Henry David Thoreau, born David Henry Thoreau

Henry David
Thoreau, born David Henry Thoreau

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

Author Quotes

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

Only that day dawns to which we are awake.

One grain of instant life is equivalent to acres of the leaf of hope hammered out to gild our prospect.

Only he is successful in his business who makes that pursuit which affords him the highest pleasure sustain him.

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

Nothing is so much to be feared as fear.

Not by constraint or severity shall you have access to true wisdom, but by abandonment, and childlike mirthfulness. If you would know aught be gay before it.

No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof.

Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it. It would not leave them narrow-minded and bigoted.

Men are born to succeed, not to fail.

Man is the artificer of his own happiness.

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

Love is a thirst that is never slaked.

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

Let us not underrate the value of a fact; it will one day flower into a truth.

In wildness is the preservation of the world.

Is life near the bone, where it is sweetest.

In dreams we see ourselves naked and acting out our real characters, even more clearly than we see others awake. But an unwavering and commanding virtue would compel even its most fantastic and faintest dreams to respect its ever wakeful authority; as we are accustomed to say carelessly, we should never have dreamed of such a thing.

If we can listen we shall hear. By reverently listening to the inner voice, we may reinstate ourselves on the pinnacle of humanity.

If you wish to give a man a sense of poverty, give him a thousand dollars. The next hundred dollars he gets will not be worth more than ten that he used to get. Have pity on him. Withhold your gifts.

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. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; not did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and search out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and if it proved to be mean, when they to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.

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... If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; there is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.

I think we may safely trust a good deal more than we do.

I have three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship and three for society.

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

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