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Quotes by Henry David Thoreau (Page 5 of 6)


Longer Version:

I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest. What force has a multitude? They can only force me who obey a higher law than I.... I do not hear of men being forced to live this way or that by masses of men. What sort of life were that to live?


Longer Version:

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.





Longer Version:

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion. I would rather ride on earth in an ox cart, with a free circulation, than go to heaven in the fancy car of an excursion train and breathe a malaria all the way.





Longer Version:

I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.






Longer Version:

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!




























Longer Version:

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.






































Longer Version:

If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see.









Longer Version:

lBooks are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations. Books, the oldest and the best, stand naturally and rightfully on the shelves of every cottage. They have no cause of their own to plead, but while they enlighten and sustain the reader his common sense will not refuse them. Their authors are a natural and irresistible aristocracy in every society, and, more than kings or emperors, exert an influence on mankind.



Longer Version:

Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable but positive hindrances to our progress. Our life is frittered away by detail. I say let your affairs be as two or three, not a hundred or a thousand. And keep your accounts on your thumb nail.





Longer Version:

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















































Longer Version:

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this, or the like of this. I wish to live ever as to derive my satisfactions and inspirations from the commonest events, everyday phenomena, so that what my senses hourly perceive, my daily walk, the conversation of my neighbors, may inspire me, and I may dream of no heaven but that which lies about me.


Longer Version:

The language of friendship is not words , but rather meanings. It is an intelligence above language.


Longer Version:

lIt's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see - i.e. compare it to, something worse or better, that determines whether you are respectively grateful and happy or ungrateful and bitter.










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