Henry David Thoreau Quotes

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. I please myself with imagining a State at last which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few went to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow-men. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which also I have imagined, but not yet anywhere seen.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. On the Duty of Civil Disobedience (1849). closing lines. The passage relates to Thoreau's refusal to pay a poll tax, for which he went to jail for one night in July 1846. This essay was often quoted by Gandhi in his campaign of passive resistance. Later, Thoreau wrote, "I was never molested by any person but those who represented the State" (Walden "The Village" 1854). See Thoreau on PROTEST.
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I have a great deal of company in my house; especially in the morning, when nobody calls.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Solitude," Walden (1854).
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In some of those dense fir and spruce woods there is hardly room for the smoke to go up. The trees are a standing night, and every fir and spruce which you fell is a plume plucked from night's raven wing.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "The Allegash and East Branch" (1864) in The Maine Woods (1864), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 3, p. 303, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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There are words in that letter to his wife, respecting the education of his daughters, which deserve to be framed and hung over every mantelpiece in the land. Compare this earnest wisdom with that of Poor Richard.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "The Last Days of John Brown" (1860), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 447, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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Carlyle, to adopt his own classification, is himself the hero as literary man.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Thomas Carlyle and His Works" (1847), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 340, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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If we are merely loquacious and loud talkers, then we can afford to stand very near together, cheek by jowl, and feel each other's breath; but if we speak reservedly and thoughtfully, we want to be farther apart, that all animal heat and moisture may have a chance to evaporate.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 156, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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I respect not his labors, his farm where everything has its price, who would carry the landscape, who would carry his God, to market, if he could get anything for him; who goes to market for his god as it is; on whose farm nothing grows free, whose fields bear no crops, whose meadows no flowers, whose trees no fruit, but dollars; who loves not the beauty of his fruits, whose fruits are not ripe for him till they are turned to dollars. Give me the poverty that enjoys true wealth.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 218, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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I am less affected by their heroism who stood up for half an hour in the front line at Buena Vista, than by the steady and cheerful valor of the men who inhabit the snow-plow for their winter quarters; who have not merely the three-o'-clock-in-the-morning courage, which Bonaparte thought was the rarest, but whose courage does not go to rest so early, who go to sleep only when the storm sleeps or the sinews of their iron steed are frozen.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, pp. 131-132, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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It would surpass the powers of a well man nowadays to take up his bed and walk, and I should certainly advise a sick one to lay down his bed and run.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 74, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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The wildness and adventure that are in fishing still recommended it to me.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 232, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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