that is the pleasantest site which affords the pleasantest prospect.

The culture of the hop ... so analagous to the culture and uses of the grape may afford a theme for future poets.

I had a classmate who fitted for college by the lamps of a lighthouse which was more light we think than the University afforded.

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

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

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

Begin where you are and such as you are without aiming mainly to become of more worth and with kindness aforethought go about doing good.

You cannot receive a shock unless you have an electric affinity for that which shocks you.

True kindness is a pure divine affinity Not founded upon human consanguinity. It is a spirit not a blood relation Superior to family and station.

Man wanted a home a place for warmth or comfort first of physical warmth then the warmth of the affections.

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

We should come home from adventures and perils and discoveries every day with new experience and character.

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.

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.

Water is a pioneer which the settler follows taking advantage of its improvements.

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

In solitude especialy do we begin to appreciate the advantage of living with someone who can think.

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

So far as inland discovery was concerned the adventurous spirit of the English was that of sailors who land but for a day and their enterprise the enterprise of traders.

Let your walks now be a little more adventurous.

Rise free from care before the dawn and seek adventures.

My themes will not be far-fetched. I will tell of homely every-day phenomena and adventures.

Today you may write a chapter on the advantages of traveling and tomorrow you may write another chapter on the advantages of not traveling.

If we live in the Nineteenth Century why should we not enjoy the advantages which the Nineteenth Century offers? Why should our life be in any respect provincial?

There is no treatment for adore but to love far more.

Still we live meanly like ants though the fable tells us we were long ago changed into men.

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.

No human being past the thoughtless age of boyhood will wantonly murder any creature which holds its life by the same tenure that he does.

Age is no better hardly so well qualified for an instructor as youth for it has not profited so much as it has lost.

Count your age with friends but not with years.

Law never made man a whit more just; and by means of their respect for it even the well disposed are daily made agents of injustice.

Morning brings back the heroic ages.

If however the law is so promulgated that it of necessity makes you an agent of injustices against another then I say to you ... break the law.

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.

After the first blush of sin comes its indifference.

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

Don't spend your time in drilling soldiers who may turn out hirelings after all but give to undrilled peasantry a country to fight for.

I believe that men are generally still a little afraid of the dark though the witches are all hung.

Don't be afraid that your life will end be afraid that it will never begin!

I am not afraid that I shall exaggerate the value and significance of life but that I shall not be up to the occasion which it is.

The greatest tragedy in life is to spend your whole life fishing only to discover it was never fish that you were after.

The forests are held cheap after the white pine has been culled out; and the explorers and hunters pray for rain only to clear theatmosphere of smoke.

Every child begins the world again.

. . . we should be men first and subjects afterward.

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

I wished only to be set down in Canada and take one honest walk there as I might in Concord woods of an afternoon.

I felt a positive yearning toward one bush this afternoon. There was a match found for me at last. I fell in love with a shrub oak.

Asked whether or not he believed in an afterlife Thoreau quipped "One world at a time.

The government of the world I live in was not framed like that of Britain in after-dinner conversations over the wine.

We discover a new world every time we see the earth again after it has been covered for a season with snow.

The books for young people say a great deal about the selection of Friends; it is because they really have nothing to say about Friends. They mean associates and confidants merely.

But commonly men are as much afraid of love as of hate.

What I began by reading I must finish by acting.

I heartily accept the motto "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically.

When a shadow flits across the landscape of the soul where is the substance?

Some do not walk at all; others walk in the highways; a few walk across lots.

I have found it a singular luxury to talk across the pond to a companion on the opposite side.

The same soil is good for men and for trees. A man's health requires as many acres of meadow to his prospect as his farm does loads of muck.

Dissent without action is consent.

Few if any creatures are equally active all night.

We are all of us more or less active physiognomists.

Knowledge is to be acquired only by a corresponding experience. How can we know what we are told merely? Each man can interpret another's experience only by his own.

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

At a certain season of our life we are accustomed to consider every spot as the possible site of a house.

I am accustomed to think very long of going anywhere --am slow to move. I hope to hear a response of the oracle first.

We are accustomed to say that the mass of men are unprepared; but improvement is slow because the few are not materially wiser or better than the many.

I love a broad margin to my life. Sometimes in a summer morning having taken my accustomed bath I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise til noon rapt in a revery.

Perhaps the facts most astounding and most real are never communicated by man to man.

The secret of achievement is to hold a picture of a successful outcome in mind.

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

Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.

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

I have seen more men than usual lately; and well as I was acquainted with one I am surprised to find what vulgar fellows they are.

