Henry David Thoreau Quotes


The language of friendship is not words but meanings.
The most I can do for my friend is to simply to be a friend.
Goodness is the only investment that never fails.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence of it in their opinions and lives that they have heard it. It would not leave them narrow-minded and bigoted.
There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.
I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad.
Men have a singular desire to be good without being good for anything.
We hear and apprehend only what we already half know.
It takes two to speak truth - One to speak, and another to hear.
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.
There is no rule more invariable than that we are paid for our suspicions by finding what we suspect.
When will the world learn that a million men are of no importance compared with one man?
It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
We shall see but a little way if we require to understand what we see.
Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.
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... If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this.
We should distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.
Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.
Dreams are the touchstones of our character.
Say, Not so, and you will outcircle the philosophers.
Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
Humility like darkness reveals the heavenly lights.
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.
The mass of men lead lives of quite desperation.
Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one.
City Life. Millions of people being lonesome together.
Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe...till we come to the hard bottom of rocks in place, which we can call reality.
It's never to late to give up your prejudices.
The man I meet with is not often so instructive as the silence he breaks.
In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fall immediately, they had better aim at something high.
There is no rule more invariable than that we are paid for our suspicions by finding what we suspect.
All this worldly wisdom was once the unamiable heresy of some wise man.
We hear and apprehend only what we already half know.
You cannot receive a shock unless you have an electric affinity for that which shocks you.
Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.
Surely joy is the condition of life.
Our life is frittered away by detail...Simplify, simplify.
However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are.
Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail.
In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify.
When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.
Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.
A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man's life as in a book. Haste makes waste, no less in life than in housekeeping. Keep the time, observe the hours of the universe, not of the cars.
It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
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American poet Henry David Thoreau

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