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Henry David Thoreau Quotes
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Henry David Thoreau Quote: “I had but three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship; three for society. When visitors came in larger and unexpected numbers there was but the third chair for them all, but they generally economized the room by standing up.”

I had but three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship; three for society. When visitors came in larger and unexpected numbers there was but the third chair for them all, but they generally economized the room by standing up.

— Henry David Thoreau



Henry David Thoreau Quote: “With all your science can you tell me how it is, and when it is, that light comes into the soul?”

With all your science can you tell me how it is, and when it is, that light comes into the soul?

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Men are born to succeed, not to fail.”

Men are born to succeed, not to fail.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.”

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Maturity is when all of your mirrors turn into windows.”

Maturity is when all of your mirrors turn into windows.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”

Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.”

O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “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.”

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


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Since most of us spend our lives doing ordinary tasks, the most important thing is to carry them out extraordinarily well.”

Since most of us spend our lives doing ordinary tasks, the most important thing is to carry them out extraordinarily well.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The kind uncles and aunts of the race are more esteemed than its true spiritual fathers and mothers.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Everyone must believe in something. I believe I’ll go canoeing.”

Everyone must believe in something. I believe I’ll go canoeing.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The highest that we can attain to is not Knowledge, but Sympathy with Intelligence.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “When I consider how, after sunset, the stars come out gradually in troops from behind the hills and woods, I confess that I could not have contrived a more curious and inspiring sight.”

When I consider how, after sunset, the stars come out gradually in troops from behind the hills and woods, I confess that I could not have contrived a more curious and inspiring sight.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “There is only one path to Heaven. On Earth, we call it Love.”

There is only one path to Heaven. On Earth, we call it Love.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry.”

Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “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.”

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.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “If misery loves company, misery has company enough.”

If misery loves company, misery has company enough.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “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.”

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.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.”

I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Nothing is so much to be feared as fear.”

Nothing is so much to be feared as fear.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “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.”

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.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The stars are the jewels of the night, and perchance surpass anything which day has to show.”

The stars are the jewels of the night, and perchance surpass anything which day has to show.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one.”

I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The world is a strange place for a playhouse to stand within it.”

The world is a strange place for a playhouse to stand within it.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Don’t be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin!”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The only sin in the world is ignorance.”

The only sin in the world is ignorance.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “You think that I am impoverishing myself withdrawing from men, but in my solitude I have woven for myself a silken web or chrysalis, and, nymph-like, shall ere long burst forth a more perfect creature, fitted for a higher society.”

You think that I am impoverishing myself withdrawing from men, but in my solitude I have woven for myself a silken web or chrysalis, and, nymph-like, shall ere long burst forth a more perfect creature, fitted for a higher society.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Truths and roses have thorns about them.”

Truths and roses have thorns about them.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.”

The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us.”

We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The violence of love is as much to be dreaded as that of hate.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Thaw with her gentle persuasion is more powerful than Thor with his hammer. The one melts, the other breaks into pieces.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The best thing a man can do for his culture when he is rich is to endeavor to carry out those schemes which he entertained when he was poor.”

The best thing a man can do for his culture when he is rich is to endeavor to carry out those schemes which he entertained when he was poor.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “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 an immense appetite for solitude, like an infant for sleep, and if I don’t get enough for this year, I shall cry all the next.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “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.”

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.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “I have no designs on society, or nature, or God. I am simply what I am, or I begin to be that. I live in the present. I only remember the past, and anticipate the future. I love to live.”

I have no designs on society, or nature, or God. I am simply what I am, or I begin to be that. I live in the present. I only remember the past, and anticipate the future. I love to live.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “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.”

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.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent.”

Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “In what concerns you much, do not think that you have companions: know that you are alone in the world.”

In what concerns you much, do not think that you have companions: know that you are alone in the world.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Every oak tree started out as a couple of nuts who stood their ground.”

Every oak tree started out as a couple of nuts who stood their ground.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.”

Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary.”

Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “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.”

Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion.”

Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “To have done anything just for money is to have been truly idle.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “What is chastity? How shall a man know if he is chaste? He shall not know it. We have heard of this virtue, but we know not what it is.”

What is chastity? How shall a man know if he is chaste? He shall not know it. We have heard of this virtue, but we know not what it is.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “To be awake is to be completely alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial.”

In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial.

— Henry David Thoreau

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