Trade and commerce, if they were not made of Indian rubber, would never manage to bounce over the obstacles which legislators are continually putting in their way.
Pity the man who has a character to support -- it is worse than a large family -- he is silent poor indeed.
We are happy in proportion to the things we can do without.
Economy is a subject which admits of being treated with levity, but it cannot so be disposed of.
With wisdom we shall learn liberality.
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.
We must have infinite faith in each other. If we have not, we must never let it leak out that we have not.
Friendship is evanescent in every man's experience, and remembered like heat lightning in past summers.
There can be no very black melancholy to him who lives in the midst of Nature and has his senses still.
The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual.
Nothing is so much to be feared as fear.
The poet who walks by moonlight is conscious of a tide in his thought which is to be referred to lunar influence.
It is no more dusky in ordinary nights than our mind's habitual atmosphere, and the moonlight is as bright as our most illuminatedmoments are.
How shall we account for our pursuits, if they are original? We get the language with which to describe our various lives out of acommon mint.
Oh, one world at a time!
Man is an animal who more than any other can adapt himself to all climates and circumstances.
I am not responsible for the successful working of the machinery of society.
The language of Friendship is not words, but meanings.
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.
At present our only true names are nicknames.
The child should have the advantage of ignorance as well as of knowledge, and is fortunate if he gets his share of neglect and exposure.
Poetry is the mysticism of mankind.
If the fairest features of the landscape are to be named after men, let them be the noblest and worthiest men alone.
Even in our democratic New England towns the accidental possession of wealth, and its manifestation in dress and equipage alone, obtain for the possessor almost universal respect.
How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book!
Color, which is the poet's wealth, is so expensive that most take to mere outline sketches and become men of science.
I learned to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of nature, rather than a member of society.
Many old people receive pensions for no other reason, it seems to me, but as a compensation for having lived a long time ago.
Be as the sailor who keeps the polestar in his eye. By so doing we may not arrive at our port within a calculable period, but we will maintain a true course.
For my part, I could easily do without the post-office. I think that there are very few important communications made through it.
The highest law gives a thing to him who can use it.
I do not see why the schoolmaster should be taxed to support the priest, and not the priest the schoolmaster.
The true finish is the work of time, and the use to which a thing is put. The elements are still polishing the pyramids.
The oldest, wisest politician grows not more human so, but is merely a gray wharf rat at last.
Man's moral nature is a riddle which only eternity can solve.
Many men walk by day; few walk by night. It is a different season.
The mass of men are very easily imposed on. They have their runways in which they always travel, and are sure to fall into any pit or box-trap set therein.
Routine is a ground to stand on, a wall to retreat to; we cannot draw on our boots without bracing ourselves against it.
From exertion come wisdom and purity; from sloth ignorance and sensuality.
There are more consequences to a shipwreck than the underwriters notice.
If I ever see more clearly at one time than at another, the medium through which I see is clearer.
Every man will be a poet if he can; otherwise a philosopher or man of science. This proves the superiority of the poet.
Why level downward to our dullest perception always, and praise that as common sense? The commonest sense is the sense of men asleep, which they express by snoring.
Consider what stuff history is made of, -- that for the most part it is merely a story agreed on by posterity.
In the summer we lay up a stock of experiences for the winter, as the squirrel of nuts?something for conversation in winter evenings.
The imagination, give it the least license, dives deeper and soars higher than Nature goes.
Let things alone; let them weigh what they will; let them soar or fall.
The great poem must have the stamp of greatness as well as its essence.
It is the man determines what is said, not the words.
Are you in want of amusement nowadays? Then play a little at the game of getting a living. There was never anything equal to it. Do it temperately, though, and don't sweat.
I have learned that the swiftest traveller is he that goes afoot.
Truth, Goodness, Beauty -- those celestial thrins,Continually are born; e'en now the Universe,With thousand throats, and eke with greener smiles,Its joy confesses at their recent birth.
We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor.
We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features, the sea-coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, the thunder-cloud, and the rain.
Open all your pores and bathe in all the tides of nature, in all her streams and oceans, at all seasons.
We fritter away our energy and creativity ...
we get bogged down in the thick of thin things.
I think that no experience which I have today comes up to, or is comparable with, the experiences of my boyhood.
Truth is always paradoxical.
If you would feel the full force of a tempest, take up your residence on the top of Mount Washington, or at the Highland Light, inTruro.
