Henry David Thoreau Quotes & Wallpapers

Henry David Thoreau
Total Quotes: 3049


Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. Henry David Thoreau
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Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. Henry David Thoreau
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It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. Henry David Thoreau
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All misfortune is but a stepping stone to fortune. Henry David Thoreau
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Men are born to succeed, not to fail. Henry David Thoreau
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Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth. Henry David Thoreau
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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. Henry David Thoreau
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We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn. Henry David Thoreau
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In wildness is the preservation of the world. Henry David Thoreau
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What is once well done is done forever. Henry David Thoreau
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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
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Ignorance and bungling with love are better than wisdom and skill without. Henry David Thoreau
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The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. Henry David Thoreau
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If you can speak what you will never hear, if you can write what you will never read, you have done rare things. Henry David Thoreau
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If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. Men will believe what they see. Henry David Thoreau
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Only that day dawns to which we are awake. Henry David Thoreau
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If I choose to devote myself to certain labors which yield more real profit, though but little money, they may be inclined to look on me as an idler. Henry David Thoreau
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Government never furthered any enterprise but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way. Henry David Thoreau
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How often we find ourselves turning our backs on our actual friends, that we might go and meet their ideal cousins. Henry David Thoreau
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Sobriety, severity, and self-respect are the foundations of all true sociality. Henry David Thoreau
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No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true to-day may turn out to be falsehood to-morrow. Henry David Thoreau
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Invariably our best nights were those when it rained. Henry David Thoreau
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If a man believes and expects great things of himself, it makes no odds where you put him, or what you show him . . he will be surrounded by grandeur. Henry David Thoreau
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Give me the poverty that enjoys true wealth. Henry David Thoreau
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The lakes are something which you are unprepared for; they lie up so high, exposed to the light, and the forest is diminished to a fine fringe on their edges, with here and there a blue mountain, like amethyst jewels set around some jewel of the first water, - so anterior, so superior, to all the changes that are to take place on their shores, even now civil and refined, and fair as they can ever be. Henry David Thoreau
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A truly good book is something as natural, and as unexpectedly and unaccountably fair and perfect, as a wild-flower discovered on the prairies of the West or in the jungles of the East. Henry David Thoreau
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Our last deed, like the young of the land crab, wends its way to the sea of cause and effect as soon as born, and makes a drop there to eternity. Henry David Thoreau
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We must take root; send out some little fibre at least, even every winter day. Henry David Thoreau
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Do not seek so anxiously to be developed, to subject yourself to many influences to be played on; it is all dissipation. Humility like darkness reveals the heavenly lights. Henry David Thoreau
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Sweep away the clutter of things that complicate our lives. Henry David Thoreau
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Man cannot afford to be a naturalist, to look at Nature directly, but only with the side of his eye. He must look through and beyond her. Henry David Thoreau
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Much of our poetry has the very best manners, but no character. Henry David Thoreau
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Much verse fails of being poetry because it was not written exactly at the right crisis, though it may have been inconceivably near to it. It is only by a miracle that poetry is written at all. It is not recoverable thought, but a hue caught from a vaster receding thought. Henry David Thoreau
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It is remarkable that almost all speakers and writers feel it to be incumbent on them, sooner or later, to prove or acknowledge the personality of God. Some Earl of Bridgewater, thinking it better late than never, has provided for it in his will. It is a sad mistake. Henry David Thoreau
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Men nowhere, east or west, live yet a natural life, round which the vine clings, and which the elm willingly shadows. Man would desecrate it by his touch, and so the beauty of the world remains veiled to him. He needs not only to be spiritualized, but naturalized, on the soil of earth. Henry David Thoreau
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It is so rare to meet with a man outdoors who cherishes a worthy thought in his mind, which is independent of the labor of his hands. Behind every man's busy-ness there should be a level of undisturbed serenity and industry, as within the reef encircling a coral isle there is always an expanse of still water, where the depositions are going on which will finally raise it above the surface. Henry David Thoreau
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You fail in your thoughts, or you prevail in your thoughts only. Henry David Thoreau
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As polishing expresses the vein in marble, and grain in wood, so music brings out what of heroic lurks anywhere. The hero is the sole patron of music. Henry David Thoreau
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On every hand we observe a truly wise practice, in education, in morals, and in the arts of life, the embodied wisdom of many an ancient philosopher. Henry David Thoreau
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I am too easily contented with a slight and almost animal happiness. My happiness is a good deal like that of the woodchucks. Henry David Thoreau
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A healthy man, with steady employment, as wood-chopping at fifty cents a cord, and a camp in the woods, will not be a good subjectfor Christianity. The New Testament may be a choice book to him on some, but not on all or most of his days. He will rather go a-fishing in his leisure hours. The Apostles, though they were fishers too, were of the solemn race of sea-fishers, and never trolled for pickerel on inland streams. Henry David Thoreau
