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Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Henry David Thoreau picture quotes and sayings

Did ever a man try heroism, magnanimity, truth, sincerity, and find that there was no advantage in them -- that it was a vain endeavor?
None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.
None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.


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"Wealth is the ability to fully experience life." Make picture quote!
"Nothing goes by luck in composition. It allows of no tricks. The best you can write will be the best you are." Make picture quote!
"Our moments of inspiration are not lost though we have no particular poem to show for them; for those experiences have left an indelible impression, and we are ever and anon reminded of them." Make picture 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." Make picture quote!
"Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought." Make picture quote!
"Never look back unless you are planning to go that way." Make picture quote!
"Night is certainly more novel and less profane than day." Make picture quote!
"No face which we can give to a matter will stead us so well at last as the truth. This alone wears well." Make picture quote!
"Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand." Make picture quote!
"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves." Make picture quote!
"Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes." Make picture quote!
"Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new." Make picture quote!
"Only he is successful in his business who makes that pursuit which affords him the highest pleasure sustain him." Make picture quote!
"Only that day dawns to which we are awake." Make picture quote!
"Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed by them." Make picture quote!
"Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end." Make picture quote!
"It is too late to be studying Hebrew; it is more important to understand even the slang of today." Make picture quote!
"Not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something." Make picture quote!
"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." Make picture quote!
"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." Make picture quote!
"It is what a man thinks of himself that really determines his fate." Make picture quote!
"It takes two to speak the truth: one to speak, and another to hear." Make picture quote!
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." Make picture quote!
"Justice is sweet and musical; but injustice is harsh and discordant." Make picture quote!
"Live the life you've dreamed." Make picture quote!
"Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around." Make picture quote!
"Nature puts no question and answers none which we mortals ask. She has long ago taken her resolution." Make picture quote!
"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." Make picture quote!
"Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake." Make picture quote!
"May we so love as never to have occasion to repent of our love!" Make picture quote!
"Men are born to succeed, not to fail." Make picture quote!
"Men have a respect for scholarship and learning greatly out of proportion to the use they commonly serve." Make picture quote!
"Men have become the tools of their tools." Make picture quote!
"Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul." Make picture quote!
"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." Make picture quote!
"Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind." Make picture quote!
"Live your life, do your work, then take your hat." Make picture quote!
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." Make picture quote!
"Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify." Make picture quote!
"The law will never make a man free; it is men who have got to make the law free." Make picture quote!
"The lawyer's truth is not Truth, but consistency or a consistent expediency." Make picture quote!
"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." Make picture quote!
"The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready." Make picture quote!
"The man who is dissatisfied with himself, what can he do?" Make picture quote!
"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." Make picture quote!
"The language of excitement is at best picturesque merely. You must be calm before you can utter oracles." Make picture quote!
"The perception of beauty is a moral test." Make picture quote!
"The heart is forever inexperienced." Make picture quote!
"The rarest quality in an epitaph is truth." Make picture quote!
"The savage in man is never quite eradicated." Make picture quote!
"The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness." Make picture quote!
"The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest." Make picture quote!
"The universe is wider than our views of it." Make picture quote!
"The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or, perchance, a palace or temple on the earth, and, at length, the middle-aged man concludes to build a woodshed with them." Make picture quote!
"What is human warfare but just this; an effort to make the laws of God and nature take sides with one party." Make picture quote!
"The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend." Make picture quote!
"That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest." Make picture quote!
"Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence." Make picture quote!
"Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all." Make picture quote!
"Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself." Make picture quote!
"Simplify, simplify." Make picture quote!
"Some are reputed sick and some are not. It often happens that the sicker man is the nurse to the sounder." Make picture quote!
"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it." Make picture quote!
"The language of friendship is not words but meanings." Make picture quote!
"That government is best which governs least." Make picture quote!
"It is the greatest of all advantages to enjoy no advantage at all." Make picture quote!
"Thaw with her gentle persuasion is more powerful than Thor with his hammer. The one melts, the other breaks into pieces." Make picture quote!
"The Artist is he who detects and applies the law from observation of the works of Genius, whether of man or Nature. The Artisan is he who merely applies the rules which others have detected." Make picture quote!
"The bluebird carries the sky on his back." Make picture quote!
"The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run." Make picture quote!
"The fibers of all things have their tension and are strained like the strings of an instrument." Make picture quote!
"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." Make picture quote!
"The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer." Make picture quote!
"Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth." Make picture quote!
"I have found that hollow, which even I had relied on for solid." Make picture quote!
"I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark." Make picture quote!
"How many things there are concerning which we might well deliberate whether we had better know them." Make picture quote!
"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live." Make picture 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." Make picture quote!
"I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to go below now." Make picture quote!
"I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society." Make picture quote!
"I have a great deal of company in the house, especially in the morning when nobody calls." Make picture quote!
"How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?" Make picture quote!
"I have been as sincere a worshipper of Aurora as the Greeks." Make picture quote!
