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Henry David Thoreau Quotes
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Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Cold and hunger seem more friendly to my nature than those methods which men have adopted and advise to ward them off.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau



Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Nature spontaneously keeps us well. Do not resist her!”

Nature spontaneously keeps us well. Do not resist her!

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The rich man is always sold to the institution which makes him rich. Absolutely speaking, the more money, the less virtue.”

The rich man is always sold to the institution which makes him rich. Absolutely speaking, the more money, the less virtue.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The life without men praise and regard as successful is but one kind. Why should we exaggerate any one kind at the expense of the others?”

The life without men praise and regard as successful is but one kind. Why should we exaggerate any one kind at the expense of the others?

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “It would be no reproach to a philosopher, that he knew the future better than the past, or even than the present. It is better worth knowing.”

It would be no reproach to a philosopher, that he knew the future better than the past, or even than the present. It is better worth knowing.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “You cannot hear music and noise at the same time.”

You cannot hear music and noise at the same time.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.”

Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The divinity in man is the true vestal fire of the temple which is never permitted to go out, but burns as steadily and with as pure a flame on the obscure provincial altar as in Numa’s temple at Rome.”

The divinity in man is the true vestal fire of the temple which is never permitted to go out, but burns as steadily and with as pure a flame on the obscure provincial altar as in Numa’s temple at Rome.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Follow your genius closely enough, and it will not fail to show you a fresh prospect every hour.”

Follow your genius closely enough, and it will not fail to show you a fresh prospect every hour.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Who hears the fishes when they cry?”

Who hears the fishes when they cry?

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once done well is done forever.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The constant abrasion and decay of our lives makes the soil of our future growth.”

The constant abrasion and decay of our lives makes the soil of our future growth.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Men and boys are learning all kinds of trades but how to make men of themselves. They learn to make houses; but they are not so well housed, they are not so contented in their houses, as the woodchucks in their holes.”

Men and boys are learning all kinds of trades but how to make men of themselves. They learn to make houses; but they are not so well housed, they are not so contented in their houses, as the woodchucks in their holes.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “What we call wildness is a civilization other than our own.”

What we call wildness is a civilization other than our own.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true to-day may turn out to be falsehood to-morrow.”

No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true to-day may turn out to be falsehood to-morrow.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “There can be no very black melancholy to him who lives in the midst of Nature and has his senses still.”

There can be no very black melancholy to him who lives in the midst of Nature and has his senses still.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “How does it become a man to behave towards the American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.”

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


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Give me the poverty that enjoys true wealth.”

Give me the poverty that enjoys true wealth.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Commonly men will only be brave as their fathers were brave, or timid.”

Commonly men will only be brave as their fathers were brave, or timid.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Great God, I ask thee for no meaner pelf Than that I may not disappoint myself, That in my action I may soar as high As I can now discern with this clear eye.”

Great God, I ask thee for no meaner pelf Than that I may not disappoint myself, That in my action I may soar as high As I can now discern with this clear eye.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “If you are chosen town clerk, forsooth, you cannot go to Tierra del Fuego this summer; but you may go to the land of infernal fire nevertheless.”

If you are chosen town clerk, forsooth, you cannot go to Tierra del Fuego this summer; but you may go to the land of infernal fire nevertheless.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “We worship not the Graces, nor the Parcae, but Fashion. She spins and weaves and cuts with full authority. The head monkey at Paris puts on a traveler’s cap, and all the monkeys in America do the same.”

We worship not the Graces, nor the Parcae, but Fashion. She spins and weaves and cuts with full authority. The head monkey at Paris puts on a traveler’s cap, and all the monkeys in America do the same.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Objects of charity are not guests.”

Objects of charity are not guests.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. Men will believe what they see.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Who looks in the sun will see no light else; but also he will see no shadow. Our life revolves unceasingly, but the centre is ever the same, and the wise will regard only the seasons of the soul.”

Who looks in the sun will see no light else; but also he will see no shadow. Our life revolves unceasingly, but the centre is ever the same, and the wise will regard only the seasons of the soul.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The flowers of the apple are perhaps the most beautiful of any tree’s, so copious and so delicious to both sight and scent.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening.”

