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Henry David Thoreau Quotes

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Say what you have to say, not what you ought. Any truth is better than make-believe.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden - Chapter XVIII: Conclusion, 1854)
The works of the great poets have never yet been read by mankind, for only great poets can read them.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden - Chapter III: Reading, 1854)
Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them.
Henry David Thoreau (Civil Disobedience, 1849)
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, 1849)
When we are in health, all sounds fife and drum for us; we hear the notes of music in the air, or catch its echoes dying away when we awake in the dawn.
Henry David Thoreau (A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, 1849)
I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality.
Henry David Thoreau (Life Without Principles, 1863)
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.
Henry David Thoreau (Journal Entry, 1857)
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden - Chapter I: Economy, 1854)
Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.
Henry David Thoreau (Journal Entry, 1853)
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.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden - Chapter XVIII: Conclusion, 1854)
The authority of government must have the sanction and consent of the governed. It can have no pure right over my person and property but what I concede to it.
Henry David Thoreau (Civil Disobedience, 1849)
The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden - Chapter I: Economy, 1854)
The imagination, give it the least license, dives deeper and soars higher than Nature goes.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden - Chapter XVI: The Pond in Winter, 1854)
We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal and then leap in the dark to our success.
Henry David Thoreau (Journal Entry, 1859)
In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden - Chapter I: Economy, 1854)
Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.
Henry David Thoreau (Journal Entry, 1855)
Have no mean hours, but be grateful for every hour, and accept what it brings. The reality will make any sincere record respectable.
Henry David Thoreau (Journal Entry, 1840)
My life is like a stroll upon the beach,
As near the ocean's edge as I can go.
Henry David Thoreau (Written at Staten Island)
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.
Henry David Thoreau (Journal Entry, 1841)
I believe that water is the only drink for the wise man.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden, 1854)
Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden - Chapter XVIII: Conclusion, 1854)
A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden - Chapter IX: The Ponds, 1854)
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.
Henry David Thoreau (Journal Entry, 1852)
When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence, that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden - Chapter I: Economy, 1854)
Nature puts no question and answers none which we mortals ask. She has long ago taken her resolution.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden - Chapter XVI: The Pond in Winter, 1854)
Why do you stay here and live this mean moiling life, when a glorious existence is possible for you?
Henry David Thoreau (Walden - Chapter XI: Higher Laws, 1854)
My life has been the poem I would have writ,
But I could not both live and utter it.
Henry David Thoreau (A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, 1849)
Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends... Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden - Chapter XVIII: Conclusion, 1854)
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 (Walden - Chapter I: Economy, 1854)
There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden - Chapter I: Economy, 1854)
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Henry David Thoreau Biography

Born: July 12, 1817
Died: May 6, 1862

Henry David Thoreau was an American author, abolitionist, poet and philosopher. He is best known as the author of the book Walden. He has also been highly influential in political thought.

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The Service (1840)
Paradise Regained (1843)
Reform and the Reformers (1846-1848)
Thomas Carlyle and His Works (1847)
Civil Disobedience (1849)
Walden (1854)
Walking (1861)
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