Henry David Thoreau Quotes

The English did not come to America from a mere love of adventure, nor to truck with or convert the savages, nor to hold offices under the crown, as the French to a great extent did, but to live in earnest and with freedom.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "A Yankee in Canada" (1853), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, pp. 66-67, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
Of all ebriosity, who does not prefer to be intoxicated by the air he breathes?
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Higher Laws," Walden (1854).
It is the art of mankind to polish the world, and every one who works is scrubbing in some part.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, December 19, 1853, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 223, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
It is rare to find one who was so much of a poet and so little of an artist.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, October 16, 1843, to Lidian Jackson Emerson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 112, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
When the State wishes to endow an academy or university, it grants it a tract of forest land: one saw represents an academy, a gang, a university.
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. 252, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
Some, it seems to me, elect their rulers for their crookedness. But I think that a straight stick makes the best cane, and an upright man the best ruler.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "The Succession of Forest Trees" (1860), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 184, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
I look upon England today as an old gentleman who is travelling with a great deal of baggage, trumpery which has accumulated from long housekeeping, which he has not the courage to burn.
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).
If we live in the Nineteenth Century, why should we not enjoy the advantages which the Nineteenth Century offers? Why should our life be in any respect provincial?
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, pp. 121-122, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
Chastity is the flowering of man; and what are called Genius, Heroism, Holiness, and the like, are but various fruits which succeed it.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 243, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
All that are printed and bound are not books; they do not necessarily belong to letters, but are oftener to be ranked with the other luxuries and appendages of civilized life. Base wares are palmed off under a thousand disguises.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 99, Houghton Mifflin (1906).