Quotes Categories

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

(1817-1862), American Essayist, Poet, Naturalist

If we were left solely to the wordy wit of legislators in Congress for our guidance, uncorrected by the seasonal experience and the effectual complaints of the people, America would not long retain her rank among the nations.

Category: Congress

Let nothing come between you and the light.

Category: Control

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

Category: Conventionality

There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted.

Category: Corruption

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

Category: Cost

The Artist is he who detects and applies the law from observation of the works of Genius, whether of man or Nature. The Artisan is he who merely applies the rules which others have detected.

Category: Crafts

I am sorry to think that you do not get a man's most effective criticism until you provoke him. Severe truth is expressed with some bitterness.

Category: Critics And Criticism

Live your life, do your work, then take your hat.

Category: Death And Dying

As for doing good; that is one of the professions which is full. Moreover I have tried it fairly and, strange as it may seem, am satisfied that it does not agree with my constitution.

Category: Deeds And Good Deeds

If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.

Category: Deeds And Good Deeds

If a man constantly aspires is he not elevated?

Category: Desire

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

Category: Desperation

I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark.

Category: Determination

Is not disease the rule of existence? There is not a lily pad floating on the river but has been riddled by insects. Almost every shrub and tree has its gall, oftentimes esteemed its chief ornament and hardly to be distinguished from the fruit. If misery loves company, misery has company enough. Now, at midsummer, find me a perfect leaf or fruit.

Category: Disease

Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.

Category: Distrust