A man's whole life is taxed for the least thing well done. It is its net result.
If common sense had been consulted, how many marriages would never have taken place; if uncommon or divine sense, how few marriages such as we witness would ever have taken place!
It takes a man of genius to travel in his own country, in his native village; to make any progress between his door and his gate.
The movements of the eyes express the perpetual and unconscious courtesy of the parties.
In the winter, warmth stands for all virtue.
When I would go a-visiting, I find that I go off the fashionable street, -- not being inclined to change my dress, -- to where man meets man, and not polished shoe meets shoe.
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.
If you look over a list of medicinal recipes in vogue in the last century, how foolish and useless they are seen to be! And yet we use equally absurd ones with faith today.
We are accustomed to say, that the mass of men are unprepared; but improvement is slow, because the few are not materially wiser or better than the many.
I should consider it a greater success to interest one wise and earnest soul, than a million unwise and frivolous.
Good deeds are no less good because their object is unworthy.
In Literature it is only the wild that attracts us.
In short, all good things are wild and free.
In short, all good things are wild and free. There is something in a strain of music, whether produced by an instrument or by the human voice,--take the sound of a bugle in a summer night, for instance,--which by its wildness, to speak without satire, reminds me of the cries emitted by wild beasts in their native forests. It is so much of their wildness as I can understand. Give me for my friends and neighbors wild men, not tame ones. The wildness of the savage is but a faint symbol of the awful ferity with which good men and lovers meet.
We need the tonic of wildness.
We need the tonic of wildness…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 indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.
Life consists with wildness. The most alive is the wildest. Not yet subdued to man, its presence refreshes him.
What we call wildness is a civilization other than our own.
Give me a Wildness whose glance no civilization can endure.
The West of which I speak is but another name for the Wild, and what I have been preparing to say is, that in Wildness is the preservation of the World.
Expect no trivial truth from me, unless I am on the witness- stand. I will come as near to lying as you can drive a coach and four.
Far from New England's blustering shore,New England's worm her hulk shall bore,And sink her in the Indian seas,Twine, wine, and hides, and China teas.
Why will we be imposed on by antiquity?
English sense has toiled, but Hindoo wisdom never perspired.
The sea, vast and wild as it is, bears thus the waste and wrecks of human art to its remotest shore. There is no telling what it may not vomit up.
I have found all things thus far, persons and inanimate matter, elements and seasons, strangely adapted to my resources.
The rich man is always sold to the institution which makes him rich. Absolutely speaking, the more money, the less virtue.
If however the law is so promulgated that it of necessity makes you an agent of injustices against another, then I say to you ... break the law.
The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.
Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one already.
By a conscious effort of the mind we can stand aloof from actions and their consequences; and all things, good and bad, go by us like a torrent.
I am amused to see from my window here how busily a man has divided and staked off his domain. God must smile at his puny fences running hither and thither everywhere over the land.
The most attractive sentences are not perhaps the wisest, but the surest and soundest.
The most attractive sentences are, perhaps, not the wisest, but the surest and roundest. They are spoken firmly and conclusively,as if the speaker had a right to know what he says, and if not wise, they have at least been well learned.
The whole of the day should not be daytime; there should be one hour, if not more, which the day did not bring forth.
The Slothful do not have the time to become virtuous or despicable.
In their daily life, all are braver than they know.
The most difficult thing to understand during conversation is silence.
I came to love my rows, my beans, though so many more than I wanted. They attached me to the earth, and so I got strength like Antaeus.
A simple and independent mind does not toil at the bidding of any prince.
Today...the bluebirds, old and young, have revisited their box, as if they would fain repeat the summer without intervention of winter, if Nature would let them.
What is chastity? How shall a man know if he is chaste? He shall not know it. We have heard of this virtue, but we know not what it is.
If you would be chaste, you must be temperate.
We make needless ado about capital punishment, -- taking lives, when there is no life to take.
This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle!
This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle! I am awaked almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts my dreams. There is no sabbath. It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work. I cannot easily buy a blank-book to write thoughts in; they are commonly ruled for dollars and cents. An Irishman, seeing me making a minute in the fields, took it for granted that I was calculating my wages. If a man was tossed out of a window when an infant, and so made a cripple for life, or scared out of his wits by the Indians, it is regretted chiefly because he was thus incapacitated for—business! I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself, than this incessant business.
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