I only desire sincere relations with the worthiest of my acquaintance that they may give me an opportunity once in a year to speak the truth.

I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beechtree or a yellow birch or an old acquaintance among the pines.

As naturally as the oak bears an acorn and the vine a gourd man bears a poem either spoken or done.

Such is the never-failing beauty and accuracy of language the most perfect art in the world; the chisel of a thousand years retouches it.

The words of some men are thrown forcibly against you and adhere like burrs.

We are armed with language adequate to describe each leaf of the filed but not to describe human character.

Most men cry better than they speak. You get more nurture out of them by pinching than addressing them.

To forget all about your mistakes adds to them perhaps.

In the mythus a superhuman intelligence uses the unconscious thoughts and dreams of men as its hieroglyphics to address men unborn.

The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the alms-house as brightly as from the rich man's abode.

Surely the writer is to address a world of laborers and such therefore must be his own discipline.

The soul grows by subtraction not addition.

And pray what more can a reasonable man desire in peaceful times in ordinary noons than a sufficient number of ears of green sweet corn boiled with the addition of salt?

Nature is an admirable schoolmistress.

There is always some accident in the best things whether thoughts or expressions or deeds. The memorable thought the happy expression the admirable deed are only partly ours.

What an admirable training is science for the more active warfare of life! Indeed the unchallenged bravery which these studies imply is far more impressive than the trumpeted valor of the warrior.

Cold and hunger seem more friendly to my nature than those methods which men have adopted and advise to ward them off.

We make needless ado about capital punishment --taking lives when there is no life to take.

To be admitted to Nature's hearth costs nothing. None is excluded but excludes himself. You have only to push aside the curtain.

In ancient days the Pythagoreans were used to change names with each other --fancying that each would share the virtues they admired in the other.

This curious world we inhabit is more wonderful than convenient; more beautiful than it is useful; it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used.

This bird sees the white man come and the Indian withdraw but it withdraws not. Its untamed voice is still heard above the tinkling of the forge... It remains to remind us of aboriginal nature.

How often we find ourselves turning our backs on our actual friends that we might go and meet their ideal cousins.

My actual life is a fact in view of which I have no occasion to congratulate myself; but for my faith and aspiration I have respect. It is from these that I speak.

Our actual Friends are but distant relations of those to whom we are pledged.

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

What is the use of going right over the old track again? There is an adder in the path which your own feet have worn. You must make tracks into the Unknown.

I may add that I am enjoying existence as much as ever and regret nothing.

One cannot too soon forget his errors and misdemeanors. To dwell long upon them is to add to the offense.

Nature is as well adapted to our weakness as to our strength.

I have found all things thus far persons and inanimate matter elements and seasons strangely adapted to my resources.

Man is an animal who more than any other can adapt himself to all climates and circumstances.

As a true patriot I should be ashamed to think that Adam in paradise was more favorably situated on the whole than the backwoodsman in this country.

In Adam's fall We sinned all. In the new Adam's rise We shall all reach the skies.

Truth is always paradoxical.

We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers.

The fact is mental philosophy is very like Poverty which you know begins at home; and indeed when it goes abroad it is poverty itself.

The discoveries which we make abroad are special and particular; those which we make at home are general and significant. The further off the nearer the surface. The nearer home the deeper.

I know very well what Goethe meant when he said that he never had a chagrin but he made a poem out of it. I have altogether too much patience of this kind.

If I am not I who will be?

I know of no redeeming qualities in myself but a sincere love for some things and when I am reproved I fall back on to this ground.

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.

I am a majority of one.

We commonly do not remember that it is after all always the first person that is speaking.

He who walks alone waits for no-one.

As if there were safety in stupidity alone

I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.

God is alone -but the devil he is far from being alone; he sees a great deal of company; he is legion.

I am awaked almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts my dreams. There is no sabbath.

None can lead this life who are not almost amphibious.

The press is almost without exception corrupt.

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

We must love our friend so much that she shall be associated with our purest and holiest thoughts alone.

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

As for me Abraham Isaac and Jacob are now only the subtlest imaginable essences which would not stain the morning sky.

We hear and apprehend only what we already half know.

We loiter in winter while it is already spring.

I have not earned what I have already enjoyed.

The artist and his work are not to be separated. The most willfully foolish man cannot stand aloof from his folly but the deed and the doer together make ever one sober fact.

I hardly know an intellectual man even who is so broad and truly liberal that you can think aloud in his society.

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

The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy from a limited monarchy to a democracy is a progress toward a true respect for the individual.

