Thursday, July 25, 2024

Top 100 Quotes Of Henry David Thoreau


1.It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

2.Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.

3.Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.

4.What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.

5.It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?

6.Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.

7.Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.

8.I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.

9.The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.

10.Things do not change; we change.

11.We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.

12.It appears to be a law that you cannot have a deep sympathy with both man and nature.

13.Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.

14.The language of friendship is not words but meanings.

15.The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.

16.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.

17.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.

18.Live the life you’ve dreamed.

19.Truths and roses have thorns about them.

20.The perception of beauty is a moral test.

21.There is but one stage for the peasant and the actor.

22.As in geology, so in social institutions, we may discover the causes of all past changes in the present invariable order of society.

23.Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new.

24.It is too late to be studying Hebrew; it is more important to understand even the slang of today.

25.Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.

26.There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance.

27.I have seen how the foundations of the world are laid, and I have not the least doubt that it will stand a good while.

28.There is danger that we lose sight of what our friend is absolutely, while considering what she is to us alone.

29.If a man constantly aspires is he not elevated?

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

31.The fibers of all things have their tension and are strained like the strings of an instrument.

32.There is always a present and extant life, be it better or worse, which all combine to uphold.

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

34.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.

35.Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.

36.There is no remedy for love but to love more.

37.Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.

38.Goodness is the only investment that never fails. Henry David Thoreau

39.Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.

40.Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.

41.You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.

42.Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.

43.Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

44.The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend.

45.Be not simply good – be good for something.

46.Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.

47.The bluebird carries the sky on his back.

48.Instead of noblemen, let us have noble villages of men.

49.I have found that no exertion of the legs can bring two minds much nearer to one another.

50.What is human warfare but just this; an effort to make the laws of God and nature take sides with one party.

51.Alas! how little does the memory of these human inhabitants enhance the beauty of the landscape!

52.Dreams are the touchstones of our character.

53.Nature and human life are as various as our several constitutions. Who shall say what prospect life offers to another?

54.Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends… Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.

55.To be admitted to Nature’s hearth costs nothing. None is excluded, but excludes himself. You have only to push aside the curtain.

56.How sweet is the perception of a new natural fact!

57.I have thought there was some advantage even in death, by which we mingle with the herd of common men.

58.What old people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new.

59.There is no just and serene criticism as yet.

60.If I seem to boast more than is becoming, my excuse is that I brag for humanity rather than for myself.

61.Is the babe young? When I behold it, it seems more venerable than the oldest man.

62.All men are children, and of one family. The same tale sends them all to bed, and wakes them in the morning.

63.Front yards are not made to walk in, but, at most, through, and you could go in the back way.

64.I was more independent than any farmer in Concord, for I was not anchored to a house or farm, but could follow the bent of my genius, which is a very crooked one, every moment. Henry David Thoreau

65.Nature puts no question and answers none which we mortals ask. She has long ago taken her resolution.

66.It is never too late to give up our prejudices.

67.In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood. Henry David Thoreau

68.If an injustice requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the government machine.

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

70.Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.

71.Not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something.

72.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.

73.The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.

74.Men are born to succeed, not to fail.

75.We are always paid for our suspicion by finding what we suspect.

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

77.We are all sculptors and painters, and our material is our own flesh and blood and bones. Any nobleness begins at once to refine a man’s features, any meanness or sensuality to imbrute them.

78.Every man casts a shadow; not his body only, but his imperfectly mingled spirit. This is his grief. Let him turn which way he will, it falls opposite to the sun; short at noon, long at eve. Did you never see it?

79.It is what a man thinks of himself that really determines his fate.

80.There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.

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

82.What is once well done is done forever.

83.If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.

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

85.The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.

86.Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so.

87.To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.

88.Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.

89.They can do without architecture who have no olives nor wines in the cellar.

90.That government is best which governs least.

91.The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.

92.That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest.

93.I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.

94.I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.

95.There is one consolation in being sick; and that is the possibility that you may recover to a better state than you were ever in before.

96.The lawyer’s truth is not Truth, but consistency or a consistent expediency.

97.I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartanlike as to put to rout all that was not life.

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

99.We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.

100.As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.

Read more

Local News