"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." Make picture quote!
"I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Make picture quote!
"I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will." Make picture quote!
"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." Make picture quote!
"I have thought there was some advantage even in death, by which we mingle with the herd of common men." Make picture quote!
"I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor." Make picture quote!
"I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude." Make picture quote!
"It is usually the imagination that is wounded first, rather than the heart; it being much more sensitive." Make picture quote!
"I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born." Make picture quote!
"All this worldly wisdom was once the unamiable heresy of some wise man." Make picture quote!
"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." Make picture quote!
"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone." Make picture quote!
"A man's interest in a single bluebird is worth more than a complete but dry list of the fauna and flora of a town." Make picture quote!
"A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting." Make picture quote!
"After the first blush of sin comes its indifference." Make picture quote!
"Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something." Make picture quote!
"Alas! how little does the memory of these human inhabitants enhance the beauty of the landscape!" Make picture quote!
"How does it become a man to behave towards the American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it." Make picture quote!
"All men are children, and of one family. The same tale sends them all to bed, and wakes them in the morning." Make picture quote!
"I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes." Make picture quote!
"An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day." Make picture quote!
"An unclean person is universally a slothful one." Make picture quote!
"Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it." Make picture quote!
"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives." Make picture quote!
"As for doing good; that is one of the professions which is full. Moreover I have tried it fairly and, strange as it may seem, am satisfied that it does not agree with my constitution." Make picture quote!
"As if you could kill time without injuring eternity." Make picture quote!
"As in geology, so in social institutions, we may discover the causes of all past changes in the present invariable order of society." Make picture quote!
"All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one... characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers." Make picture quote!
"It is best to avoid the beginnings of evil." Make picture quote!
"I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude." Make picture quote!
"In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high." Make picture quote!
"In the meanest are all the materials of manhood, only they are not rightly disposed." Make picture quote!
"In wilderness is the preservation of the world." Make picture quote!
"Instead of noblemen, let us have noble villages of men." Make picture quote!
"Is the babe young? When I behold it, it seems more venerable than the oldest man." Make picture quote!
"It appears to be a law that you cannot have a deep sympathy with both man and nature." Make picture quote!
"In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood." Make picture quote!
"It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes." Make picture quote!
"Ignorance and bungling with love are better than wisdom and skill without." Make picture quote!
"It is better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are... than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise." Make picture quote!
"It is never too late to give up our prejudices." Make picture quote!
"It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right." Make picture quote!
"It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?" Make picture quote!
"It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers, any more than it is to make sheep ferocious." Make picture quote!
"It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know." Make picture quote!
"It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man." Make picture quote!
"It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things." Make picture quote!
"If it is surely the means to the highest end we know, can any work be humble or disgusting? Will it not rather be elevating as a ladder, the means by which we are translated?" Make picture quote!
"I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business." Make picture quote!
"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." Make picture quote!
"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." Make picture quote!
"I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion." Make picture quote!
"If a man constantly aspires is he not elevated?" Make picture quote!
"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." Make picture quote!
"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." Make picture quote!
"In my afternoon walk I would fain forget all my morning occupations and my obligations to society." Make picture quote!
"If I seem to boast more than is becoming, my excuse is that I brag for humanity rather than for myself." Make picture quote!
"There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature." Make picture quote!
"If misery loves company, misery has company enough." Make picture quote!
"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours." Make picture quote!
"If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law." Make picture quote!
"If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment." Make picture quote!
"If you can speak what you will never hear, if you can write what you will never read, you have done rare things." Make picture quote!
"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." Make picture quote!
"If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. Men will believe what they see." Make picture quote!
"If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life." Make picture quote!
"What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" Make picture quote!
"True friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance." Make picture quote!
"Truth is always in harmony with herself, and is not concerned chiefly to reveal the justice that may consist with wrong-doing." Make picture quote!
"Truths and roses have thorns about them." Make picture quote!
"Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison." Make picture quote!
"We are always paid for our suspicion by finding what we suspect." Make picture quote!
"We know but a few men, a great many coats and breeches." Make picture quote!
"We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success." Make picture quote!
"We shall see but a little way if we require to understand what we see." Make picture quote!
"We should distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes." Make picture quote!
"To have done anything just for money is to have been truly idle." Make picture quote!
"What is once well done is done forever." Make picture quote!
"We are not what we are, nor do we treat or esteem each other for such, but for what we are capable of being." Make picture quote!
"What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us." Make picture quote!
"What old people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new." Make picture quote!
"What you get by achieving your goals is to as important as what you become by achieving your goals." Make picture quote!
"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." Make picture quote!
"Where there is an observatory and a telescope, we expect that any eyes will see new worlds at once." Make picture quote!
"While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them. It has created palaces, but it was not so easy to create noblemen and kings." Make picture quote!
"Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer." Make picture quote!
"You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment." Make picture quote!
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root." Make picture quote!