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Books are for the most part willfully and hastily written, as parts of a system to supply a want real or imagined. Henry David Thoreau
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See how he cowers and sneaks, how vaguely all the day he fears, not being immortal nor divine, but the slave and prisoner of his own opinion of himself, a fame won by his own deeds. Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate. Henry David Thoreau
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All sound heard at the greatest possible distance produces one and the same effect, a vibration of the universal lyre, just as the intervening atmosphere makes a distant ridge of earth interesting to our eyes by the azure tint it imparts to it. Henry David Thoreau
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I am wont to think that men are not so much the keepers of herds as herds are the keepers of men. The former are so much the freer. Henry David Thoreau
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There are other letters for the child to learn than those which Cadmus invented. The Spaniards have a good term to express this wild and dusky knolwedge, Grammatica parda, tawny grammar, a kind of mother-wit derived from that same leopard to which I have referred. Henry David Thoreau
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There has always been the same amount of light in the world. The new and missing stars, the comets and eclipses, do not affect thegeneral illumination, for only our glasses appreciate them. Henry David Thoreau
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There are sure to be two prescriptions diametrically opposite. Henry David Thoreau
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Slow are the beginnings of philosophy. Henry David Thoreau
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We can conceive of nothing more fair than something which we have experienced. Henry David Thoreau
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Having reached the term of his natural life"; Mwould it not be truer to say, Having reached the term of his unnatural life? Henry David Thoreau
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We can never safely exceed the actual facts in our narratives. Of pure invention, such as some suppose, there is no instance. To write a true work of fiction even is only to take leisure and liberty to describe some things more exactly as they are. Henry David Thoreau
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We shall be reduced to gnaw the very crust of the earth for nutriment. Henry David Thoreau
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The artist and his work are not to be separated. The most willfully foolish man cannot stand aloof from his folly, but the deed and the doer together make ever one sober fact. Henry David Thoreau
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It is good even to be a fisherman in summer and in winter. Henry David Thoreau
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That is a pathetic inquiry among travelers and geographers after the site of ancient Troy. It is not near where they think it is.When a thing is decayed and gone, how indistinct must be the place it occupied! Henry David Thoreau
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I see less difference between a city and a swamp than formerly. Henry David Thoreau
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The change from storm and winter to serene and mild weather, from dark and sluggish hours to bright and elastic ones, is a memorable crisis which all things proclaim. It is seemingly instantaneous at last. Henry David Thoreau
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In the unbending of the arm to do the deed there is experience worth all the maxims in the world. Henry David Thoreau
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Men should not labor foolishly like brutes, but the brain and the body should always, or as much as possible, work and rest together, and then the work will be of such a kind that when the body is hungry the brain will be hungry also, and the same food will suffice for both; otherwise the food which repairs the waste energy of the overwrought body will oppress the sedentary brain, and the degenerate scholar will come to esteem all food vulgar, and all getting a living drudgery. Henry David Thoreau
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Generally speaking, the political news, whether domestic or foreign, might be written today for the next ten years with sufficientaccuracy. Most revolutions in society have not power to interest, still less alarm us; but tell me that our rivers are drying up, or the genus pine dying out in the country, and I might attend. Henry David Thoreau
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Will mankind never learn that policy is not morality,-that it never secures any moral right, but considers merely what is expedient? chooses the available candidate,-who is invariably the devil,-and what right have his constituents to be surprised, because the devil does not behave like an angel of light? What is wanted is men, not of policy, but of probity,-who recognize a higher law than the Constitution, or the decision of the majority. Henry David Thoreau
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Men cannot conceive of a state of things so fair that it cannot be realized. Henry David Thoreau
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The murmurs of many a famous river on the other side of the globe reach even to us here, as to more distant dwellers on its banks;many a poet's stream, floating the helms and shields of heroes on its bosom. Henry David Thoreau
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The young pines springing up in the corn-fields from year to year are to me a refreshing fact. Henry David Thoreau
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By one bait or another, Nature allures inhabitants into all her recesses. Henry David Thoreau
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Whether we live by the seaside, or by the lakes and rivers, or on the prarie, it concerns us to attend to the nature of fishes, since they are not phenomena confined to certain localities only, but forms and phases of the life in nature universally dispersed. The countless shoals which annually coast the shores of Europe and America are not so interesting to the student of nature as the more fertile law itselffrom which it results that they may be found in water in so many places, in greater or lesser numbers. Henry David Thoreau
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The same soil is good for men and for trees. A man's health requires as many acres of meadow to his prospect as his farm does loads of muck. Henry David Thoreau
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How can a man be satisfied to entertain an opinion merely, and enjoy it? Is there any enjoyment in it, if his opinion is that he is aggrieved? If you are cheated out of a single dollar by your neighbor, you do not rest satisfied with knowing that you are cheated, or with saying that you are cheated, or even with petitioning him to pay you your due; but you take effectual steps at once to obtain the full amount, and see that you are never cheated again. Henry David Thoreau
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Our village life would stagnate if it were not for the unexplored forests and meadows which surround it. Henry David Thoreau
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