Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Henry David Thoreau

US Transcendentalist author (1817 - 1862)

Welcome to Quote Meanings. This page lists the Henry David Thoreau quotes we have in our database and soon will provide users a means to discuss the meanings of quotes listed here. You don't even need to sign up.

By avarice and selfishness, and a groveling habit, from which none of us is free, of regarding the soil as property, or the means of acquiring property chiefly, the landscape is deformed, husbandry is degraded with us, and the farmer leads the meanest of lives. He knows Nature but as a robber.

Categorized under Avarice

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far moreglorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.

Categorized under Beauty

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

We should distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.

Categorized under Business

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

A thoroughbred business man cannot enter heartily upon the business of life without first looking into his accounts.

Categorized under Business

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Things do not change, we do.

Categorized under Change

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

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.

Categorized under Dreams

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable.

Categorized under Exploration

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Fame is not just. She never finely or discriminatingly praises, but coarsely hurrahs.

Categorized under Fame

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.

Categorized under Fashion

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

A man cannot be said to succeed in this life who does not satisfy one friend.

Categorized under Friendship

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

We hate the kindness which we understand.

Categorized under Kindness

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

There is no remedy for love but to love more.

Categorized under Love

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts; but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates.

Categorized under Philosophy

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.

Categorized under Success

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

I have learned this at least by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Categorized under Success

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.

Categorized under Success

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Time is but the stream I go a fishing in.

Categorized under Time

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.

Categorized under Wealth

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

In solitude especialy do we begin to appreciate the advantage of living with someone who can think.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

If the day and the night are such that you greet them with with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, more elastic, more starry, more immortal--that is your success.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

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.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

I have learned this at least by my experiment: 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.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

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 far away.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

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.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

It takes two to speak the truth--one to speak and the other to hear.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

The man for whom law exists - the man of forms, the Conservative, is a tame man.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestioned ability of a man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

[Water is] the only drink for a wise man.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Men are born to succeed, not fail.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Goodness is the only investment that never fails.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Man is the artificer of his own happiness.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed in them.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

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.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

There is no remedy for love but to love more.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Men have become the tools of their tools

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Voting for the right is doing nothing for it.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

As if there were safety in stupidity alone.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

I derive no pleasure from talking with a young woman simply because she has regular features.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

What men call good fellowship is commonly but the virtue of pigs in a litter which lie close together to keep each other warm.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing 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. I would drink deeper; fish fill the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars. I cannot count one. I know not the first letter of the alphabet. I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Not till we are lost, in other words, not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize the infinite extent of our relations.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

It is never too late to give up your prejudices.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

What people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. 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.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. Men will believe what they see.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

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 he hears, how ever measured or far away.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

A man cannot be said to succeed in this life who does not satisfy one friend.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestioned ability of a man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

In wilderness is the preservation of the world.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is in prison.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

In what concerns you much, do not think that you have companions: know that you are alone in the world.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

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.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Many go fishing without knowing it is fish they are after.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Things do not change; we change.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Be not simply good - be good for something.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

In the long run, you hit only what you aim at: Therefore aim high.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

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.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

In dreams we see ourselves naked and acting our real characters, even more clearly than we see others awake.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of reality.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Heroes are often the most ordinary of men.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

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.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

My friend is one... who take me for what I am.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

I stand in awe of my body.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

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.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

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.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it but as I drink, I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Most people dread finding out when they come to die that they have never really lived.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Every man is the builder of a temple called his body.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Do what nobody else can do for you. Omit to do anything else.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

How sweet it would be to treat men and things, for an hour, for just what they are!

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Say what you have to say, not what you ought. any truth is better than make-Believe!

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Any fool can make a rule,
and any fool will mind it.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Cultivate the habit of early rising. It is unwise to keep the head long on a level with the feet.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, cattle, barns, and farming tools, for these are more easily acquired than gotten rid of. Better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf, that they might have seen with clearer eyes what field they were called to labour in.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake his neighbours up.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

In wildness is the preservation of the world.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Time is but a stream I go a-fishing 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.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

The only obligation which I have a right to assume, is to do at any time what I think right.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

In the long run you only hit what you aim at. Therefore, though you should fail immediately, you had better aim at something high.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Ignorance and bungling with love are better than wisdom and skill without.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

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.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

All good things are wild, and free.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

It is pleasant to have been to a place the way a river went.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

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.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

We do not learn by inference and deduction and the application of mathematics to philosophy, but by direct intercourse and sympathy.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

We must have infinite faith in each other. If we have not, we must never let it leak out that we have not.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

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.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

One may discover a new side to his most intimate friend when for the first time he hears him speak in public. He will be stranger to him as he is more familiar to the audience. The longest intimacy could not foretell how he would behave then

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Must be out-of-doors enough to get experience of wholesome reality, as a ballast to thought and sentiment. Health requires this relaxation, this aimless life

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

We are armed with language adequate to describe each leaf of the filed, but not to describe human character.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are the richest.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

There is no remedy for love but to love more.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

A simple and independent mind does not toil at the bidding of any prince.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

The way by which you may get money almost without exception leads downward.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

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.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Good poetry seems too simple and natural a thing that when we meet it we wonder that all men are not always poets. Poetry is nothing but healthy speech.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

All perception of truth is the detection of an analogy.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

To regret deeply is to live afresh.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Water is the only drink for a wise man.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

It is characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

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.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth!

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Men have become the tools of their tools.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he imaged, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

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. God will see that you do want society.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

We falsely attribute to men a determined character - putting together all their yesterdays - and averaging them - we presume we know them. Pity the man who has character to support - it is worse than a large family - he is the silent poor indeed.

Comments: 0 | Toggle Comments - Add Comment

More Authors Like Henry David Thoreau