The eye which can appreciate the naked and absolute beauty of a scientific truth is far more rare than that which is attracted by a moral one.

What is commonly called friendship is only a little more honor among rogues.

Amid a world of noisy shallow actors it is noble to stand aside and say 'I will simply be.

I have myself to respect but to myself I am not amiable; but my friend is my amiableness personified.

I am amused to see from my window here how busily a man has divided and staked off his domain. God must smile at his puny fences running hither and thither everywhere over the land.

Are you in want of amusement nowadays? Then play a little at the game of getting a living. There was never anything equal to it. Do it temperately though and don't sweat.

The eye is the jewel of the body.

Explore thyself. Herein are demanded the eye and the nerve.

The eye may see for the hand but not for the mind.

There is absolutely no common sense it is common non-sense.

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

What a healthy out-of-door appetite it takes to relish the apple of life the apple of the world then!

The flowers of the apple are perhaps the most beautiful of any tree's so copious and so delicious to both sight and scent.

Surely the apple is the noblest of fruits.

I have never met with a friend who furnished me sea-room. I have only tacked a few times and come to anchor - not sailed - made no voyage carried no venture.

Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them or shall we endeavor to amend them and obey them until we have succeeded or shall we transgress them at once?

Are not all finite beings better pleased with motions relative than absolute?

One may almost doubt if the wisest man has learned anything of absolute value by living.

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

The imagination never forgets; it is a re-membering. It is not foundationless but most reasonable and it alone uses all the knowledge of the intellect.

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

Alas! the culture of an Irishman is an enterprise to be undertaken with a sort of moral bog hoe.

There are various nay incredible faiths; why should we be alarmed at any of them? What man believes God believes.

I am alarmed when it happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily without getting there in spirit.

Government never furthered any enterprise but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way.

No mortal is alert enough to be present at the first dawn of spring.

My profession is to be always on the alert to find God in nature to know his lurking-places to attend all the oratorios the operas in nature.

To be awake is to be alive.

We saw men haying far off in the meadow their heads waving like the grass which they cut. In the distance the wind seemed to bend all alike.

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.

The most alive is the wildest.

The poet is he who can write some pure mythology today without the aid of posterity.

I fear that he who walks over these fields a century hence will not know the pleasure of knocking off wild apples. Ah poor man there are many pleasures which he will not know!

Of a life of luxury the fruit is luxury whether in agriculture or commerce or literature or art.

You speak of poverty and dependence. Who are poor and dependent? Who are rich and independent? When was it that men agreed to respect the appearance and not the reality?

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.

Do not entertain doubts if they are not agreeable to you.

When was it that men agreed to respect the appearance and not the reality?

Furniture! Thank God I can sit and I can stand without the aid of a furniture warehouse.

The scholar is not apt to make his most familiar experience come gracefully to the aid of his expression.

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

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.

People seldom hit what they do not aim at.

In the long run we only hit what we aim at.

In the long run you hit only what you aim at.

That aim in life is highest which requires the highest and finest discipline.

We need only travel enough to give our intellects an airing.

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.

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.

To the sick the doctors wisely recommend a change of air and scenery.

Health requires this relaxation this aimless life. This life in the present.

Must be out-of-doors enough to get experience of wholesome reality as a ballast to thought and sentiment. Health requires this relaxation this aimless life.

He who parades his virtues seldom leads the parade. He who puts up with insult invites injury. Health requires this relaxation this aimless life. This life in the present.

You must not only aim right but draw the bow with all your might.

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

It is remarkable that among all the preachers there are so few moral teachers. The prophets are employed in excusing the ways of men.

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

If the alternative is to keep all just men in prison or give up war and slavery the State will not hesitate which to choose.

All these sounds the crowing of cocks the baying of dogs and the hum of insects at noon are the evidence of nature's health orsound state.

I should be glad if all the meadows on the earth were left in a wild state if that were the consequence of men's beginning to redeem themselves.

I please myself with imagining a State at last which can afford to be just to all men and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor.

Impulse is after all the best linguist; its logic if not conformable to Aristotle cannot fail to be most convincing.

I have as it were my own sun and moon and stars and a little world all to myself.

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.

Open all your pores and bathe in all the tides of nature in all her streams and oceans at all seasons.

Some interests have got a footing on the earth which we have not made sufficient allowance for.

Many a poor sore-eyed student that I have heard of would grow faster both intellectually and physically if instead of sitting up so very late he honestly slumbered a fool's allowance.

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

Nowadays the host does not admit you to his hearth but has got the mason to build one for yourself somewhere in his alley and hospitality is the art of keeping you at the greatest distance.

