Henry David Thoreau, born David Henry Thoreau

Henry David
Thoreau, born David Henry Thoreau
1817
1862

American Essayist, Naturalist, Poet, Abolitionist, Naturalist, Tax Resister, Development Critic, surveyor, Historian, Philosopher and Leading Transcendentalist

Author Quotes

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.

Happy the man who observes the heavenly and the terrestrial law in just proportion; whose every faculty, from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head, obeys the law of its level; who neither stoops nor goes on tiptoe, but lives a balanced life, acceptable to nature and God.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.

God himself culminates in the present moment, and will never be more divine in the lapse of all the ages. And we are able to apprehend at all what is sublime and noble only by the perpetual instilling and drenching of the reality that surrounds us.

Friends will not only live in harmony, but in melody.

Friendship is… a relation of perfect equality.. Not that the parties to it are in all respects equal, but they are equal in all that respects or affects their Friendship.

Every human being is the artificer of his own fate… Events, circumstances, etc., have their origin in ourselves. They spring from seeds which we have sown.

Do not hire the man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love, and pay him well.

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

But what is quackery? It is commonly an attempt to cure the diseases of a man by addressing his body alone.

Action from principle, the perception and performance of right, changes things and relations; it is essentially revolutionary, and does not consist wholly with anything which was. It not only divides states and churches, it divides families; ay, it divides the individual, separating the diabolical in him from the divine.

All our life… is a persistent dreaming awake.

You may raise money enough to tunnel a mountain, but you cannot raise money enough to hire a man who is minding his own business. An efficient and valuable man does what he can, whether the community pay him for it or not.

[Friends] They cherish each other’s hopes. They are kind to each other’s dreams.

You cannot kill time without injuring eternity.

We should treat our minds as innocent and ingenious children whose guardians we are - be careful what objects and what subjects we thrust on their attention.

We hear and apprehend only what we already half know.

We perceive and are affected by changes too subtle to be described.

Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse.

Water is the only drink for the wise man.

Time measures nothing but itself.

To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake.

There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power an authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.

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 in 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. The intellect is a cleaver; it discerns and rifts its way into the secret of things. I do not wish to be any more busy with my hands than is necessary. My head is hands and feet. I feel all my best faculties concentrated in it. My instinct tells me that my head is an organ for burrowing, as some creatures use their snout and fore paws, and with it I would mine and burrow my way through these hills. I think that the richest vein is somewhere hereabouts; so by the divining-rod and thin rising vapors I judge; and here I will begin to mine.

There is more religion in men's science than there is science in their religion.

Author Picture
First Name
Henry David
Last Name
Thoreau, born David Henry Thoreau
Birth Date
1817
Death Date
1862
Bio

American Essayist, Naturalist, Poet, Abolitionist, Naturalist, Tax Resister, Development Critic, surveyor, Historian, Philosopher and Leading Transcendentalist