Find a Quotation




Browse Quotes by Topic:

  
Age
Anger
Art
Business
Change
Confidence
Death
Education
Endure
Experience
Faith
Forgive
Fortune
Friendship
Genius
Good
Government
History
Humor
Imagination    
Life
Love
Marriage
Movies
Music
Nature
Patriotism
Peace
Poetry
Politics
Religion
Science
Society
Sports
Success
Technology
Time
War
Wisdom
Work


Featured Authors:


Abraham Lincoln
Albert Einstein
Ambrose Bierce
Aristotle
Benjamin Disraeli
Benjamin Franklin
Carl Sandburg
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Francis Bacon
Friedrich Nietzsche
George Bernard Shaw
George Eliot
George Washington
Henry Ford
Mark Twain
Oscar Wilde
Plato
Socrates
Sophocles
William Shakespeare

Henry David Thoreau quotes (129)

In wildness is the preservation of the world.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Environment

It is not worth while to go round the world to count the cats in Zanzibar.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Cat

In the long run men only hit what they aim at. Therefore though you should fail immediately you had better aim at something high.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Aim

If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs is more elastic more starry more immortal – that is your success. All nature is your congratulation and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Success

If I shall sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society as most appear to do Im sure that for me there would be nothing left worth living for.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Labor

The poet is a man who lives at last by watching his moods. An old poet comes at last to watch his moods as narrowly as a cat does a mouse.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Poetry

Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Book

The law will never make men free it is men that have to make the law free.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Law

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air drink the drink taste the fruit and resign yourself to the influences of each.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Seasons

I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree or a yellow birch or an old acquaintance among the pines.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Tree

Drive a nail home and clinch it so faithfully that you can wake up in the night and think of your work with satisfaction a work at which you would not be ashamed to invoke the muse.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Work

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.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Cost

I have lived some thirty years on this planet and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Advice

To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts not even to found a school but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates a life of simplicity independence magnanimity and trust.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Philosophy

How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Education

All good things are wild and free.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Good

To a philosopher all news as it is called is gossip and they who edit it and read it are old women over their tea.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Gossip

But why should not the New Englander try new adventures not lay so much stress on his grain his potato and grass crop and his orchards and raise other crops than these? Why concern ourselves so much about our beans for seed and not be concerned at all about a new generation of men.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Adventure

It is a great art to saunter.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Walk

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Earth

Poverty it is life near the bone where it is sweetest.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Potential

What is called genius is the abundance of life and health.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Unsorted

I put a piece of paper under my pillow and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Writing

The way by which you may get money almost without exception leads downward.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Money

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Man

Those whom we can love we can hate; to others we are indifferent.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Children

We need only travel enough to give our intellects an airing.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Travel

True friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Friendship

Most of the stone a nation hammers goes toward its tomb only. It buries itself alive. As for the Pyramids there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile and then given his body to the dogs.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Nation

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.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Bigotry

It is usually the imagination that is wounded first rather than the heart; it being much more sensitive.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Illusions

Live your life do your work then take your hat.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Live

The man who is dissatisfied with himself what can he do?
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Hero

How can they expect a harvest of thought who have not had the seed time of character.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Character

The bluebird carries the sky on his back.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Bird

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.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Luxury

Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Day

It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Apparel

If a thousand men were not to pay their tax-bills this year that would not be a violent and bloody measure as it would be to pay them and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Tax

How novel and original must be each new mans view of the universe for though the world is so old & so many books have been written each object appears wholly undescribed to our experience each field of thought wholly unexplored The whole world is an America a New World.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: New

I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance and obsequious attendance but and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Food

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live!
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Vain

It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Wisdom

We perceive and are affected by changes too subtle to be described.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Influence

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. Let him step to the music which he hears however measured or faraway.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: If

One attraction in coming to the woods to live was that I should have leisure and opportunity to see the spring come in.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Spring

Faith keeps many doubts in her pay. If I could not doubt I should not believe.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Doubt

Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Wealth

The man of genius knows what he is aiming at; nobody else knows. And he alone knows when something comes between him and his object. In the course of generations however men will excuse you for not doing as they do if you will bring enough to pass in your own way.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Desire

What is the use of a house if you havent got a tolerable planet to put it on?
Henry David Thoreau   Category: House

Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Dream

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.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Faith

The universe seems bankrupt as soon as we begin to discuss the characters of individuals.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Universe

One of the most attractive things about the flowers is their beautiful reserve.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Flower

Philanthropy is almost the only virtue which is sufficiently appreciated by mankind.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Charity

It takes two to speak the truth one to speak and the other to hear.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Listen

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....
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Death

What is human warfare but just this; an effort to make the laws of God and nature take sides with one party.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: War

There is no rule more invariable than that we are paid for our suspicions by finding what we suspect.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Suspicion

It is as hard to see oneself as to look backwards without turning around.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: See

There is more religion in mens science than there is science in their religion.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Religion

There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Corrupt

To him whose elastic and vigorous thought keeps pace with the sun the day is a perpetual morning.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Morning

