Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.

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If misery loves company, misery has company enough.

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I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.

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The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.

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

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Good for the body is the work of the body, good for the soul the work of the soul, and good for either the work of the other.

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Men have become the tools of their tools.

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

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That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.

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Men are born to succeed - not to fail.

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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.

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How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.

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Man is the artificer of his own happiness.

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

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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.

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He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul's estate.

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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 and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.

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It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, 'What are we busy about?'

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Did you ever hear of a man who had striven all his life faithfully and singly toward an object, and in no measure obtained it? If a man constantly aspires, is he not elevated?

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In the long run men hit only what they aim at.

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There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.

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I am convinced both by faith and experience, that to maintain one's self on this earth is not a hardship but a pastime, if we will live simply and wisely.

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

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With all your science can you tell me how it is, and whence it is, that light comes into the soul?

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A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.

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He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise.

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The fate of the country does not depend on how you vote at the polls - the worst man is as strong as the best at that game; it does not depend on what kind of paper you drop into the ballot-box once a year, but on what kind of man you drop from your chamber into the street every morning.

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Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.

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Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. With respect to luxuries and comforts, the wisest have ever lived a more simple and meager life than the poor.

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What does education often do? It makes a straight-cut ditch of a free, meandering brook

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The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.

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The State never intentionally confronts a man's sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength. I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.

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As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

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Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes and not a new wearer of the clothes.

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