Henry David Thoreau

Books, not which afford us a cowering enjoyment, but in which each thought is of unusual daring; such as an idle man cannot read, and a timid one would not be entertained by, which even make us dangerous to existing institution --such call I good books. - Henry David Thoreau

He is the best sailor who can steer within fewest points of the wind, and exact a motive power out of the greatest obstacles. - Henry David Thoreau

That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest. - Henry David Thoreau

None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.  - Henry David Thoreau

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

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

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life youíve imagined.  - 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

To enhance the quality of the day... That is the highest of the arts. - Henry David Thoreau

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.  - Henry David Thoreau

It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look. To affect the quality of the day - that is the highest of arts. - Henry David Thoreau

Between whom there is hearty truth, there is love. - Henry David Thoreau

It is characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things. - Henry David Thoreau

Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.  - Henry David Thoreau

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. - Henry David Thoreau

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. - Henry David Thoreau

To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour. - Henry David Thoreau

Absolutely speaking, do unto others as you would that they should do unto you is by no means a golden rule, but the best of current silver. An honest man would have but little occasion for it. It is golden not to have any rule at all in such a case. - Henry David Thoreau

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. - Henry David Thoreau

How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book. {from "Reading" in Waldon (1854)} - 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

Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame. - Henry David Thoreau

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

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. - Henry David Thoreau

Good poetry seems too simple and natural a thing that when we meet it we wonder that all men are not always poets. Poetry is nothing but healthy speech. - Henry David Thoreau

If the fairest features of the landscape are to be named after men, let them be the noblest and worthiest men alone. - Henry David Thoreau

Don't be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. - Henry David Thoreau

I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude. - Henry David Thoreau

The only wealth is life. - 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

That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as anotherís. We see so much only as we possess. - Henry David Thoreau

Be not simply good; be good for something. - Henry David Thoreau

In wildness is the preservation of the world. - Henry David Thoreau

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

The volatile truth of our words should continually betray the inadequacy of the residual statement. - Henry David Thoreau

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

All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong. - Henry David Thoreau

I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other when they came in contact with the more civilized. - Henry David Thoreau

When I would recreate myself, I seek the darkest wood, the thickest and most interminable, and to the citizen, most dismal swamp. I enter a swamp as a sacred place - a sanctum sanctorum. There is the strength, the marrow of Nature. - Henry David Thoreau

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

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

We are always paid for our suspicion by finding what we suspect.  - Henry David Thoreau

Speech is for the convenience of those who are hard of hearing; but there are many fine things which we cannot say if we have to shout. - Henry David Thoreau

Things do not change, we change. - Henry David Thoreau

Each thought that is welcomed and recorded is a nest egg by the side of which more will be laid. - Henry David Thoreau

We were born to succeed, not to fail. - Henry David Thoreau

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; there is where they should be. Now put foundations under them. - Henry David Thoreau

You must not only aim aright, but draw the bow with all your might.  - Henry David Thoreau

I have 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. - 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. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically. - Henry David Thoreau

You cannot kill time without injuring eternity. - Henry David Thoreau

It seems to me that the god that is commonly worshipped in civilized countries is not at all divine, though he bears a divine name, but is the overwhelming authority and respectability of mankind combined. Men reverence one another, not yet God. - Henry David Thoreau

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

Be true to your work, your word, and your friend. - Henry David Thoreau

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. - Henry David Thoreau

The heart is forever inexperienced. - Henry David Thoreau

If a man constantly aspires is he not elevated? - Henry David Thoreau

What right have I to grieve, who have not ceased to wonder? - Henry David Thoreau

Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes. - 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

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

If I shall sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I'm sure that, for me, there would be nothing left worth living for. - 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

Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes. - Henry David Thoreau

Men have become the tools of their tools. - Henry David Thoreau

The words which express our faith and piety are not definite; yet they are significant and fragrant like frankincense to superior natures. - Henry David Thoreau

Experience is in the fingers and head. The heart is inexperienced. - Henry David Thoreau

Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but religiously follows the new. - Henry David Thoreau

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

To inherit property is not to be born -- it is to be still-born, rather. - Henry David Thoreau

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

To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge. - 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

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, Walden

He who is only a traveler learns things at second-hand and by the halves, and is poor authority. We are most interested when science reports what those men already know practically or instinctively, for that alone is a true humanity, or account of human experience. - Henry David Thoreau, Walden