A man sits as many risks as he runs.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Risk

Its never to late to give up your prejudices.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Prejudice

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Invention

To inherit property is not to be born it is to be still-born rather.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Inheritance

Wherever a man goes men will pursue him and paw him with their dirty institutions and if they can constrain him to belong to their desperate odd-fellow society.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Indispensable

That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Pleasure

Water is the only drink for a wise man.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Alcohol

Tis healthy to be sick sometimes.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Health

I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Self

I know of no more encouraging fact than the ability of a man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Ability

The mass never comes up to the standard of its best member but on the contrary degrades itself to a level with the lowest.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Masses

Even the best things are not equal to their fame.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: False

It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Learn

To know that we know what we know And that we do not know what we do not know that is true knowledge.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Happiness

All voting is a sort of gaming like checkers or backgammon with a slight moral tinge to it a playing with right and wrong.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Vote

My eye is educated to discover anything on the ground as chestnuts etc. It is probably wholesomer to look at the ground much than at the heavens.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Discovery

If misery loves company misery has company enough.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Company

In accumulating property for ourselves or our posterity in founding a family or a state or acquiring fame even we are mortal; but in dealing with truth we are immortal and need fear no change nor accident.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Truth

I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes and not rather a new wearer of clothes.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Business

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can let alone.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Rich

Every generation laughs at the old fashions but follows religiously the new.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Fashion

Not that the story need be long but it will take a long while to make it short.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Breeding

Any fool can make a rule and every fool will mind it.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Conformity

Nature abhors a vacuum and if I can only walk with sufficient carelessness I am sure to be filled.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Nature

Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Majority

Most men would feel insulted if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall and then in throwing them back merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Wages

Men are probably nearer the central truth in their superstitions than in their science.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Superstition

Each thought that is welcomed and recorded is a nest egg by the side of which more will be laid.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Thief

Let justice be done though the heavens fall.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Justice

In human intercourse the tragedy begins not when there is a misunderstanding about words but when silence is not understood.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Sick

What men call social virtues good fellowship is commonly but the virtue of pigs in a litter which lie close together to keep each other warm.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Companion

All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every second.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Change

Experience is in the fingers and head. The heart is inexperienced.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Experience

Great God I ask thee for no meaner pelf Than that I may not disappoint myself That in my action I may soar as high As I can now discern with this clear eye.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: God

If you would convince a man that he does wrong do right. Men will believe what they see.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Convince

But lo! men have become the tools of their tools.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Machinery

We believe that the possibility of the future far exceeds the accomplishment of the past. We review the past with the common sense but we anticipate the future with transcendental senses. In our sanest moments we find ourselves naturally expecting or prepared for far greater changes than any which we have experienced within the period of distinct memory only to be paralleled by experiences which are forgotten.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Future

We are double-edged blades and every time we whet our virtue the return stroke straps our vice.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Vice

I have a great deal of company in the house especially in the morning when nobody calls.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Solitude

The pleasure we feel in music springs from the obedience which is in it.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Music

Government never furthered any enterprise but by the alacrity with which it gets out of its way.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Government

We cannot kill time without injuring eternity.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Eternity

I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude two for friendship three for society.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Society

The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready and it may be a long time before they get off.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Alone

We are not what we are nor do we treat or esteem each other for such but for what we are capable of being.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Life

The perception of beauty is a moral test.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Beauty

Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: World

Nothing is so much to be feared as fear.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Fear

Every man is the builder of a temple called his body to the god he worships after a style purely his own nor can he get off by hammering marble instead. We are all sculptors and painters and our material is our own flesh and blood and bones.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Body

There is an incessant influx of novelty into the world and yet we tolerate incredible dullness.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Dull

Rather than love than money than fame give me truth.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Action

How earthy old people become mouldy as the grave! Their wisdom smacks of the earth. There is no foretaste of immortality in it. They remind me of earthworms and mole crickets.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Old

The Youth gets together the materials to build a bridge to the moon or perchance a palace or temple on earth but alas at length the middle aged man concludes to build a wood shed with the materials.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Age

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly the true place for a just man is also a prison.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Civil

We are constantly invited to be who we are.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Vigilant

Some circumstantial evidence is very strong as when you find a trout in the milk.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Proof

I think that we may safely trust a good deal more than we do. We may waive just so much care of ourselves as we honestly bestow elsewhere.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Trust

Time is but the stream I go a–fishin' in. I drink at it but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away but eternity remains.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Fish

The highest law gives a thing to him who can use it.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Property

Our life is frittered away with detail.... Simplify simplify.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Details

Be not simply good; be good for something.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Virtue

Men will lie on their backs talking about the the fall of man and never make an effort to get up.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Fall

There is no remedy for love but to love more.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Heaven

Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Clothes

Humility like darkness reveals the heavenly lights.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Humanitarian

Whatever sentence will bear to be read twice we may be sure was thought twice.
Henry David Thoreau   Category: Reactionaries