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Henry David Thoreau Quotes
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Henry David Thoreau Quote: “There is no beginning too small.”

There is no beginning too small.

— Henry David Thoreau



Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “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.”

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.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “We are all sculptors and painters, and our material is our own flesh and blood and bone.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “No man loses ever on a lower level by magnanimity on a higher.”

No man loses ever on a lower level by magnanimity on a higher.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resigns his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward.”

Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resigns his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.”

Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The thoughtful man becomes a hermit in the thoroughfares of the marketplace.”

The thoughtful man becomes a hermit in the thoroughfares of the marketplace.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “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.”

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.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Eastward I go only by force; but westward I go free.”

Eastward I go only by force; but westward I go free.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “To enjoy a thing exclusively is commonly to exclude yourself from the true enjoyment of it.”

To enjoy a thing exclusively is commonly to exclude yourself from the true enjoyment of it.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive.”

The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “When I hear a grown man or woman say, “Once I had faith in men, now I have not,” I am inclined to ask, “Who are you whom the world has disappointed? Have not you rather disappointed the world?””

When I hear a grown man or woman say, “Once I had faith in men, now I have not,” I am inclined to ask, “Who are you whom the world has disappointed? Have not you rather disappointed the world?”

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The traveler must be born again on the road, and earn a passport from the elements.”

The traveler must be born again on the road, and earn a passport from the elements.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “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 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


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Concord River is remarkable for the gentleness of its current, which is scarcely perceptible, and some have referred to its influence the proverbial moderation of the inhabitants of Concord, as exhibited in the Revolution, and on later occasions.”

Concord River is remarkable for the gentleness of its current, which is scarcely perceptible, and some have referred to its influence the proverbial moderation of the inhabitants of Concord, as exhibited in the Revolution, and on later occasions.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Roads are made for horses and men of business. I do not travel in them much.”

Roads are made for horses and men of business. I do not travel in them much.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “No man who acts from a sense of duty ever puts the lesser duty above the greater. No man has the desire and the ability to work onhigh things, but he has also the ability to build himself a high staging.”

No man who acts from a sense of duty ever puts the lesser duty above the greater. No man has the desire and the ability to work onhigh things, but he has also the ability to build himself a high staging.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.”

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Man flows at once to God when the channel of purity is open.”

Man flows at once to God when the channel of purity is open.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “When the true criminals are running around free, the only honorable place for a decent human being is in prisons.”

When the true criminals are running around free, the only honorable place for a decent human being is in prisons.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers, any more than it is to make sheep ferocious.”

It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers, any more than it is to make sheep ferocious.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “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.”

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.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Men go back to the mountains, as they go back to sailing ships at sea, because in the mountains and on the sea they must face up.”

Men go back to the mountains, as they go back to sailing ships at sea, because in the mountains and on the sea they must face up.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Birds do not sing in caves, nor do doves cherish their innocence in dovecots.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Every sunset I witness inspires me with the desire to go to West as distant and as fair as that which the sun goes down. Eastward I go only by force; but westward I go free.”

Every sunset I witness inspires me with the desire to go to West as distant and as fair as that which the sun goes down. Eastward I go only by force; but westward I go free.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.”

Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Trees indeed have hearts.”

Trees indeed have hearts.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence.”

Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “A name pronounced is the recognition of the individual to whom it belongs. He who can pronounce my name aright, he can call me, and is entitled to my love and service.”

A name pronounced is the recognition of the individual to whom it belongs. He who can pronounce my name aright, he can call me, and is entitled to my love and service.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts. God will see that you do not want society.”

Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts. God will see that you do not want society.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Summer passes into autumn in some unimaginable point of time, like the turning of a leaf.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience, but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience.”

It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience, but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Fire is the most tolerable third party.”

Fire is the most tolerable third party.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “We loiter in winter while it is already spring.”

We loiter in winter while it is already spring.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “One must maintain a little bittle of summer, even in the middle of winter.”

One must maintain a little bittle of summer, even in the middle of winter.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “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.”

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.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “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.”

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.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Love is no individual’s experience; and though we are imperfect mediums, it does not partake of our imperfection; though we are finite, it is infinite and eternal...”

Love is no individual’s experience; and though we are imperfect mediums, it does not partake of our imperfection; though we are finite, it is infinite and eternal...

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “I suspect that, if you should go to the end of the world, you would find somebody there going farther, as if just starting for home at sundown, and having a last word before he drove off.”

I suspect that, if you should go to the end of the world, you would find somebody there going farther, as if just starting for home at sundown, and having a last word before he drove off.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “I will come to you, my friend, when I no longer need you. Then you will find a palace, not an almshouse.”

I will come to you, my friend, when I no longer need you. Then you will find a palace, not an almshouse.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “The only people who ever get anyplace interesting are the people who get lost.”

The only people who ever get anyplace interesting are the people who get lost.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Tom Hyde, the tinker, standing on the gallows, was asked if he had anything to say. “Tell the tailors,” said he, “to remember to make a knot in their thread before they take the first stitch.” His companion’s prayer is forgotten.”

Tom Hyde, the tinker, standing on the gallows, was asked if he had anything to say. “Tell the tailors,” said he, “to remember to make a knot in their thread before they take the first stitch.” His companion’s prayer is forgotten.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Surely joy is the condition of life.”

Surely joy is the condition of life.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Open all your pores and bathe in all the tides of nature, in all her streams and oceans, at all seasons.”

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

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Life in us is like the water in a river.”

Life in us is like the water in a river.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour.”

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


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “It is hard to have a Southern overseer; it is worse to have a Northern one; but worst of all when you are yourself the slave-driver.”

It is hard to have a Southern overseer; it is worse to have a Northern one; but worst of all when you are yourself the slave-driver.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “One is wise to cultivate the tree that bears fruit in our soul.”

One is wise to cultivate the tree that bears fruit in our soul.

— Henry David Thoreau


Henry David Thoreau Quote: “It is as hard to see one’s self as to look backwards without turning around.”

It is as hard to see one’s self as to look backwards without turning around.

— Henry David Thoreau

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