The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “When one man has reduced a fact of the imagination to be a fact to his understanding, I foresee that all men will at length establish their lives on that basis.”

When one man has reduced a fact of the imagination to be a fact to his understanding, I foresee that all men will at length establish their lives on that basis.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Events, circumstances, etc., have their origin in ourselves. They spring from seeds which we have sown.”

Events, circumstances, etc., have their origin in ourselves. They spring from seeds which we have sown.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “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.”

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.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Solitude is not measured by the miles of space that intervene between a man and his fellows.”

Solitude is not measured by the miles of space that intervene between a man and his fellows.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The little things in life are as interesting as the big ones.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “I have made a short excursion into the new world which the Indian dwells in, or is. He begins where we leave off.”

I have made a short excursion into the new world which the Indian dwells in, or is. He begins where we leave off.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “I was not born to be forced.”

I was not born to be forced.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Our molting season, like that of the fouls, must be a crisis in our lives.”

Our molting season, like that of the fouls, must be a crisis in our lives.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “No man ever stood the lower in my estimation for having a patch in his clothes: yet I am sure that there is greater anxiety, commonly, to have fashionable, or at least clean and unpatched clothes, than to have a sound conscience.”

No man ever stood the lower in my estimation for having a patch in his clothes: yet I am sure that there is greater anxiety, commonly, to have fashionable, or at least clean and unpatched clothes, than to have a sound conscience.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “I once found a kernel of corn in the middle of a deep wood by Walden, tucked in behind a lichen on a pine, about as high as my head, either by a crow or a squirrel. It was a mile at least from any corn-field.”

I once found a kernel of corn in the middle of a deep wood by Walden, tucked in behind a lichen on a pine, about as high as my head, either by a crow or a squirrel. It was a mile at least from any corn-field.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “You never gain something but that you lose something.”

You never gain something but that you lose something.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “As the stars looked to me when I was a shepherd in Assyria, they look to me now as a New-Englander.”

As the stars looked to me when I was a shepherd in Assyria, they look to me now as a New-Englander.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Every tree sends its fibres forth in search of the Wild. The cities import it at any price. Men plow and sail for it. From the forest and wilderness come the tonics and barks which brace mankind.”

Every tree sends its fibres forth in search of the Wild. The cities import it at any price. Men plow and sail for it. From the forest and wilderness come the tonics and barks which brace mankind.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “If we cannot sing of faith and triumph, we will sing our despair. We will be that kind of bird. There are day owls, and there arenight owls, and each is beautiful and even musical while about its business.”

If we cannot sing of faith and triumph, we will sing our despair. We will be that kind of bird. There are day owls, and there arenight owls, and each is beautiful and even musical while about its business.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “A gun will give you the body, not the bird.”

A gun will give you the body, not the bird.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “We communicate like the burrows of foxes, in silence and darkness, under ground. We are undermined by faith and love.”

We communicate like the burrows of foxes, in silence and darkness, under ground. We are undermined by faith and love.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “A truly good book is something as wildly natural and primitive, mysterious and marvelous, ambrosial and fertile as a fungus or a lichen.”

A truly good book is something as wildly natural and primitive, mysterious and marvelous, ambrosial and fertile as a fungus or a lichen.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “If we were left solely to the wordy wit of legislators in Congress for our guidance, uncorrected by the seasonal experience and the effectual complaints of the people, America would not long retain her rank among the nations.”

If we were left solely to the wordy wit of legislators in Congress for our guidance, uncorrected by the seasonal experience and the effectual complaints of the people, America would not long retain her rank among the nations.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “This life we live is a strange dream, and I don’t believe at all any account men give of it.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “It is in vain to dream of a wildness distant from ourselves. There is none such.”

It is in vain to dream of a wildness distant from ourselves. There is none such.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The best way to correct a mistake is to make it right.”

The best way to correct a mistake is to make it right.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Then at night the general stillness is more impressive than any sound, but occasionally you hear the note of an owl farther or nearer in the woods, and if near a lake, the semihuman cry of the loons at their unearthly revels.”

Then at night the general stillness is more impressive than any sound, but occasionally you hear the note of an owl farther or nearer in the woods, and if near a lake, the semihuman cry of the loons at their unearthly revels.

— Henry David Thoreau

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