Henry David Thoreau Quotes

I have made a very rude translation of the Seven against Thebes, and Pindar too I have looked at, and wish he was better worth translating. I believe even the best things are not equal to their fame. Perhaps it would be better to translate fame itself,—or is not that what the poets themselves do? However, I have not done with Pindar yet.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, August 7, 1843, to Ralph Waldo Emerson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 102, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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I do not believe there are eight hundred human beings on the globe.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, July 8, 1843, to Ralph Waldo Emerson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 92, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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I think that Nature meant kindly when she made our brothers few. However, my voice is still for peace.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, November 14, 1847, to Ralph Waldo Emerson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 141, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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I see advertisements for active young men, as if activity were the whole of a young man's capital. Yet I have been surprised when one has with confidence proposed to me, a grown man, to embark in some enterprise of his, as if I had absolutely nothing to do, my life having been a complete failure hitherto. What a doubtful compliment this to pay me!
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Life Without Principle" (1863), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 460, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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After the first blush of sin comes its indifference.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. On the Duty of Civil Disobedience (1849).
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Books, not which afford us a cowering enjoyment, but in which each thought is of unusual daring; such as an idle man cannot read, and a timid one would not be entertained by, which even make us dangerous to existing institution—such call I good books.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Sunday," A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849).
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There was a deserted log camp here, apparently used the previous winter, with its "hovel" or barn for cattle.... It was a simple and strong fort erected against the cold, and suggested what valiant trencher work had been done there.
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, pp. 273-274, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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John Brown's career for the last six weeks of his life was meteor-like, flashing through the darkness in which we live. I know of nothing so miraculous in our history.
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. 441, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden, "Conclusion," (1854). Closing lines of Walden.
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There are enough fagots and waste wood of all kinds in the forests of most of our towns to support many fires, but which at present warm none, and, some think, hinder the growth of the young wood.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 275, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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