Henry David Thoreau Quotes

All men are children, and of one family. The same tale sends them all to bed, and wakes them in the morning.
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. 60, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
We do not learn much from learned books, but from true, sincere, human books, from frank and honest biographies.
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. 101, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
What would we not give for some great poem to read now, which would be in harmony with the scenery,—for if men read aright, methinks they would never read anything but poems. No history nor philosophy can supply their place.
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. 93, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
The past is only so heroic as we see it. It is the canvas on which our idea of heroism is painted, and so, in one sense, the dim prospectus of our future field.
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, pp. 310-311, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
Fame itself is but an epitaph; as late, as false, as true.
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. 178, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
The Great South Beach of Long Island,... though wild and desolate, as it wants the bold bank,... possesses but half the grandeur of Cape Cod in my eyes, nor is the imagination contented with its southern aspect.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Cape Cod (1855-1865), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 270, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
We do not suspect how much our chimneys have concealed; and now air-tight stoves have come to conceal all the rest.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Chesuncook" (1858) in The Maine Woods (1864), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 3, p. 116, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man?
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Civil Disobedience," originally published as "Resistance to Civil Government" (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 387, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul's estate.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Journals, entry for February 11, 1840 (1906).
The lumberers rarely trouble themselves to put out their fires, such is the dampness of the primitive forest; and this is one cause, no doubt, of the frequent fires in Maine, of which we hear so much on smoky days in Massachusetts.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Ktaadn" (1848) in The Maine Woods (1864), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 3, p. 45, Houghton Mifflin (1906).