I fear that we are such gods or demigods only as fauns and satyrs the divine allied to beasts the creatures of appetite and that to some extent our very life is our disgrace.

All men recognize the right of revolution; that is the right to refuse allegiance to and to resist the government when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.

I wanted to live deep and suck out the all the marrow of life (...).

Life isn't about finding yourself; it's about creating yourself. So live the life you imagined.

All men are children and of one family.

I would give all the wealth of the world and all the deeds of all the heroes for one true vision.

Though the hen should sit all day she could lay only one egg and besides would not have picked up materials for another.

All good things are wild and free.

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

Since all things are good men fail at last to distinguish which is the bane and which the antidote.

By a conscious effort of the mind we can stand aloof from actions and their consequences; and all things good and bad go by us like a torrent.

Keep up the fires of thought and all will go well.

In the religion of all nations a purity is hinted at which I fear men never attain to.

All the events which make the annals of the nations are but the shadows of our private experiences.

All nations love the same jests and tales Jews Christians and Mahometans and the same translated suffice for all.

In respect to religion and the healing art all nations are still in a state of barbarism. In the most civilized countries the priest is still but a Powwow and the physician a Great Medicine.

Some men fish all their lives without knowing it is not really the fish they are after.

The poet is blithe and cheery ever and as well as nature.

I cannot easily buy a blank-book to write thoughts in; they are commonly ruled for dollars and cents.

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

The virtue of making two blades of grass grow where only one grew before does not begin to be superhuman.

We are double-edged blades and every time we whet our virtue the return stroke strops our vice.

So our human life but dies down to its root and still puts forth its green blade to eternity.

Is there not a sort of blood shed when the conscience is wounded? Through this wound a man's real manhood and immortality flow out and he bleeds to an everlasting death

He who cannot read is worse than deaf and blind is yet but half alive is still-born.

Truly our greatest blessings are very cheap.

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

Whatever we leave to God God does and blesses us.

We bless and curse ourselves.

Bribed with a little sunlight and a few prismatic tints we bless our Maker and stave off his wrath with hymns.

Scholars are wont to sell their birthright for a mess of learning.

How can you expect the birds to sing when their groves are cut down?

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

Birds never sing in caves.

Birds do not sing in caves nor do doves cherish their innocence in dovecots.

A gun will give you the body not the bird

Severe truth is expressed with some bitterness.

The fishermen say that the "thundering of the pond" scares the fishes and prevents their biting.

Many college text-books which were a weariness and stumbling-block when I studied I have since read a little with pleasure and profit.

We fritter away our energy and creativity . . . we get bogged down in the thick of thin things.

Unto a life which I call natural I would gladly follow even a will-o'-the-wisp through bogs and sloughs unimaginable but no moonnor firefly has shown me the causeway to it.

Good for the body is the work of the body good for the soul the work of the soul and good for either the work of the other.

Every man is the builder of a temple called his body.

What exercise is to the body employment is to the mind and morals.

You must converse much with the field and the woods if you would imbibe such health into your mind and spirit as you covet for your body

The body can feed the body only.

The mass of men serve the state thus not as men mainly but as machines with their bodies.

The church is a sort of hospital for men's souls and as full of quackery as the hospital for their bodies.

How often when we have been nearest each other bodily have we really been farthest off! Our tongues were the witty foils with which we fenced each other off.

How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.

Why should we be startled by death? Life is a constant putting off of the mortal coil - coat cuticle flesh and bones all old clothes.

I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones to be locked up.

We are all sculptors and painters and our material is our own flesh and blood and bones. Any nobleness begins at once to refine a man's features any meanness or sensuality to imbrute them.

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

Poverty ... It is life near the bone where it is sweetest.

We are all sculptors and painters and our material is our own flesh and blood and bone.

Nature has from the first expanded the minute blossoms of the forest only toward the heavens above men's heads and unobserved bythem. We see only the flowers that are under our feet in the meadows.

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.

There were times when I could not afford to sacrifice the bloom of the present moment to any work whether of the head or hand. I love a broad margin to my life.

A fact may blossom into a truth.

I seem to have dodged all my days with one or two persons and lived upon expectation --as if the bud would surely blossom; and soI am content to live.

How many things are now at loose ends! Who knows which way the wind will blow tomorrow?

Our thoughts are epochs in our lives; all else is but as a journal of the winds that blow while we are here.

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

You boast of spending a tenth part of your income in charity; may be you should spend the nine tenths so and done with it.

Where the citizen uses a mere sliver or board the pioneer uses the whole trunk of a tree.

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.