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Henry David Thoreau Quotes
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Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The gods cannot misunderstand, man cannot explain.”

The gods cannot misunderstand, man cannot explain.

— Henry David Thoreau



Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Talk of mysteries! – Think of our life in nature, – daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it, – rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! The solid earth! The actual world! The common sense! Contact! Contact! Who are we? Where are we?”

Talk of mysteries! – Think of our life in nature, – daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it, – rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! The solid earth! The actual world! The common sense! Contact! Contact! Who are we? Where are we?

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Be resolutely and faithfully what you are; be humbly what you aspire to be.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right.”

It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “It is a great art to saunter !”

It is a great art to saunter !

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The chimney is to some extent an independent structure, standing on the ground, and rising through the house to the heavens; evenafter the house is burned it still stands sometimes, and its importance and independence are apparent.”

The chimney is to some extent an independent structure, standing on the ground, and rising through the house to the heavens; evenafter the house is burned it still stands sometimes, and its importance and independence are apparent.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line.”

In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The tree of Knowledge is a Tree of Knowledge of good and evil.”

The tree of Knowledge is a Tree of Knowledge of good and evil.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Men talk of freedom! How many are free to think? Free from fear, from perturbation, from prejudice? Nine hundred and ninety-nine in a thousand are perfect slaves.”

Men talk of freedom! How many are free to think? Free from fear, from perturbation, from prejudice? Nine hundred and ninety-nine in a thousand are perfect slaves.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Birds never sing in caves.”

Birds never sing in caves.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness.”

The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Nature abhors a vacuum, and if I can only walk with sufficient carelessness I am sure to be filled.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Wherever you have planted a seed, I am prepared to expect wonders.”

Wherever you have planted a seed, I am prepared to expect wonders.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “As naturally as the oak bears an acorn and the vine a gourd, man bears a poem, either spoken or done.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Of what significance the light of day, if it is not the reflection of an inward dawn? – to what purpose is the veil of night withdrawn, if the morning reveals nothing to the soul? It is merely garish and glaring.”

Of what significance the light of day, if it is not the reflection of an inward dawn? – to what purpose is the veil of night withdrawn, if the morning reveals nothing to the soul? It is merely garish and glaring.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Life is grand, and so are its environments of Past and Future. Would the face of nature be so serene and beautiful if man’s destiny were not equally so?”

Life is grand, and so are its environments of Past and Future. Would the face of nature be so serene and beautiful if man’s destiny were not equally so?

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The cart before the horse is neither beautiful nor useful.”

The cart before the horse is neither beautiful nor useful.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Writing your name can lead to writing sentences. And the next thing you’ll be doing is writing paragraphs, and then books. And then you’ll be in as much trouble as I am!”

Writing your name can lead to writing sentences. And the next thing you’ll be doing is writing paragraphs, and then books. And then you’ll be in as much trouble as I am!

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “We cannot well do without our sins; they are the highway of our virtue.”

We cannot well do without our sins; they are the highway of our virtue.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Cowards suffer, heroes enjoy.”

Cowards suffer, heroes enjoy.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The Library is a wilderness of books.”

The Library is a wilderness of books.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Let your walks now be a little more adventurous.”

Let your walks now be a little more adventurous.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “I found in myself, and still find, an instinct toward a higher, or, as it is named, spiritual life, as do most men, and another toward a primitive rank and savage one, and I reverence them both. I love the wild not less than the good.”

I found in myself, and still find, an instinct toward a higher, or, as it is named, spiritual life, as do most men, and another toward a primitive rank and savage one, and I reverence them both. I love the wild not less than the good.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Most men, it seems to me, do not care for Nature and would sell their share in all her beauty, as long as they may live, for a stated sum – many for a glass of rum. Thank God, men cannot as yet fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth!”

Most men, it seems to me, do not care for Nature and would sell their share in all her beauty, as long as they may live, for a stated sum – many for a glass of rum. Thank God, men cannot as yet fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth!

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “In my short experience of human life, the outward obstacles, if there were any such, have not been living men, but the institutions of the dead.”

In my short experience of human life, the outward obstacles, if there were any such, have not been living men, but the institutions of the dead.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Don’t get to the end of your life and realize you have never lived.”

Don’t get to the end of your life and realize you have never lived.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “It’s not enough to be busy.”

It’s not enough to be busy.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “I am sure that I never read any memorable news in a newspaper.”

I am sure that I never read any memorable news in a newspaper.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “On tops of mountains, as everywhere to hopeful souls, it is always morning.”

On tops of mountains, as everywhere to hopeful souls, it is always morning.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “For an impenetrable shield, stand inside yourself.”

For an impenetrable shield, stand inside yourself.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Time is like a handful of sand – the tighter you grasp it, the faster it runs through your fingers.”

Time is like a handful of sand – the tighter you grasp it, the faster it runs through your fingers.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “When I think of the gold-diggers and the Mormons, the slaves and the slave-holders and the flibustiers, I naturally dream of a glorious private life. No, I am not patriotic.”

When I think of the gold-diggers and the Mormons, the slaves and the slave-holders and the flibustiers, I naturally dream of a glorious private life. No, I am not patriotic.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “One generation abandons the enterprises of another like stranded vessels.”

One generation abandons the enterprises of another like stranded vessels.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “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.”

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.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “A man sits as many risks as he runs.”

A man sits as many risks as he runs.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Be wary of technology; it is often merely an improved means to an unimproved end.”

Be wary of technology; it is often merely an improved means to an unimproved end.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Being a teacher is like being in jail; once it’s on your record, you can never get rid of it.”

Being a teacher is like being in jail; once it’s on your record, you can never get rid of it.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Life consists with wildness. The most alive is the wildest. Not yet subdued to man, its presence refreshes him.”

Life consists with wildness. The most alive is the wildest. Not yet subdued to man, its presence refreshes him.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “When a man truly commits, the universe will conspire to assure his success.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “I was determined to know beans.”

I was determined to know beans.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Oh, one world at a time!”

Oh, one world at a time!

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.”

If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “God is alone,-but the devil, he is far from being alone; he sees a great deal of company; he is legion.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Men talk about Bible miracles because there is no miracle in their lives. Cease to gnaw that crust. There is ripe fruit over your head.”

Men talk about Bible miracles because there is no miracle in their lives. Cease to gnaw that crust. There is ripe fruit over your head.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “If the condition of things which we were made for is not yet, what were any reality which we can substitute? We will not be shipwrecked on a vain reality.”

If the condition of things which we were made for is not yet, what were any reality which we can substitute? We will not be shipwrecked on a vain reality.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Sweep away the clutter of things that complicate our lives.”

Sweep away the clutter of things that complicate our lives.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over their tea.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Nearest to all things is that power which fashions their being. Next to us the grandest laws are constantly being executed. Next to us is not the workman whom we have hired, with whom we love so well to talk, but the workman whose work we are.”

Nearest to all things is that power which fashions their being. Next to us the grandest laws are constantly being executed. Next to us is not the workman whom we have hired, with whom we love so well to talk, but the workman whose work we are.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Children, who play life, discern its true law and relations more clearly than men, who fail to live it worthily, but who think that they are wiser by experience, that is, by failure.”

Children, who play life, discern its true law and relations more clearly than men, who fail to live it worthily, but who think that they are wiser by experience, that is, by failure.

— Henry David Thoreau

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