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Henry David Thoreau quotes (showing 1-30 of 1,396)

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that 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.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”
Henry David Thoreau
“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. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
“It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.”
Henry David Thoreau
“Dreams are the touchstones of our characters.”
Henry David Thoreau
“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.”
Henry David Thoreau
“be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else's idea of yourself should be.”
Henry David Thoreau
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays
“The animal merely makes a bed, which he warms with his body in a sheltered place; but man, having discovered fire, boxes up some air in a spacious apartment, and warms that, instead of robbing himself, makes that his bed, in which he can move about divested of more cumbrous clothing, maintain a kind of summer in the midst of winter, and by means of windows even admit the light and with a lamp lengthen out the day.”
Henry David Thoreau
“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.”
Henry David Thoreau
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”
Henry David Thoreau
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...”
Henry David Thoreau
“Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.”
Henry David Thoreau
“Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
“I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
“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 he hears, however measured or far away.”
Henry David Thoreau
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
“All good things are wild and free.”
Henry David Thoreau
“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden and Other Writings
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.”
Henry David Thoreau
“Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.”
Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”
Henry David Thoreau
“The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”
Henry David Thoreau
“Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.”
Henry David Thoreau
“I am a happy camper so I guess I’m doing something right. Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”
Henry David Thoreau
“I was not designed to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.”
Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience
“We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
Henry David Thoreau
“There is no remedy for love, but to love more.”
Henry David Thoreau

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