Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Quotes tagged as "henry-david-thoreau" Showing 1-15 of 15
Henry David Thoreau
“If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man.”
Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays

Henry David Thoreau
“He who hears the rippling of rivers in these degenerate days will not utterly despair.”
Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau
“To affect the quality of the day - that is the highest of the arts.”
Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau
“Did ever a man try heroism, magnanimity, truth, sincerity, and find that there was no advantage in them? that it was a vain endeavor?”
Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau
“The only way to speak the truth is to speak lovingly.”
Henry David Thoreau

Moncure Daniel Conway
“In 1881, being on a visit to Boston, my wife and I found ourselves in the Parker House with the Ingersoll's, and went over to Charleston to hear him lecture. His subject was 'Some Mistakes of Moses,' and it was a memorable experience. Our lost leaders, -- Emerson, Thoreau, Theodore Parker, -- who had really spoken to disciples rather than to the nation, seemed to have contributed something to form this organ by which their voice could reach the people. Every variety of power was in this orator, -- logic and poetry, humor and imagination, simplicity and dramatic art, moral and boundless sympathy. The wonderful power which Washington's Attorney-general, Edmund Randolph, ascribed to Thomas Paine of insinuating his ideas equally into learned and unlearned had passed from Paine's pen to Ingersoll's tongue. The effect on the people was indescribable. The large theatre was crowded from pit to dome. The people were carried from plaudits of his argument to loud laughter at his humorous sentences, and his flexible voice carried the sympathies of the assembly with it, at times moving them to tears by his pathos.

{Conway's thoughts on the great Robert Ingersoll}”
Moncure Daniel Conway, My Pilgrimage to the Wise Men of the East

Henry David Thoreau
“In most books, the I, or first person, is omitted; in this it will be retained; that, in respect to egotism, is the main difference.”
Henry David Thoreau

Van Wyck Brooks
“All praise to winter, then, was Henry's feeling. Let others have their sultry luxuries. How full of creative genius was the air in which these snow-crystals were generated. He could hardly have marveled more if real stars had fallen and lodged on his coat. What a world to live in, where myriads of these little discs, so beautiful to the most prying eye, were whirled down on every traveler's coat, on the restless squirrel's fur and on the far-stretching fields and forests, the wooded dells and mountain-tops,--these glorious spangles, the sweepings of heaven's floor.”
Van Wyck Brooks, The Flowering of New England, 1815-1865

Henry David Thoreau
“En tuant le temps on blesse l’éternité.”
Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau
“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 thumbnail. 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.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Joe Eszterhas
“He'd been down at the Cass County Library, reading...Win danced a jig he thought that was so funny...about this cat Henry David Thoreau, which he pronounced Toe-Row. He read about his life and read some of his writings and this cat really had his shit together...Toe-Row knew better than anybody that Life is a Big Fat Asshole with everybody trying to Stick It To You when they get half the chance.”
Joe Eszterhas, Charlie Simpson's Apocalypse

Henry David Thoreau
“This American government—what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its integrity? It has not the vitality and force of a single living man; for a single man can bend it to his will. It is a sort of wooden gun to the people themselves. But it is not the less necessary for this; for the people must have some complicated machinery or other, and hear its din, to satisfy that idea of government which they have. Governments show thus how successfully men can be imposed upon, even impose on themselves, for their own advantage. It is excellent, we must all allow. Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way.”
Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

Jack Kerouac
“I decided someday to become a Thoreau of the Mountains. To live like Jesus and Thoreau, except for women.”
Jack Kerouac, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters

Henry David Thoreau
“When we heard at first [John Brown] was dead, one of my townsmen observed that "he died as the fool dieth"; which, pardon me, for an instant suggested a likeness in him dying to my neighbor living. Others, craven-hearted, said disparagingly, that "he threw his life away" because he resisted the government. Which ways have they thrown their lives, pray? ---such would praise a man for attacking singly an ordinary band of thieves and murderers. I hear another ask, Yankee-like, "What will he gain by it?" as if he expected to fill his pockets by their enterprise. Such a one has no idea of gain but in this worldly sense. If it does not lead to a "surprise" party, if he does not gain a new pair of boots, or a vote of thanks, it must be a failure. "But he won't gain anything by it." Well, no, I don;t suppose he could get four-and-sixpence a day for being hung, take the year round; but he stands a chance to save a considerable part of his soul- and what a soul!- when you do not. No doubt you can get more in your market for a quart of milk than a quart of blood, but that is not the market heroes carry their blood to.”
Henry David Thoreau, A Plea For Captain John Brown

Henry David Thoreau
“to be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independences, magnanimity, and trust. it is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically but practically. the success of great scholars and thinkers is commonly a courtier-like success, not kingly, not manly”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden, or Life in the Woods