"What is called genius is the abundance of life and health." Make picture quote!
"There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted." Make picture quote!
"There are old heads in the world who cannot help me by their example or advice to live worthily and satisfactorily to myself; but I believe that it is in my power to elevate myself this very hour above the common level of my life." Make picture quote!
"There is always a present and extant life, be it better or worse, which all combine to uphold." Make picture quote!
"There is but one stage for the peasant and the actor." Make picture quote!
"There is danger that we lose sight of what our friend is absolutely, while considering what she is to us alone." Make picture quote!
"There is more of good nature than of good sense at the bottom of most marriages." Make picture quote!
"We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn." Make picture quote!
"There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living." Make picture quote!
"To be admitted to Nature's hearth costs nothing. None is excluded, but excludes himself. You have only to push aside the curtain." Make picture quote!
"There is no remedy for love but to love more." Make picture quote!
"There is no rule more invariable than that we are paid for our suspicions by finding what we suspect." Make picture quote!
"There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself." Make picture quote!
"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." Make picture quote!
"Through our own recovered innocence we discern the innocence of our neighbors." Make picture quote!
"There is no just and serene criticism as yet." Make picture quote!
"To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over their tea." Make picture quote!
"Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in." Make picture quote!
"To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts." Make picture quote!
"Those whom we can love, we can hate; to others we are indifferent." Make picture quote!
"This world is but a canvas to our imagination." Make picture quote!
"Things do not change; we change." Make picture quote!
"They can do without architecture who have no olives nor wines in the cellar." Make picture quote!
"There never was and is not likely soon to be a nation of philosophers, nor am I certain it is desirable that there should be." Make picture quote!
"'Tis healthy to be sick sometimes." Make picture 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." Make picture quote!
"Friends... they cherish one another's hopes. They are kind to one another's dreams." Make picture quote!
"Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new." Make picture quote!
"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?" Make picture quote!
"Every people have gods to suit their circumstances." Make picture quote!
"Faith keeps many doubts in her pay. If I could not doubt, I should not believe." Make picture quote!
"Front yards are not made to walk in, but, at most, through, and you could go in the back way." Make picture quote!
"Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl: it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling." Make picture quote!
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." Make picture quote!
"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." Make picture quote!
"Goodness is the only investment that never fails." Make picture quote!
"Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes." Make picture quote!
"Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads." Make picture quote!
"How can any man be weak who dares to be at all?" Make picture quote!
"God reigns when we take a liberal view, when a liberal view is presented to us." Make picture quote!
"Be not simply good - be good for something." Make picture quote!
"Be true to your work, your word, and your friend." Make picture quote!
"Before printing was discovered, a century was equal to a thousand years." Make picture quote!
"Being is the great explainer." Make picture quote!
"Beware of all enterprises that require a new set of clothes." Make picture quote!
"Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations." Make picture quote!
"Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it." Make picture quote!
"Books can only reveal us to ourselves, and as often as they do us this service we lay them aside." Make picture quote!
"Dreams are the touchstones of our character." Make picture quote!
"Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves." Make picture quote!
"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." Make picture quote!
"Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends... Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts." Make picture quote!
"Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." Make picture quote!
"Do what nobody else can do for you. Omit to do anything else." Make picture quote!
"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still." Make picture quote!
"Books are to be distinguished by the grandeur of their topics even more than by the manner in which they are treated." Make picture quote!
"All perception of truth is the detection of an analogy we reason from our hands to our head." Make picture quote!
"Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good be good for something." Make picture quote!
"Explore your higher latitudes . . . be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, open new channels, not of trade but of thought." Make picture quote!
"Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it eludes you. But if you turn your attention to other things,It comes and sits softly on your shoulder." Make picture quote!
"However mean your life is, meet it and live it do not shun it and call it hard names. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts." Make picture quote!
"I have lived some thirty-odd years on this planet, and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors." Make picture quote!
"I know of on more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious effort. " Make picture quote!
"I live in the present. I only remember the past, and anticipate the future." Make picture quote!
"I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn." Make picture quote!
"In our most trivial walks, we are constantly, though unconsciously, steering like pilots by certain well-known beacons and headlands, and if we go beyond our usual course we still carry in our minds the bearing of some neighboring cape; and not till we ar" Make picture quote!
"In the long run, we only hit what we aim at. " Make picture quote!
"Knowledge does not come to us in details, but in flashes of light from heaven." Make picture quote!
"Men are born to succeed, not fail. " Make picture quote!
"Our manners have been corrupted by communication with the saints." Make picture quote!
"The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way." Make picture quote!
"What a man thinks of himself is what determines, or rather indicates his fate. " Make picture quote!
"The world is but a canvas to the imagination." Make picture quote!
"We have within reach, now, the attainment of almost every dream of mankind." Make picture quote!
"We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap into the dark to our success. " Make picture quote!
"What does education often do? It makes a straight-cut ditch of a free, meandering brook." Make picture quote!




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